Jim Brickman is a commercial jingle writer who made it to the big time. Come to think of it, so is Barry Manilow ("At McDonald's, we do it all for you").

But after Brickman's concert Saturday, I began thinking of the idea of using classic, well-known rock songs for commercials.Last year, colleague Ray Boren and I wrote an article that analyzed and listed a number of rock-tunes-turned-product-pushers. Among those listed were War's "Lowrider" for Nissan, the Kinks' "Tired of Waiting for You" for Alka Seltzer and more.

Looking back, I have a theory as to why these rock songs were used.

Sure, they are well-established and recognizable. But the reason I think they're being used today is that the marketers and commercial producers are lazy.

Producers and marketers spend hours upon hours thinking up a catchy spot to sell products such as, say, Pepto Bismal. Imagine writing a song about indigestion. Imagine writing it from scratch.

Think of the time and effort that would be cut in half if you used an existing song. Take Steve Miller Band's "Abracadabra," for instance:

"I eat up/The food goes down/Indigestion goes 'round and 'round . . . . "

Easy, ain't it?

Let's just hope they leave Preparation H alone.

- BUSTED BREAK: Spring break will be upon us in a week. And MTV is on it like the sun on the sand.

Flipping through Rolling Stone magazine the other day, I came across MTV's full-page ad announcing it's spring break coverage.

I have only one word: Lame.

Four pictures with nothing but various torsos obscured by handcuffed wrists (with one hand showing off a certain finger) were the focal points surrounding the MTV Spring Break '98 logo.

MTV's Web site is touting its SB'98 coverage with words such as "Postcards," "concerts," "contests" and "memories." But the ad is depicting something different.

It's almost saying getting arrested is cool, fun and normal. And for the average teen or college kid who knows why people are arrested during spring break, the slogan should read: "Getting arrested because you are a nuisance as a result of excessive public drunkeness is cool, fun and normal."

Like Bill Cosby sarcastically suggested in one of his routines: "Getting drunk, getting sick and throwing up is sure a lot of fun." Let's add: "Getting thrown in the slammer for a night," Coz.

- METAL MASSACRED: Rob Halford, the former lead singer for Judas Priest and Fight has gone goth/ industrial.

Of course some of the Priest's songs contained a tinge of gothicness - "Stained Class," "The Ripper," "Beyond the Realms of Death" and "Touch of Evil." But did anyone ever think Halford, the man who screamed about "Breakin' the Law" and "Heading Out to the Highway" would team up with "Mr. Doom & Gloom" himself - Trent Reznor?

Could this be the unholy alliance the rock world has been looking for? Or could it be merely a superficial teaming of music pioneers that will thrash and mash but never smash? We'll see.

But if you ask me, Halford is going alienate his devoted fans from the Priest days, and techno-industrial listeners will question his integrity when they discover how metallic his former bands were.