UNTANGLING THE CENSORS WEB

By: Frances Cain


I have been subscribing to THE ROC for two years. I was reading the latest issue (#10) and noticed in "Kirb's Korner" the review CAUGHT IN THE SATANIC WEB (The Devil In Music). I personally had an in-person experience with Davey Roever, the man in this video and had to write to tell you about it.

Back in August of 1988, I was staying at a relative's house near Ft. Worth for a couple of weeks so I could attend a cousin's wedding. During my visit, I came to learn that my cousins and aunt and uncle were strict Baptists, attending church regularly. Well, I realized I was in for it when a friend of my cousin's told me Ozzy Osbourne was Satanic, and when he was born-again, he burned all of his Ozzy tapes so "Satan could not influence another person." Of course, he claimed that music such as this condoned and caused suicide. As a result I got into some heated discussions with this guy, stating it wasn't the music that caused the person's problems and that any person who would kill themself just because of a song would have to have some serious problems in the first place. Well, a week passed, and one day I heard my cousin and this friend of her's talking about going to a protest. Curious, I asked what this protest was about. They said that Iron Maiden was doing a concert that weekend and that they were going, along with a whole convention of Southern Baptists, to protest the concert. I thought that was totally ridiculous. I politely informed them that I listened to Iron Maiden and had no problems with any of their "messages" and that I would not be a part of such a protest. Then, my aunt informed me that no one would be home that evening, and as a result, I WAS GOING TO GO to the protest. I was frustrated, but I basically had no choice; besides, I did want to see what went on at one of these protests first hand.

The day of the protest arrived, and we headed out to the Ft. Worth Convention Center, where the concert and protest was being held. We got to the convention center, and there were plenty of Iron Maiden fans milling around; my cousin looked at me and commented, "I bet you wish you could find somebody you know in the crowd so you could go to the concert." I replied, "I'm sure I could, and hey, there's a scalper! Give me some money, and I'll get a ticket and go to the show." We got out of the car and headed to the auditorium of the convention center, me wishing the whole time I could hide my face; everyone was looking at us.

Shortly after finding a seat in the auditorium, the "protest" began. First, there was a couple of Christian singers who performed. Then, one of the singers introduced the main speaker, Davey Roever. He came out and said, "Let's give a hand to our performers! They have more talent in their little fingers than Iron Maiden ever will." I was already getting sick. He then explained his trauma he suffered in Vietnam, telling about the plastic surgery required on his burnt face. Then, he went into his speech about Iron Maiden and rock music in general. He talked about how Iron Maiden has a "Satanic beast" as part of their stage show, even telling the audience, "They even have a name for it--Eddie. It's even on their album covers." At this point, Iron Maiden albums were brought out so the audience could see Eddie on the covers. Next, he spoke of Iron Maiden songs, especially "Number of the Beat," saying how it was Satanic, promoted Satanism, and a bad influence on children, and all the rest of the usual things you hear said. Then, he mentioned that the band was playing in the center and asked the audience to join him in praying for the souls of those attending the concert. I prayed for the people at the convention, asking that their minds be opened. During his speech, I couldn't help but think, "Iron Maiden is playing in this same building. At this point, they have not gone on stage yet, why not have the band come to the protest and let them have the chance to at least defend themselves and present their side of the situation? All you're giving is your view and your opinion of the music. But you didn't write it, Iron Maiden did; only they can say what the songs are really about. What the rest of us say about the songs is mere speculation."

For the rest of the "protest" he talked about his crusade to save the youth from the grips of Satan. He told stories about the schools he had visited and how he had saved the souls of many young people. He wanted us to pray again, and at this point I left. The next day, my cousin's friend came over and told me about the rest of the protest and how they'd gone "witnessing" after the show. He witnessed to this guy and ended up taking him home to Oklahoma. He said that during the conversation, the guy told him, "I'm a Christian, but I also like Iron Maiden." I thought that was amusing. So that was my run-in with Davey Roever. It was quite an experience, and one that led me to get involved with the fight against censorship. However, the story doesn't end there.

A few days later, my cousin and I were at her friend's house. Her friend's brother put on a CD, and we were all sitting around, talking and listening to the music. I knew who the group was but didn't say anything. Finally, after a few songs, my cousin asked who the group was. Her friend's brother replied, "Iron Maiden."

I think this incident was more relevant than the protest. My cousin didn't like how the music sounded, so we went outside, but I thought it was strange how she was listening to the same group that, a few days before, she had protested. I don't even think when the name was mentioned that she realized it was the same group, which showed how much she (and possibly others?) paid attention to who they were protesting in the first place. She listened to Iron Maiden and wasn't being "affected" by it; she seemed to have no problem with the "Satanic message" (we were listening to "The Number of the Beast").

Anyway, that's my little story. I was surprised to see the review in the paper, because only a few days before I received THE ROC, I was thinking about that protest. I guess Mr. Roever is still at it. I stand by you in the fight against censorship and closed minds; I hope we can get more people to help join us in the fight. Also, I would like you to know that I would like to take on a more hands-on experience in helping out R.O.C. in any way I can. I know a lot of local bands, as well as bands in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and I am presently talking to them about doing a benefit show for R.O.C. Since most of these bands are playing "death" and "grind", which is a form of music that is especially prone to attacks, I think they will join me in my efforts. Also, I will be getting signatures for the petition against labels and also hope to get others interested in R.O.C. Together, as a whole, we can help fight against those who want to take away our rights as artists and/or supporters of music and free speech!!!

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