If you find the notion of Bon Jovi hawking T-shirts and tour jackets on late-night cable TV somewhat farfetched, try this. The band’s former manager, Doc McGhee, mentor to metal superstars the Scorpions and Skid Row, just inked a deal with the St. Petersburg, Fla.- based Home Shopping Network to sell music memorabilia and merchandise ”not available at retail” on the air. ”They’re not just about 14K jewelry and cubic zirconia,” says McGhee, who is developing hour-long blocks of MTV-style programming to wrap around the product pitches.
The initial rock offering appeared recently, giving viewers the opportunity to purchase 15 Years of Arista, a greatest-hits CD not carried in stores. ”I know that people have said this is not a legitimate programming mode for an entertainer unless his career is waning, but I believe interactive television offers tremendous potential for the music industry,” McGhee says, insisting that the new form of distribution is perfect for reaching the ”passive masses” who are intimidated by shopping in record stores.
If Pete Rose can peddle autographed balls and bats, Bon Jovi should be able to hawk picks and drumsticks.