Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Archive for the tag “Elton John”

Come inside the homes of ’70s rock stars’ parents

Apartment Therapy is a lovely site featuring snapshots of beautiful homes and decor. Every once in a while the site tosses in a nutty, priceless piece like this one where they’ve dug through an old Life magazine and reprinted photos from an article showcasing the homes of parents of 1970s rock stars including Elton John, David Crosby, Eric Clapton and Grace Slick.

These were some of the era’s most flamboyant stars, so, naturally, it’s fun to see their parents’ utter normalcy.

Here are a few that I liked (click on any picture to enlarge):

Here’s Frank Zappa with mom and dad:

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Elton John with his mum and step dad:

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Grace Slick with her mom:

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That nice, young man Eric Clapton with his grandmother:

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David Crosby with his dad (the grandad of Melissa Etheridge‘s kids, when you think about it):

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There are several more on the site. Click here to see the homes of the parents of Donovan, the Jackson 5, and others.

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Should Madonna stop performing?

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I rant at Sweaty Bitches of Rock 'N' Roll.

Time for a list! 29 songs about actors and actresses

We haven’t done in a list in a while and life seems empty.

How about “29 Songs About Famous Actors and Actresses”? I’ll start:

Elton John, Candle In the Wind (Marilyn Monroe)
10cc, Somewhere In Hollywood (Marilyn Monroe)
Elton John, Roy Rogers
Gorillaz, Clint Eastwood
Nirvana, Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle
Madness, Michael Caine
Serge Gainsbourg, Intitals B.B. (Brigitte Bardot)
Russell Crowe‘s band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, Other Ways of Speaking (Jodie Foster)
James, Fred Astaire
Bertie Higgins, Key Largo (Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman)
Roxy Music, 2H.B. (Humphrey Bogart)
Lou Reed, City Lights, (Charlie Chaplin)
Lenny Kravitz, It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over, etc (Lisa Bonet)
Bree Sharp, David Duchovny
Woody Guthrie, Ingrid Bergman
The Eagles, James Dean
Sonic Youth, Madonna, Sean and Me (Madonna and Sean Penn)
R.E.M., Man on the Moon (Andy Kauffman)
Toto, Rosanna (Rosanna Arquette)
Bauhaus, Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Bananarama, Robert DeNiro’s Waiting
The Clash, The Right Profile (Montgomery Clift)
Nine Inch Nails, Starfuckers, Inc (Rose McGowan)
Matthew Sweet, Winona (Winona Ryder)
R.E.M., River (River Phoenix)
Natalie Merchant, River (River Phoenix)
Peter Murphy, Marlene Dietrich’s Favorite Poem
Kim Carnes, Bette Davis Eyes
Alanis Morissette, You Oughtta Know (Dave Coulier)

Now it’s your turn. Add more! Why stay at 29?

Takashi and Kanye: a list of artist and musican collaborations

I just found out that famed Japanese visual artist Takashi Murakami has created animation for his first music video. Naturally it’s for a song (“Good Morning”) by Kanye West. Murakami has already designed album art for Kanye and the two are developing a clothing line together.

This isn’t the first time a visual artist and a musician have worked together.

Indie rock superstars Sonic Youth famously dedicated cover space on each of their album covers to a burgeoning artist, dating back to 1986’s Evol, which featured a still from a film by New York artist Richard Kern.

Later Sonic Youth albums featured recognizable work by Raymond Pettibon (Goo), Gerard Richter (Daydream Nation), Mike Kelly (Dirty) and Richard Prince (Sonic Nurse).

Other examples: Andy Warhol designed the cover for several albums including the Velvet Underground’s first album with Nico, the Rolling Stones’s Sticky Fingers and jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell’s Blue Lights.

Blur used work by British artist Banksy for its Think Tank album. Metallica used work by controversial artist Andres Serrano for cover art on Load and ReLoad. (Serrano is the man who earned infamy over a piece depicting a crucifix floating in urine called Piss Christ).

Fashion designer Gianni Versace created Elton John’s ornate cover for The One. Queen’s News of the World cover was painted by award-winning sci-fi artist Frank Kelly Freas.

Did you know famed photographer Helmut Newton shot the classic cover of The Scorpions’ Love at First Sting?

Newton also took the pic of Dale Bozzio that graces the cover of Missing Persons‘ Rhyme & Reason album. The band’s video for “Surrender Your Heart” used imagery by pop artist Peter Max. Max also designed album cover art for Alice Coltrane and Badfinger.

Robert Mapplethorpe took the iconic shot of Patti Smith for the cover of her debut album Horses.

How weird is this? Classic American painter Norman Rockwell was the artist behind the cover art for The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper.

Cartoonist Robert Crumb designed the album art for Big Brother and the Holding Company‘s Cheap Thrills.

Pin-up artist Alberto Vargas came out of semi-retirement to create the cover art for The Cars’ Candy-O album.

How’s this for cool? I actually own art by this artist: Kathie Olivas painted the cover for Girl In A Coma‘s Both Before I’m Gone.

Isn’t this fun? Help me think of more.

I bet you think this song is about you

I’ve got a blog post at Afterellen.com today concerning famous songs about famous people. It’s inspired by Full House‘s Dave Coulier recently admitting the song “You Oughtta Know” by Alanis Morissette is about him.

I know, I can’t believe she went down on him in a movie theater either. It’s hard to imagine those two in such a passionate relationship that could skid so wildly out of control, right? I mean, Uncle Joey? At any rate, the drama inspired Alanis to write one of the best break-up songs of all time and it put her on the musical map.

I am fascinated by songs about well-known people. I don’t just mean love songs. I mean songs about famous actors and writers. Lots of bands, including the Eagles, have songs about James Dean. Elton John wrote about Marliyn Monroe in “Candle In The Wind.” Seems like half the bands in existence in the 1990s wrote a song for River Phoenix after he died.

Lots of musicians write homages to other musicians. For example, Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke.” (Click photo to enlarge:)

It’s a tribute to jazz’s greatest composer Duke Ellington. It also namedrops Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

Or, Sting writing “An Englishman In New York,” about eccentric British writer Quentin Crisp. The Pixies wrote a puzzling song about the man who created the Eiffel Tower (“Alec Eiffel”) proving even architects can be the subject of a pop song. Although, I guess Simon & Garfunkel proved this first in the 1960s with “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright.”

How about these:
Sonic Youth, Madonna, Sean and Me (Madonna, Sean Penn)
The Commodores, Night Shift (Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson)
Toto, Rosanna (Rosanna Arquette)
R.E.M., Man on the Moon (Andy Kauffman)
Bauhaus, Bela Lugosi’s Dead (Bela Lugosi)
Bertie Higgins, Key Largo (Humprhey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman)
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Judy Collins)
10,000 Maniacs, Hey Jack Kerouac (Jack Kerouac)
The Replacements, Alex Chilton (Big Star’s Alex Chilton)
Bryan Ferry, Kiss & Tell (Ferry’s ex-girlfriend Jerry Hall)
Joan Baez, Diamonds & Rust (Baez’s ex-boyfriend Bob Dylan)

I’ve done quite literally hours of research on the subject. If any agents read this, I’m ready to pen the book.

What’s your favorite musical homage? Or, maybe it’s a kiss-off song to a well-known somebody?

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