How may parents listen to the rock music that most children and adolescents dance to, do homework to and fall asleep with? How many parents realize that rock lyrics have become sexually explicit and background sound effects crudely reinforce the intent of this musical pornography?


Prince, one of today’s biggest stars, has sold over nine million copies of his album, Purple Rain. One song on the album, “Darling Nikki,” contains the following:


Met a girl named Nikki. Guess you could say she was a sex fiend. I met her in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine.


“Feels so good inside,” sings Madonna on her triple-platinum album, Like a Virgin. “Relax when you want to come,” shouts the English group, Frankie Goes to Hollywood. This record, “Relax,” is the fourth best-selling record in British history, its popularity was no doubt ensured when it was banned by the BBC. Judas Priest has a recording called “Eat me alive,” which deals with a girl being forced to commit oral sex at gunpoint. In “Ten Seconds to Love,” Motley Crue croons about intercourse on an elevator. Sheena Easton’s hit song ,”Sugar Walls,” features genital arousal:


            The blood races to your private spots. Lets me know there’s a fire. Can’t         fight passion when passion is hot. Temperature rises inside my sugar walls….           I can tell you want me. You can’t hide it. Your body’s on fire. Come inside.


Many rock stars add violence to the music when they appear in concert or on video. Current rock slang calls guitars “axes” (as in axe murders). W.A.S.P’s lead singer, Blackie Lawless, has appeared onstage wearing a codpiece with a buzz-saw blade between his thighs. During the song  “The Torture Never Stops,” Lawless pretends to pummel a woman dressed in a G-string and black hood, and, as fake blood cascades from the hood, he attacks her with a blade. The group Quiet Riot, whose Metal Health album sold five million plus copies, swigs herbal tea from Jack Daniels’ bottles onstage, while girls in the audience pelt their heroes with bras and panties. Ozzy Osbourne’s fans have presented him with decapitated crows, white rats and a dead dog. At one concert, a fan handed him a dead bat, which he promptly crunched between his teeth onstage – and later went through a series of painful anti-rabies shots. He’s thinking of trying parrots next, because, he says, “At least they can say, ‘No, no,’ as me teeth close around their necks.”


There are very few children who have never  seen Michael Jackson’s video of “Thriller.” Jackson, a Jehovah’s Witness, has since said he would never make another video like it. The video is set in a graveyard and during the course of the song, the graves open, spirits appear to come alive and dance with Jackson who is transformed first into a “cat person” and then a dancing ‘ghoul.’ The Thriller album sold over 30 million copies.


Constructive action


The majority of parents claim partial or total ignorance of the music their children are listening to, according to free-lance journalist, Kandy Stroud (Newsweek, May 6, 1985). “Most claim they don’t listen to rock or can’t understand the words if they do,” she says. “They also admit that they don’t want to add another item to the laundry list of things they already monitor – movies, books, magazines, parties, friends, homework,” Ms Stroud explains.


Perhaps the most constructive action to take is to listen carefully next time your son or daughter turns on the radio. It may well be that you will decide that the music is unobjectionable. If you don’t like what you hear, you’ll have to decide how high it will go on your ‘laundry list.’