Metal Masters' Righteous Revival
Band Photo: Metallica (?)
Toronto Star wrote an article about how "evil isn't what it used to be."
Parents groups, conservative politicians and religious wingnuts worried daily that exposure to metal was promoting everything from promiscuity, substance abuse and casual violence among teens to an overall increase in Satan's power over the surface of the earth. Tipper Gore, of the then-notorious Parents Music Resource Centre (PMRC), claimed the music told young people "It's okay to beat people up" and successfully lobbied for warning labels to be affixed to potentially offensive recordings. Geraldo Rivera presided over a straight-faced, primetime "news" special exploring the links between heavy metal and Satanism.
Ozzy Osbourne — already notorious in the midst of his drunken "lost years" for biting the heads off a dove and a bat (the latter, in Ozzy's defence, was accidental) — found himself dragged into California court over the first of two ludicrous legal claims that his song, "Suicide Solution," had convinced an unfortunate teenager to kill himself. British metallers Judas Priest would face a lawsuit of their own in Reno, Nevada a couple of years later when the families of two more suicidal teens claimed subliminal messages on the band's 1978 album, "Stained Class," had coaxed the boys to "do it." Slayer would be next in court in the '90s when three teens who murdered, then raped, a 15-year-old girl in a horrific "virgin sacrifice" claimed the band's blood-spattered lyrics were responsible.
Those days, of course, are over. Metal is no longer the bogeyman it once was, having been usurped as Public Enemy No. 1 during the years hence by gangsta rap, raves, Eminem and whatever else parents just don't understand at a given moment.
The principle figures from the heyday of heavy-metal hysteria, meanwhile, have become rather quaint, oddly lovable figures in middle age. Osbourne is a bumbling TV dad. Alice Cooper can currently be seen shopping for school supplies in an ad for Staples. Metallica engages in therapy and group hugs before the cameras in the new documentary Some Kind Of Monster. Motley Crue singer Vince Neil is hanging with Emmanuel Lewis on MTV's The Surreal Life. Even young buck Marilyn Manson has massaged his ooga-booga public image with a thoughtful appearance in Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine.
Source: Toronto Star
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