WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER

By: John Woods


"Censorship is defined in the dictionary I consulted as, "the review of publications, movies, plays and the like for the purpose of prohibiting the publication, distribution or production of material deemed as objectionable, obscene, indecent or immoral." (Blacks Law Dictionary 5th Edition)

If the PMRC, various conservative politicians, fundamentalist religious leaders, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and a vast assortment of other MASKED JACKYLS have their way included in this list of censored materials would be LPs, CDs, tapes, music videos, MTV, live concerts, black tee-shirts, and everything else associated with ROCK, RAP, and HEAVY METAL music.

The first response from many of you will be "BULLSHIT." And some of you will say, "Get real dude, this is America of the 90's, the land of the brave and the home of the free and all of that RED, WHITE & BLUE crap wrapped up in the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights, with a big Star Spangled bow tied on top." Well kids, have I got some news for you! If you take all of that lustrous RED, WHITE & BLUE crap along with 75 cents, it will perhaps play you one sad song on the jukebox. CENSORSHIP IS REAL! The groundwork for its implementation is being laid now. Our music is under a cold and calculated attack from a well organized and well financed gang of hysterical fanatics who are playing for keeps. In the 60's JIM MORRISON of THE DOORS sang, "WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER, TURN OUT THE LIGHTS." Today in the 90's the lights are showing the first signs of growing dim.

Today, 18 states have laws awaiting passage that will single certain music for some degree of censorship. At a time when millions of people around the world are throwing off the chains of tyranny and experiencing freedom for the first time in their lives, the U.S. wants to back-step. These laws are designed to discourage sales and stifle the circulation of Rock, Rap and Metal music. Furthermore, they are geared to muzzle artist and musicians by limiting their rights of "free expression."

All across the country we see groups like the PMRC popping-up like ragweeds with their armies of politicians, psychiatrist, psychologist and religious fanatics who are ready to swear that all of the problems that today's young people have are caused by the kind of music they listen to. How much easier it is to point a finger and scapegoat the music as the "evil" instead of admitting that the kids of today are discouraged and disillusioned because Government, Industry, School, Church and in fact THE WHOLE FUCKING SYSTEM has failed them and has nothing to offer. Added to unemployment, poverty, racism, pollution and the threat of war, they now want to kill our music also.

Most of the lyrics in Rock, Rap and Metal music are mere reflections of the corruption and decadence that exist in today's society. These problems are not the by-products of this generation. If anything, they are the monsters created by the same "thirty-somethings" and "forty-somethings" who are trying to censor out a whole mode of music. Today's music is like listening to the news, except it reports what is going down around us in lyrics and art forms that only those who are into it can really understand. I find it rather amusing when I hear these white upper-class women from the PMRC get on national TV and explain their interpretations of Ghetto and street Rap music. How in the hell do they know what it means? They have never lived the life of poor people or people from the ghettos. They claim that this and that is being encouraged and advocated. If anything, the one thing that a large majority of this music is advocating is "get off your ass and do something to change this world." Rock & Roll has always advocated change and even revolution, if you will. I believe this is what scares the hell out of them the most. The fear of change. That is the one thing they can not tolerate. A long time ago, PLATO could have been credited with first setting the PMRC's agenda when he wrote: "ANY MUSIC INNOVATION IS FULL OF DANGER FOR THE WHOLE SOCIETY AND OUGHT TO BE PROHIBITED. WHEN THE MODES OF MUSIC CHANGE, THE BASIC LAWS OF A SOCIETY ALWAYS CHANGE TOO."

The ideologies that are being spewed upon us by these moralist vigilantes has to be taken head-on, exposed and shot down. Every time they rear their ugly heads, we must drive them back into their dark holes of conservatism, conformity and non-progression. Put some METAL up their ass, as METALLICA would say.

1985 must have been a real boring year for the Washington, D.C. social elite. For lack of anything constructive to do with all of that "idle-rich" time between White House parties, a couple D.C. socialite-poor-little-rich-girls decided that an all out attack on some form of music might be fun. In order to accomplish this they set up a tax-exempt organization called the PMRC. Could that stand for POST MENOPAUSE RECORD CENSORS? Well, in this case it could be an appropriate name, but it stands for the PARENTS MUSIC RESOURCE CENTER. Their offices (which were donated by the Coors Beer empire) are located at 1500 Arlington Blvd., Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22209. And by calling (703) 527-9466 you can extend a special greeting to one of these saviors of society. The PMRC was founded by TIPPER GORE, wife of US Senator and Presidential candidate Albert Gore, Jr. The other founder was SUSAN BAKER, wife of former US Treasury Secretary and current Secretary of State James Baker III. I'm surprised that old RON & NANCY were not charter members as well, but of course old RON may have been napping when all of this happened, but he really can't recall.

TIPPER GORE claims she was exposed to the evils of Rock music as she listened to the song "Darling Nikki" from the Prince Purple Rain album. Oh it was just terrible, right there in the song was a blatant reference to masturbation. As for BAKER, she became a card-carrying witchhunter after having a neurotic tangent while trying to connect music videos and pornography. Together GORE & BAKER drew in some D.C. business moguls, a "deep throat" informer inside the recording industry, some reactionary university professors, a few psychiatrists and psychologists and one old HAS-BEEN, NEVER-HAD-BEEN, born again rock musician, turned preacher by the name of JEFF LING and WHAAMMO! the PMRC was off and running. They received $5000 in start-up capital from Mike Love of the Beach Boys. The PMRC has since received the vocal support and backing from such people as Smokey Robinson of Motown fame, and the old ex-Beatle Paul McCartney who is still suffering from the delusion that kids should only "WANNA HOLD HANDS."

The PMRC has in five years grown into a well organized and well financed threat to music. Some of their corporate sponsors are: AMERICAN AIRLINES, COORS, 7-UP, MARRIOT CORP., OPRYLAND HOTEL, MERRILL LYNCH, and the OCCIDENTAL CORP. R.O.C. would suggest that you BOYCOTT all of these companies and their products. The PMRC has obtained tremendous political clout and they have a great knack for total manipulation of the media. In no way whatsoever should we underestimate them. By forming coalitions with the National PTA and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the ultra-right wing Phyllis Shlafly group and fundamentalists like Missouri Project Rock and Frontline Ministries, the PMRC has built one hell of a soapbox from which they can incite people with their rabid views and their totally asinine interpretations of lyrics, album cover art and their so-called "meanings" of Rock, Rap & Metal.

While reading some of their propaganda I found myself wanting to feel a small dose of compassion for these people. How frustrating it must be for them having those "orgasmic fantasies" of a perfect little world where good little girls and boys sit around sipping Kool-Aid while they listen to Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, New Kids On The Block, Phil Collins and oh yeah, let's not forget the Beach Boys and ol' Paul McCartney. How sad life must be for them being trapped in such a musical Twilight Zone. (DO-DO-DO-DO DO-DO-DO-DO DO-DO-DO-DO)

This is the PMRC and these are the people who want the power to dictate to YOU and ME what we can and can not listen to. In public they claim they are not advocating censorship in any form. They claim to be a "consumer information" group who only wants warning labels placed on albums that have been deemed by "someone" as offensive. And just who that "someone" is that will have the power to tell us what we can listen to is not clear. As for me, I believe that I and only I should have that right, how about you? Anyone who attempts to raise the question of censorship with the PMRC is sharply accused of trying to "smokescreen the real issues." I see the PMRC warning label campaign designed as the perfect "smokescreen" to usher in total censorship. Again, let me stress the question, who will have the power to decide? Will it be your local, State, or Federal government? Will they and their friends in the PMRC draft-up official "hit-lists" of artists and musicians? Hell, they already have in my opinion. Just look at the case they made against JELLO BIAFRA and the DEAD KENNEDYS with the FRANKENCHRIST album, or look at the attacks on 2 LIVE CREW in Florida. When they claim "consumer information" I say BULLSHIT. Behind their facade of just wanting warning labels is their real real goal...TOTAL CENSORSHIP OF ALL MUSIC THEY DON'T HAPPEN TO CARE FOR. This is clear from reading their propaganda and observing the assortment of ultra-right-wing groups they have associated themselves with. (See PMRC UPDATE on page 4 for more on this).

All across the country people are getting together and fighting back against these fascist up-starts. In New York, we have MUSIC IN ACTION and HEAVY METAL MAJORITY. On the West Coast, we have NO MORE CENSORSHIP, ROCK & ROLL CONFIDENTIAL, MAXIMUM ROCK & ROLL, and FRANK ZAPPA. Now in the Buckeye State of Ohio, the home of the ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME, we have ROCK OUT CENSORSHIP. We were founded by a diverse group of individuals who are into many different forms of music. We could not just sit back and watch this go on any longer. We have set aside our musical diversities and united to take a vocal and militant stand against the forces who have unleashed this repressive onslaught against ROCK, RAP & METAL. We believe that regardless of what particular mode of music one happens to be into, one must be prepared and willing to fight for the rights of all music.

We have decided to take the likes of the PMRC and their allies HEAD-ON, IN THEIR FACE, BY THE THROAT and SHAKE EM UP A BIT! We intend to launch a campaign in Ohio that will build a strong organization of ROCKERS, RAPPERS and HEADBANGERS that will defend our right to our music. We will not allow the likes of the PMRC to make Ohio one of the states with anti-music laws. We will link-up and network with other anti-censorship groups around the country to carry the fight on to a national level. We will educate and inform you of the PMRC's latest moves through our official voice THE ROC. Our troops will be recruited and our war-funds will be raised by organizing ROCK OUT CENSORSHIP BENEFITS performed by Ohio artists and even national artists if we can get them. But I and the few others who helped get R.O.C. started can not do it all alone. We need you to get involved. You who are reading this issue of THE ROC, you are going to be the deciding factor when it comes to whether the PMRC will accomplish its goals. You love your music, you buy your favorite albums and you attend your favorite concerts. Now are you willing to stand-up and fight to keep your right to listen to your music, buy your albums and attend concerts? If you are, we welcome you and hope you will join us. We can't give the TIPPER GORE'S of the world one inch of slack. We have to get off our asses, shake our fists, stomp our feet, open our mouths, turn all the dials to 10 and tell the likes of the PMRC to "FUCK OFF!" YOU'RE IN OHIO, AND IN OHIO ROCK, RAP & METAL RULES!

I'm John Woods for ROCK OUT CENSORSHIP and that's where I stand. ROCKERS, RAPPERS, PUNKS AND METALHEADS of Ohio, what about you???

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