What do Madonna, AC/DC, Prince, Tipper Gore and the RIAA have in common? Not a trick question: the Parents Music Resource Center.
In 1985, Gore, Susan Baker, Pam Howar, Nancy Thurmond and Sally Nevius – colloquially known as the "Washington Wives" – banded together as the Parents Music Resource Center.
Citing "explicit content in sound recordings" and working with the National Parent Teachers Association and the Recording Industry Association of America, the group successfully advocated so that "certain music releases containing explicit lyrics, including explicit depictions of violence and sex, would be identified so parents could make intelligent listening choices for their children."
However, before the Parental Advisory Label Program was officially enacted, the resulting cause célèbre reached fever pitch during a sensational forum before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in September 1985 that pitted politicians and PMRC representatives against musicians including John Denver, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and Hall of Fame Inductee Frank Zappa.
Gore asked the record labels place "a warning label on music products inappropriate for younger children due to explicit sexual or violent lyrics." Zappa argued that "the PMRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real ...
When Alternative Press was founded in 1985, mainstream music publications just didn't cover music on the fringes – punk, new wave, hardcore. That music had yet to be labeled "alternative," and its fans had few sources for information. Alternative Press set out to change that.
Truly a magazine written by and for diehard music fans, Alternative Press celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015. The Rock Hall caught up with Alternative Press founder Mike Shea to talk about why he was angry about the Smiths, the earliest days of AP, punk rock clubs, an offer from Madonna and finally saying "screw it."
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Why did you start Alternative Press?
Mike Shea: I started AP because two things: I was bored, and also, I was angry. I was really mad because the Smiths, in 1985, were not coming to Cleveland. They were touring the U.S., and they didn’t have a Cleveland gig, and I was upset about that and I wanted to know why. So, the short of it is… I ...
Long Island, New York rap crew and Hall of Fame Inductees Public Enemy saw Armageddon everywhere and all of life as a struggle. Adding dissonance, noise and speed to the muscular hip hop of their idols Run-D.M.C., they came on as "Prophets of Rage" with ties to the Nation of Islam and an eye toward revolution.
That's some high-wire act to sustain, but while they walked it, Public Enemy's music was both viscerally and rhetorically scorching. And then they joined forces with a thrash metal group in 1991, recasting their 1987 single "Bring the Noise" as a rap-metal explosion that challenged perceptions and preempted a mainstream surge in rap-rock sounds by more than a decade.
The F**king Jugular of Doubt
"Bring the Noise" first emerged as a rap single from Public Enemy before its inclusion on 1988's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Fittingly, the track's lyrics made arguments for rap's historical connections to rock and roll (Soul control, beat is the father of your rock 'n' roll). The track caught the ear of Anthrax and in 1991 the group recorded a new version with Public Enemy. A ...
Last night, 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Metallica kicked off a week-long residency on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson with "Hit the Lights" – a fitting opening volley as it was also the opening track of the group's furious 1983 debut album Kill 'Em All.
For more than three decades, Metallica has been the standard by which metal's vitality and virtuosity are measured. Led by vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, bassist Cliff Burton and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, the group's debut established the thrash metal sound in America.
Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and …And Justice For All
The Metallica albums that immediately followed Kill 'Em All – Ride the Lightning (1984) and Master of Puppets (1986) – showed increasing levels of ambition, intensity and technicality. On the strength of those recordings, the band enjoyed a surge in popularity, but tragedy struck during a headlining tour of Europe. Traveling on an icy road in Sweden, Metallica's tour bus lost control, crashing and instantly killing bassist Burton in September 1986. Fans of Cliff Burton will recognize the 1978 Rickenbacker 4001 bass guitar that is part of the Rock Hall's heavy ...
What was it like being in the studio with Metallica as they recorded some of their earliest albums: Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and … And Justice For All? Producer Flemming Rasmussen knows. Tapped by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Cliff Burton in 1984, Rasmussen was hired to produce Metallica's second studio album, Ride the Lightning. The thrash classic followed the band's 1983 debut, Kill 'Em All, and brought the band to Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark, where they connected with Rasmussen.
On the 30th anniversary of Ride the Lightning, Flemming Rasmussen visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, during a trip to the region to deliver a keynote speech and master classes at Capital University's Music Technology Workshop. While in Cleveland, Flemming donated studio photos to the Rock Hall's Library and Archives, and sat down to talk about recording three seminal heavy metal recordings with 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Metallica, including the recording of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "Master of Puppets," and what he believes is the best Metallica recording.
Rock Hall: How did you first start working with Metallica ...
Recently, Hall of Fame Inductee and notorious shock rocker Alice Cooper visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where he toured the Museum's feature exhibit, Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction. In this interview, Cooper shares what it was like discovering he'd been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, what that honor means, and his first memories of seeing and hearing the Rolling Stones, and how they were "cool" in a way the Beatles were not.
The recipe for the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Chef Jam is as follows: Take cuisine from more than 20 of the Midwest's best chefs and restaurants, add live performance from award-winning act Asleep at the Wheel and blend all into lively party atmosphere inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Now in its fourth year at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the once-a-year Chef Jam event takes place this Sunday, June 9, 2013, and promises to be the loudest dining experience of the year. Fittingly, the Rock Hall caught up with celebrity chef and Cleveland native Michael Symon, whose B Spot Burgers restaurants will be among the eateries dishing up an eclectic sampling of food at Chef Jam. With summer around the corner, and food and rock on his mind, Symon shared his ultimate summer playlist – a list as diverse as this year's Chef Jam menu and the Hall of Fame itself, with cuts from Beastie Boys, Heart, Metallica, Public Enemy, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Van Morrison and more. "There is nothing like the grill and the tunes cranked up on a nice summer's evening," says ...
"Clichéd as it might be, we've always been a good, hard rock and roll band," Angus Young has said of his group, 2003 Hall of Fame inductees AC/DC. More than simply "good," AC/DC has reigned as one of the best-loved and hardest-rocking bands in the world for decades.
In this Gallery Talk clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer shares the story behind the iconic schoolboy outfit worn by AC/DC guitarist Angus Young. This outfit – along with other items from AC/DC's lengthy career – is on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, in the heavy metal section of the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit.