"One Bank": From Ethan Chandler's Greatest Hits

Even when I worked for The Mouse, I cringed and laughed at the pile-up mash-ups of corporate life and pop culture. On the rarest occasions, like with Atomic Revolution, the nuclear propaganda comic book produced by adman M. Philip Copp for his Connecticut yacht club buddies at General Dynamics can actually be a powerful, if overlooked work of art. Mostly, they're kitschy train wrecks, though, like the commissioned corporate musicals and company anthems for the likes of KPMG.


Because the genre's signal-to-noise ratio is so low, I avoided watching "One Bank," the video making the rounds this week where some Bank of America execs turned U2's "One Love" into a celebration of BofA's merger with credit card giant MBNA. Known quantity, I figured.

[Forget for a moment that uncompromising rock artists--Bono included--have been dogpiling onto the corporate moneywagon for years now. Suggs and his mates from Madness, for example, know better than to show their sellout faces around my house after allowing Maxwell House frickin' Coffee to desecrate the anthem of my youth.]

But Andy's description, "painful to watch in its sincerity," lured me in. [He really is a master of the <10 word write-up.] It's really amazing to watch, precisely because of the balls-out sincerity. That, and the dude's not actually a bad singer; sincerity you can fake, but the guy has chops.

I decided the appropriately bemused thing to do was to keep my eye out for him at BofA locations in Manhattan, and when I saw him stepping out for a smoke, I'd give him the "Are you Ethan Chandler??!" high five that a true Internet celebrity deserves.

But a quick Google search flipped my telescope around completely. Turns out the guy had some songs and and an EP published by EMI in the 1990's; he fronted a cover band that played gigs around the Northeast; and he put out a CD in 2002. Ethan Chandler isn't a banker who thinks he's a musician; he's a musician whose dayjob is in a bank.

As a finance industry survivor who's wrestled for years with how to balance making a living and pursuing a passion, I've gotta give Chandler props for trying to bridge his two seemingly incompatible worlds. If you see Chandler at the bank, meanwhile, give him a high five for me.

Buy Ethan Chandler's presciently titled 2002 CD, "Better Days Ahead" [awarestore.com]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

post info

first published: November 10, 2006.

next older post:
A Roving Smithsonian Site Displacement

next newer post:
"Take My Wife, John Cage, Please"

recent projects, &c.

Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017

Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99