ROCK OUT CENSORSHIP has been aggressively opposing the censors of popular music since 1989. Rock Out Censorship was founded to act as a voice of music fans against the army of religious oppressors (and Senator's wives) trying to censor the music industry at the time and even moreso today. The organization was formed as a result of the music industry's total capitulation to the whims of Tipper Gore's Parent's Music Resource Center (PMRC) in regards to the placement of warning labels on albums. R.O.C.'s position has always been that these stickers do very little to warn parents, but do a lot to open the door to more restrictive forms of censorship. As we predicted back in 1989, much of the legislation we are seeing introduced around the United States today is a direct result of the music industry's refusal to stand up and fight the sticker issue.
It was then that our organization started distributing "THE ROC"--the Voice of Rock Out Censorship newspaper to interested music fans throughout the Ohio and Western Pennsylvania area to keep them informed about the dangerous incidents of censorship that were occuring across the country, while at the same time entertaining them with band interviews and album reviews, etc. This newspaper, while focusing on the music industry, also covers the entire spectrum of censorship activity from comic book censorship, censorship of the adult entertainment industry, school censorship, and more. It is THE ROC newspaper that has become the backbone of our organization, providing much needed anti-censorship information to thousands of music fans across the country.
Also, the founders of Rock Out Censorship would always make a point to attend any of the functions of the would-be censors in their area to provide a strong voice in opposition to their ideas and tactics, something we still do today as much as possible. Our mix of "in their face" reporting, and entertainment oriented articles in "THE ROC" has proven to be quite a successful formula as Rock Out Censorship has done nothing but grow since these early days.
Over the years, R.O.C. has grown into an international organization with representatives in 18 states, as well as in Canada and England. Our newspaper, THE ROC, has grown from an 8-page Xerox copied newsletter to a professional 24-page newspaper with a widespread distribution network. With the arrival of this Rock Out Censorship WWW site, we anticipate this growth will now continue exponentially as we expand our capacity for distributing information, educating the fans, and communicating with fellow activists on a global level.
Rock Out Censorship is probably now best known for our anti-censorship activist booths set up at major concert events across the country. At our booth we educate the fans about the issue of censorship with copies of "THE ROC" and with other informational flyers and pamphlets. We also activate the fans through our numerous petition drives we conduct.
In 1992, R.O.C. was among a very select group of activist organizations invited to have a booth on the entire Guns 'N' Roses/Metallica Summer stadium tour. We also travelled to set up booths on several dates of the 1998 OzzFest tour as well as the entire 2001 OzzFest tour. In the past we have also set up our anti-censorship booths (with band management approval) on select dates on the Lollapalooza tours, The H.O.R.D.E. Festival, The Warped Tour as well as with such prominent artists as Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, Aerosmith, David Bowie, Korn, Queensryche, Pantera, White Zombie, Santana, Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Slayer, Stone Temple Pilots, The Offspring, Primus, Anthrax, Megadeth, Bush, Phish, Cypress Hill, Motley Crue, and many, many others too numerous to mention. While we often can be found at the major arena level shows, we do not ignore the "underground" scene at the club level. Here we have set up with a wide variety of acts ranging from KMFDM, Sepultura, Ice-T and Body Count, Cannibal Corpse, Lords of Acid, Overkill, The Ramones, The Genitorturers, House of Pain, Danzig, Pigface, Corrosion of Conformity, Filter, Pennywise, Obituary, Napalm Death, Rancid, GWAR, Morbid Angel, Alien Sex Fiend, and again many, many more.
In addition to our concert booths, we also have staged demonstrations in Washington D.C. at PMRC headquarters and delivered over 35,000 signatures to the Recording Industry Association of America calling on them to get rid of the parental advisory warning label system that is currently leading to widespread corporate level censorship of music as well as several dangerous pieces of legislation that would criminalize the sale of "controversial" music to minors.
In July through September of 1994, R.O.C. vigorously fought the passage of H.B. 2982 in the State of Pennsylvania. This bill would have made the sale of all albums bearing a warning label illegal to all persons under the age of 18. Record store personnel could be arrested and fined for selling the "stickered" albums, and young people caught buying them could be arrested and sentenced to 25-100 hours of "community service" for the "heinous" crime of simply liking music the government doesn't think they should like. We also assisted in putting together a well-publicized debate in Pittsburgh between noted music editor/personality/critic Dave Marsh and Pennsylvania Legislator T.J. Rooney, author of H.B. 2982.
Rock Out Censorship has been the focus of features and highly praised in such prominent national music magazines as Rolling Stone, RIP, Metal Maniacs, and The Source as well as a plethora of regional music publications such as Scene Magazine in Cleveland, The Orlando Weekly, New Jersey's Aquarian Weekly, Pittsburgh's City Paper and Rock N Roll Reporter, Michigan's JAMRAG Magazine, American Music Press in San Francisco and many others (our press kit is well over 100 pages).
In the future, R.O.C. will continue to fight this plague of un-American legislation being proposed to the best of our ability, but we need more active members and volunteers to carry on this war against the censors. Direct financial contributions to fund the fight, in-kind services (copies, faxes, phone calls, etc.), bands to play and/or help arrange benefit shows, and people to volunteer some time to help with the work are all desperately needed. If you have your own WWW site, please link to our site by prominently displaying one of our graphics as a link as a link to our site from yours. Click here for details on linking to our site.
It is our feeling that this website will take us all several steps closer to ending censorship in this country, but we need your active participation. We urge everybody to subscribe to our mailing list so you can receive e-mail updates with incidents and suggested courses of action. We urge everybody to visit the Activism Central section of our website and follow our step by step instructions to help influence elected officials. Through this website, we see the potential to mobilize the entire music community into a strong political force that cannot be ignored. But we cannot achieve our goals without your active participation. Please visit this site frequently to get the latest information on how your government is working to strip you of your First Amendment rights, as well as other Constitutionally guaranteed rights. It is vitally important that we also receive input from you regarding reporting incidents of censorship that we may not know about.
We hope that you find this Rock Out Censorship website to be a valuable resource for learning about the issue of censorship and learning how you can help stop what is happening. We will always maintain our "in their face" brand of reporting and cater ourselves to being the true voice of the music fans. We feel our uncompromising attitude toward freedom is one that is sorely needed in this country. To those that seek to take away our rights we stand and say "FUCK YOU!" instead of worrying if we are offending them. As Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies says, maybe they need to be offended. Remember that the greatest threat to the security of the American people is having a government that ignores the Constitution. It is our aim to remind them that we will not sacrifice our rights for their vision of a more safe, secure and moral country.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Ben Franklin, 1759
We wholeheartedly agree.
For more information on the views of our organization and for other information, please visit the
Rock Out Censorship FAQ section.