Travolta (song)

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"Travolta (Quote Unquote)"
Single by Mr. Bungle
from the album Mr. Bungle
Released 1991
Format Vinyl Compact Disc
Genre Avant-garde metal, funk metal, ska punk
Length 6:56
4:31 (single version)[1]
Label Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s) Trey Spruance, Trevor Dunn, Mike Patton
Producer(s) Mr. Bungle, John Zorn
Mr. Bungle singles chronology
"Travolta (Quote Unquote)"
"String Module Error: Match not found"
"Platypus" (Promotional Release)

"Travolta" (also known as "Quote Unquote") was the first single released by American experimental rock band Mr. Bungle. It was featured on their self-titled debut album.[2]


Although the song was originally titled "Travolta", it was quickly changed to "Quote Unquote" due to legal threats.[3] A music video was made for "Travolta," using its later title "Quote Unquote." The video was banned from MTV due to images of the band members (dressed in various costumes and masks) hanging from meat hooks and overall scary, disturbing images.[4] The video used the single version of the song.[5]

References to John Travolta[edit]

Allmusic considers the song to be a tribute to John Travolta and fellow actor Patrick Swayze, although it also contains references to Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump.[3] A biography about John Travolta, written by Bob McCabe, was titled "Quote, Unquote" after the song. [6] The main theme from the movie Grease, a movie John Travolta was famous for, was sampled twice in the song.[7]

This may, however, be a barbed tribute in that the lyrical content of the song strongly references the 1938 novel Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo, throughout which a mute quadruple amputee war veteran details his personal suffering in the first person. Hence the song's title. It might be worth noting that Patrick Swayze's character in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing is also named Johnny, perhaps implying that the song is a more general homage to greasers being led off to war. However, Trey Spruance offered a different lyrical concept in a 2017 interview:


  1. Quote Unquote (Edit) - 4:31
  2. Quote Unquote (Album Version) - 6:56[1]


  1. ^ a b "Mr. Bungle - Quote - Unquote". Discogs. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ Huey, Steve. "Mr. Bungle - Mr. Bungle". Allmusic. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2002). AllMusic Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul. ISBN 087930653X. 
  4. ^ McGaughey, Scott. "The Unclassifiable and Ever-Evolving Music of Mr. Bungle". Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ Mr. Bungle -Quote Unquote (Travolta) on Vimeo
  6. ^ Quote - Unquote on Amazon
  7. ^ Mr. Bungle - "Quote - Unqote" on Whosampled
  8. ^ Spruance, Trey (November 2016) [1]