Remembering the Gores and the PMRC


Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks recalls some of the ironies of Al and Tipper Gore, who crusaded against what passed for raunchy pop muisc (e.g. Prince's "Darling Nikki") back in the 1980s, sharing Live Earth stages with the likes of Madonna (a leading indicator of the decline of Western civilzation, according to Tipper-led Parents Music Resource Center) and Snoop Dog:

Remember the Parents Music Resource Center, co-founded by Tipper Gore a few years before her husband ran for president in 1988? The PMRC was the perfect political platform for the Gores to establish their deep concern for "the children" being exposed to suggestive lyrics in popular music. Madonna, today's environmental crusader and Live Earth star, was then branded one of the "Filthy Fifteen" by Tipper and the PMRC. Congressional hearings were scheduled, and Senators' hands were wrung. The quote printed above was in fact Senator Al Gore's opening statement at the 1985 Senate hearing, excoriating music industry executives for pedaling dirty music to kids. In the process, he established his bonafides as a "New Democrat" right in time for his first national campaign.

Today, Al Gore gets along famously with the music industry, and has apparently gotten over his earlier concerns about lyrical content. "Music," he now says, "is a universal language that can reach people in ways that no other medium can." I agree with that, and humbly suggest that Tipper download Hamburg Live Earth headliner Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice." She probably won't like it, but hey, we all have to make sacrifices for the environment.

More here.

Tipper on Prince, last seen hiding behind a sheet at the Super Bowl halftime show:

Like many parents of my generation, I grew up listening to rock music and loving it, watching television and being entertained by it. I still enjoy both. But something has happened since the days of "Twist and Shout" and "I Love Lucy."…

Prince peddled more than ten million copies of Purple Rain, which included a song about a young girl masturbating in a hotel lobby.

This kind of rock music is only part of an escalating trend toward the use of more explicit sex and graphic violence in entertainment industry offerings, from movies and videos to jeans and perfume ads. Music is the most unexpected medium, and rock music has shown perhaps the least willingness to exercise self-restraint.

More from Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society (1987) here.

Here's a list of the original "Filthy Fifteen," the songs the PMRC found particularly appalling. Of special note: Two of the tunes are cited for referencing the "occult."

# Artist Song title Lyrical content
1 Prince "Darling Nikki" Sex/Masturbation
2 Sheena Easton "Sugar Walls" Sex
3 Judas Priest "Eat Me Alive" Sex
4 Vanity "Strap on Robbie Baby" Sex
5 Mötley Crüe "Bastard" Violence
6 AC/DC "Let Me Put My Love into You" Sex
7 Twisted Sister "We're Not Gonna Take It" Violence
8 Madonna "Dress You Up" Sex
9 W.A.S.P. "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)" Sex/Language
10 Def Leppard "High 'n' Dry (Saturday Night)" Drug and Alcohol Use
11 Mercyful Fate "Into the Coven" Occult
12 Black Sabbath "Trashed" Drug and Alcohol Use
13 Mary Jane Girls "In My House" Sex
14 Venom "Possessed" Occult
15 Cyndi Lauper "She Bop" Sex/Masturbation