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You know who I love?  Alex Skolnick.  You probably know him as the amazing rock god guitarist from Testament, currently touring with Anthrax.  Since my musical tastes don’t generally get much heavier than Dave Matthews when he’s cranky, I had no clue who Alex was.  Our worlds happened to randomly cross paths a while back and we became friends.  And in an amazingly short period of time, he became one of my very favorite people.  

You may know metal, and you may know Alex, but what you may NOT know is this: under that heavy metal armour lies a much gentler Skolnick, one who dances through tasty classic rock riffs with the delicate skill of an expert jazz musician. 

WHICH HE IS!  If you haven’t heard of the Alex Skolnick Trio, allow me to introduce you to the most surprisingly ideal combination of metal & jazz. 

The Alex Skolnick Trio

You have to experience them for yourself.  Immediately buy every album here:

And then send me something off our wedding registry ( ) as thanks for introducing you to your new favorite band 🙂

I sang with Alex at the Iridium in NYC in March & it was an absolute honor to share the stage with someone I adore musically & personally.

All this to say, I had to share Alex’s recent & highly wedding-appropriate blog so we could discuss:


Inappropriate Wedding Songs

by Alex Skolnick

Though never a “wedding musician” myself, I have played at a few weddings at the request of good friends who are getting married. In jest, I’ve often thought of songs with titles inappropriate for a wedding the point of awkwardness. It’s fun to suggest these tunes in a deadpan manner to the bride, groom and family who are usually stressed from the wedding and appreciative of a good laugh.

I was reminded of this while reading about the recent wedding of Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook Founder and CEO to his girlfriend Priscilla Chan. At 28 years old, Zuckerberg, the worlds’ youngest self-made billionaire, can pretty much afford to hire anyone he wants to play at his wedding. So he hired his favorite musician, Billy Joe Armstrong, lead singer and songwriter of Green Day.

Now I wouldn’t call myself a Green Day fan, but I do like some of their songs. And I’m not a big Facebook fan – it’s a useful invention that is dangerously habit forming (much like television) – but I do use it sparingly. So it is with all respect to Billy Joe and well wishes to the happy couple that I wonder out loud: is this the right guy to be singing your wedding?

Think about the titles of Green Day’s biggest tunes: Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Stuck with Me. Basket Case. Then there’s Green Day’s biggest hit, often referred to as Time of Your Life but that has two words for its official title:


News of the Zuckerberg wedding gave me a new song to add to my “Inappropriate Wedding Songs” list. Keep in mind, there are plenty of songs with the right (or rather, wrong) lyrical content- You Oughtta Know or I Will Survive, for example) but what we’re talking about here are songs with titles that just scream “inappropriate.”

Of course there are many more out there, so if you think of any good ones, feel free to add ‘em to the list. Here then are ten songs not meant to be heard on a day of matrimony. Enjoy!

Ten Inappropriate Wedding Songs

10. Good Riddance (Green Day)

9. Your Cheatin’ Heart (Hank Williams Sr.)

8. Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac)

7. Already Gone (The Eagles)

6. You Give Love A Bad Name (Bon Jovi)

5. I Don’t Care Anymore (Phil Collins/Genesis)

4. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (Paul Simon)

3. Goodbye To Romance (Ozzy Osbourne)

2. The Thrill Is Gone (BB King)

1. Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You (Led Zeppelin)


If you’re anything like me, a hundred more examples just popped in your head (uhh, see my blog about rethinking my plan to Daddy/Daughter dance to “Strangers in the Night” once I reallllly listened to those lyrics). 

Immediately after Alex posted his blog, the Twitterverse was ablaze with #inappropriateweddingsongs & a top 5 global trending topic was born.  Which makes him a COMPLETE TWITTERLEBRITY in my book!!!

The snowball continued, as Huffington Post picked up the ball & ran with it:


Twitterers Reveal The Most Inappropriate Wedding Songs

Huffington Post Weddings 5/30/12

Similar to how guests know not to wear white to someone’s Big Day, there are just some things you know NOT to do when it comes to weddings. From downing one too many drinks at the bar to texting during the vows, some behaviors are just, well, inappropriate.

One of the top things to avoid is playing (or requesting) any song at the wedding reception that could potentially make the dance floor awkward. Or embarrass the bride or groom. Or is just plain wrong.

So when #InappropriateWeddingSongs began trending on Twitter Wednesday, we couldn’t help but to take note of these tunes — and put them firmly on our do-not-play list.

Click through the slideshow below to see which inappropriate wedding songs the Twitterverse ruled out, and let us know: Which ones would you veto during your reception?


I figured I’d open this fun topic up for discussion here.  What do YOU think is the most #inappropriateweddingsong??  I owe the DJ a list of “don’t play” songs, help me with my homework.

And I also thought I’d use this blog to share some ridiculously cool news…we booked our wedding band.  And drumroll please….you might guess who by reading this blog 🙂  While it’s not EXACTLY the full Alex Skolnick Trio, since it’s namesake is touring (damn you, Anthrax!), we’ve got 2/3 of the dream team.  And someone I trust implicitly on musical direction is actually subbing himself out (DAMN YOU, ANTHRAX!) & prepping his own fill in. 

I’m so excited to have that 3 piece instrumental vibe for the cocktail hour before our ceremony.  It’s such a nice musical collaboration of the vintage space (who doesn’t love a little upright bass?!) & iconic music (who doesn’t love a little Kiss?!)*.



*No, I’m not talking about “Mini Kiss”, the little person tribute band ( ), and the first of Richie’s wedding band choices I had to veto.

Not. Even. Kidding.


Mambo #5

Richie & I have (mumblecough) years between us.  The only time I *ever* notice a difference from the age gap is in our taste in music.  If the words “Apache, Jump On It” mean something to you, you’re totally on Team Richie*.  If the words “Crash Into Me” mean anything to you, you’re Team Rach.  I expect the lot of you to print up t-shirts declaring your loyalty & post them on my fb page.  Just a suggestion.

Our Venn Diagram slightly overlaps at 80s new wave, 90s hair metal, the rare happy rap and Smashing Pumpkins.  So mostly we listen to Howard in the car, cause that’s the one station we completely agree on.

It’s hard!  I’m a musician!  Music is HUGELY important to me!  And when I share a song that absolutely crushes me, completely breaks my heart, it’s like sharing an intimate little piece of myself.  So when it’s met with a passive “meh”, I almost take it personally, like you’re not taking a minute to understand me better, to see why this is so important to me, to find the beauty in it.  I know, I’m weird.  Sigh.  Maybe it’s a musician thing?  The stuff that moves him is WAY old school hip hop.  Like the origins of hip hop, which I’m told is really historically important- and I’m certain he’s right.  I’m just more into where it evolved TO than the very basic beginnings that sound like the pre-programmed beats on my first casio keyboard (he’s so gonna kick my butt for saying that :))   The point is, our taste is so divergent that I literally thought about putting something in my vows about trying really hard to learn to tolerate his music.  He didn’t find that so cute.

I’ve been thinking about songs a lot lately. It’s particularly weird as a singer/songwriter to analyze music for a big, emotional event like a wedding.  For instance- a completely lame verse in the middle of an otherwise amazing song can totally turn me off.   Sometimes the emotionality of a song’s chord structure is so powerful to me that I completely miss the horrendous word choice.

And sometimes the memory of a song is so great that you never took a minute to listen to the inappropriate lyrics  (anyone see the Arrested Development episode called “Afternoon Delight”?).  Here’s an unfortunate example of that- I was thinking about the father/daughter dance.  I remember being a kid, standing on my dad’s feet while he danced me around the room wailing an overdramatic version of the Sinatra classic “Strangers in the Night” while I giggled hysterically.  That’s my song with my dad- always makes me smile when I hear it.  When I mentioned it to Richie, he found the lyrical content slightly disturbing for a father/daughter dance.  And he’s right!!!  I’ve never noticed one lyric.  But a song about a secret torrid love affair is a little bit creepy for a dad and daughter to dance to.  Sorry pops, I know it’s gonna creep you out now, too.

I was also thinking about a non-traditional song to walk down the aisle to.  Something personal, that encapsulates our relationship and hits my heart.  I’ve got a couple ideas, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on great walk down the aisle songs because there is just not a chance in hell “here comes the bride” will be played at my wedding.

To recap your homework for the comment section of this blog, I need the following suggestions from you:

1) Good father/daughter songs

2) Unique & meaningful walk down the aisle songs

3) Oh, and some fun, right after we just got married & we’re walking out songs

Thanks guys.  Your help really does make this all easier.


PS- I just named this blog Mambo #5 so I wouldn’t be the only one with that horrendous song stuck in my head.  Sorry.

*EDITOR’S (fiance’s) NOTE:  Richie is insisting I include his clarification: “Apache from Sugar Hill Gang sucks – reminds me of Carlton! Apache from the Incredible Bongo Band is pure old school!”