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Avril v. Rubinoos: Is it theft if you leave out the hook?

So Avril Lavigne is getting sued for stealing the Rubinoos‘ super pop classic “I Wanna be Your Boyfriend”

First, let me say I like both these songs a lot. What can I say? I’m a sucker for bubblegum! Naturally in the interest of cosmic justice Avril should cough up a big wad of cash just because she’s so incredibly lucky and the Rubinoos never got their due. Seeing the Rubinoos at Maxwell’s a decade ago is on my list of all time greatest rock shows. It was a comeback tour that should have cemented their reputation as the world’s greatest pop band. The endless hooks and note perfect harmonies were mind-blowing enough, but the sheer straight head driving power – yes, they in fact ROCKED. Better than anything they ever recorded. Who else could do that twenty years after their heyday? But on to the current controversy:


And back to the title of this post: Can you say it’s stealing if Avy left out the best parts of the tune? Looking for a little of the old tension and release and I’m not finding it in her chorus. Avril should pay the money and in return Tommy Dunbar and Jon Rubin should give her some lessons in composition. I, Solomon, have spoken. Any musicologists want to weigh in?

– Jonny


  1. HeyHeyYouYou

    On the industry discussion forum The Velvet Rope it’s been pointed out that Luke Gottwald produced a cover of the Rubinoos song “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” for the 1990 album release by The Party (Mickey Mouseketeers). Luke Gottwald is, of course, Avril Lavigne’s “co-writer”.

  2. HeyHeyYouYou

    p.s. there is more discussion on that board – and the Party production credit is unconfirmed – not that the Rubinoos need it to make their case, but it’d sure make things clear faster

  3. jonnymia

    Ha! Avril-gate is busting open. Obvious from the git go that Dr. Luke was the evil do-er here, but that production credit is sweet! Thanks, HeyHeyYouYou. I can easily believe that A. never heard of the Rubinoos, but that’s why she has a staff – let her minions mine the nuggets of pop music gold in service of her greater glory. Here’s hoping Luke gets bounced off the gravy train for this one.

  4. tommy

    I’m not surprised the Rubinoos have a musicologist who agrees with them, nor am I surprised a millionaire like Avril could find one that agrees with her. Tommy Dunbar has already been proven to be a successful songwriter, and I think he knows where the line is. Not knowing who the Rubinoos are is definitely a wrong in the process of being corrected!