Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Do you remember when the Beastie Boys got famous back in the '80s? Licensed to Ill was released and suddenly Volkswagen owners where having their car badges stolen by Beastie fans so they could wear them as necklaces.
The media went into one of it's moral hand wringing sessions over the use of women in cages dancing in their underwear in the live shows and the usual blather about the world's youth being corrupted by music was brought out of the cupboard and used as a news item by lazy arsed newspapers who know this sort of thing gets a knee jerk, burn-the-witch response from the masses.
Today the Beastie Boys are seen as accomplished musicians and when Adam Yauch died it was world news and the media outlets that had expressed all the fake moral outrage were publishing respectful obituaries. If you watch the video for Fight for Your Right it is so childish and good natured it is hard to understand why people got so wound up about it in the first place.
But the change in the public's perception of Ozzy Osbourne is the greatest of all. When I was a teenager Ozzy had just left Black Sabbath and formed his own band with the legendary (and unfortunately dead) Randy Rhoads. Ozzy was in his full on Prince of Darkness mode back in the '80s and doing ridiculous amounts of booze and drugs.
I saw him live 3 or 4 times and his shows were always brilliant and the media hated him. Every time they mentioned him they always started with 'Ozzy Osbourne, the rock and roll singer who bites the heads off bats on stage...'
His ludicrous exploits got him banned from many towns and the press had a field day warning us all about the perils of Ozzy.
These days Ozzy is treated like a national treasure. He is on TV advertising Utterly Butterly, his wife has advertised the Asda supermarket chain though I very much doubt she has ever set foot in one to by some Smart Price beans for Ozzy's tea. Now there is talk of re-naming Birmingham International Airport Ozzy Osbourne Airport. This was reported on the BBC with an apparently straight face. There was even a documentary on the BBC over Christmas called 'God Bless Ozzy Osbourne'.
So all these media scares about music tainting youth don't hold much water. Rock music has been around for a good 50 years or more while people have been acting like dickheads toward each other for centuries without needing music to tell them what to do.
If we are going to blame music for having a bad influence on people then we might as well say that Adolf Hitler would have remained a harmless painter if he hadn't fallen under the insidious seduction of oompah music.