Thursday, April 24, 2008


Pope Benedict XVI had a wall-to-wall schedule of public appearances last weekend while in New York City.

Yet in what he called “a small miracle,” he graciously found time to stop by the Rock Turtleneck offices and discuss what was in heavy rotation on his Papal Red iPod Nano. (Click any song title to download.)

The Pontif enjoys the portability of the Nano when he’s on the road. “May God have mercy on anyone who cannot make do with 2,000 songs,” he pontificated.

Prince, “Pope” The Hits
“This song from his 1992 Hits collection is in strict conflict with the Church’s position on pre-marital sexuality and using the lord’s name in vain. But you know what? I dig the groove. Even John the Baptist liked to shake his moneymaker.”

George Harrison, “V2 (Vatican Blues)” Brainwashed
“Rock Turtleneck is big fan of the Quiet Beatle, and so is yours truly. This is a charming look at lapsed Catholicism from Harrison’s final solo album Brainwashed. That it was largely ignored is a sin.”

Simon & Garfunkel,
“Benedictus” Live from New York City 1967
“Hearing such heavenly sounds coming from two homely schlubs from Queens is enough to make anyone believe in God.”

Beach Boys, “God Only Knows” Pet Sounds
"Sir Paul McCartney has called this his all-time favorite song, and you know what, it just might be mine too. Speaking of Macca, I used to think divorce was a cardinal sin. Then I met Heather Mills.”

U2, “God Part II” Rattle and Hum
“Don’t believe in forced entry, don’t believe in rape/But every time she passes by, wild thoughts escape.” Fellow divine being Bono nicely summarizes the inherent contradictions between religious piety and earthly desires in this unauthorized sequel to the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band classic. Great drums by Larry Mullen Jr., arguably the best Catholic drummer on earth.

Wilco, “Jesus, Etc.” Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (this version live in Troutdale, 2007)
One of the most closely held secrets of the Vatican was that “Jesus, Etc.” was the original working title of the Bible. That Tweedy was able to ascertain this indicates he must be touched by the hand of God. I know his fanbase seems to think so.”

Bob Dylan, “Dear Landlord” John Wesley Harding
The landlord here is not Mr. Furley from Three’s Company, so memorably played by Don Knotts, but the Almighty. This is one of Dylan’s greatest hymns filled with good advice:
Each of us has his own special gift
And you know this was meant to be true
And If you don’t underestimate me
I won’t underestimate you.

Amen, Zimmy.

The Rolling Stones, “Heaven” Tattoo You
“This is one of my favorite deep cuts from the Stones, now that "Loving Cup" has been hijacked by Jack White in the new Scorcese film. Will the Stones make it to Heaven? All I can say is, don’t call us, Keith, we’ll call you.”

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