Tales of musical abuse: mane stage, name rage


A Serbian animal rights organization called ORCA is protesting the Rolling Stones' plans to play the Hippodrome in Belgrade in July because the sound and vibrations will be disturbing to the 300 horses housed there. I strongly recommend that the Stones take this seriously because animal rights freaks stick together, worldwide, and never forget. I know because I am one. And there's one more thing to consider: Besides doing the right thing, this may be the last chance Mick and Keith have left to duke the maitre d', so to speak, and get into heaven.

A related story of potential abuse: The Swedish government is one of the most liberated in the world. (OK, it ain't Holland, but who is?) It does, however, have one bizarre law that gives officials approval over babies' names. Well, you'll be relieved to know that Karolina Tomaro's seven-month fight to name her daughter Metallica has just been won.

Swedish tax authorities (!) objected to the baby being named after the rock band (licensing complications?), and they have the right to approve first and second names to protect the unsuspecting child from being the victim of a moniker that is unsuitable, offensive, embarrassing or just plain stupid. I have to wonder how they would have ruled on a few of these interesting handles that immediately come to mind.

You know, like Dweezil (son of Frank Zappa), Moon Unit and Diva (daughters of Zappa), Zak (son of Ringo), Doremi (daughter of Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues), Dog (son of Sky Saxon), Zowie (son of David Bowie), Apple (daughter of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow), Bamboo (son of Big Boi of OutKast), Chastity (daughter of Sonny and Cher), Fifi Trixabelle (daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates), Hendrix Halen Michael Rhodes (son of Zakk Wylde, named after four guitar players), god (Grace Slick and Paul Kantner were just kidding, but the nurse wrote it in), Jagger (son of Scott Stapp) or -- and here I've got to go with Sweden -- Jermajesty (daughter of Jermaine Jackson and cousin of Prince Michael and Prince Michael II, sons of guess who).

I wonder what Karolina's second choices would have been had Metallica been turned down? Blue Cheer Tomaro? Iron Butterfly Tomaro? Megadeth Tomaro? Tomorrow Tomaro? Tomaro Never Knows? Twisted Sister Tomaro? Somebody stop me.

Little Steven, aka Steven Van Zandt, is an actor and musician who writes a weekly column for Billboard. Tamara Conniff's column will return next week.