The 1980’s were a turbulent time. The Cold War was still raging. Kids stomachs were exploding from mixing Pop Rocks and Coca-Cola.The world watched in horror as Adrian Zmed cold-heartedly wrested control of Dance Fever away from Danny Terrio. But even scarier than these things, musicians were swearing on albums. What?!! You heard me, Internet savvy readers. Profanity was being recorded and then mass-produced in record and tape form, and distributed to impressionable young children, usually out of the back of rape vans. How did we reach this point in America? Cowardly musicians hiding behind “Freedom of Speech” and then having the unmitigated gall to speak freely. We all know they were probably on drugs. Booting up in a dirty bathroom , all smacked out on amyl nitrate poppers and Jolt cola.
Don’t they know that this is unacceptable? That angry parents would band together, as they have always done, and start a powerful group that would change the face of the music industry as well as planet Earth, once and for all? It was bound to happen, and it did like a motherfucker.
The PMRC, or Parents Musical Resource Center was founded by future former second lady Tipper Gore. I don’t know if the vice presidents wife is called second lady, but whatever. She’s been called worse. Hey, Tip-Tip needed something to keep her busy whilst Al was off inventing the Internet and discovering global warming. So she got together with some other like-minded whores who hated the idea of free speech and they were off and running. These ladies felt that the rest of society should be responsible for parenting their children for them. They would say, “How are we supposed to make sure our children grow up without being exposed to anything that actually happens in the real world if everyone doesn’t agree to our list of demands?” They were sick and tired of their beautiful baby children being exposed to sex through music. Who can blame them? I believe that children should learn about sex the old-fashioned way, by spying on their drunk babysitter while she’s banging her boyfriend, or whoever that dude was. As it has been since biblical times, amen.
I was a longhaired sensitive souled ragamuffin who loved a good swear set to music. It’s my passion, always has been. I was enraged by these women trying to decide what was “acceptable” art. Trying to regulate morality. I’ve always believed that if a song offends you, turn it off. If a tv show offends you, change the channel. Don’t try to enforce your moral guidelines on someone else. Your child? Your problem. It all comes down to freedom of speech, which some people mistakenly think is only for speech they agree with. Fuckers.
The PMRC raised such a fuss that the United States Senate held hearings about the outlandish behavior of tax paying adults. No surprise since Tipper’s baby daddy also happened to be a senator. So a big to-do was had in Washington D.C and members of the music industry were called to task to explain themselves. What gave them the right to say dirty words in sing-song fashion? Frank Zappa, Dee Snider from Twisted Sister, and John Motherfuckin’ Denver testified in front of the world against this blatant act of censorship. The PMRC thought John Denver would be on their side in the fight against moral turpitude, but he was adamantly opposed to censoring in any form. He essentially said, “This bullshit is fucking fucked, you twats must be fuckin’ rocky mountain high outta your fuckin’ minds.” I miss that dude.
What came out of this whole debacle is that the music industry agreed to start labeling explicit material with warnings.The little black and white Parental Advisory stickers. We’ve all seen them. It always made me want to buy an album even more. In fact I would be a little disappointed if an album didn’t come with a warning label. But that’s the way it works. Tell a kid not to do something and sure as shit that’s what they want to do. Tell them “don’t smoke cigarettes”. They smoke. Tell them “don’t drink alcohol”. They drink. Tell them “don’t steal my Reliant K-Car and go on midnight marauding bone cruises down Jerusalem Road”. They go Midnight Marauding.
And their fuckin’ mothers.