I Don’t Think Tom T. Hall’s “I Like Beer” Was Meant to Be About Michelob Ultra
This article has been updated.
Michelob Ultra is the Cleveland Browns of Beers—the Sam Hunt of Suds—and with no disrespect to any of the low carb readers or listeners out there, I don’t think America’s most notorious “ultra light” beer is exactly what Tom T. Hall had in mind when he penned his ode to the amber goodness in 1975.
But that hasn’t stopped the marketing maestros from putting it in a Super Bowl LII commercial for the skirmish between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots, with the only consolation being perhaps some random proletariats will go spiraling down a Tom T. Hall wormhole after they Shazam the song and get exposed to some actual country music. I’m sure Tom T. is making out like a bandit as well, so there’s that too.
Anheuser Busch ponied up for two separate spots for Michelob Ultra during the big game, and the second one will feature a reworked version of Tom T. Hall’s “I Like Beer” being sung by new mainstream traditionalist Jon Pardi. However you don’t really hear Pardi because the song is muddied by various semi-famous actors and sports personalities singing along, names such as Chris Pratt, US Open Golf Champion Brooks Koepka, World Surf League Champion Kelly Slater, and 2017 NYC Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan. The athletes are there to drum up the idea you can be active and a drunk too.
Time was when Super Bowl ads were some big surprise, which was the whole reason many watched. But now apparently the fashionable thing to do is to release them days before, which seems about as silly as spending twice as much on beer diluted by half. But what do I know. So you can watch this thing now (see below), and when the commercial plays in real time during the Super Bowl, excuse yourself to the water closet to make some Michelob Ultra of your own.
For context, Tom T. Hall wrote “I Like Beer” completely in jest, though it laughed it’s way to #4 in the charts back in ’75. By today’s country music standards the song would probably slip right in as standard fare and be nominated for Song of the Year for its deep introspection.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to find something to get this bad taste out of my mouth.
February 4, 2018 @ 12:13 pm
I’d be a lot more interested in the commercial if the beer was Coors Banquet instead of the pantywaist Michelob Ultra and the song was being sung by Tom T. Hall, not fake traditionalist Jon Pardi.
February 4, 2018 @ 12:17 pm
Jon isn’t fake and he will become more traditional as country music moves more that way
February 5, 2018 @ 5:49 am
‘. . .will become more traditional as country music moves more that way’
That is the very definition of fake. Or at best fickle.
February 4, 2018 @ 12:56 pm
But who is seriously calling Pardi a “traditionalist”? I love him, and I love what he’s doing. He’s a mixture of neotraditionalist and contemporary expressions of country music — but certainly not a “traditionalist” full stop. As such, he is what he is, certainly not “fake.”
February 5, 2018 @ 8:43 am
He may not be “fake” but he sure is full of himself. Just suffered through his set between the Turnpike Troubadours and Miranda on Friday night. The spotlights and big screen were on him 95% of the time. Miranda at least shared the limelight with her band members.
But I buried the lead, Turnpike killed their 6 songs!! They have to be getting a lot of new fans every night on this tour.
February 5, 2018 @ 12:15 pm
But, is Pardi responsible for the spotlight and big screen? Sure, it’s possible that he directed it to be that way, but I would hesitate to place blame without knowing the facts first. I don’t doubt that Turnpike outperformed Pardi. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Turnpike yet, but I’ve seen Pardi. I thought he did well, and I enjoyed the show — but he’s no Whitey Morgan or Cody Jinks, both of whom I’ve seen multiple times and are often compared to Turnpike. So, I’m not surprised by your comparison.
As for Pardi being “full of himself,” that is the opposite impression I had. He was great with the fans during the show, and I happened to catch him briefly after the show. He was on his way to his tour bus, and I happened to be walking by at the time. Without hesitation, he took time to greet and thank the fans who happened (like me) to be walking to the parking lot.
And, it’s worth noting that the show was miserably hot, because Coyote Joe’s is too cheap to buy an air conditioning system. It was very obvious that Pardi and his band were sweating like pigs, yet they never complained. I went to see Tracy Lawrence at Coyote Joe’s a couple weeks ago, and I saw three people faint from heat exhaustion. When we left for the parking lot, there were a couple ambulances and a firetruck for this reason. And this is in the middle of winter!!!
jessie with the long hair
February 5, 2018 @ 5:30 pm
I’ve been around Pardi since he came to town and worked with him on many occasions. Let me assure you that he is very full of himself and dumb as a brick. To be honest, early on, I wondered how he would get make it through his first radio tour without pissing off all the PD’s.
February 4, 2018 @ 12:34 pm
Hands down the worst beer I’ve ever had. Makes Miller Lite seem like a coffee stout.
February 4, 2018 @ 9:23 pm
Obviously, you never tried any Zima Gold. Thankfully it’s not made anymore.
February 5, 2018 @ 6:24 am
And apparently, you’ve never had Schlitz Light. But I date myself. You’d have been better off drinking out of a bottle found in the household aisle of a supermarket.
February 5, 2018 @ 1:00 pm
Zima Gold wasn’t beer.
February 4, 2018 @ 12:39 pm
It’s not quite Steven Tyler hawking the Kia bad…but close…
February 4, 2018 @ 12:45 pm
I don’t have the time or patience for any beer that isn’t over 7% ABV. I mean, what’s the point?
February 4, 2018 @ 1:03 pm
There’s a handful of 5 percenters that are fine by me. When I drink beer I like them to go down easy and not have too much going on. If I want something higher ABV I just skip right on up to 90 proof Bourbon.
February 4, 2018 @ 9:12 pm
90 proof is all right. Bonded is better, most of the time.
February 5, 2018 @ 12:42 am
I do like Old Grand-Dad Bonded.
February 5, 2018 @ 9:13 pm
Yaaaaaassss. Now we’re talking. I’m am old OGD man from way back.
February 4, 2018 @ 2:52 pm
That kind of backwards logic is what led the micro brew industry astray the past decade or so, e.g. the “more hoppy the better” and “more ABV the better” mentality of the public. Thankfully, the industry is wising up and putting much more focus on pilsners, lighter pale ales, etc.
February 5, 2018 @ 8:46 am
And Sessionable IPAs. For when you want to drink a 6-pack of flavorful beers and not be on your lips.
February 4, 2018 @ 12:55 pm
My husband says it is “love by the lake” or —-ing near water!!!
February 4, 2018 @ 2:17 pm
Making love in a canoe! 😀
February 4, 2018 @ 1:34 pm
I was under the impression that Tom T was a strohs man
February 5, 2018 @ 1:02 pm
Falstaff, more likely.
February 4, 2018 @ 2:59 pm
I don’t care about the ABV, but if I’m drinking beer, I want it to actually taste like beer. Ah well, everyone wants to get paid.
Lord Honky Of Crackersley
February 4, 2018 @ 3:18 pm
Why can’t the urban-born, urban-raised purveyors of American corporate pop culture keep their filthy hands off of Country Music?
February 4, 2018 @ 8:30 pm
Because they have no respect for honest music that doesn’t cater to the mindless element of our society.
February 4, 2018 @ 3:27 pm
“excuse yourself to the water closet to make some Michelob Ultra of your own”
you should be proud of that one
February 4, 2018 @ 8:38 pm
I’ve been turning Colorado kool-aid into Michelob Ultra all day long.
February 6, 2018 @ 3:25 pm
Johnny Paycheck baby!
February 4, 2018 @ 4:45 pm
If JT gets Stapleton to play the halftime show with him do you think he will rip Chris’s tit out?
jessie with the long hair
February 5, 2018 @ 5:32 pm
He does have a nice size rack…
February 4, 2018 @ 5:42 pm
February 4, 2018 @ 5:58 pm
Who cares!? I think its cool they used a TTH song.
I’m confused as to why this is relevant.
February 5, 2018 @ 6:08 am
Exactly! A Tom T. Hall song was played for millions of people to hear last night, and Trigger wants to complain about how it was used?? Geez.
February 5, 2018 @ 7:32 am
I never complained about a Tom T. Hall song playing for millions, though that makes for an easy swipe at me for folks on Facebook who didn’t bother to read the article, and might not be smart enough to digest it anyway. In fact I went out of my way to say that was one of the positive things about the song.
What I said was, and I quote:
“…with the only consolation being perhaps some random proletariats will go spiraling down a Tom T. Hall wormhole after they Shazam the song and get exposed to some actual country music.”
As for the Tom T. Hall getting paid, I said, ” I’m sure Tom T. is making out like a bandit as well, so there’s that too.”
I was never making fun of Tom T. Hall, or criticizing him for using the song in a commercial. This is an assumption made by people. I was making fun of Michelob Ultra for being widely regarded as the weakest, lamest “beer” on the market, even if you want to call it that. Many people understood this. Some people didn’t. Others didn’t even read the article, which is obvious if they’re complaining that a Tom T. Hall song got played for millions because they changed the lyrics and sung over it so much that it’s basically indiscernible from the original, which I also said in the article.
And it’s not like it is hard to discern what is going on in this article. I clearly stated the issue in the title and first paragraph. But “Now trig’s complaining about Tom T. Hall getting played for millions!” apparently makes for a more compelling story for some.
February 4, 2018 @ 6:41 pm
Michelob Ultra is good
February 4, 2018 @ 8:34 pm
February 5, 2018 @ 11:29 am
It’s alright in my book. Hate Bud light. Love Gulden Draak, that’ll put some hair on your chest.
February 4, 2018 @ 7:14 pm
There should be an article on worst super bowl commercial / song combo. The T Mobile ad with the babies while Nirvana’s All Apologies was playing was bad
February 4, 2018 @ 9:26 pm
Actually it was pretty awesome. Nothing wrong with good music showing up on a commerical. Most people didnt catch it anyways. I thought it was neat and a fun little music nerd catch.
February 5, 2018 @ 7:51 am
Doubt Kurt Cobain would be okay with it being used considering he was pretty notorious against corporations
February 4, 2018 @ 7:44 pm
And they didn’t even play the song in the actual commercial.
February 4, 2018 @ 8:29 pm
What the hell was Justin Timberlake wearing? Kind of a cross between camo and alligator and Willie Nelson. Not sure where the shoes were coming from.
February 4, 2018 @ 8:35 pm
He’s the man of the woods, didn’t ya hear?
February 4, 2018 @ 9:28 pm
In what world is Chris Pratt semi-famous? I love all your stuff you post but come on its a beer commercial lighten up a bit. Who really cares? Im a country fan and I didnt even catch the music….
February 4, 2018 @ 10:52 pm
Well then obviously you need to listen to some Tom T Hall. The man is a national treasure. Coors rules. Good night
Something Always Told Me They Were Reading Tommy Wrong
February 5, 2018 @ 1:23 am
Do Americans call beer “suds” because all their beers taste like soapy dishwater?
February 5, 2018 @ 6:19 am
When you’re runnin’ down my country, man, you’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me.
Something Always Told Me They Were Reading Tommy Wrong
February 5, 2018 @ 6:30 am
Ha! Ha! Don’t get mad, Mr. Internet Hard Man, I was only messin’ with ya.
Not running down your country, only your terrible, terrible beer.
February 5, 2018 @ 6:38 am
Is that you, John Oliver?
It was a joke, sort of. You know, Merle Haggard reference and all.
Last night, I had a couple of Port City Monumental IPA’s while watching the game. It’s my favorite DC area local beer. Ever try it?
Strait Country 81
February 5, 2018 @ 1:44 am
Beer has the worst taste of any kind of alcohol Whiskey,Tequila,Vodka and even Wine taste better.
February 5, 2018 @ 6:37 am
Whiskey’s too rough. Champagne costs too much. Vodka puts my mouth in gear.
February 5, 2018 @ 8:22 am
I suppose that depends on what kind of beer you’re drinking. Personally, I can’t sip straight liquor other than high end tequila on rare occasions, so (mostly craft) beer is my funny-juice of choice.
February 5, 2018 @ 5:41 am
How about the Alexa commercial where the guy asks Alexa to play country music and the device starts playing pop music garbage. So the guy says, “No, country music”, and there is dead air for a couple seconds, and then Alexa continues playing the pop music garbage.
February 5, 2018 @ 5:55 am
Surely Jeff Foxworthy is working on a Rednexa app even as we speak–but it will probably only play FGL in response to a request for country music. But one can hope.
February 5, 2018 @ 6:12 am
It’s interesting to me they change a couple lines about how beer makes you feel jolly and mellow (i.e. drunk) to something about your fellow man or some shit. Because God forbid we have a commercial about someone drinking beer to get drunk…
February 5, 2018 @ 6:44 am
Did the ad really change the lines to Tom T’s song?
If so, that’s just plain wrong.
I drank beer, among other things, to get drunk daily for 13 years – not to be a SJW.
This is more Madison Avenue crap.
Next year, we can expect the ad industry to similarly subvert the meaning of Willie’s Whiskey River.
February 5, 2018 @ 8:28 am
Whiskey River was written and originally performed by Johnny Bush…you probably knew that, but not giving proper credit is a pet peeve of mine. Hearing someone say “…Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey”…” is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.
February 5, 2018 @ 5:31 pm
I did not, but thanks for the information.
I am crazy about Johnny Bush also.
jessie with the long hair
February 5, 2018 @ 5:37 pm
The song was licensed without Tom T.’s knowledge but he was fired up about it when he got the news and excited to see it during the Super Bowl. A songwriter is always thrilled to see and hear one of their songs on a national ad. They take on a life of their own and you have not control over where they go. Kind of cool to watch them like your kids… and yes, he made out like a bandit.
February 8, 2018 @ 5:05 pm
Maybe not but I’m happy TTH is going to pocket a sizable paycheck for this so it’s fine with me. Wish more advertisers would use classic country songs in their ads at least we’d get to hear a snippet of those songs on the airwaves. ( I don’t think TTH wrote the song “completely in jest” though – I suspect he does indeed like a brew now and then.)