Music Censorship


During the Doors concert in Miami, in 1969, lead singer Jim Morrison,
"did lewdly and lasciviously expose his penis and shake it. . ." (Rosen et al.
90). Today, Billy Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day, bares all at his
concert in Philadelphia (Bernstein 95). The eccentric Courtney Love will rip
off her bra for the audience to marvel and glorify at her action (Bernstein 95).
She acts in such a fashion because she is insane and wants to prove it to the
world, where as Billy Joe just performs naked for the shock value and the love
of hearing tabloids and gossip. Both performers of past and present conducted
strange acts on stage for the shock value and attention, but with performers of
old, it reflected their life and what they were really like. Today\'s performers,
however, do not act like that in real life, for the most part. Today,
performers take on challenges, like the dare of a child. . . "Betcha won\'t do
it!" These rock performers cannot turn down a dare or back away from even the
slightest bit of public notoriety. By listening to one of their
"questionable" albums, it is easily noticeable how they thrive off of it. All
of these performers do have one thing in common, at one time or another,
censorship made them victims because of their social unacceptable actions or
the content of their music and lyrics. While censorship is slightly more
realistic and open-minded (no more censoring performers from the waist down,
like Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan show), it still affects listeners and
their choice of music quite significantly. Although the government, music
associations, and other various groups try censorship, the music a person
chooses is still, and always should be, his choice.

Some children are too young for the exposure to certain types of music. Albums
containing sexually explicit lyrics depicting sexualacts in great detail are
not good for young children to hear. Also, sexual content within the albums, as
in their artwork, is unacceptable. For example, the Frankenchrist album by the
Dead Kennedys, which portrays an extremely sexual painting by H.G. Giger,
entitled Landscape #20: Where Are We Coming From (Wishna 444). Not to mention
all the shows and concerts in which some kind of pornography is used or
displayed that is inappropriate for younger kids, such as Billy Joe Armstrong,
of Green Day, baring all for a concert of his in Philadelphia (Bernstein 95).
Also, in Cleveland, a frustrated Courtney Love tore off her bra and screamed,
"Now you know how I get all the guys," (Bernstein 95). Most parents would not
allow their children to attend a concert with actions such as Courtney Love\'s.
These actions and paintings, however, are choices of the musicians, part of
their expression.

Who are we to say what is wrong and what is right? Parents are not always aware
of the references to sex in their children\'s music choices. Most parents would
not allow their children to listen to the music if they knew it consisted of
lyrical references to masturbation, orgasms, sodomy, and anal vapors (Zucchino
9). An example is the hit song, "Sugar Walls," by Sheena Easton which makes
references to orgasms: "The blood races to your private spots. . . come spend
the night inside my sugar walls," (Zucchino 9). "Feel the hot cum dripping on
your thigh," from "Tie You Up" by the Rolling Stones, is also a reference to
orgasms (Zucchino 9). Not to mention an excerpt from the 1983 song "Fits Like
A Glove" by Kiss, "when I go through her, it\'s just like a hot knife through
butter," (Zucchino 9). When the majority of people (children) listen to these
types of music, they do not sit and analyze the lyrics and say, "Gee, this
sure is quite sexual music." No, people listen to the music because they enjoy
the style, and most realize the sexual content of this music is not to be taken
so seriously. Lastly, an piece from Mentors\' "Golden Showers" on their You
Axed For It LP:

Listen little slut /Do as you are told. . . /Come with Daddy for me
to put the gold. . . /All through my excrements you shall roam. . . /Bend up and
smell my anal vapor. . . /Your face is my toilet paper. . . /On your face I
leave a shit tower. . . (Zucchino 9). Most songs and lyrics are not quite this
extreme.

In addition, there are the songs which contain references to sex crimes mainly
against women. The PMRC