Eat to the Beat!

By Madeline Bocaro ©

If you’ve got the munchies you’re in for a treat!

We’ve got a tasty menu, loaded with fun food and music facts.

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CONDIMENTS:  Peanut butter and Jelly

Iggy and the Stooges notoriously received varied menu of edible missiles hurled at them from the audience; eggs, beer, condiments and delicacies that could be combined to make a nice salad. Iggy would often volley back his own arsenal in response. The actual impact of these items can be clearly heard on the final Stooges album, Metallic K.O.

Read my full story about the album:
It’s a Knockout! The Stooges Crash & Burn

We all remember the peanut butter incident in which Iggy gloriously smeared himself with the stuff when handed a jar from an audience member at the Midsummer Rock festival in Cincinnati, 1971. Ten years prior in 1961, The Marathons had a hit called Peanut Butter’ – which Iggy has reverently played on his BBC6 radio show.

The Marathons – Peanut Butter

Read my story unravelling the mystery of Iggy and the jelly sandwich:

Iggy & the Tastykakes

Let’s not forget Flying Jelly Attack’ by Shonen Knife, my favorite song about jelly beans and cherry drops– from their album Let’s Knife!



Alice Cooper gets hit with a cream pie by an audience member and revels in it during the above-mentioned event in Ohio. Alice is also the recipient of one of Soupy Sales’ infamous pies in the face on Soupy’s television show in 1977.


Watch Soupy & Alice!!!

Also see my story: I Was a Soupy Groupie!


The title of Little Richard’s song means ‘all fruits’ in Italian. This is the song that is said to have kick started rock n’ roll in 1955. It originally had obscene lyrics. The Beatles performed ‘Tutti Frutty’ live early in their career, with Paul McCartney on vocals.

I’ll post my favorite version:

Watch: Classic Soupy Sales & Pookie singing “Tutti Fruiti”.

The most famous banana (which is surprisingly among the berry plant species) is on the cover of an album that has nothing to do with food. It is the debut of The Velvet Underground and Nico in March 1967. When Andy Warhol adopted the band as his own art project, financing and producing their psychedelic live happenings, he was commissioned to create the band’s album cover. Andy was randomly inspired by a fruit advertisement on an ashtray. The original artifact was found decades later by my pal Howie Pyro at a flea market in New York City!

Read the whole story here at the end of my article:

The VU – Overground!

Read Howie’s story as well:


Carmen Miranda – the originator of platform shoes –  always wore a fruit salad on her head. In 1934, the Brazilian samba singer/dancer commissioned an orthopedic cobbler to make custom shoes to elevate her 5-foot height. The same shoe designer (Moshe Kimmel) made platform shoes for Marlene Dietrich which incorrectly became known as the first pair.

Paul McCartney’s self-titled first solo album  McCartney (April 1970) features a bowl emptied of cherries. Wild Cherry’s hit “Play That Funky Music” was on their first LP in June 1976. Besides the hit by Warrant, the American pop duo Skip & Flip (Clyde Battin and Gary Paxton) had a 1960 hit called Cherry Pie’. Also in 1960 they recorded the song Alley Oop’ (produced by Kim Fowley) under the moniker Hollywood Argyles. The song was about a popular comic-strip caveman named Alley Oop from the prehistoric kingdom of Moo. A repeated line from ‘Alley Oop’ (“look at that caveman go”) is paraphrased in David Bowie’s lyrics to ‘Life On Mars?’ (“Look at those cavemen go”).

The Allman Brothers third album Eat a Peach (1972) featured a fruit so gigantic that it was transported by truck – allegedly because Duane Allman liked Georgia peaches. German prog rock band Nektar actually depict bees and nektar on their 1976 and 2012 album covers, Nektar and A Spoonful Of Time.

Nina Simone’s Forbidden Fruit, her second album for Colpix records was released in 1961. Her poignant and most famous song about the hanging of slaves, ‘Strange Fruit’ (which has nothing to do with actual fruit) is NOT on this album. Isaac Hayes is surrounded by beautiful women wearing fruit hats at a pool on Juicy Fruit 1976.

Let’s not forget Silver Apples’ 1968 debut album with the cool track ‘Oscillations’! Strawberry Alarm Clock, famous for their psychedelic 60s song ‘Incense and Peppermints” also illustrated their band name. Thankfully, The Electric Prunes never put their namesake fruit on any of their album covers!

My favorite fruit is The Beatles’ Apple Records logo, influenced by a Magritte painting owned by Paul McCartney.

Read about it here: The Other Apple (Part 2 of my story-  Yoko Ono: Apple)

APPLE – Yoko Ono

Sparks included a tribute to the pineapple on their 1975 album Indiscreet. Pineapplewas written by Russell Mael, who sings along with a tuba, as the spokesperson for the unpopular citrus fruit. He elevates the ostracized tart treat to the lofty ranks of the cranberry, with his high-pitched sales pitch. This tune has a tropical Hawaiian melody.



There is a song called ‘Vegetables on the 1967 album by The Beach Boys, Smiley Smile – their follow-up to Pet Sounds. This is a weird yet wonderful album drenched in harmonies which contains the song ‘Good Vibrations’ which was already a smash hit single in 1966 before it was included on the album.


The cover of the fourth album by German band Can, who ran a gamut of influencesStockhausen and the Beatles. This was the follow-up to their great album Tago Mago. Ege Bamyasi was released in November 1972 features a can of okra. Ege Bamyasi  (‘Aegean Okra’ in Turkish) was a highly influential album on other artists including Sonic Youth and the band Spoon which took its name from a song on this album. Another song from the album I’m So Green was covered by Beck. Kanye West sampled a bit of Can’s ‘Sing Swan Song’. I’m not sure if Cibo Matto titled their song ‘Spoon’ after Can’s song – but I wouldn’t doubt it. (Another Can album cover is featured in my story – Orange Sunshine).

The Who’s third album (December 1967) was titled Sell Out – a concept album mocking commercialism. The originally intended cover – a psychedelic image of a butterfly was instead included on a poster in first pressings of the album, now very rare. As Pete Townsend deodorizes himself, Roger Daltrey sits in a bath of baked beans.

Badfinger’s 1974 album cover for Ass was a self-depreciating message reflecting the band’s disappointment with their record label (The Beatles’ Apple Records).The cover art, depicts a donkey lured by a carrot in the distance. It was painted by Grammy winning artist Peter Corriston who also designed album covers for Led Zeppelin (Physical Graffiti) and The Rolling Stones albums Some Girls and Tattoo You. Pete Ham of Badfinger is the author of the beautiful song ‘Without You’ which was first a hit for Harry Nilsson in 1971, and later for Mariah Carey in 1994. Pete committed suicide in 1975.

Onions were on the cover of Booker T. & The M.G.’s debut album in 1962 named after their instrumental hit Green Onions on Stax Records.

Every Time I Eat Vegetables It Makes Me Think of You’ is yet another masterpiece by the Ramones. It’s from their album Subterranean Jungle released in 1983.

She had a very bad affair  / With some cat from Hiroshima

She turned into a head of lettuce  / She eats Thorazine in her farina

But they took her away  / Tossed her in the bin

Now she’s hanging out In East Berlin, ow-ooo

And everytime I eat vegetables It makes me think of you

And everytime I eat vegetables I don’t know what to do, to do ow-ooo



The bubblegum genre was Yummy and Chewy! The 1910 Fruitgum Company actually had ‘gum’ in their name. From 1967-1972, bubblegum pop bands were assembled by producers (including a cartoon band called The Archies  and the original ‘furries’, The Banana Splits). Songs were written for them by teams of professional hitmakers in a virtual factory – much like Andy Warhol’s art images were repeated and mass produced. The genre, aimed at teenagers with lyrics about super sweet edibles (sugar, jelly, candy, honey) produced many one-hit-wonder singles. Some were included as cardboard flexi-discs on the back of cereal boxes. The sweetest of them all was The Archies’  ‘Sugar Sugar’ – the No. 1 single of 1969. The Lemon Pipers had a hit with ‘Green Tambourine’. The Ohio Express released Yummy Yummy Yummy’ and their million seller Chewy Chewy’ (both in 1968) on Neil Bogart’s label Buddah Records. They had another 1968 single called ‘Sweeter Than Sugar’. Bogart later founded Casablanca Records and signed KISS. The label’s name was a nod to his namesake Humphrey Bogart.


Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (1965) was a huge hit that year, possibly because of the alluring and controversial album cover featuring model/actress/artist Dolores Erickson. The partially nude model was actually covered in shaving cream, as whipped cream would melt under the hot lights. She did have a dollop of the sweet treat on her head!

The title track, written by Allen Toussaint was played as the theme song, introducing the bachelorettes on the popular television game show The Dating Game (‘Spanish Flea’ was the intro music for the bachelors). The album tracks are quite flavorful; A Taste of Honey / Green Peppers /Tangerine / Bittersweet Samba / Lemon Tree / Whipped Cream / Love Potion No 9 /Ladyfingers / Butterball /Peanuts / Lollipops and Roses. Even the bonus tracks on the 2005 CD reissue are edibles; ‘Rosemary’ and “Blueberry Park’.

There are countless parodies of this cover, most notably by Pat Cooper on his 1966 comedy album Spaghetti Sauce & Other Delights and by Soul AsylumClam Dip & Other Delights (1989).

2005 CD reissue featuring Bree Condon in a whipped cream bikini.

For another ‘taste of honey’… containing the funky disco hit ‘Love Rollercoaster’ The Ohio Players racy album cover for Honey (August 1975) won a Grammy award for Best Cover Art. The nude woman tasting dripping honey from a spoon is also featured on the inside of the jacket, lying down and covered in honey. The girl was Playboy’s 1974 Playmate of the Month, Ester Cordet.


The Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed released in December 1969 had a scrumptious yet strange cake impersonating a stack of records above a turntable on its cover. The layers consist of odd objects including a tire, a clock and a pizza. Plastic figurines in the likeness of the band members sit atop the creation. The cake is in a mess on the back cover.  This image was created to reflect the album’s original title which was to be Automatic Changer. Artist M.C. Escher declined Mick Jagger’s request by letter to design the album cover (although he didn’t turn down Mott The Hoople)! The Stones ended up stealing an album title from Mott when they were in the same recording studio – Sticky Fingers, which was another iconic Stones album cover with a real zipper on a close-up crotch shot of a pair of jeans, designed by Andy Warhol.

The Stones’ previous album Beggar’s Banquet (1968) featured a dinner invitation written in beautiful script. The original cover art – a bathroom wall sprayed with graffiti, was rejected by the band’s label, delaying the album’s release for months. The toilet cover was later featured on CD reissues. The only (unintentional) edible mention on the album is ‘Salt of the Earth’.

I just realized the strange contradictions in the Stones’ album titles; Beggar’s Banquet (a feast of famine) and Exile on Main Street (hiding in plain sight).

The follow-up album to Exile on Main Street by the Rolling Stones was Goats Head Soup in 1973. The 24×24 insert photo of actual goat’s head soup was thankfully passed over as the album’s cover for a veiled Mick Jagger shot by David Bailey.

Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me’ is from their 1987 album Hysteria. The lyrics are an amalgam of The Archies’ ‘Sugar Sugar’ and Lynsey De Paul’s ‘Sugar Me’. Singer Joe Elliot says that it was also inspired by Aerosmith and Run-DMC’s version of ‘Walk This Way’ – an early instance of rap mixing with rock.


The trip-hop jazz rock band Cibo Matto (whose name means‘Crazy Food’ in Italian) sang mostly songs about food on their first album. Its Japanese members Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori formed the band in NYC in 1994. Sean Ono Lennon later became a touring member of Cibo Matto as well as appearing on their second album. They somehow neglected to depict food on any of their album covers, although some of their song titles include; ‘Know Your Chicken’ ‘BBQ’, ‘Spoon’, ‘Beef Jerky’, ‘Sugar Water’ and ‘Birthday Cake’.

Shonen Knife have some great foodie songs; Hot Chocolate / Sushi Bar Song / Cookie Day / Banana Chips / Gyoza / Brown Mushrooms OK / Tomato Head / Fruits and Vegetables / Catnip Dream / Broccoli Man / I Wanna Eat Cookies / Popcorn / Rock N’ Roll Cake / All You Can Eat / Flying Jelly Attack /Fortune Cookie / Green Tea and more. Their album Strawberry Sound features Mayonnaise Addiction and Sesame.

Babymetal  – ‘Gimme Chocolate’ It’s an insanely cool idea. Pre-teen Japanese girls in pigtails, tutus and knee socks, playing Heavy Metal – oddly coupling Metal and J-Pop Idol styles. It’s totally contrived, yet it somehow works! Babymetal has everything that has gone missing from rock n’ roll since the theatrics of Glam Rock; Bowie, Alice Cooper, KISS… Their show is slick, stylized, thematic energetic – and it’s totally ridiculous! It’s Metal with melody – with a light show, and without anger. It’s refreshing to see cute young girls singing Metal! They sometimes sound like Alvin & the Chipmunks on crack…BUT there are refreshing Melodic J-Pop breaks.

Watch this incredible spectacle here!

Here’s my review of their NYC concert in Nov. 2014

BABYMETAL Live @ Hammerstein Ballroom


As a bonus, here are some of my favorite Japanese band names:
Bump of Chicken
 ( I guess they’re trying to say Goosebumps?)

DJ Misoshiru & MC Gohan is one girl who raps about food & cooking. She wears a big gold chain with a cupcake on it, and a chef’s hat. She looks about age 15.

Flumpool (F is for 4 guys – then they wanted English words that symobolized ‘togetherness’. They chose Lump and Pool = Flumpool)!!!

Golden Bomber is an ‘air band’ – they don’t play their own instruments!!!  They’ve been together for 15 years (23 singles, 8 albums). And NONE of them has ever thought of picking up an instrument and learning to play it in all that time???!!! They look cool though!

Fudanjuko  – this Cosplay idol group is an all-girl boy band, with manic female fans! They offer hugs and kisses at their meet and greets.

Another Japanese band, Mr. Children  have been around for ages! I’ve always wanted an excuse to write about this Mr. Children (“Misu-Chiru”) album cover. I love how Japanese bands love to use the English language so much that they ignore the correct use of words. The two words in their moniker would never be used together in English and they make no sense! They formed in 1989 and broke out in 1992, Q was the band’s 9th album – released in 2000.  Mr. Children is among the top selling bands in Japan, selling over 50 million albums. On the album cover, a man sits at a table wearing a sea diving helmet. He is showing us the liquid in his cup. The landscape is a beach with incongruous imagery defying time and logic. On the tour poster, the man stands in the same bizarre setting, poised with a knife and fork – still only showing us the cup. I am still wondering, where is the food?

The Sadistic Mika Band from Osaka Japan are seen in a steamy bath house (I originally thought it was a restaurant) on the cover of their Hot Menu album in 1975. The photo is by Masayoshi Sukita – famous for his iconic photos of David Bowie, T. Rex and Iggy Pop. The only food title on the album is the instrumental ‘Time To Noodle’ (which also refers to guitar noodling). The Glam Rock-influenced prog jazz rock band formed in 1972. Their name is a takeoff of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band. Yukihiro Takahashi (later the singer and drummer of Yellow Magic Orchestra) replaced their drummer in 1973. The band suitably supported Roxy Music on their UK tour as the first ever Japanese band to play in the UK.  Their lead singer Mika speaks Pete Ham’s lyrics in Japanese on Badfinger’s song ‘Know One Knows’ on their album Wish You Were Here (1974). After divorcing fellow band member Kazuhiko Kato, Mika married producer Chris Thomas and moved to the U.K. to become a food researcher. Kato hanged himself at age 62 in 2009. Mika sings on YMO’s 1980 song ‘Nice Age’. The band have since reunited three times with different female vocalists, once with YMO’s Ryuichi Sakamoto on keyboards. Lead guitarist Masayoshi Takanaka later became one of the most famous guitarists in Japan. He is still recording and touring.


Watch Sadistic Mika band on Old Grey Whistle Test:


It’s a shame that Blondie’s 1979 album Eat to the Beat  from which this story got its title – does not have any edibles on the cover. So far, The Lemon Twigs do not have any lemons on their album covers.

‘Lemon Incest’ (a play on words between lemon zest and the French word for ‘incest’) was Serge Gainsbourg’s creepily sexy duet about impossible love between an adult and a child. It was sung with his then thirteen-year-old daughter Charlotte in 1984. The melody is based on a Chopin etude.  There are no lemons on the cover.

If The Beatles 1968 album cover was not pure white, perhaps the box of chocolates that George Harrison sang about in Savoy Truffle would have been somewhere on the cover. The guitar solo and horns scream as loudly as the guy in the song who will soon be getting his teeth pulled! George wrote it about his pal with bad dental hygiene, Eric Clapton who had eaten George’s entire box of Good News chocolates. The tasty sweet descriptions in the lyrics are the actual flavors written inside the box of chocolates.

The Beatles also sung about some delicious sounding places, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and the ‘Tangerine trees and marmalade skies’ of ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’.


Read my story all about The Beatles (White Album)

White on White:


The Alice Cooper Group gave Creem Magazine their Alcohol Cookbook in 1973.

You can clearly read the transcribed recipes at this link:

In the mid-1960s Yoko Ono was a cook in the world’s first macrobiotic restaurant. Paradox was located at 64 East 7th Street in Greenwich Village, NYC –  right around the corner from The Fillmore East. Folk singer Loudon Wainwright III also worked there.  He wrote a song about it called Bruno’s Place. Abbie Hoffman described it as “a neat cheap health joint that will give you a free meal if you help peel shrimp or do the dishes.”  They also fed street kids for doing menial work.

The restaurant closed in 1972 after seven years in business.

Paul Krassner (author, journalist and founding member of the Yippies) recalls one of Yoko’s art events (Bag Piece) at the Paradox. “People would climb inside these huge black burlap bags, singly, or with a partner, and then do whatever they wanted, providing a floor show for patrons while they ate their brown rice and sprout salad.”

A patron’s recollection:

There will never be as perfect a macrobiotic restaurant as the Paradox again. It was so scrupulously planned and executed according to the philosophy of Georges Ohsawa (founder of the macrobiotic diet). They used the best ingredients and the aroma from the fresh oils and umami inherent in the diet was always scintillating. The restaurant had a feel all of its own. Not a typical Japanese eatery, it was singular in its character and flavors.

Yoko contributed her soup recipe to the book Rock N’ Roll Cuisine in 1987. The ingredients to her Dream Soup are certainly free!

Dream Soup

Put a lot of sunshine in a large bowl

Mix it with your dream

Of your future

Spice it with a pinch

Of hope and laughter

And wait! 

YokoCookingKitchen1970 – Version 2

Yoko also tweets tips on healthy eating and on cleaning up afterwards.




Watch Yoko making hijiki eggrolls in a macrobiotic cooking demonstration on The Mike Douglas Show (with Hillary Redleaf, John Lennon and his guitar hero Chuck Berry – who is aptly named for this story! Berry’s tune London Berry Blues is an instrumental.)…

Now that we’re hungry, let’s play our final track and dig in… hopefully with friends.

Bon Appetit!

And now from the Soul Kitchen… ‘A Feast of Friends’ is a track from the final studio album by The Doors released in 1978  – seven years after Jim Morrison’s passing and five years after the band split. The Doors reunited to record music behind Jim’s poetry (from 1969 and 1970). ‘A Feast of Friends’ is a stunningly beautiful poem – a piece of Morrison’s epic poem An American Prayer. It was released on the album of the same name. Jim sings to us from the beyond…

 Death makes angels of us all

And gives us wings
Where we had shoulders
Smooth as raven’s claws

No more money, no more fancy dress

This other Kingdom seems by far the best

Until its other jaw reveals incest 

And loose obedience to a vegetable law 

I will not go   

Prefer a Feast of Friends To the Giant family


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Orange Sunshine

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