The Parents Music Resource Center and Music Today
In society music Is an extremely Important form of art. It Is one of the most sincere forms of expression. Music can influence people from many different backgrounds and cultures.
Musicians have the same freedom of speech rights as any other United States citizen. In the mid sass’s rock musicians’ rights were challenged with issues including censorship and first amendment guarantees. “The MARC (or Parents Music Resource Center) was a committee formed in 1985 by the wives of several congressmen. They Included Tipper Gore, Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker, and Nancy Drummond, wife of Senator StormDrummond. Their mission was to educate parents about “alarming trends” in popular music” (Encyclopedia, 11/22/04. ) Out of all the many styles of music in this particular case only rock music is mentioned. Society is always impacted by music.
At the time, rock music was the most popular. This caused the affects to be much stronger. That is also why the MARC directed the most attention toward rock, rather than country, hip-hop, blues, or dance music. The MARC easily became a national movement. All of the women involved had connections to the government, which gave them an added power and access to aka the group national. On or about May 31, 1985, the MARC sent a letter to Stanley Gorton, then president of the Recording Industry Association of America (ARIA), accusing the record Industry of exposing the youth of America, to “sex, violence, and the glorification of drugs and alcohol” ..
. The letter went on to demand a rating system for rock records similar to the MAMA rating system for films” (Kappa, 1989. ) Frank Kappa was one of the first musicians to speak against the MARC. He began by writing a letter to the music industry. His letter expressed his thoughts and feelings toward the whole situation.Within this open letter Kappa states, “A record company has the right to conduct Its business and make a profit, but not at the expense of the people who make the product businesspeople still has to write and perform the music” (Kappa,1989. ) Unfortunately, the letter did not make much of an impact.
Kappa, then decided to take the issue a step further and wrote a letter to the president. The letter he wrote influenced a speech President Reagan gave on the situation. Which, later lead to public court hearings discussing the issues the MARC raised. The Senate Hearing on record labeling, held on September 19, 1985, was arguably he best attended and media-covered hearing ever held before any Senate Committee” (Defile,1993. ) The ARIA and individual record companies wanted the situations to be dealt with as quickly as possible. They did not want to cause a lot of trouble. There were many musicians involved within the trial process.
Some of the most famous witnesses were Frank Kappa, Dee Snider, John Denver, and Jell Bavaria. During the hearing, there was a focus on fifteen different songs.The songs on the list Lapper, Madonna, Deaf Leopard, and Twisted Sister (Encyclopedia, 11/22/04. ) Frank Kappa, was an interesting witness. His lyrics were never questioned. “None of the artists who made it onto the list which became know as The Marc’s Filthy Fifteen had anything in their lyrics even close to the stuff in my catalog, and yet, for some reason, was never accused of being a Violator'” (Kappa,1989. ) The First Amendment of the Constitution gives citizens the freedoms of religion, press, assembly, petition, and most important to the MARC hearings, speech.
Obscenity is not protected by the amendment and that is where a lot of controversy Nas caused. The line between what is obscene and what isn’t obscene is hard to determine. Many proposals were made throughout the hearing, after all the debates, Ententes, and testimonials the case was finally settled. Even before the trial was complete the MARC and ARIA had made a compromise. “Following the Hearing, on November 1 of 1985, the MARC, and its ally the National Parents and Teachers Association, reached an agreement with the ARIA on the voluntary record label.The agreement stipulated that the printing of lyrics remained optional and, because of space limitations, cassettes were exempted, bearing only the imprint “see LAP for lyrics”. Since then, different record companies designed their own label containing the words “Parental Guidance – Explicit Lyrics” or some variation thereof” (Defile, 1993.
) “Many record stores refused to sell albums containing the label (most notably Wall-Mart) and others limited the sale of those albums to minors. The label became known as the “Tipper sticker”.Some politicians attempted to criminality the sale of explicit records to minors, and others went so far as to try to ban such records” (Encyclopedia,11/22/04. ) “The activities of the MARC and the record industry’s response on the issue since then are not very clear. Some, usually smaller, companies have continued to refuse putting labels on records, and generally the response on the part of the musicians was not favorable, feeling that the ARIA had sold teethe sales of records, however, do not seem to have been affected” (Defile, 1993. ) Today it is common to see advisory stickers on CDC.However, they are not required, but suggested.
There are no major consequences currently for not having labels on music. “Now the MARC has moved into the world of video, complaining about television, home video and MET (Kappa,1989. ) Currently there are not many mainstream organizations that have intentions like the MARC. Most of the groups that permute censorship are a much smaller scale. It is not likely for them to gain any national status. These groups are unlikely to gain following because many musicians today make different versions of their record.These records come in a “clean” ‘erosion with less obscenities and the regular version, including all obscenities.
This is logical on behalf of the musicians. It is a large step forward in preventing anything like the MARC happening again. Also, the different versions of records please the people who would be against obscenity. “The music industry’s self-regulation of lyrics through parental warning labels is drawing a not-so-fine line between black and white, an expert on music censorship says” (Adelaide,11123/04. According to this source, in some situations today’s music is being used to label more than content. “Most of today’s CDC that carry the Parental Advisory label are from African- American rap and hip-hop artists” (Adelaide, 11/23/04. ) Not only does the as the causes of destructive behaviors.
There are many indications of the destructive behaviors caused by music. During the 1999 Columbine High School attacks, the music the students listened to was looked into, as a possible reason why their actions Nerve so violent. Also, in 1999 the pop-punk band Blink 182 released a song called ‘Dam’s Song. “On May 4, Columbine High School student Greg Barnes took his own life at his house “Dam’s Song” was set to repeat on the CD player when the student Nas found hanged. The band sympathizes with the loss, but singer/bassist Mark Hoop’s told LAUNCH (the interview source) that people need to sit down and listen to the lyrics to get the inherently positive message in the song. Any intelligent person that listens to that song will know that it’s an anti-suicide song, and so if you listen to the lyrics it’s pretty self-explanatory that it’s about going through a hard time and finding the strength to go on,” he said. It was a very unfortunate thing that happened and our heart goes out to the kid’s family, but the song itself.
. . I think the message is pretty clear actually”(Rosen, 11/23/04. ) Music is constantly interpreted and misinterpreted. It is up to an individual, or parent in a child’s case to pick out “hat kind of music they want to listen to. Another responsibility of the consumer is to recognize the difference between artist intent and how one perceives the meaning of song. People tend to be afraid to take responsibility for their own actions, so they go ahead and blame others.
Musicians and other celebrities are an easy target. In regards to suicides being blamed on music, that is an unfair statement to make. The artists should not be faulted for another person’s decision. Suicide is a bigger issue Nothing itself. Although it may make sense to blame an outside source, suicide should be looked at in a much larger spectrum. History of all kinds is important. It tells the stories of how countries and societies came to be.
Music is probably one of the largest reflections of society.Music can express how an individual or groups of people feel about a certain topic. Through the tempo and melody of a song emotions can be described. Lyrics are written about love, hate, politics, friendship, life, death, money, sex, and society. There is not a subject in the world that music has not addressed. Although the sole purpose of music is to entertain, there is no doubt that t does a lot more than that. Music captivates people, it makes people aware of issues present in the world, music inspires people to say what they think, and music teaches many lessons.
The MARC case is a big deal in music history. It was a change of an era. In the sass’s and the sass’s most people were not concerned with the possibility of negative effects in their music. In the sass’s that concept changed. The MARC became a large scandal between the musicians expressing their opinions and the conservative adults who wanted to protect children from the negative actions that music could lead them to take part in. The MARC court hearings showed people expressing their thoughts in a powerful way.Without this taking place who knows Inhere music would be today.
Frank Kappa, Tipper Gore and all the other people involved within the MARC case made a difference in the music world. The compromise the MARC and the ARIA made was quite simple, but well though out. Complete censorship is unfair and illegal, but warning the consumer about the material is fair and understandable. Although it does not matter who won the case, all that matters is that they were involved. These are the people that shaped how the always under consideration.