I had the pleasure of seeing Andrew W.K., and of meeting him after the show, in 2003 while he was on tour for "The Wolf" (follow-up to "I Get Wet"... It was the infamous 'wheelchair tour'!) Despite any contentions over his persona, and all that entails, I've got to say - if Andrew W.K. (the brand, the man, whatever) exists in order to "put this feeling out into the world", he has done so with rollicking success. The show I witnessed was ridiculously fun, the 'vibe' was exhilarating, and the whole experience overall was a thrill. He himself was an overwhelmingly positive force that permeated the place and just made everyone feel good.
So, if AWK was formed in the "spirit of commerce and entertainment" which do "usually go hand in hand," is that SUCH a huge deal? Do I feel slighted that this compelling performance was just that—a performance? Maybe a bit, but much of what makes an artist compelling, or at least effective, is theatrics. Look at Lady GaGa or Of Montreal or Gwar. I'm happy enough that what I saw imparted its own singular, original spirit - or brand, even, of music and fun.
Further, I don't feel the man is just a puppet on strings—sure, maybe more than one person contributed to a 'vision' for what Andrew W.K. means, but the guy himself carried it out, and did so with such passion and zeal that, well, I guess he was the right guy for the job. And isn't it all a show-going public asks that the performer gives his all?
Maybe part of me does wish he were as 'real', thereby 'hardcore', as we believed. Although according to Allmusic.com he did write all the songs on "I Get Wet" (But I suppose 'Andrew WK' as a singular entity is what's in question - does that go so far as to composer rights? Who knows?) But regardless of his genesis, the Andrew W.K. I saw was interested in putting forth the "exciting feeling the music [gives]" and he did. And the feeling everyone had was real. Is the world better off for having this superhuman party juggernaut? In my opinion, yes. 'Andrew W.K.' is a good idea, a good thing, and I'm glad he or they or whoever brought him into being.