The First Rock ‘n Roll: A Scientific Fact

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“Have you ever been to American wedding?/Where is the vodka?!” screams Eugene Hutz of gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello.

In an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, Hutz discusses the inspiration behind the song “American Wedding.” Commenting on the U.S. weddings he’s been to, Hutz expresses his surprise that “you would even call that a celebration.”

Raised in Kiev, Hutz and family fled to Vermont after his father had been repeatedly busted for political rebellion (several times for listening to the BBC). In his first years in America, Hutz performed with various metal/hardcore bands before starting his own group with the intentions of getting back to his Gypsy roots. It wasn’t easy. Hutz wanted to avoid gimmick and the “exploitation of stereotype;” he wanted to make music that sincerely embodied the Gypsy spirit. When asked about Gypsy psychology, Hutz says only that it’s impossible to describe, because Gypsies wouldn’t give enough of  a damn to talk about it. Carefully, he adds that in his native language there is a word for today, but tomorrow and yesterday are the same word.

Gypsy music, says Hutz, was the original Rock and Roll: “It’s a scientific fact.”


Kathleen Alcott’s first words were “Ooh, the lights,” and they will probably be her last. Her debut novel, The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets, is forthcoming from Other Press in September of 2012. She came of age in Northern California, studied in Southern California, fell in love with San Francisco, hid for a while in Arkansas, and presently resides in Brooklyn. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Slice Magazine, American Short Fiction, Rumpus Women Vol. 1, and The Bold Italic. A copywriter by day, she is currently at work on her second novel, a book that traces the lives of four tenants of an apartment building in New York City and their rapidly deteriorating landlord. Excerpts and thoughts at kathleenalcott.com. More from this author →