Did Paul Ryan Steal Cobain Anecdote?

Mitt Romney's running mate loves bands like Rage Against The Machine, and some think he might love stealing anecdotes from rockers like Kurt Cobain too.

Ultimate Guitar

Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan has been accused of stealing an anecdote from Kurt Cobain.

During the Presidential debate on October 11, Ryan revealed the story of how his daughter Liza was nicknamed 'Bean'.

"You know, I think about ten and a half years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy hospital in Janesville where I was born for our seven week ultrasound for our first born child. And we saw that heartbeat," he said. "Our little baby was in the shape of a bean, and to this day we have nicknamed our first born, Liza, 'Bean'."

It wasn't long before Nirvana fans picked him out for using the same reason as Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love names their daughter Frances Bean Cobain. While Ryan's version of events might be true, his history as a rock fan raised questions from blogs like Gawker.

Ryan had previously declared Rage Against The Machine as his favorite band, but their guitarist Tom Morello found his claim amusing.

"[Paul Ryan] is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades," Morello said. "Charles Manson loved The Beatles but didn't understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn't understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against The Machine."

Should politicians stay out of rock? Let us know your view in the comments.

119 comments sorted by best / new / date

    What a terrible article. I can understand the rage against the machine article, but this is just stupid. Please report real news in the rock community UG. Not this garbage.
    It's a coincidence... every other jerk on Earth calls their baby "bean". Different subject: Paul Ryan is possibly the antichrist.
    Most unintelligent comment here. Paul Ryan - most dedicated religious, anti baby killing politician running for office and he's the antichrist? Take a look at your boy Obama if you want a Muslim, US hating, baby killing antichrist. Guy hates white people.
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, Abacus was obviously trolling. I love your response though. It really speaks to your intelligence. Stay golden, pony boy.
    BigMike - so if I don't like Romney/Ryan that means I love Obama? Hmmm...
    Yes they should!
    And rockers should stay out of politics, *cough* Dave Mustaine *cough* Ted Nugent *cough* Jon Bon Jovi.
    *cough* Bruce Springsteen *cough* Tom Morello *cough* Billie Joe Armstrong *cough* They are on both sides. Some are more radical than others. That's just a fact. Even with their own political views, you can't deny the great music these guys all make.
    if politicians want to listen to rock ,thats awesome. I'd rather vote for a Metallica fan than a guy who listens to lil wayne.
    you can't base your vote on what music people like. just because they listen to rock music does not mean that the person who listen to lil wayne is worse then him. music has nothing to do with politics and politics has nothing to do with music. don't judge people on what they listen to. also for you know the person who listens to metallica could well listen to Lil Wayne.
    Danjo's Guitar
    I don't think you should vote for someone based on their musical taste, but its not like he's trying to write music or something, he's just stated that he likes certain bands. Its not like you're not allowed to listen to music just because you're a politician. And I thought this would be about Courtney Love suing him for using that story, or even better, saying that Paul Ryan stole her daughter. That would have been more interesting.
    There must be a lot of people with a lot of free time if they think i'm supposed to care about this...
    I don't get Tom Morello's statement there... If the guy thinks your band is the best, even though that band is anti-everything he stands for, It's because he loves your music style, and not all the "deep, meaningful messages" in your songs. Let that dude love your band without bitching about it...
    Politicians should stay out of rock, and rock musicians should stay out of politics... It's two different ballparks.
    I don't think that rock should stay out of polotics because if they did they're wouldn't be a lot of bands, primarily in punk. I get what you mean though.
    Not a musician, but Ronald Reagan was an actor. He was one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen.
    I don't know much good about him expect that he inspired the Ramones song Bonzo Goes to Bitburg , so in that case he was good entertainment for 5 minutes at a time
    If anything people should force their way into the business of all politicians and make their voice heard. Politicians should STFU and realize their role is to serve and listen.
    Umm, your avatar is from The Wall... Don't get me wrong The Final Cut was terrible but The Wall was amazing and fairly political as well.
    I think a lot of politicians try and use music, be it rock or pop or hip hop, to try and make a connection with the younger generation. They don't necessarily do it in an honest way thought. I cant help but think that musicians should be allowed to voice their political opinions. Here in South Africa most of my generation (early 20's) is so damn apathetic, they couldn't give a **** about politics. But when their favourite performer steps up and says something they listen. This whole "Bean" thing is just coincidence though
    This is rubbish. When i was expecting my first kid with my ex when nicknamed him beanie for the same reasons. Pure coincidence and typical of American politics where the name of the game is to discredit your opponent with whatever bull#!@* ammunition they can get their grubby little hands on
    Next he should use "It's better to burn out than to fade away"..
    Hopefully, that one comes next month.
    Kinda funny how so many Nirvana fans don't know that is a line from a Neil Young song.
    I've never heard it in a Nirvana song, to be honest. I know it from Neil Young and then it's at the beginning of a Def Leppard song, too. I suppose the joke skullface66 must have been making was about another unoriginal thought of Cobain's.
    Kurt quoted Neil Young in his suicide note. Neil Young was one o his inspirations and mentors.
    WHO CARES. And Tom Morello is also part of the machine he rages against.
    The Spoon
    The saturday night live parody of the debate was funny. "We also nicknamed our second and third children "Bean". Then the doctor told me that all babies look like beans at that point."
    that's some straight up bullshit there from Tom Morello "he doesn't understand us" does't mean a ****ing thing about whether he understands them. just because he doesn't agree with them doesn't mean he doesn't understand them. i understand what Christian bands stand for and i like some of them. doesn't mean i agree in the slightest with what they're saying. so tom morello should take his pretentious amusement away and be glad that someone is a damn fan of his band whether paul ryan is the kind of fan he wants or not
    The problem is that he used his liking of RATM to get people to see him as less of a right wing nut job. That is the problem Tom Morello had with paul Ryan. Yet he turned around and said he didn't like the lyrics, just the music. Politicians do that all the time with political issues to seem like they are supportive of both parties. (Ex: Oh I hate gay marriage but gays should have rights) Now obviously music isn't a big issue but how would you feel if some one you hated was using you for their benefit?
    but they both benefit because if Paul Ryan is speaking truthfully and they are his favourite band chances are he bought the albums maybe even went to a RATM concert and bought some merch. and you know it's just a passing comment but it's still RATM's name in a paper or on tv. any publicity is good publicity so RATM are hardly losing out
    Yeah money wise... but the band is obviously very political. I mean don't get me wrong I'm sure they are enjoying the benefits of the publicity but it all comes down to some one who is so against what they stand for using them for benefit. You know sometimes your morals and what you stand for takes precedence over money.
    Wow... I never saw that quote from Morello. He's such a douche bag. I'm a Republican and love RatM's music, but I will never agree with what they say. It's nice to know that Morello hates Republicans and finds it amusing when one is a fan. Screw him, he used to be an idol of mine too. Also, my next door neighbor nicknamed her baby bean when she saw her ultra sound. She has no idea who Curt Cobain is. Therefore, this whole article is invalid. Lastly, to those saying rock musicians shold stay out of politics, I don't think that's a good idea. They are expressing their views and it's healthy, but I don't think any musician should ever laugh at a fan for liking them if they have different views.... That my friends is ignorance.
    Politicians into music? AWESOME!!! Really, a politician can't like music if the band doesn't agree with him?!?!? A politician citing a band as a favorite? Hell Paul Ryan can put MY band's name on the international stage ANY TIME HE WANTS!!! And so can Obama!
    Paul Ryan's citing of RATM as his favorite band was pretty obviously a political move. Not saying he doesn't actually like them, but it was specifically brought up in an attempt to change his image and attract voters. If my band was blatantly political and someone used it to promote a political agenda I was at odds with, I'd be pissed too.
    "Should politicians stay out of rock?" No. Rock musicians should stay out of politics.
    NO ONE should stay out of politics. The point of a democracy is that the people rule. Are these issues so complex and difficult that only an elite few can understand and act on them appropriately? No, but there are a few elitists who WANT you to believe that so you'll elect a leader to make decisions for you, rather than a leader that will execute your decisions. For a democracy to work it needs the FULL participation of ALL its people, not a people too lazy (or believing they don't have the ability) to think through the issues themselves.
    They don't need to literally stay out of politics, they just need to shut up about them. No one cares what they have to say, they don't know what they're talking about half the time anyway (case in point: Dave Mustaine). They're allowed to vote for whoever they want for whatever reasons they want, but bitching about this-and-that is just pointless and annoying. When I come to a MUSIC SITE, I expect to see MUSIC DISCUSSION. If I wanted to discuss politics, I'd go somewhere where it's appropriate to do that. And I love Morello's music, but he is an *****, plain and simple.
    "but bitching about this-and-that is just pointless and annoying." Irony? If you don't like political discussion, there isn't much you can do about it, but you CAN easily click on another link to an article that isn't so blatantly political... That being said, I can agree that the actual subject of this article is vapid, pointless, and obviously intended to rile people up. I think that's why we all starting talking about RATM instead. Which, I may not entirely agree with the band either, but at least we can discuss them without long lines of asterisks and assertions that people "need to shut up about" that which they stand for. Pry open your third eye...
    This is what I meant. Musicians have been talking about politics so much lately and most of them don't even know what they're saying. This makes them come off as uneducated and ignorant. It's making a lot of people on both sides of the political spectrum lose a lot of respect for them. I'm not saying they shouldn't have an opinion and that they shouldn't vote, but when that opinion gets in the way of the music, it becomes a huge problem.
    Should politicians stay out of rock? Yes. And even more-so, musicians STAY THE F OUT OF POLITICS! Bands like RATM make me wanna puke with their rhetoric political nonsense.
    True RATM were talented, the rhetoric got on my nerves though. If wanted to hear that nonsense I'd get a copy of the communist manifesto.
    The political rhetoric was what set that band apart. What do you want instead of politics in music? More love songs? I think we've got enough of them already.
    There politics make no sense. They say they are anarchists but want more and more government and Tom Morello's Ryan rant was ludicrous.
    "Their" politics make no sense. And where did you ever hear any of the band members self-identifying as anarchist? I don't entirely agree with their approach, but it seems to me their message was always that the people of this consumerist society should question whether or not they are really free, and that this "machine" runs on great social injustice and voter apathy. The "machine" is not necessarily "big government", but government in the hands of soulless (by definition; they aren't people) corporations.
    Its called anarcho-socialism. Look up Mikhail Bakunin if you want to learn more about it (he is the father of the ideology).
    What about songs like "Take the Power Back", which is about the eurocentrism of the American public education system? Please show me the section of "the communist manifesto" that addresses this point. What about "Wake Up", which focuses on the assassinations of civil rights leaders in the 1960s? What exactly does that have to do with communism? "Although ya try to discredit, ya still never read it"
    Paul Ryan DOES talk an awful lot about bands who would most likely despise him. I wish he would shut up about rock and roll in general and go back to what he does best, hating the environment, women, gays, minorities, poor people, etc.. anyone who's not a rich white christian whackjob
    I'm sorry but this just made me lose lots of respect for RATM. Music should be for everyone, not just democrats or republicans. If someone else openly says they enjoy your music, then you better be ****ing greatful that your music is part of someone elses life. I mean I'm conservative and i listen to Green Day, The Beatles, Rise Against, and hell i even dig some bands like NOFX. Just shunning someone from your fan base just cause they don't agree with you is just damn rediculous. I mean that's even low for a democrat...
    Generally bands that have a message and an ideology prefer fans who share similar views. RATM are opposed to the plutocratic foolishness Paul Ryan embraces, and more so, unlike the average fan he actually has the power to change things. I don't disagree when the topic is apolitical bands, but bands that make politics their main theme should be expected to be more discriminating.
    Second Rate
    I'm sorry, but by "should politicians stay out of rock music" do you mean "should conservative politicians be banned from listening to rock?" If I were going to criticize Paul Ryan for anything music related, it would be for the fact that he actually likes the mind numbing garbage that is Rage Against the Machine. I have no problem with political bands, but RATM and other so-called "political" bands of the 90s were sophomoric in their lyrical approach. That being said, Nirvana fans need to grow up and get a life. A friend of mine has a relative who nicknamed her daughter "bean" for exactly the same reason. Did she "steal an anecdote" from Kurt Cobain?
    This website is full of little kiddy liberal nut jobs. Someone writes anything conservative and it gets down voted to oblivion. Open minded and caring political party my ass....
    Being open-minded doesn't mean accepting nonsense. It means evaluating new ideas critically and altering your views based on new information.
    He is guitar player who on the senate floor quoted Led Zeppelin 2-3 years ago. The fact that he listen to heavier music than anyone else in politics is not news to me. Haters gonna hate.
    Not only should politicians stay out of rock, but rock musicians need to stay out of politics. Neither one seems to really understand the other. So, Paul, pick yourself up some Kesha. Dave Mustaine, stop complaining about gas prices and blaming it on Obama.
    I called my little girl Bean when she was in the womb and still sometimes call it her now..... If anyone claimed I stole it off Cobain I would smack them in the face as I can't stand that c*nt
    Rock musicians are making the system accept them. Politicians are making people accept the system. There's a difference.
    What a rude thing to say. Tom Morello is probably just butthurt that Paul Ryan actually is a politician while all Tom can do is write boring wannabe anthems for the 99%
    And musicians should stay out of politics.
    and you should stay outta this forum...ever heard of punk? just because I play guitar I shouldn't be allowed to talk about politics? yeah, you're dumb...go into your corner for timeout little boy....the adults are talking
    Indeed politicians should stay out of rock and any form of music. I mean I could really care less wht they listen to obviously. They should just focus on wht they kno best if they do at all
    Politicians should discuss politics. Musicians should discuss music. I think that's all that needs to be said.
    Who cares. As long as he is called on it and people know, where is the harm? He might be a scumbag, shouldn't stop him from quoting a great guy though.
    Tom Morello should shut the **** up, he supports Occupy movements; however by Occupys own standards Morello would be lumped into the 1% sure he might be all versed with degrees in politics, but it still doesn't change the fact he is rich and certainly not a part of the 99% He only has a net worth of $60 million he has worked with groups like Amnesty Internation and Feed America, but honestly I cant find any solid information on any charitable donations, and they generally come with publicity... That said I still love RATM, just like I love Megadeth but think Dave gets a little carried away at times. Even if as kids these musicians had a shitty life they don't anymore and that attachment is gone.
    It's funny that when Warren Buffett (who is far richer than Tom Morello) comes out in support of Occupy, he gets praised for it, while Morello gets criticized. The 1% doing more to support the 99% is part of what Occupy is fighting for. The fact that Morello is part of that 1% and is willing to do more isn't hypocrisy, it's just someone doing a good thing.
    So what you're saying is that with Occupy's "standards", an individual who is "part of the 1%" supporting the 99% is hypocritical? false. The entire point of Occupy Wall Street is to address corruption of business in politics. Is Morello a politician? Has he served any type of office in any political party? Does he have 100,000 people work for him, and lay them off so he can buy a yacht in Malibu? No. What you're saying is that if you are rich, and your opinions agree with OWS, you are a hypocrite. The only way you are allowed to agree with OWS is if your bank account reads anything less then a few thousand. I suggest you attend a GA at your local Occupy and get a real idea what this stuff is all about. We are all in this together.
    People have this big misconception that you can't be rich and be a socialist. True, you can't be rich and be a communist but socialism has no problem with wealth. The core of the philosophy is that everyone should chip in some amount to promote equallity in society. That doesn't mean giving up all your wealth. I should state that I personally don't consider myself a socialist.
    J.R. Legrasse
    Paul Ryan should just mind his wife's womb and not every other woman's in America. In a few weeks he'll have plenty of free time to make some more "beans".
    politicians should defiantly listen to Rock/Metal music genres. and make sure they really try getting the message. it might open they're eyes a bit more.
    They should just get the message. If they don't, they should no longer be elected.
    Semi-troll? If your republican pals Romney (who is instructed by his religion to wear "evil repellant" underwear) and Weinermobile Ryan are elected, you will watch social security, medicare and the newly passed healthcare initiative disappear. Seniors will end up in homeless shelters as banks forclose on them. Is your baby sick and you can't afford a doctor? Tough shit... its gonna die. Don't think for one minute the repugnican party give a flying phuck about the USA or its citizens. Sorry, I guess you're part of the 1% that own 97% of the wealth in the US.
    You will see all of those programs disappear even if the Dems get elected. There is simply not enough revenue generated to continue them. Putting more tax on the rich is not a solution to revenue short falls. Cutting government spending on helping those who do not contribute anything to the system is a better option.
    Is it just me or is everyone entitled to be a fan of whatever music they want regardless of the political view point of the band that produced the music.. isn't music supposed to transcend politics to be sumthing we can all love regardless of how we see things.