Scott Borchetta Officially Kills Flipping Off The Camera to be Cool

February 22, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  34 Comments

motley-crue-scott-borchetta-bird-flipping-middle-fingerNikki Sixx, Brantley Gilbert, Vince Neil & Scott Borchetta (Twitter)

RIP Flipping Off The Camera to be Cool

Born February 24th, 1969 San Quentin, CA — Died February 19th, 2014 Nashville, TN

Yes ladies and gentlemen, we have the death of yet another great American institution to lay at the feet of The Country Music Anti-Christ, Big Machine Records President and CEO Scott Borchetta.

The offense occurred when Scott Borchetta flashed the double bird at a camera as part of a Country Radio Seminar function in Nashville on Wednesday night, November 19th while in the presence of Mötley Crüe members Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx, and Big Machine artist Brantley Gilbert. The photo was later posted on Nikki Sixx’s Twitter feed, with the even more unfortunate caption proclaiming the group “NASHVILLE OUTLAWS.”

Flipping the bird to the camera first became cool when Johnny Cash famously showed his middle finger to photographer Jim Marshall at San Quentin before his 1969 concert at the legendary lockdown in response to Jim Marshall’s request, “John, let’s do a shot for the warden.” But the picture remained relatively obscure until 1998 when Cash was working with Rick Rubin, and country radio refused to play Johnny’s new music. So Rubin took out a $20,000 ad in Billboard with the famous photograph thanking country radio for its support (Read full story behind Johnny Cash’s famous middle finger). Since then the bird flipping had taken on a special significance in country music, coming to symbolize a rebellion against country music’s status quo….until the status quo co-opted it for their own purposes.

The Raised Middle Finger: Why It Means More In Country

But truth be told, flipping the camera off had gone from being cool to being horrifically cliché many moons ago, and was going through a long-suffering and unnecessarily-protracted death leading up to Borchetta finally putting it out of its misery by removing any and all cool factor that might be left in the indecent maneuver. It makes it one measure worse that it comes from a moment of celebrity crotch-sniffing from Scott. His label Big Machine bartered with Mötley Crüe to put out a country-flavored tribute album to the retiring band; a pursuit of vanity for Borchetta who once had his own hair metal aspirations.

So bye bye birdie. It was cool while it lasted, but like so many other things related to country music, it was ruined by posers.


34 Comments to “Scott Borchetta Officially Kills Flipping Off The Camera to be Cool”

  • Guess some pride themselves on being infantile….

    Pride….comes before the fall.

  • Personally, I love the bunny ears on the Anti-Christ!! LOL

  • When was flipping off the camera ever “cool”? Cash’s picture was cool but that’s because he was Johnny Cash. Everyone else just fails miserably at looking like a “rebel.”

    • By the way, Trigger, you might find this article in which Blake Shelton talks about fighting for “real” country music on The Voice to be amusing. http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/our-country/blake-shelton-discusses-miranda-singles-plus-acm-co-181136165.html

    • It’s not something I’d ever do, but then I’ll also never be Johnny Cash flipping the bird on behalf of the prisoners of San Quentin, to the guards. That’s why Cash could get away with it-it meant something when he did it. And he did it in a day when just being an entertainer didn’t necessarily exempt you from paying a price if you openly opposed the establishment, especially if you were from the conservative world of country. I would have been on the guards’ side, but I can respect that he was taking the path of most resistance.

      These days it’s just overgrown children being “cool”, only they’re too unsophisticated to realise there’s nothing cool about made just for the juvenile oppositional posturing against-nothing. Heck, he is a PART of the establishment these days-the real country musicians have been driven underground.

    • And isn’t it ironic how they carry on about being the iconoclasts, when the icons they break are the ones which are the very life’s blood of country music-the actual musicianship-but they play on the most tired, old tropes of the real iconoclasts of the past?

  • Hey, Trigger, I know you aren’t the biggest fan of Eric Church. That’s cool. We all have our opinions, and even though I am a fan of EC, I still respect your opinions, and read your site religiously. (Eternally grateful for leading me to Sturgill and Isbell!!) All that being said, when I read this article, all I thought about was the lyric from Eric’s tune “That’s Damn Rock and Roll”.
    “It ain’t a middle finger on a t-shirt the establishment’s tryin’ to sell
    It’s a man with the balls to tell the establishment to go to Hell…”

  • Great. So instead of Cash sticking it to “the man”, the man is sticking it to country music.

    • I should have read all the comments first-you say quite succinctly, that which I took more words to say!

  • I’d also like to add the Brantley Gilbert is a tool.

    • What kind of tool….a P_ick ! SG

  • Country music used to be be by and for adults, as one of its figures said (I forget who it was right now, it was eons ago), as opposed to rock which was by and for the kids. It was about the concerns of the working class, which, beginning in app the 50s, the kids were no longer really a part of anymore. That seemed reasonable to me-they both had a voice.

    Now all the music is “for the kids”, and it’s a protracted childhood.

  • Go die in a fire Scott…

  • I never thought it was cool. Johnny Cash’s political statements were generally infantile, silly, and dangerous to the prison workers.

    • That’s just ignorant!

  • I feel like barfing as I look at this picture. I wanna punch Brantley Gilbert right in the face. What’s it going to take to end this crap? Then I see articles like this one too: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/the-615/5915635/crs-new-faces-show-brett-eldredge-cassadee-pope-thomas-rhett

    How can people listen to this kind of crap? It’s disheartening to see.

  • It’s such a worthless, pointlessly common thing to do anymore. It won’t be long until people will stop saying “smile for the camera” and start saying “okay, stick up your finger for the camera!”

    Every 2nd grade class picture will be filled with smiling little kids with their fingers out … your next family reunion will have your great grandma flippin’ off everyone’s cell phone pics … Mickey will be flipping the double bird whilst standing next to a little 5 yr old dressed as a faerie princess at disneyland. The faerie princess will of course be proudly displaying her own “magic wand” for the proud parents to put up on Facebook.

  • I would just like to point out that it is Vince Neil, not Neal.

    That is all. Carry on.

    • Appreciate the fix. Just for the sake of accuracy.

  • Looks like a promotional poster for the national mid-life crisis association.

  • Brantley Gilbert: “Oh no, I have no imagination! What do I do to disguise my insecurity and fragility?”

    (executive whispers into ear)

    Brantley Gilbert: “Hell yeah, man!” (flashes double bird flip) “Thanks, bro!”

    -__- -__- -__-

  • Nothing original, no thinking or talent required, fits right in with what Nashville thinks country is these days. idiots!

  • Brantley has such big muscles, I just creamed these FUBU stretch pants

    • He’s just doing what any douchebag does to make his arm(s) look bigger – pressing it against the side of his ribcage.

  • There is nothing tough, or cool in that picture. The cameraman should have beat each of them with the camera lens, but since this is America, he was likely too busy fapping to the scent of their cologne.

  • It’d be so much easier to hate Brantley if all of his music sucked, but it, quite frankly, doesn’t. When he gets serious, he could school most mainstream artists on the topic of introspection. At the same time, perhaps his introspective songs are so good because he’s so insecure. While we want to hate him for the tough guy schtick, I think it’s a result of his insecurities, his obvious masculinity issues. As odd as it sounds, it’s pretty clear that his issues are exactly what make his serious songs so damn good.

  • Wow, flipping the bird just jumped the shark.

  • https://twitter.com/NikkiSixx/status/436579817627324416

    A big FU to country music. “NASHVILLE OUTLAWS” LOL they are less outlaw than Ashlee Simpson. More like Nashville posers.

  • I have never seen a picture of him before. Now that I have, everything is crystal clear.

  • I could’ve sworn I saw a picture of Waylon and Buddy Holly with one of them doing it- that’s the earliest I’ve seen it if I’m remembering correctly so it may have been before 1959, but I guess Cash is the real famous start.

    Oh well, regardless. Scott Borchetta ruining everything for everyone ever.

    • I think you’re thinking of a set of pictures from a photo booth when they were on tour. They were smoking cigarettes and had large frame glasses on. But there weren’t any birds flipping.

  • Giving the finger was only cool one time, and that was when Johnny did it at SQ.

    Every other time it is a juvenile, trite, and utterly unimaginative way of communication.

    If someone fells that way, he or she should tell the person you want to climb into the octagon with them and see who is the toughest.

    Otherwise, you look like a pussy.

    • I agree, the only thing that keeps Cash’s bird shot from being lame is the back story. Every shot of anyone flipping the camera since and before then has been pretty much equally lame (unless it has an equally cool story, of course).

      So I don’t buy that Borchetta “killed” the coolness because the coolness was never really alive to begin with. Is the shot of Scotty and the Crüe flipping off the camera lame? Yes. But is it lame because it’s them doing it? No, it would be lame no matter who was doing it.

      As far as I’m concerned, Borchetta didn’t “kill” anything, he just did one more thing to prove that he’s a largely unimaginitive tool.

  • […] This was happening all over CRS…  […]

Leave a comment

Del Maguey
Old Soul Radio Show
Hillgrass Bluebilly
Best Of Lists