1. Faking a rape and murder.
While still in art school, Mendieta invited her fellow students to her apartment where, through a door left ajar, they found her covered in blood. She was recreating a murder scene as reported in the press. It was her response to a brutal rape and murder of a nursing student, Sara Ann Otten on March 1973.
None of the students that went that day to Mendieta’s apartment knew this was a performance.
Untitled (Rape Scene) is the documentation of an action that the artist performed in her apartment in Iowa City, while she was a student at the University of Iowa on the innovative Intermedia art course run by the German artist Hans Breder (born 1935). It was created in response to a brutal and highly publicised rape and murder of a nursing student, Sara Ann Otten, by another student in March 1973. The following month Mendieta invited her fellow students to her apartment where, through a door left purposefully ajar, they found her in the position recorded in this photograph, which recreated the scene as reported in the press. Some time later, Mendieta recalled that her audience ‘all sat down, and started talking about it. I didn’t move. I stayed in position about an hour. It really jolted them.’ (Quoted in Ana Mendieta, p.127, note 11.) In 1980, she commented that the rape had ‘moved and frightened’ her, elaborating: ‘I think all my work has been like that – a personal response to a situation … I can’t see being theoretical about an issue like that.’ (Quoted in Ana Mendieta, p.90.) On another occasion she explained that she had created this work ‘as a reaction against the idea of violence against women’ (quoted in Viso 2004, p.256, note 58).
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m204/staringnun/AnaMendietaRapeScene1973MoffitStreetLowaCityLowa_zps7ad2c911.jpg EDITED: That image is absolutely NSFW. Keep images like that behind a link instead of making them display in the pitch. – TheSoundDefense
2. King Mob steals Christmas.
The art group King Mob stormed Selfridges’, a London store. A man dressed up as Santa Claus, along with some helpers, started to give away the department store’s toys to the children. But soon came the police, and the little ones witnessed how one Santa’s helper was placed under arrest, while the rest ran away. But the worst part was when they had to give back their “gifts”.
The action was accompanied by a one page manifesto, which headline ran: “Christmas, it was meant to be great but it’s horrible”. One of the participants was Malcolm McLaren, the Sex Pistols manager.
Title: Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century.
Author: Greil Marcus
The group threw a potlach in Selfridges’, with a man dressed as Santa Claus giving away the department store’s toys to throngs of happy children.
Title: England’s dreaming.
Author: Jon Savage.
This action was accompanied by an anonymous one page, broad sheet manifesto(…) McLaren was one of the twenty five.
3. Wanking and talking dirty in an art gallery (Sample entry)
Vito Acconci performed his Seedbed in New York’s Sonnabend Gallery during January 1971. With this performance, the artist gave a literal meaning to the term “jerk-off artist”.
All the visitors who entered the gallery didn’t find anything at first sight. Maybe they noticed a wooden ramp on the floor. Suddenly, a voice whispered through the gallery speakers things like “I’m doing this with you now. I’m moving toward you. Leaning toward you”. It was clear that the man speaking was as horny as a Disney ex-tween idol. Then, he was more specific and said things like: “you’re on my left, you’re moving away but I’m pushing my body against you, into the corner”. Now it was clear that he was seeing the visitor through the wooden ramp on the floor.
To dispel doubts, he insisted in claiming that he was “masturbating: I have to continue all day—cover the floor with sperm, seed the floor”. By now, the visitor probably have run away in case the man hidden would come out to wax the floor. Yes, Vito Acconci was below the wooden ramp, masturbating and projecting his sexual fantasies to everyone who came near. Like any respectable seventies New Yorker pervert would do.
His handcrafted performance lasted a whole day. Seedbed was one the most notorious art pieces in his carrier. What would take you to jail, it took him to the art pantheon.
Vito Acconci – Seedbed
In January 1971, Acconci performed Seedbed intermittently at New York’s Sonnabend Gallery. On days he performed, visitors entered to find the gallery empty except for a low wooden ramp. Below the ramp, out of sight, Acconci masturbated, basing his sexual fantasies on the movement of visitors above him. He narrated these fantasies aloud, his voice projected through speakers into the gallery.
4. Faking the George Bush’s website.
In April 1999, the art group ®Tmark published GWBush.com, a fake website of Republican Presidential candidate George W. Bush. His real website is GeorgeWBush.com. Bush’s lawyers sent them a threatening letter.
This encouraged the art activists, so they published a second version of GWBush.com, with much more content. This time the Bush campaign complained to the Federal Elections Commission.
These attacks appeared in the media. When a reporter question him about the site, Bush’s televised response was: “There ought to be limits to freedom.” This infamous line is still remembered.
When asked at a news conference in May what he thought about the site, Bush let loose, saying it was produced by a “garbage man” and suggesting that “there ought to be limits to freedom”–a line Bush’s online critics have vowed to never let the world forget.
5. Illegally releasing a new Beck CD.
Another action by ®Tmark. They released a “new” Beck CD, titled Deconstructing Beck.
But Beck didn’t like it. In fact it wasn’t really his work. Deconstructing Beck was a bunch of allegedly illegal samplings of Beck songs, produced by Illegal Art, who sold the CD by mail.
Brian McPherson, Beck’s attorney, send them an email in which he stated that: “You will be hearing from me, Universal Music Group, BMG Music Publishing and Geffen Records very shortly”.
Back in 1998, when the U2/Negativland imbroglio was still fresh in memory and sampling in music was still a hotly debated matter, the Illegal Art label released Deconstructing Beck, a compilation of culture-jamming remix artists running Beck’s music through the wringer. The purpose was to call attention to a sticking point in the debate over sampling in music
6. Stealing the gallery owner’s car and joyriding.
Artists Patricia Silva and Eric Clinton Anderson while visiting an art gallery, noticed that the gallery owner’s Volvo was parked inside, with the keys in the ignition. They took it as a kind of ‘do as you please’ and they spontaneously decided to go for a ride.
But Gavin Brown, the owner of the car and the gallery, thought somebody stole his car and didn’t know who… until the artists tweeted and posted on Facebook their art joyride.
Anderson explains that “We didn’t know much about the show beyond the usual ‘do as you please’ side.” Silva adds, “The absence of authority made it feel so fresh.” How fresh? They spontaneously decided to go for a drive. “We were really impressed at the boldness of the artist and gallery for having such an anarchic level of interactivity. So we jumped in, pulled out, and took the Volvo up the West Side Highway. Hell yeah!”
One fellow thinks about stopping his formal education. He believes that he can get profound knowledge just with pop culture: songs, films, comics. He even will renounce serious literature.
He argues that behind what people believe it’s junk culture, there are deep parables about philosophical concepts, moral debates and psychological insightful analyses.
Maybe he is too convincing. Another debater now believes that they are the new Greek Academia; enlightening the masses with their acute commentaries about films, comics, games and songs. They are the new Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
To make his point of quitting his formal education, saving his money in the process, the Illuminated will reference films like:
The living dead. The ambiguous ending deals with what is to be human. They shoot the black protagonist. Have they confounded him with a non human or have they considered that a black person is a beast? In the sequel, Day of the Dead, even the zombies will have some human feelings and reactions. Is it justified to kill them?
Born to be alive, Patrick Hernandez. The title is the condensation of evolutionary books like the Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. We are born to be alive and pass our genes to the next generation in a number of copies that ensure the survival of our DNA.
The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss), Cher. There are countless versions of this song, but I think Cher’s is the most popular. In a survey, it is shown that women uses the kiss to help them decide to choose his “mating partner”.
‘Mate choice and courtship in humans is complex,’ said Professor Robin Dunbar. ‘It involves a series of periods of assessments where people ask themselves “shall I carry on deeper into this relationship?” Initial attraction may include facial, body and social cues. Then assessments become more and more intimate as we go deeper into the courtship stages, and this is where kissing comes in.’
University of Oxford.
The Bad Touch, Bloodhound Gang. Even a creationist cited the lyrics in front of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
by Steven Pinker
If we aren’t part of God’s creation, just accidental products of the mutation and selection, why follow moral codes? It shows the fear of negating the “ghost in the machine”, or the concept that we are a spiritual creature born to follow a moral code. By the way, Ghost in the Machine is a Police album.
Conclusion: He convinces the rest. One of them is too excited. He believes that what they do – commenting films, songs, comics, games – converts them in Greek Philosophers reincarnated.
1. Elastica or three girls playing rhumba.
Elastica was an English band formed in the nineties. They were clearly influenced by the post punk band Wire.
Their biggest hit was the song Connection.
The synthesizer intro and guitar parts are lifted from the riff in Wire’s “Three Girl Rhumba“. The legal dispute was resolved in a out-of-court settlement.
Initially, the band was formed by Justine Frischmann, Annie Holland, Donna Matthews and Justin Welch. Three girls and a boy.
What distinguished them from the rest of the brit pop bands was their fixation for the post punk era, when syncopated rhythms were widely used.
The rhumba combines the African syncopated rhythms and Spanish melodies.
So, Elastica were three girls playing rhumba, just as the Wire song was indicating.
2. Nirvana fights the eighties.
“Come as you are” was their last American and UK top 40 hit.
But Nirvana and Gold Mountain, their management, wasn’t too sure about releasing the song as the second single from Nevermind. The similarity between the main riff of “Come as You Are” and Killing Joke’s “Eighties” was too evident.
Later, when Killing Joke complained, they said that they never heard of them. Astonishingly, the English band didn’t sue Nirvana for stealing their riff, maybe because it wasn’t. “Life Goes On“, recorded by The Damned, features the same riff.
Killing Joke declared they never heard the song.
The lyrics of “Eighties” contains lines such as: “I’m living in the eighties. I have to push, I have to struggle. Get out of my way, i’m not for sale no more… I’m sitting on a table talking ideals”. The message of the song appears to be the struggle against the conformist vibe in the 80’s.
Nirvana was “living in the eighties”. Kurt Cobain formed the band in 1987. The general consensus is that the success of Nevermind marked the triumph of alternative rock versus the commercial rock of the eighties. Cobain, in many of his interviews, “talked his ideals”, including his loathing of successful bands like Guns and Roses. The image projected by Nirvana was that “they were not for sale”. Nevermind rose to the top beating Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, the artist that symbolized the 80’s.
In “Eighties”, you can also hear “let’s kamikaze ’til we get there”. Everybody knows how Kurt Cobain ended his life. He should have listen to the Dammed song.
3. Oasis proves that it’s sweet to be an idiot.
In 1994, Oasis released the single Whatever.
Initially, Noel Gallagher claimed being the writer of the song. But, in fact, it borrowed heavily from the melody of Neil Innes’ “How sweet to be an idiot”.
After the inevitable lawsuit, Innes got his writing credits and a truckload of money.
Although “How sweet to be an idiot” is about the bliss of being the mentally challenged of the village, the title suited the attitude of the brothers Gallagher during the nineties.
Their message was simple: hooliganism is cool. So they publicly declared that they hope that the Blur bassist will gets AIDS, cracked the skull of a journalist and bragged about their cocaine and alcohol diet.
“How sweet to be an idiot” was another Beatlesque tune from Innes. His capacity for writing Beatles pastiches without being sued was astonishing. In fact, that ability made the spoof band The Rutles possible. Noel Gallagher has an affection for the Beatles pastiches too. And you can see his brother Liam desperately trying to be John Lennon.
In fact, in the song Whatever, you hear him singing “I’m free to be whatever I
Whatever I choose”. It seems that he has chosen to be John Lennon. But, depending of you affection for their music, you can see him more like Nasty, the Lennon caricature played by Innes in The Rutles movies.
Drinking game. Spot the similarities between @WhitStillman Barcelona and Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut
Art, like shit, happens. Sometimes, to create a masterpiece you don’t have to do nothing extraordinary. You just must keep doing what you do everyday. Here are several examples of ordinary daily acts turned into art.
What you do.
Maybe you like hiking to the mountains to have a nervous breakdown if you see a double rainbow. Because you love rainbows and cats above everything.
What the artist did.
In 1968, Richard Long walked into the woods. But first, he drew a straight line on a map of Exmoor, England. And he followed it, without deviating an inch. He called his walk a ten mile invisible sculpture.
In 1971, Hamish Fulton just hiked taking the Pilgrims’ Way, the route from Winchester in Hampshire, England, to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury in Kent. To make it more interesting, he did it without sleeping. So he could hallucinate for free, who knows. And that’s just one of the 300 art walks he has made.
Richard Long – A line made by walking England. Walking a straight 10 mile line forward and back.
“In November 1968 Richard Long made a work on Exmoor by walking for ten miles in a straight line on a compass bearing of 290 degrees. The work was documented by the relevant section of the one-inch Ordnance Survey map on which the line of the walk was drawn in pencil, with the inscription below: ‘A Ten Mile Walk England 1968’ (fig.1). It is a significant work in Long’s career because of its unprecedented scale (a ten mile invisible ‘sculpture’) and also on account of the unique environment in which he chose to make it.”
Hamish Fulton – The Pilgrims’ Way 1971.
“To date, he has undertaken more than 300 such “art walks”, lasting anything from one day to two months. He has hiked across Europe from the Mediterranean coast to the English Channel, wandered by himself into the Beartooth Mountains in Montana, and been dropped by Super Cub aeroplane a month’s trek from civilisation in the wilderness of the Wrangell-St Elias National Park in Alaska.
… he walked all 120 miles of the Pilgrim’s Way without sleep in midwinter: “I started to hallucinate,” he says. “A small blue bag on the path suddenly turned into a turkey.”
He has even walked backwards for 10 kilometres while wearing a blindfold. “You need another person to help you so that you don’t get run over or fall into a hole,” he says, “but it is fantastic. I like to introduce the notion of ideas into walking, expanding the idea of walking, instead of walking simply as a recreational pursuit.”
What you do.
According to all the sexist philosophers out there, that’s all of them, if you like to talk you are probably a woman. But everyone likes to have a talk…
What the artist did.
In 1968, Ian Wilson chatted with people on the street, at exhibition openings and on their homes. He called that: “oral communication as an art form”. Later, he decided to be more formal and he extended invitations informing where he would be and when. Surprisingly, the people showed up so they could talk about ‘The Known and Unknown’, Plato’s ‘The Parmenides”, and “Time”. Ian refused to record his talks.
Ian Wilson – Oral Communication, december 12 1970.
“Initially, Wilsons verbal work was of an informal nature, taking place on the street, at random exhibition openings or in people’s homes. It was in this manner that he presented his work ‘Time’: the word in its spoken form. A deeper discussion on the subject of ‘time’ also emerged. In 1969, Wilson shifted his field of exploration to the medium itself – ‘oral communication as art form’ – and in 1970 was invited to present ‘Oral Communication’ in Europe.
Over the course of the 1970s, his discussions took on a more formal character, and his interests shifted towards ‘The Known and Unknown’, based on Plato’s ‘The Parmenides’. In contrast to a ‘performance’, during a discussion the audience can actively take part in realising the concept of ‘oral communication’. Wilson does not want the discussion to be recorded either on film or audio.
From 1970 onwards, his discussions were announced using cards, which served as invitations informing the addressee of where Wilson would be and when.”
Posting inspirational short messages.
What you do
You just posted a quote from somebody about something in your profile. It seems so clever and enlightening. Read it again. Yeah, it really doesn’t mean anything.
What the artist did.
Jenny Holzer pasted broadsheets on buildings, walls and fences in Manhattan. Yes, pasted, not posted, because it was 1977. No Internet, if you can imagine that. In those pieces of paper you could read things like “abuse of power comes as no surprise’ and ‘there is a fine line between information and propaganda’. That’s two of her Truisms, a series of phrases very similar from those which people post in their profiles.
Jenny Holzer – Truism.
“Holzer moved to New York in 1977. Her first public works, Truisms (1977–9), appeared in the form of anonymous broadsheets pasted on buildings, walls and fences in and around Manhattan. Commercially printed in cool, bold italics, numerous one-line statements such as ‘Abuse of power comes as no surprise’ and ‘There is a fine line between information and propaganda’, were meant to be provocative and elicit public debate”.
Sending a postcard.
What you do
Well, even today you can buy a postcard. Although sending it via mail it seems like having a chat via telegram. But ecards it’s right now the most profiting sector in our economy (no it’s not, that’s another free bad joke for you).
The problem with sending a postcard it’s what you have to write on the blank space. You end up using phrases that combine the words: great, fun, beautiful, city, miss, you, hope, you, here.
What the artist did.
On Kawara sent one postcard each day between 1968 and 1979. The two friends who received them should be so annoyed. In the postcards they only could read the time the artist got up that day and the message “I got up”, to clarify the facts. After several years, they might as well hoped to get the message “I went to sleep, forever”.
On Kawara – I got up.
Considered the most personal and intimate of his works, I GOT UP is part of a continuous piece produced by On Kawara between 1968 and 1979 in which each day the artist sent two different friends or colleagues a picture postcard, each stamped with the exact time he arose that day and the addresses of both sender and recipient.
Moreover, Kawara’s postcards do not record his waking up but his “getting up,” with its ambiguous conflation of carnal and existential (as opposed to not getting up) implications.
Checking the time
What you do
Back in the ancient age, people wore strange machines called watches. And behold, they lifted their wrist up to their eyes to check the time. Now, your phone tells you the time with a sensual voice while massaging your unnameable body parts. Well, at least it should be like that.
What the artist did.
Adrian Piper checked the time a lot. In 30 minutes he dialed a telephone local time service every 10 seconds. Not only that, he recorded the voice telling you what time is and presented it like his work of art.
Adrian Piper – Seriation #1.
A soundwork that consists in 30 minutes of me dialing the local time and recording the operator’s recorded voice announcing what time it is at that moment, in 10-second intervals. Of course the time the operator says it is at that moment is not the time it is at the moment the listener is hearing it.
Sharing files on your computer.
What you do.
You, pirate. Yes, they know that you share anything that isn’t yours: music, movies, video games, programs, state secrets. And they know where you live.
What the artist did.
During three years, Eva and Franco Mattes shared everything on their personal computer. Even their bank statements, private email and… embarrassing duckface selfies, probably. Yes, they did the contrary as the rest, they share what it was theirs. Like you are doing right now, involuntarily, thanks to the beloved NSA. God bless them.
Eva y Franco Mattes – Life Sharing.
In January 2001 we started sharing our personal computer through our website. Everything was visible: texts, photos, music, videos, software, operating system, bank statements and even our private email. People could take anything they wanted, including the system itself, since we were using only free software. It was not a normal website, you were entering the computer in our apartment, seeing everything live. It was a sort of endurance performance that lasted 3 years, 24/7.
Recording your night out at the club.
What you do.
You go out and wonder, why this immortal night of endless fun should be lost forever like tears under a hot shower? So you record everything with your phone and post it in your profile. And now your friends and your boss can see that you are a pathetic loser with a drinking problem.
What the artist did.
Gillian Wearing went out to the Birmingham nightclub circuit and recorded what was going out there. But she didn’t appear in the 40 minute video. Instead, she presented the piece as a study of the mating rituals of the human young primates of England. Well, sort of.
Gillian Wearing – Broad Street.
Broad Street (2001) is a forty-minute color video examining the nightclub circuit in her hometown of Birmingham. Composed of five separate projections of different sizes and variable heights, the work is frenetic and disorienting, like its subject. In recording the rituals of courtship and seduction, performed under the pretense of dancing, Wearing examines the ways in which individuals distinguish themselves within a crowd.
Maybe you’re tired of the meaningless lyrics of Pop songs that reach the top of the charts. It seems that has to be that way if you want to sell your music. But you can write about Vietnam, the Cold War, Russian History and the Illuminati and still have a number one. U2 hasn’t a monopoly on that yet. Here there some examples:
1 Moonlight Shadow, Mike Oldfield.
At first, everyone thought it was all about John Lennon’s assassination. They were wrong. The inspiration for the song was Houdini, a film starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. According to Oldfield, this movie is all about contacting a dead Houdini through spiritualism.
“It was originally inspired by a film I loved – ‘Houdini’, starring Tony Curtis, which was about attempts to contact Houdini after he’d died, through spiritualism…”
But the movie has nothing to do with that. For the most part, the story is about Bess, the helper and wife of Houdini, trying to convince him of quitting the jackass stunts he was known for.
Also, in the film there are no pistol duels at 4 AM, maybe the worst hour to shoot a rival. The most plausible explanation is that the ghost of John Lennon contacted Oldfield and slipped his assassination in the lyrics of the song.
“… a lot of other things must have crept in there without me realising it”
2. Cambodia, Kim Wilde.
Wilde proves that you can sing about a MIA soldier in a pop dance tune and have a hit.
The story is simple and enigmatic. During the Vietnam War, a Thailand based air force pilot got a call in the middle of the night and packs his things, without saying a word to his wife about his secret mission. He just says he has to fly to Cambodia. And then…
He’s shot down by an air missile.
“(It was about) an American pilot flying in a MacDonnell Phantom and getting shot down by a SAM air missile”
“Cambodia’ is a mysterious love story, like Casablanca. Flying off into the night to never return. One wonders what happened to the guy.”
And everybody cries for such a sorrow lost.
“what I believe that most people felt about South Vietnam and the terrible tragedies that occurred there”
4. The land of make believe. Bucks Fizz.
Land of make believe seems to be about a child that is visited by ghostly voices that lures him to visit a kind of Dreamland.
But Peter Sinfield, writer of the song, says that there’s a hidden message against Thatcher. So, the line “something nasty in your garden…” refers to the council houses, the dream home of the English middle class. Implying that once you became an owner, you became a conservative voter.
“Beneath its tra la la is a virulent anti Thatcher song”
“IN THE GARDEN OF YOUR COUNCIL HOUSE. Which, when you buy it, will magically transform you into a conservative voter”
Another veiled allusion to Thatcher is the Superman reference. Harold Macmillan was an English conservative prime minister and a great influence in Thatcher’s doctrine of capitalism for all. He was depicted as Supermac in a very famous Evening Standard cartoon.
“Was Superman a reference to the ghost of Harold Macmillan guiding Maggie’s political, cautious yet indifferent to suffering, heart? He’s behind you!”
5. Justified & Ancient, KLF
The KLF were a band also known as the “The justified ancients of Mu Mu”. If you are a conspiracy theorist like the 99,9% of this blog readers, you’ll know that it’s a reference to a sect that appears in The Illuminatus Trilogy! The aim of the fictional sect was chaos, confusion and messing with your head. The KLF thought that was OK with them and started to put into practice the fuck up credo.
Accordingly the KLF, musicians Bill Drummond and Cauty, became a really strange act. So much they ended up burning one million pounds sterling, much of the money they earned with their hits. And burning is not a metaphor. They set fire to real bank notes, not Monopoly money.
The lyrics seem to announce a kind of second coming that you cannot stop. That sounds like someone on acid reading out loud the Illuminatus Trilogy. Maybe now that’s a hip hop cliché, but not back in 1991.
The line “all bound for Mu Mu land” refers to a kind of lost continent like Atlantis called Mu. In the Illuminatus novels is called Lemura. That’s why in the video appeared a submarine. Some illuminated people located it near Yonaguni Jima, in the coast of Japan. But the underwater pyramids you can see there were built but the stupid Nature, not some cool guys dressed as monks.
If you think that the lyrics are weird enough, you’ve got to know that the title for the song was the Ice Cream Men. Months before they released the single, the KLF sold ice creams to the Liverpool Festival of Comedy audience while shouting “justified… ancient” in yellow robes.
They continued with their dessert fetish and appeared dressed as ice cream cones on stage. At least, they didn’t fire blank bullets to the audience, like the last time they performed live.
“When the first anarchist group arose, they called themself Justified Ancients of Mummu. Like Lao-Tse and the Taoist in China, they wanted to get rid of usury and monopoly and all the other pigshit of civilization and go back to a natural way of life.”
Title: The Illuminatus Trilogy!
Author: Robert Shea.
K foundation burn a million quid.
“(…) the sunken ruins of Atlantis and Lemuria – or Mu, as it’s known to keepers of Sacred Chao.”
Title: The Illuminatus Trilogy!
Author: Robert Shea.
“And The KLF behaved like anarchic children, throwing ever more lavish and chaotic pranks. To celebrate 1991’s summer solstice, they invited a group of journalists to the Isles Of Jura. The guests were kitted out in yellow robes and ordered to follow a horned, cloaked man to a site where a 60-foot Wicker Man was burned to ritual chants. The following day, the sarne group of people went onstage at Liverpool’s Comedy Festival where they chanted “justified…ancient” while The KLF sold the audience ice creams.”
“I’m not convinced that any of the major features or structures are manmade steps or terraces, but that they’re all natural,” said Robert Schoch, a professor of science and mathematics at Boston University who has dived at the site.”
“they performed a thrash metal version of the song (aided by the band Extreme Noise Terror) which culminated in frontman Bill Drummond pulling out a submachine gun and pretending to spray the crowd with bullets (blanks, of course)”
6. Boney M. Rasputin.
In 1978, Frank Farian thought that people wanted to dance while learning a little of Russian history. And he was right. The German group Boney M. had a hit taking the piss of Grigori Rasputin, the Tzar Nicholas II “consigliere”. The lyrics were an indictment against the “mad monk” in a Stalinist fashion.
The song was a hit in Russia although it was banned and erased from the Russian album pressings. It was a common practice to buy pirate cassette copies of western albums. In fact, Russian government preferred disco acts like Boney M. to the more dangerous rock music. So the band performed in Moscow, but they only allowed them to sing the Ra-Ra-Rasputin part. After all, they proved that Boney M. was right. Oh, those Russians!
“Oddly, it was rock ‘n’ roll that revived Rasputin’s name throughout the Soviet Union. A catchy song, “Rasputin,” by the Western group Boney M was allowed air time in the late 1970s and became a huge hit with silly lyrics like “Rah rah Rah-spoo-teen, Russia’s greatest love machine.”
“the Soviet government embraced disco in the late 1970’s as a means of drawing the attention of young people away from rock music.”
“… it was common for Soviet pop and rock recordings to circulate through magnitizdat, a kind of cassette culture indicative of the second economy. That Rasputin appears “hidden” on the Zodiak cassette speaks to the band’s great popularity”
“Thus, Gosconcert (the Soviet state concert agency), probably fearing unruly fan behavior, asked Boney M. not to perform Rasputin at their Moscow concert. The group complied, playing only the song’s refrain.”
Title: Balkan Popular Culture and the Ottoman Ecumene: Music, Image, and Regional Political Discourse.
Author: Donna A. Buchanan
Chapter 1, pag. 43-44.
7. I don’t like Mondays, The Boomtown Rats
When you listen The Boomtown Rats’ I don’t like Mondays, you can mistake it for a song against the working week. But when Bob Geldoff sings, I want to shoot the whole day down, he’s singing about a real case.
One Monday, Brenda Ann Spencer opened fire at a school near his home. She killed two adults and nine children were injured. When a reporter asked her why she did it, she replied: “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day up.” Bob Geldof was on a radio station in Atlanta when he read the news from a telex machine.
Bob thought it was a song destined to be a B side track. But when he played it live on that American tour, saw the reaction of the audience and thought that it could be a single.
“I just did it for the fun of it. I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.”
“I was doing a radio interview in Atlanta with Fingers and there was a telex machine beside me. I read it as it came out”
“When I wrote it I thought it was a B-side, but after it went down so well onstage in America I started to think maybe it was okay.”
8. 99 red balloons, Nena.
It’s an improbable image, all those balloons in the sky, isn’t it? But that’s not the case if you’re at Rolling Stones concert. In 1982, Carlo Karges, Nena’s guitarist, was in their Satanic Bore’s gig when they released hundreds of balloons to the West Berlin sky. Carlo saw them floating, as they changed its shape and color until they resembled strange spaceships, like any mortal on drugs would. And then, he jumped to the next logical conclusion. Those balloons will start the nuclear annihilation of the world. And he was quite right.
In the lyrics we are told how a sad idiot releases a bag full of helium balloons to the sky. They flow to the East Berlin sector, causing that the shitty soviet warning system mistakes them for missiles. They respond in the only sensible way. Full nuclear annihilation of the city. The idiot who caused it all stands in the middle of the rubble, as Nelson Muntz laughs at him, probably.
Although it sounds like pure paranoia, back then it was a real case scenario. On 26 September 1983, Stanislav Petrov was the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear warning system. Suddenly, the satellite system warned of a missile strike. Stanislav probably screamed “get the fuck outta here” and judged it a false alarm. He just based his decision on the principle of why they would start World War Three with just a bunch of lame missiles. He was right. The “missiles” were just the sun reflecting in the clouds. But, years later, he said that he acted that way because he was a civilian. Although the system required more than just one man to order a nuclear retaliation, the incident shows that Kubrick and Nena were right, the cold war was like a Marx Brothers film.
“At the end of the show, they had a lot of balloons fly up in the air. And I was thinking about what might happen if they floated over the wall to the Russian side.”
“get the fuck outta here” from the Beverly Hills Cop.
Written by: headoffice