Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Archive for the tag “The Beatles”

The Sugarcubes “Birthday” video (1987)

Because it’s my birthday, I got to thinking last night about all the wonderful rock ‘n’ roll songs about birthdays: Altered Images “Happy Birthday, The Beatles “Birthday,” Concrete Blonde‘s “Happy Birthday,” and the weird and wonderful “Birthday” by The Sugarcubes.

I dug up the “Birthday” video (the English version) on YouTube and thought I would share. I was a big Sugarcubes fan back in the mid-1980s and this video reminds me why. No one ever, before or after the band, sounded like The Sugarcubes. Led, of course, by Icelandic wunderkind Bjork, The Sugarcubes released the superb 1988 debut album Life’s Too Good and it blew my mind with its originality.

Here’s “Birthday”:

That crazy percussion! The woozy horns. What a song!

What other songs about birthdays can you think of? Or, if you would like to share your thoughts about The Sugarcubes, that’s cool, too.

Has it really been 28 years?


John Lennon 1940-1980.

The Vatican forgives John Lennon

I’m sure Beatles fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief when the Vatican announced recently that it had forgiven John Lennon for saying 40 years ago that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ.

What a crock-of-shit media spin that was.


Lennon said in the spring of 1966 what many ordinary people say regularly nowadays:, Jesus was all right, but his followers are a drag.

Here’s the exact quote:

“Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. We’re more popular than Jesus now – I don’t know which will go first, rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

But of course, idiotic journalists spun it to suit their needs and make a huge controversy out of it.

Here’s a not-quite-contrite Lennon a few months later explaining what he meant by the comment:

Lennon’s Jesus comment was also a critique of young people around the world putting more emphasis on the words of John Lennon than they did the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Now, the Roman Catholic Church, in its latest effort to appear less stodgy, has “forgiven” him, which is ironic because John Lennon’s music has done more to promote the ideas of universal peace, harmony, and love in the past 40 years than the church has done in its history.

Project Bueller

Have you guys heard about Project Bueller?

Some crazy mofos in Greenwich Village are gonna try on Halloween to recreate the famous parade scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. (Except: wasn’t that scene set in Chicago?) The organizers expect “tens of thousands of people breaking out into the world’s largest Beatles sing-a-long.” (That would be “Twist and Shout.”) I wonder if New York resident Matthew Broderick will show up for the festivities.

Are you in? Email

Leisure rules!

Why tyrants are afraid of the power of music

It’s not just a myth that rock n’ roll can save your soul. In a New Statesman article, writer Paul Evans examines the history of the musician vs. the state and how music’s destabilizing force scared the bejeezus out of some leaders. It’s a quick, fact-filled read.

Here is an interesting quote from the article about how Nazi Germany feared American jazz:

Jazz was despised by Nazi Germany, which regarded its devotees as dangerous race traitors. An absurd set of regulations issued in 1940 shows that it was not only the culture of jazz, but its very rhythms that were regarded as dangerous. One decree read: “So-called jazz compositions may contain at the most 10 per cent syncopation; the remainder must form a natural legato movement devoid of hysterical rhythmic references characteristic of the music of the barbarian races and conducive to dark instincts alien to the German people.”

The article also discusses the strained relationship between composer Dmitiri Shostakovich and Mother Russia: the composer would not write propaganda music for the Soviets and was pretty much blackballed.

It’s not all high brow stuff either: In 1965, Israeli forces banned a performance by The Beatles fearing the band could galvanize teen-age immorality.

The fear of music is still strong in some parts of the world. Didn’t the Malaysian government ban Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne from performing in its country just a few weeks ago?

This may be the first time in history a blogger compared Avril Lavinge to the Shostakovich.

Post Navigation