Monday, August 20, 2007

Marg Bar Amrika!

In the careers of almost all more or less successful bands, there comes a time when one or several members are sick of playing the same old sh*t over and over again. Every night, the fans will be clamoring for the greatest hits, even though the group may think it has moved on and would like to try out some new stuff. Internal disagreements over how to deal with this situation may then lead to the dreaded "creative differences", as often as not causing hiatus or breakup of the whole project. Everybody who has ever played in a band (including this Hippo) can tell a story or two about this phenomenon.

The popular boy group "The Islamic Republic of Iran" is no exception, apparently. In a new biography of the combo, which reached the apex of its popularity under founding member and frontman Seyyed Ruhollah Musavi "Imam" Khomeini, it is revealed that the ayatollah was tired of playing that hoary old chestnut “Death to America” and "favoured dropping the mantra". This is according to Khomeini's successor as band leader Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has just published his memoirs of The Republic's hard-prayin' and hard-rockin' days on the road.

In the end, it was the untimely demise of The Imam that prevented a fatal falling-out among the band members and cleared the way for Rafsanjani to succeed him as singer and lead guitarist. The velvet-voiced Rafsanjani was later ousted from The Islamic Republic by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose gritty singing has been received by rapturous fans as a return to the band's former "ass-kicking" sound. "Marg Bar Amrika" remains the signature tune of "The Islamic Republic" and is heard every Friday in stadiums all over Iran.

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