A list of the reasons why bands/the music of certain acts was banned in the USSR. Of course they aren’t the only (former or current) nation to have such a draconian approach to what art is deemed offensive.
Certain Christian groups in the USA thought that AC/DC stood for Away from Christ the Devils Calls (a fine backronym).
When I went to Donnington in 1995 the local vicar wanted to perform a ritual at the ground, so sure was he that Satan himself would appear when the band White Zombie performed.
I’m remembering; though it was before my time, the legendary TV moment the Sex Pistols were interviewed by Bill Grundy (a fine soak of a Lancastrian) and the reporting fury in the next days newspapers about the offence taking at the profanity used before the watershed (9pm UK time), or even at a time of family viewing.
The Sex Pistols launched themselves into mainstream consciousness but I always wonder, please feel free to comment below, just how much impact the wearing of the Nazi version of the Swastika was in offending people because in this day and age, swearing at any time of day is a bit passé but far-right tropes are very hip.
I’m also remembering the Iron Maiden single Sanctuary and this front cover…
This Wikipedia article documents the controversy about this and of “Maggie’s revenge” on a the cover art of a subsequent Iron Maiden single.
Being a fan of the rock and heavy metal genres, offence is something you never can take with any band or artwork or article of clothing within the umbrella because it is a given that it will happen and that is probably why you like the band (other than the music).
The original cover of Guns N’ Roses “Appetite for Destruction” LP.
The Vestal Masturbation t-shirt by Cradle of Filth.
Every song ever recorded by Cannibal Corpse.
But that was before 2016 and life has been very different since then.
The modern life of an outrage story is brief but its echoes can stretch for a while and then even come back in on themselves.
I’ve never got Morrissey, or The Smith for that matter. I appreciate them in the way I appreciate say David Bowie or Elton John, they are highly talented, clearly successful and even I like a handful of their songs but none of their works are in my record collection.
The same goes for Killdren, who I doubt anyone has heard of and in a short while I doubt anyone will, not because they are bad, or good, music is of course subjective but that they will be able to ride their little wave of notoriety for a few weeks before inevitably fading.
Morrissey; as far as this author is concerned’ is a prissy twat who I have, at least from a stance of liking people who can troll a varied amount of self-identifying groups, gained a marked amount of respect for as I’ve got older.
He continually rankles meat eaters (of which I am one) in a way that the standard whiny veggie or vegan can only dream of but his latest annoyance, as of only the start of last week (say 27th May 2019) was to perform on a US talk show wearing a pin badge for the “far-right” For Britain Party, for which his support seems to be based on his avid animal rights stances.
Queue the outrage train, literally, as Morrissey’s posters for his latest album (hmm, being provocative tied in with the launch of new material, what strange and new behaviour is this?) were taken down from MerseyRail train stations within Liverpool following, one complaint. Whether the complainant was a full on born and bred member of the self-pity city or just had the misfortune to live/work there we will never know.
Fast forward to today (3rd June 2019) and the latest bit of politically-motivated musical outrage comes courtesy of a “punk” band called Killdren who were set to be performing at the annual designer wellie-booted twat parade that is the Glastonbury music festival.
I once went to Glastonbury; the only vague memory I have of it, the best aspect that is, is that once you were in the grounds you were in. You could walk from your tent with whatever alcohol you’d brought in with you and you wouldn’t have to leave it outside another designated area if you wanted to go in to see the performances. Yet they still had bars and people were still buying from them, a revelation.
A acquaintance’s band was also playing there that year, in some pointless small tent at about 2 in the morning. This is the slot that Killdren were allotted where they could perform their classic work “Kill Tory Scum” and possibly depict the murder and mutilation of conservative members and voters as a way of highlighting how years of austerity have killed thousands of innocent people.
It is all fair comment. Regardless of you political stance it is a simple, trite and none nuanced way of getting your opinions across and if you can get extra publicity from the offended and its associated one-day tidal wave of shit then everyone is happy.
And you can sell a lot more t-shirts. Yeah, punk ethos, down with corporate whores.
That in the space of a week the political left and the political right have both been offended by appropriations of opposing politics in artistic form helps me feel comfortable that I am, personally at least, wonderfully surfing in the middle on an free expression tidal bore.
And so, until the next shit tides starts as a ripple I’ll leave you with some Cannibal Corpse.
Hmm, not sure why all the water references came in, probably to do with all the salty tears of offence that have been shed and will never stop flowing.
Thanks for reading.