The following is the full correct sentence of an erroneously abbreviated one in the February issue. The typesetter regrets the omission and bears full responsibility. The sentence was on page 11, 9th paragraph 8th line: “Parents should know that the examples in this book aren’t the worst ones. Some top hits are so lewd that the lyrics can’t be printed for fear of having this book classified as pornography.”
In previous articles on rock music we considered the term, the origin, the beat “Christian”: rock and lyrics. In this article, we want to consider the performers. Including in this performances, rock concerts and festivals, and the lives and deaths of the performers. It is with a sigh of relief that we come to this final aspect of rock music, the subject is distasteful and a difficult one for the Christian to write about, especially in a publication for Christian youth, such as the Beacon Lights. Once again, there is much that we cannot convey to you because of the gross evil involved.
“Those dirty white boys keep the pulse rate pounding”. 1)
Everything about rock performance shouts blatant sexual exhibitionism:
Lewd movements and postures are a trademark of rock music. Elvis Presley set the trend with his pelvic gyrations which he copied from a black rhythm and blues singer, Bo Diddely. Today, we can even read about Angus Young of AC/DC doing a striptease while the audience screams with delight.
Skin-tight clothing and what this reveals, something which we cannot elaborate on; uncleanness of which Paul says “let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.’’ “Not since James Dean have I seen a pair of jeans so intentionally revealing’’, wrote one reviewer in the Detroit News concerning a rock singer. Some clothing reflects perversities: homosexuality, bisexuality, men made up and dressed as women; sado-masochism, chains and leather.
Suggestive groans and murmurs are a part of many a rock song.
The handling of instruments and microphones is often obscenely suggestive.
Some simulated actions on stage and (openly admitted) performers’ reactions to the music are so obscene that decency forbids us to describe them.
In addition, there is the gross violence and ugliness of biting off the heads of animals, chopping up lifelike dolls, vomiting blood and the senseless destruction of thousands of dollars worth of instruments and equipment.
- Rock concerts and festivals.
Violence, as shown by some recent headlines:
“7 Stabbed at End of Rock Show”
‘‘Gunfire Hurts 4 in Crowd at Rock Concert”
‘‘2 Shot, 2 Stabbed in Panic, Fights at Rock Concert”
‘‘Rock Star’s Fans Irate at No Show in Toronto” – Fans pelted police with bottles, smashed stage equipment, leaving 14 injured. Most of them were drunk.
‘‘Young Woman Raped by Gang of Youths at Concert in Chicago”. – An 18 year old woman was stripped, robbed, beaten and sexually abused by a gang of youths in a theater aisle during a rock concert while the band played on and hundreds of people in the audience ignored her pleas for help. Even the security guard refused to help. He had headphones on and just kept snapping his fingers to the music. “They were just like animals. Everybody was smoking marijuana.” Grand Rapids Press, December 3, 1981.
A group of Hell’s Angels hired by the Rolling Stones to “protect them from the audience” beat to death a listener while the Stones were playing “Sympathy for the Devil”. During Alice Cooper concerts. Once a man charged the stage and tried to kill Alice … on another occasion an M80 explosion onstage, darts were hurled by the audience.
The Altamont Rock Festival, December, 1969, left 4 dead, many others shaken up by brawling and bad trips. It was according to one commentator, a nightmare of drug causalities, stench from toilets, fires, food and vomit, and brutal violence.
As one of the spokesmen on “The Roots of Rock” aired last summer on TV Channel 8 said, “increasing in rock (are) violence, despair, anarchy and destruction.” Use of drugs and alcohol by both performers and audience.
“The average rock concert is a law-free zone of drug abuse. The atmosphere is so saturated with euphoric odors that one deep breath is sometimes enough to get high. Getting stoned on dope is the norm at most rock fests and concerts. To arrest any number of drug offenders would start a riot with serious injuries. Anyway, what do you do with 5000 kids after you’ve arrested them?” The atmosphere is a grass fire out of control. With clenched fists high and shaking to the beat, the members of the audience responded wildly.” 2) Grand Rapids Press, Bill Marsh, Review of Ted Nugent concert.
The use of drugs and alcohol to promote an uninhibited performance is common, and openly admitted by rock performers. In a recent article in the Grand Rapids Press about the rock group The Grateful Dead, the members of the band said they were “enamored with LSD” which they freely admitted they to “like a communal sacrament at each concert.
- Performers’ Lives and Deaths.
Sexual immorality and perversion.
‘‘Creem, a hard-rock fan magazine, published a devasting article that captures the rotten essence of the sex-rock scene in its October, 1975 issue. Lisa Robinson wrote: ‘‘There’s (here she mentions every possible venereal disease, TG) … I mean, you’d be simply amazed at the number of times one has to get helped to the VD clinic; it’s almost a regular stop for some groups on the way to or from a gig. The intrigue, the wallowing thru the muck and mire of SLEEZE is all part of it. It’s all part of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, isn’t it?” 3)
‘‘The sexual conduct of rock performers is not only un-christian fornication and adultery; it almost invariably includes perversion and cynical sexual exploitation.” 4)
Inevitable parts of the rock scene are “groupies”, women who indiscriminately dispense sexual favors to rock musicians and associates; rock prostitutes. After performance “the band hurries back to the hotel with a newly acquired set of groupies smoking, drinking from a flask of liquor. Many of the groupies encourage sadomasochism which is band members claim to dislike groupies and pass them around like cigarettes.” 5)
Recently in the Ann Landers column, there appeared a horrifying story of what happened to a young girl who joined a punk rock as a groupie, the details of which we shall not here recount. She came back home, a physical and emotional wreck.
Many rock performers openly admit to being homosexual or bisexual; a number of them have been in the headlines for morals charges; most of them employ filthy language both on stage and off.
Drug and alcohol abuse.
“Drug abuse runs rampant within the rock set.” Marianne Faithful (of Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones)
“Steve, 17, (a member of the rock group Rhinoceros) has had more experience with sex, drugs and alcohol than many men have in a lifetime ,marijuana, speed, LSD, barbiturates, mescaline, opium and hashish “6)
By his own admission, the well-known rockabilly star, Jerry Lee Lewis, for years consumed incredible amounts of both drugs and alcohol. (This past June he almost died, having to undergo emergency surgery for a stomach perforation and developing complications because of “a multitude of abscesses in the abdominal cavity” plus a lung ailment).
Traces of 14 drugs were found in the body of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, during an autopsy, including ten times the recommended dosage of codeine. His doctor prescribed about 19,000 uppers, downers and assorted other drugs for Presley during the last 31 months of the entertainer’s life; supposedly to wean him away from drugs! One doctor testified that never in his career had he found so many drugs in a body as he discovered in the remains of Elvis.
John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono used heroin and other drugs “in celebration’’, says Yoko.
Rock stars “worship a variety of “gods’’ – Hindu, mammon, drugs, self, Satan, to name some. As for the true God, they utter blasphemies and curses, some of which are too terrible to print. “I Am an Anti-Christ’’, sang one punk rock star. Derek Taylor, when press-officer of the Beatles, said of them, “They’re completely anti-Christ. I mean, I’m anti-Christ as well, but they’re so anti-Christ they shock me, which isn’t an easy thing.’’ Saturday Evening Post, August 8, 1964.
Ozzy Osbourne, once the lead singer of Black Sabbath, is said to have wildly dashed through hotel rooms, ripping up all the copies of the Gideon Bible.
Rock lyrics abound with spine-chilling blasphemy, distortion of the gospel, the occult, Satan-worship, mysticism, worship of oriental “gods’’ and philosophy as we showed to some extent in previous articles.
Death and near-death.
In our research alone, we came across well over 20 cases of early deaths of rock stars; in most of these death was due to multiple overdoses of pot, cocaine, barbiturates and alcohol. A number of rock performers have drowned while high on drugs, some have died in fast cars, some after all-night drinking binges, and some have suffocated in their own vomit. One punk rock star overdosed on heroin 4 months after murdering his girlfriend. In addition, there have been many cases of near-death resulting from the accumulated effects of enormous amounts of drugs and/or alcohol.
And what shall we say of all this?
Indeed, in rock performers and performances, the works of the flesh are manifest . . . adultery, fornication, uncleanness, idolatry, witchcraft, murders, drunkenness, reveling and such like (Gal 5:19-21)
“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: WHO BEING PAST FEELING HAVE GIVEN THEMSELVES OVER UNTO LASCIVIOUSNESS TO WORK ALL UNCLEANNESS WITH GREEDINESS.’’ (Eph. 4:18, 19)
Next time, the Lord willing, Conclusion.
1) Detroit News, “Pop”, Michael McWilliams
2) Bob Larson, “Rock”
3) Rev. Ray Allen, “They’re Out to Steal Your Children’’
4) Rev. Ray Allen, Op. Cit.
5) Sara Davidson, “Real Property’’
6) Sara Davidson, Op. Cit.