1985 September 19

Frank Zappa Zaps Music Censorship Idea


Avant garde rock musician Fran Zappa appeared at U.S. Senate hearings on this day, testifying against proposals to label albums because of allegedly indecent lyrics. The hearings were prompted by the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), organized by Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore, which advocated labeling rock music albums that contained sexual references and restricting the sale of such records to minors. Senator Ernest Hollins of South Carolina commented that one of the “few redeeming qualities” of rock music was that most of the lyrics were “unintelligible” to him.

A quick listen to popular hip hop music and a look at music videos today clearly indicates that the effort to curb sexually oriented lyrics and images by the PMRC and other moralists completely failed.

Read: Eric Nuzum, Parental Advisory: Music Censorship in America (2001)

Watch Frank Zappa testify at the hearings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxB-ZePpS7E

Learn more at the National Coalition Against Censorship here.

Watch rocker Dee Snider (of Twisted Sister) testify at the hearings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0Vyr1TylTE

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