The Quickest Way to a Band's Heart Is Through the Drive-Thru

Restaurants Foot the Bill for Hungry Musicians on Tour

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Quick quiz: What do puppies, highways and rock bands have in common? If you answered "they're all filthy," you're correct. And if you answered, "they're all adoptable," you get extra SFS bonus points.

Lately, savvy restaurant chains have been getting mileage out of rock bands by picking up the tabs for their on-the-road meals. Of course, we're not talking about bands like the Foo Fighters or other arena-rockers who might demand bowls full of brown M&M's or immaculate avocados, but regular Billy Joes who would probably end up grabbing a light-night bite on their own through a drive-thru window in their tour bus if they hadn't been generously comp'd already.

Denny's has announced its "Adopt-a-Band" program, whereby up-and-coming as well as established acts will get free food in exchange for three visits a month by the bands and promotion on their blogs. In addition to the grub, the bands will get featured spots a Denny's All-Nighter music portal, which has a music blog, recommendations and photos. SFS hasn't heard of most of the yet-to-be-established bands, but nearly everyone will recognize The Plain White T's, The All-American Rejects and Taking Back Sunday, the last of which has already given us a taste of what this promotion will entail with some YouTube videos:

Last year Taco Bell had a similar promotion called "Feed the Beat," whereby bands were given $500 in gorditas, burritos and such. This week in Pittsburgh, mash-up artist Girl Talk (nee Gregg Gillis) spent his money on dinner for his fans. From Pitchfork:
Gillis explains: "I went to the Edgewood Town Center Taco Bell the week prior and explained what I wanted to do. The manager didn't believe me about the contest at first, but once I showed the actual Taco Bell Bucks, she was pumped on the idea. She even offered to drive all of the food in her pick-up truck to the show. We pre-ordered 133 beef burritos, 133 bean burritos, and 133 spicy chicken soft tacos."

And there is the ultimate payoff: for $500 and a press release, an artist buys food for fans, the clip goes on YouTube and music sites, and everyone comes out looking pretty good. Well played, guys.

[Via Billboard, Idolator, Pitchfork]