From Iceland — Happy 50th Anniversary

Happy 50th Anniversary

Published November 3, 2006

I bet you are thinking that this title refers to our cover model Bubbi Morthens. You are wrong, although it seems fitting that the 50 years old Bubbi graces the cover of our 50th issue. That’s right. This is the semi-centennial issue of the Reykjavík Grapevine. Congrats all around.

This summer, 06.06.06 to be exact, Bubbi Morthens celebrated his 50th anniversary with a grand show in Laugardalshöll. At the time, many people, me included, felt that the concert rather demonstrated the completion of the metamorphosis of Bubbi Morthens from a creative artist to a corporate entity. Brand Bubbi, or Bubbi Group, if you will. Our music critic at the time, Sindri Eldon, said as much in his critique of this event. Although scathing in tone, I still believe Sindri pointed out something that needed to be pointed out amidst the lovefest that surrounded the event.

Sindri’s piece on Bubbi Morthens created more public response than anything we have done in the last two years. Everybody now had an opinion on both Bubbi Morthens and Sindri Eldon. The only justified response to such a public outcry was to talk to Bubbi himself. As I imagined, Bubbi felt the same way. We sat down and had a nice talk (well, he talked, I listened) about his music and his values. We still don’t see eye to eye, but at least we have an understanding.

The man who in 1986 released an album under the name Freedom For Sale talked a lot about freedom, less than a week before he signed a lifetime recording deal for a record breaking amount of money. As for other material in this issue, I was excited when I read Haukur M. Magnússon’s interview with Hollywood director Eli Roth. Roth sticks to certain ethics in his filmmaking that bring to mind the DIY atmosphere, although soon enough, he’ll be 50 as well and will probably be thoroughly assimilated to the movie industry and their ways.

Steinunn Jakobsdóttir talked to city officials and downtown developers to find out how the city of Reykjavík is likely to progress in the near future. Development projects are underway in many places and it will be exciting to see how the city develops in the next few years. We also present you with a very interesting interview with father and son, Sigursteinn Jóhannsson and Jóhann Hauksson, two veteran journalists who have just published a blistering account of Icelandic journalism in premier issue of the new magazine Ísafold.

I am not going to keep this much longer, it is the 50th issue and I am in a festive spirit. Drinks are on me.

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