BOB GUCCIONE, JR.: FRIEND OR FOE? - Double Barreled Crossfire

By: John Woods


R.O.C. is part of the National Coalition of nearly 25 anti-censorship groups and other groups and publications calling for a total boycott against 7-UP/Dr. Pepper until they publicly state that they will no longer give contributions, of any type to groups like the PMRC.

We are proud to be a part of this mighty force of grassroots groups, and we can not express in a strong enough manner the contempt and anger we feel for Bob Guccione, Jr. and his rag SPIN for even implying that our claims against 7-UP are false.

Ahhhh yes, SPIN! The progressive, chic, pop, and hip magazine for yuppies one and all. And standing at the helm of this journalistic wonder is the "Master of Yuppies" himself, Bob Guccione, Jr. Mr. Guccione, the ex-Crown Prince of the Penthouse Empire. The man who on CNBC's "Talk Live" told us he "is the vanguard of the anti-censorship movement." WOW! How reassuring it is to know we have a vanguard. We don't have to worry about anything, our "vanguard" will take care of the PMRC for us. Why if Bob Guccione, Jr. sees Tipper Gore walking down the street, perhaps he'll shoot her with a paper clip from the window of his Manhattan Ivory Tower.

Some of you reading this are wondering, "has Woods gone over the edge?" Well perhaps I have. We get enough shit from the kooks on the other side, so we sure don't need any from someone like Bob Guccione, Jr. Hey, here's what's going down. Our coalition has called for a boycott of certain corporations who it was discovered (by our good friends at Rock & Roll Confidential) were making contributions to the PMRC and others. One of these corporations happened to be 7-UP/Dr. Pepper, and another was the Marriott Hotel chain. Through the power of the boycott, the Coalition has made some tremendous victories to date. On June 24th, Marriott Corporate Relations representative Jennifer Levendusky, in a letter to Rock & Roll Confidential admitted that Marriott made donations to the PMRC. In the same letter she assured the Coalition member "that Marriott has no plans to contribute money to this organization (the PMRC) in the future." Upon receiving this letter, Marriott was dropped from the boycott. They did what we asked, we won! But 7-UP, now that's a whole different story. The problem with 7-UP is an issue of logistics. 7-UP, by their own admittance does not dispute that PMRC contributions were made. Their argument is that they were made by a local bottler in Washington, DC, and not by the corporate HQ in Dallas. Hey, a 7-UP is a 7-UP, is a 7-UP: Until they publicly announce that 7-UP, its bottlers and anyone connected with their company will not give further aid to the PMRC, the boycott stays on.

Now if you run out, but not too fast, take your time because they always have stacks left over, and pick up the September issue of SPIN, turn to page 28 which is titled "MISSED INFORMATION," and about half way down the page you'll see a little blurb headlined, "He's Not A Pepper." Since most of you are probably like us and have much better things to spend $2.95 on, we'll quote what it says. "Anti-censorship activists and part-time rock critic Dave Marsh issued a press release calling for a boycott of Dr. Pepper and 7-UP, because the brand's parent company, Dr. Pepper/7-Up Co., financially supports the PMRC. The only problem is that, as far as anyone can tell, his accusation isn't true...."

Who is this "anyone?" Could it be Mr. Guccione, the same individual who claimed that COORS BREWING CO. did not initially donate office space to the PMRC, even after it was verified by both Frank Zappa and Jello Biafra. Guccione dismissed this as "a rumor started by an obscure anti-censorship newsletter."

Yea Bob, you're our "vanguard" who went on the road last year debating Florida fundie fruitcake Jack Thompson at colleges and universities all across the land. Bob now claims that he and Jack "have become good friends." I guess birds of a feather do indeed flock together. When the Jack & Co. Traveling Road Show pulled in to Kent State University last your our "vanguard" was nowhere to be found. Members of R.O.C. were on hand to give Jack a very "warm" welcome. When we questioned the organizers as to why Bill Siddons was debating Jack instead of Guccione, they told us KSU could not afford the fee our "vanguard" requested. Are we to assume that only if "THE PRICE IS RIGHT," Bob will "come on down!"

It should also be noted that Guccione has made "unlimited free space" available in SPIN to the "non-voting pro-vote" advocates of Rock The Vote, and on the other hand SPIN opens its pages to the hysterical rantings on Satanism by Bob Larson. Now we are not suggesting that Bob Larson should not be allowed to rant, but let him take some of the millions he fleeces in from his daily anti-rock radio show and start his own paper. We at R.O.C. will never be worthy of the title "vanguard," but you can bet your ass that the enemy will never have a column in this paper. Can we expect SPIN to feature future articles by Tipper Gore, Jesse Helms, Don Wildmon or Dr. James Dobson. This ain't no fuckin' game Bob, this is war!

As a member of the grassroots anti-censorship coalition we denounce SPIN for their actions. Guccione has committed an unforgivable discredit not only to us, but the other members of the coalition. Groups who are out here in the trenches taking the forces of censorship and intolerance head-on. Groups who do not have the resources that our "vanguard Prince of the Empire" has. Despite this we do what we can to uphold the ideals of FREE SPEECH and FREE ARTISTIC EXPRESSION. Take heed, Bob Guccione, Jr. we won't forget you or your sell-out traitorous ways!

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