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Censorship and Heavy Metal Music Essay

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By definition censorship is the suppression of words, ideas, and images that are deemed "offensive" by the general public. As in any form of media, such restrictions in music limit the artists right of free speech and the true artist value of his or her work. For instance, in the world of heavy metal, there are multiple lawsuits against Ozzy Osbourne and one major legal dispute against a band known as Gwar. Where both artists were both falsely censored by the law and wrongly accused by our society.

Within these legal disputes against Ozzy, he was sued multiple times for hidden messages in various songs and for one stage act deemed disturbing by many persons in our society. In particular, the lawsuits blaming Ozzy of three teenage suicides - after listening to his song “Suicide Solution” - has struck odd in my view. You see in 1984, a nineteen - year - old named John M. was reported to have been listening to the song, when he took a gun and shot himself in the head. The coroners report said that John was found with headphones on. So, how exactly do we know that it was that song that John was listening to when he claimed his life? Of course it was probably an Ozzy record, but how exactly does anyone know that it was the song? Another male, named Eric A. apparently took his life to this song too. It’s claimed he was following the preaching in the song. The other suicide is strenuously hard to come upon. Furthermore in 1986, Ozzy learned that he had three lawsuits on his hands. Also, at this time Thomas Anderson took the title of John’s family attorney against Ozzy. When in court, Thomas not only used the song, but he lashed towards Ozzy’s music video for his song “Don’t blame me”, accusing that it had the same hemisync tones as...


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...d into settlements. These settlements were founded as so; The area fans: Robert Wewers, Davis Keller, and Will Anderson all received sums of $600.33. The band received $15,00 and distributed as follows; $10,000 was donated to the ACLU of Georgia to continue it’s anticensorship efforts, $2,500 was donated to the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, another $2,500 was given to cover losses incurred and expenses of litigation, and lastly $699 was given to the ACLU of Georgia again, for attorney fees.

Briefly, heavy metal is not the only genre of music that our society tries to censor. Yet these are just some minuscule ideas of how and who may and will try to censor your favorite types of music. What the musicians that create that music have to fight through and how our first amendment right protects them and us from being censored in this world of ours.


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