Avril Lavigne vs. The Rubinoos

Here’s another Lukasz Gottwald (aka Dr. Luke) produced track for the site. This time for the 2007 Avril Lavigne song “Girlfriend”.   The chorus similarity did not go unnoticed by seventies power pop band The Rubinoos whose 1979 single “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” shares a striking resemblance.  In 2007 Rubinoos frontman Tommy Dunbar  and co-writer James Gangwer filed suit in U.S. District Court in Northern California against Lavigne,  Dr. Luke, RCA Records and Apple Inc.

“We are not so naive as to chalk it up to some sort of cosmic coincidence,” Dunbar said in a statement on Thursday. “The lyric, the meter, the rhythm … they’re identical.”

More about the lawsuit here: Avril Lavigne Responds To Lawsuit, Says She’s Been ‘Falsely Accused’ on MTV.com

According to PopCrunch.com the case was settled out of court in 2008.

Avril Lavigne has reached a settlement in a lawsuit that accused her of plagiarizing her hit single, “Girlfriend.”

Avril Lavigne “Girlfriend” Lawsuit Settlement; Rubinoos Avril Lavigne at PopCrunch.com

I’d also like to note that The Ramones have a song called “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” released in 1976.   It doesn’t sound like either of these.

While we’re here I might as well include the audio samples from the Green Day vs. Blink-182 post for the similarity in the guitar riff.

Avril Lavigne - "Girlfriend" (2007)
The Rubinoos - "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" (1979)

vs. Green Day vs. Blink-182

Blink-182 - "What's My Age Again?" (1999)
Green Day - "Basket Case" (1993)
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13 Replies to “Avril Lavigne vs. The Rubinoos”

  1. Darryl

    Enh, I’m not buying Blink vs Green Day. I mean, if you listen to a bunch of pop-punk it’ll all start sounding the same.

    1. Keith Post author

      Good point. I could spend all day pulling pop-punk songs together. Sometimes I like to include the big commercial hits on this site as a single example.

  2. Max

    Honestly, I think both The Rubinoos and Avril Lavigne should be sued for ripping off The Rolling Stones – Get Off Of My Cloud.

  3. Travis

    i can think of 2 other avril comparisons

    avril:losing grip

    dido:thank you

    avril:everything back but you

    bowling for soup:punk rock 101

    1. Keith Post author

      Thanks Dr. Eric!

      Pachelbel’s Canon is commonly referenced on this site. Then add a similar guitar riff, a specific synthesizer sound and a nearly identical vocal melody and then we have something else. I try not to post songs that simply follow this standard progression.


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