U.S. ROCKER - CENSORED

By: John Woods


When publisher Brenda Mullen took the paper's April issue to its printer, The Massillon Independent, in Massillion, Ohio on March 31, she expected to have the papers as usual the following Friday for distribution around northeastern Ohio. What she didn't expect was a call from Bill Matthews of the Independent the following day, informing her that he had examined a DGC Records advertising insert for the band White Zombie that was to be stuffed into each issue of the 8000 papers and decided that "he didn't want to ask the good Christians in his shop to handle such inflammatory material."

The insert consisted of a postcard/sticker featuring a brightly colored zombie-face on the front. Matthews happened to catch sight of the album's title on the back which is "La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1." This led him to read the tiny print at the bottom of the card, which instructed "Get stuck on Satan: Peel off the front of this card for a White Zombie sticker." He was not a happy camper.

Although Mullen at first hoped that his refusal to insert the stickers was an April Fools joke, it turned out to be serious. U.S. ROCKER staffers were forced to spend a long day on Friday April 2, handstuffing the stickers so the paper could hit the streets on time.

Unfortunately, this incident led to closer scrutiny of the paper by the printer. (When Mullen asked him why he hadn't objected to an interview with Deicide's Glenn Benton, he said he never read the paper.) He also complained about a club ad for the annual Easter show of Cleveland-area punk band Sleazy Jesus and the Splatter Pigs. However, he didn't refuse (this time) to print the paper itself, only to insert the "offensive, Satanic" stickers.

U.S. ROCKER, now in its fourth year of publication, is a monthly newspaper that covers hard, loud music in all its forms. It is distributed to record stores, music stores, clubs, colleges and retail outlets throughout northeast Ohio. The Satanic April issue features Henry Rollins and Screwtractor on the cover, along with with interviews with Jim Thirwell, Fear Factory, Pro-Pain, Sacred Reich, Green (jelly) Jello and Circus of Power.

For more information write: Brenda Mullen, Editor , U. S. ROCKER, 6370 York Rd. #281, Cleveland OH 44691, or phone/fax 216-481-3809.

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