On Thursday, at precisely 10:03 p.m. ET, Fall Out Boy fans received an e-mail from Island Records trumpeting the premiere of the band's new "I Don't Care" video on the iTunes Music Store.
"It's Here! It's Here! 'I Don't Care' Video Premiere on iTunes!" the subject line shouted. "It's the moment you've all been waiting for. The 'I Don't Care' video is now premiering on iTunes!"
And certainly, it was the moment many FOB fans were waiting for — after all, bassist Pete Wentz and director Alan Ferguson had been working on the clip almost nonstop since wrapping production last week. On Wednesday, Wentz even wrote to MTV News that "we've been editing the ... video relentlessly for the last three days. I feel as though my eyes are going to fall out."
Clearly, the "I Don't Care" video was a labor of love — and fans knew it. Combine that with the promised (threatened?) cameos by Pharrell, Mark Hoppus and, uh, Spencer Pratt, and needless to say, expectations were high. So when the clip made its world premiere on iTunes, there was much rejoicing. There was just one problem.
It seems the iTunes version of "I Don't Care" wasn't the one the band wanted you — or anyone — to see. Rather than some sort of slick commentary on the state of rock and roll today (or, as Wentz put it, "dudes wearing eyeliner and hawking energy drinks"), what viewers paid $1.49 to download was a version of the video the band didn't even approve, one loaded with rather garish (and extended) shots of a brand-new Nokia cell phone.
"The version of the video that we worked on night after night is not the version that aired, yet somehow a cut full of glorious camera-phone shots did," Wentz wrote in a blog post about the incident late Thursday. "It doesn't make any sense to us. ... Imagine seeing this edit only after you buy the video off of iTunes and realizing that no one even had the ba--s to call you and tell you they were changing the video and cutting parts."
Wentz then ended his post by advising fans to find the video for free elsewhere on the Internet, "as this is NOT the edit the band approved."
It bears mentioning that Wentz started his rant by cautioning that "this will probably end up deleted by me or someone else," and by Friday morning (September 26), well, it looks like he was right. The post is no longer visible on his blog, replaced instead with an image of Popeye and Bluto with the word "CENSORED" taped across their mouths.
It's not exactly clear who approved the cut of the video that was sent to iTunes. A spokesperson for Apple declined to comment on the situation, and phone calls to Island Records were not returned. Fall Out Boy's management company, Crush, would only offer up a "no comment" when asked about the situation.
And though "I Don't Care" certainly isn't the first FOB video to feature some rather obvious product-placement shots (basically every Fall Out Boy clip since 2005's "A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More 'Touch Me' " has featured at least one lingering cell-phone shot in it), that doesn't seem to be the reason Wentz is so upset.
While he wouldn't offer an official comment to MTV News about the whole incident, he did mention that, since they didn't approve the video, the bandmembers feel like they don't deserve to make any money from its download, so they plan on donating all proceeds to — as Wentz put in his now-gone blog post — "a cause far more worthy."
And just what might that cause be? Well, Wentz didn't say, but in a post about the incident on CFOBMania.com — a site that serves as a clearinghouse for all things related to the ongoing viral campaign surrounding FOB's Folie à Deux album — there is a screencap from the video that shows the offending cell phone. Clicking on the phone picture leads fans to NoOnProp8.com, a site dedicated to defeating California's controversial Proposition 8, an initiative on the state's general-election ballot aimed at amending the California Constitution to keep same-sex couples from marrying.