A concert held by the group
"Guns N' Roses" (July 2, 1991 in St Louis, Missouri) ended when the
enraged mob of 2500 youths staged a riot, resulting in 60 of their numbers
being injured. The journal Rolling Stone informed that the participants
in this concert, "developed into a furious uncontrollable mob, hurling
bottles, destroying seats, ripping apart bushes, breaking and setting fire to
instruments... This riot continued for over an hour before a squad of special
police arrived to restore order. (Rolling Stone, Aug.
22, 1975 p 15). This type of violence is far from being an isolated
Sometimes, this type of frantic behavior at rock concerts leads to killings.
In a town called Jefferson-Township, (New Jersey),
a youth named Thomas Sullivan stabbed his mother, Betty-Ann, to death in the
basement of their house. Setting fire to the divan with the aim of destroying
the house and killing his father and younger brother, he ran outside and
committed suicide by slashing his wrists. All week long before this carnage,
Thomas had been humming a rock song about blood and killing your mother. Police
later established that Thomas was a talented student, outstanding sportsman and
had belonged to the Scouts. He began to dabble in "hard metal" rock
music and, before committing his crime, he confided to his friends that Satan
appeared to him and ordered the killing of his family.
Different forms of violence are on the increase in rock music. For example
in a song titled "I Kill Children" by rock group Dead Kennedy we hear
"I kill children, I love to see them die. I kill children to make their
mothers cry. I crush them under my car and I love to hear them scream. I feed
them poison candy and spoil their Halloween. I kill children,
I bang their heads in doors. I kill children, I can
hardly wait for yours." In the album "Hell Awaits" the band
Slayer has the lyrics: "No apparent motive. Just kill and kill again.
Survive my brutal slashing. I'll hunt you till the end."
Iron Maiden's mascot is "Eddy" a dead man who kills with great
delight. According to Satanist and brutal murderer Richard Ramirez (the
"Night Stalker"), it was AC/ DC's song "Night Prowler" that
became part of his motivation to murder 30 people. He said the song gave him
"inspiration. "Night Prowler" contains
the stanza, "No one's gonna warn you, no one's gonna yell 'attack!' and
you can't feel the steel until it's hanging out your back, I'm your night
One study revealed that of the 700 most popular songs of "heavy
metal," 50% speak of killings, 35% of satanism
and 7% about suicide. Sheila Davis, professor of lyric writing at New York
University, is convinced that "better give serious attention to the
content of pop songs and to evaluate not only what lyrics are saying to society
but, more important, what they may be doing to it" (USA Today,
October 11, 1985, p. 10).
The National Council of Churches published their findings that the growing
aggressive behavior of youths appears as the direct result of the violent
content of contemporary films and music (USA Today, Oct. 11, 1985).
Parallel to the inner aggressiveness, this destructive feeling can appear
directed against the music listener. Some rock music composers preach suicide -
sometimes through hints and sometimes directly. For example, Ozzy Osbourne's
song, "Suicide Solution" advocates suicide: "Suicide - this is
the only way out..." In "Suicide's an Alternative" the following
is sung: "Sick of life - it sucks / sick and tired - no one cares / sick
of myself - don't wanna live / sick of living - gonna die / suicide's an
alternative." "Sacrifice your life and commit suicide. By doing this
in the name of satan, you will become immortal, just like him!" are some
of the words sung in one of the "hard metal" songs dedicated to
Educational psychologist, Dr. Hannelore Wass, considered an expert on death
and dying, indicated that while only 17% of teenagers listen to music
containing manifestly destructive contents, among the youthful criminals this
figure reaches 40%. Apart from this, nearly 50% of those interviewed
acknowledged the possibility that these types of songs could really incline an
unbalanced or grief-stricken young person toward suicide. Dr. Wass concluded
that these detailed interviews with young people show the need for parents to
watch what their children are listening to, and to pay attention to any
emerging symptoms of abnormality. (Wass, et. al, "Adolescents'
Interest" p. 186, sampled 700 adolescents. The themes were: homicide,
suicide and satanism. Cf. Aerosmith's "Janie's
Got a Gun").
Similar research prompted the National Education Association to conclude
that nearly 6000 teenage suicides a year are brought about by the influence of
nihilistic and fatalistic music (Information for Parents' Music Resource
Center, Nashville, TN. 1990).
Dr. Morton Kurlan a Palm Springs
psychiatrist whose patient, John McCollum, committed suicide after listening to
an Ozzy Osbourne record, stated: "Sadomasochism, blood, and violence make
big bucks for the producers of rock videos, but such things can push an
emotionally suffering kid over the edge" (Arthur Lyons, Satan Wants You,
New York, Mysterious Press, 1988, p.171). And it is well known that millions of
contemporary young people are suffering from inner tumult. At this point it is
worth considering that the estranged nihilistic and destructive contents of rock-style music actually reflects the
disposition and lives of the rock stars. For example, the biography of Pink
Floyd Saucerful of Secrets written by band's two former leaders gives
vivid examples of the personal tragedy that can stalk the lives of those who
glorify excess (Cf. The 1991 Elton John interview with David Frost). Authors
Schwarz and Empey observe: "In talking with some of the musicians involved
in satanism, as well as individuals they have
consulted - researches, psychologists, and psychics - a pattern becomes clear.
Like so many others who save chosen satanism over
Christianity, they have a desire for immediate gratification and
self-fulfillment. 'Money Control. Power.
They want the fantasy of being able to live a special life with a lot of
wealth,' said a psychologist whose practice includes some of the major names in
the rock business. 'And they're willing to die young to pay it off. They see
that by giving life early they can have everything ...'
The reality of this statement is obvious when you read the obituaries of
rock stars. Many have died from alcoholism, drug abuse, or accidents resulting
from their being under the influence of such products (Schwarz and Empey, Satanism:
Is Your Family Safe? p. 154).
The very names of some "heavy metal" groups also known as
"death metal," glorify death and speak of destruction. Here are some
samples: "Blessed Death," "Carnivore," "Coroner,"
"Destruction," "Mace," "Malice,"
"Overkill," "Rotten Corpse," "Sacrifice,"
Violence etc. (Cf. Dave Hart, "Heavy Metal Madness," Media Update,
July/Aug. 1989 p. 5).
Brown and Hendee noted that "several murders have been correlated with
fascination for heavy metal music and that "another behavioral study found
that violent music videos desensitized viewers to violence immediately after
A Tennessee psychiatrist
informed a Senate committee that heavy metal music is "poison" for
disturbed adolescents, not to mention substance abusers. It is "like
throwing gasoline on the fire of hatred and resentment that's already
burning," said Dr. Paul King, Clinical Assistant Professor of child and
adolescent psychiatry at the University
of Tennessee. According to King,
more than 8o percent of his adolescent patients have listened to heavy metal
for long stretches of time as a daily routine. They were familiar with all the
words and wrote them in notebooks and on desks while class was going on (Wass,
et. al., Adolescents' Interest, King, "Heavy Metal Music").
To a Christian there is no doubt that blasphemy, vulgarity, debauchery and
rape espoused by contemporary rock music cuts right across God's plan for the
salvation of people.
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