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EXCERPTS FROM THE "Z-PACK" COMPILED BY FRANK ZAPPA. THESE EXCERPTS (I.E. THIS FILE) TYPED, EDITED AND ANNOTATED BY KRISTI WACHTER. I HAVE DONE MY BEST TO KEEP TYPOS AT A MINIMUM; PLEASE FORGIVE MY MISTAKES. MY OWN NOTES AND COMMENTS APPEAR IN BRACKETS [].) YOU CAN GET YOUR OWN Z-PACK FROM INTERCONTINENTAL ABSURDITIES LTD., P O BOX 5265, NO. HOLLYWOOD, CA 91616-5265 - INCLUDE A LARGE ENVELOPE AND $1.50. My thanks to Gail Zappa for permission to retype and post this stuff. GET INVOLVED! OPENING LETTER Dear Friend, Here is the package we have prepared to assist you in any local effort you care to initiate in opposition the [sic] THE WIVES OF BIG BROTHER and their dangerous program. Included is the typical PMRC fund-raising letter. We want you to see for yourselves what their pitch is. If you agree with their point of view, do what their letter tells you to do. If you don't, use the addresses they have provided (people to complain to), and, instead of complaining, encourage them to broadcast things t hat YOU like. If they are not broadcasting enough of what YOU like, tell them what YOUR ENTERTAINMENT PREFERENCES ARE, and DEMAND MORE OF IT [sic]. If you don't make your feelings known, you are going to be stuck with watching and listening to the stuff THEY LIKE. Also included is a copy of my letter to the President and my CASHBOX editorial. Feel free to quote any of this material in letters you might write to your elected represent atives. The PMRC has a lot of nerve to ask for money...they are alread y very well funded, well connected, and seem to have the entire U.S. news media in their back pocket. This mailing, all legal fees, phone bills and travel costs connected with fighting this issue have been paid for out of profits from Barking Pumpkin record sales, and from Barfko-Swill mail order funds. We thank you for buying these items. Without the orders you have already placed, a real opposing view to this issue would never have been heard. Okay...it's up to you now. Don't let yourselves down.. Tak e some time and help protect YOUR Constitutional Rights. You know how to use a phone. You know how to write letters. Make some noise about this issue. Use YOUR imagination. DON'T BEND OVER FOR THE WIVES OF BIG BROTHER. Thanks, Frank Zappa (signed) Frank Zappa (written) Call us at 818-PUMPKIN for any other information. P.O. Box 5265, North Hollywood, CA 91616-5265 (213) 764-0800 CASHBOX GUEST EDITORIAL (NO DATE SHOWN) "EXTORTION, PURE AND SIMPLE..." An Open Letter To The Music Industry by Frank Zappa With all due respect to Stan Gortikov and the RIAA, I would like a few moments of your time to express my personal feelings regarding the unfortunate decision to bend over for the PMRC on the issue of album 'identification'. First, let me say that I appreciate the difficult position the RIAA is in, and sympathize fully with the organization struggle to move legislation through Congress. The problem seems to be the Thurmond Committee. This is where the industry's proposed legislation will live or d ie. It is no secret that Mrs. Thurmond is a member of PMRC. What is apparently happening is a case of extortion, pure and simple: THE RIAA MUST TAP DANCE FOR THESE WASHINGTON WIVES OR THE INDUSTRY'S BILL WILL FEEL THE WRATH OF THEIR FAMOUS HUSBANDS. It is to the RIAA's credit that the bulk of PMRC's demands were rejected, however capitulation on the stickering issue will cause more problems than it will solve. The PMRC makes no secret of its intentions to use 'special relatio nships' to force this issue . In an interview on an Albany radio station, Mrs. Pam Howar made reference to a Mr. Fowler at the FCC, suggesting that some intervention by this agency might be in order, should the PMRC's other nefarious techniques fail. Did somebody rewrite the FCC charter while we weren't looking? What's going on here? These cultural terrorists are attempting to create a hostage situation. It is time to bring in the Delta Force...with a friendly reminder that extortion i s still an illegal act, that conspiracy to co mmit extortion is an illegal act, and that this issue goes beyond First Amendment considerations. We are witnessing a type of corrupt practice that must end. No person married or related to a government official should be permitted to waste the nation's time on ill-conceived housewife hobby projects such as this. The PMRC's case is totally without merit, based on a hodge-podge of fundamentalist frogwash and illogical conclusions. Sh rieking in terror at the thought of someone hearing references to mastur bation on a Prince record, the PMRC's members put on their 'guardian of the people' costumes and the media comes running. It is an unfortunate trend of the '80's that the slightest murmur from a special interest group (especially when it has friends in high places) causes a knee-jerk reaction of appeasement from a wide range of industries that ought to know better. If you are an artist reading this, think for a moment...did anyone ask you if you wanted to have the stigma of 'p otential filth' plopped onto your next release via this 'appeasement sticker?' If you are a songwriter, did anyone ask you if you wanted to spend the rest of your career modifying your lyric content to suit the spiritual needs of an imaginary eleven-year-old? The answer is, obviously, NO. In all of this, the main concern has been the business agenda of the major labels versus the egos and sexual neuroses of these vigilant ladies. A record company has the right to conduct its business and to make a profit, but not at the expense of the people who make the product possible...someone still has to write and perform THE MUSIC. The RIAA has taken what I feel to be a short-sighted approach to the issue. The 'voluntary sticker' will not appease these creatures, nor will it grease the chute through the Thurmond committee. There are no promises or guarantees here; only threats and insinuations from PMRC. The RIAA has shown a certain disregard for the creative people of the industry in its eagerness to protect the revenues of the record com panies. Ladies and gentlemen, we are all in this together...when you watched the hostages on TV, didn't you sort of mumble to yourself, "Let's nuke 'em...?" The PMRC deserves nothing less (and the same to NMRC or any other censorship group with a broadcast blacklist in its back pocket). For the elected officials who sit idly by while their spouses run rabid with anti-sexual pseudo-Christian legislative fervor, there lurks the potential for the same sort of dumb emba rrassment caused by Billy Carter's fasc inating exploits. I do not deny anyone the right to their opinions on any matter...but when certain people's opinions have the potential to influence my life, and the lives of my children because of their special access to legislative machinery, I think it raises important questions of law. Ronald Reagan came to office with the proclaimed intention of getting the federal government off our backs. The secret agenda seems to be not to remove it , but to force certain people to wear it like a lampshade at a D.C. Tupperware party. Nobody looks good wearing brown lipstick. These creatures can hurt you. Their ignorance is like a virus. Get mad. Fight back. The Goldwater committee is hearing this matter on September 19. Use the phone. Use the telex. Demand that Congress deal with the substantive issue of connubial 'insider trading' and power-brokerage. Demand censure for those elected officials who participate. Demand fairness for the record industry's legislation in the Thurmond Committe e. Remind them that they have a duty to the people who elected them that takes priority over their domestic relationships. ARTICLE FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, OCTOBER 24, 1985 ZAPPA TAKES ON THE U.S. SENATE IN 'PORN WARS' By Rip Rense Guess who "sings" on Frank Zappa's soon-to-be-released "Porn Wars" recording? None other than SEVEN members of the U.S. Senate, including Sen. Paula Hawkins (R-Fla.), Sen. Ernest (Fritz) Hollings (D-S.C.) and Sen. Albert A. Gore Jr. (D-Tenn.). Zappa has woven statements made by these of ficials at the Sept. 19 Senate Commerce Committee hearing on so-called "porn rock" lyrics into a provocative 12-minute track that will appear on his upcoming "Frank Zappa vs. the Mothers of Prevention" album. "You testify before one of those Senate hearings and see how arrogant they are and what relative position they think they hold in the universe," Zappa said in the recording studio of his Laurel Canyon home. "They have blown themselves out of proportion to reality. There are a couple that ar e OK...Bu t there's no way I could have just walked away from Washington, D.C., and just laughed it off. It's too depressing." The avant-garde "Porn Wars" is an ambitious collage that blends electronic music and statements actually made to the committee and to Zappa, who testified against the Parents Music Resource Center's campaign against sex, violence and drug references in rock music. In the record, you hear: --Sen. Hawkins endlessly repeating the phrase, "Fire and chains and ot her objectionable tools of grat ification in some twisted minds." --Sen. Hollings saying, "Outrageous filth" and "maybe I could make a good rock star, I don't know." --Sen. Paul S. Trible Jr. (R-Va.) chanting the word, "Rape." --The Rev. Jeff Ling, consultant to the Parents Resource group, quoting "offensive" lyrics from an LP by the Mentors. Among the phrases: "I will drive my love into you." The irony of the song--which will be released Nov. 15 on Zappa's Barking Pumpkin labe l--is that officials who oppose what they consider obsce ne or pornographic images in rock find themselves describing many of those very images ON a rock LP. Poetic justice? Sweet revenge? Neither, according to Zappa; it's just art. "There are aspects of phase music employed (on the record)...It uses MUSIQUE CONCRETE techniques. It's kind of like a cubistic portrait of Congress at work...'Congress Descending a Staircase.'" The new track, which isn't likely to get much airplay because of its use of four-letter words, begins with preliminary co mments from sen ators and then seems to break away dramatically into a series of voices swirling, growling, chattering, chanting and wailing. After a pastiche of Hollings arpeggios and Trible trills, there is an abrupt quotation that was initially recorded for "Lumpy Gravy," Zappa's 1968 ballet: "This must be the end of the world. All the people (are) turning into pigs and ponies. I can't let it happen to me." In reply to a senator's question about why the hearings are being held, Zappa's disfigured voice chants "sex. ..sex...sex," while Ling--again reading a Mentors lyric--declares, "Listen, you little slut." One of the hearing's most celebrated moments--an exchange between Zappa and Hawkins over what kind of toys Zappa buys for his kids--is saluted in the recording, as well as a compliment to the rock musician by Democrat Gore of Tennessee, "I respect you as a true original and as a tremendously talented musician." The latter is punctuated by Hollings--at near-Chipmunk tone--repeating the line about his becomin g a ro ck star. The work concludes with Hollings' apparent aside into the open microphone at the end of Zappa's appearance: "We haven't got 'em whipped on this one yet. We've got a bear by the tail here..." The remarks are followed by ominous, fading chords. Are there any legal problems in using the voices? Presumably not, according to Zappa. He said, smiling, "You bet I called a lawyer on it." The founder of the Mothers of Invention said he is also producing an hourlong v ideo for home use covering key mom ents in the hearings. On "Porn Wars," Zappa programmed the voices into a digital computer system keyboard, which allowed him to "play" the voices in registers ranging from "gorilla" to "munchkin" to "mega-chipmunk" to "mosquito." Does he think the humorous recording unfairly satirizes the senators' views? "Not at all," he said, without reservation. "You could (just read their remarks in) the Congressional Record and have gotten the same charge. I just did a little grunt work to dig up some of the more amusing lines and stick them in a package that will hopefully make sense to a rock'n'roll consumer, and maybe make them concerned about what kind of people there are in Washington." He chuckled. "Hmm. Maybe a better name would be 'Congress Eats the Young.'" LETTER FROM FRANK ZAPPA TO PRESIDENT REAGAN By Federal Express 29 August 1985 Ronald Reagan, President of the United States The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, D.C. 20500 Mr. President, Even though I disagree strongly with man y administration policies, I have never doubted your personal views on Basic Constitutional Issues are sincere. I would like to know your opinion of the record censorship program sponsored by the PMRC, an organization involving the wives of elected governmental officials. Do you asupport [sic] this effort? If so, have you considered the basic issue of fairness when a pet project, likely to result in legislative action that will restrain trade and affect the lives of millions of Americans, is promoted by the spouse of an elected official and rushed to a Senate hearing while important national business waits in the wings? Is it fair that people not fortunate enough to be married to a D.C. Superstar have to keep their mouths shut while 'THE WASHINGTON WIVES' diddle with the legislative machinery? The PMRC is an unlicensed lobbying group, comporting itself outrageously. While threatening an entire industry with the wrath of their husbands' powerful c ommittees, they blithely spew frogwash and innuendo with t he assistance of an utterly captivated media. When the PMRC's proposal leaps to a full committee hearing September 19th, an unfortunate precedent will be set. If you support the PMRC (or the NMRC or any other Fundamentalist Pressure Groups) in their efforts to perpetuate the myth that SEX EQUALS SIN, you will help to institutionalize the neurotic misconception that keeps pornographers in business. By attempting to remove all references to sexuality from media consumed by young people, the PMRC, contrary to its stated goals, will create an atmosphere of ignorance that benefits the child molester, not the child. In a nation where deranged pressure groups fight for the removal of sexual education from public schools, and parents know so little about sex that they have to call Dr. Ruth on TV for answers to rudimentary anatomical questions, it would seem infinitely more responsible for these esteemed wives and mothers to demand a full-scale Congressional demys tification of the subject. Are we headed toward a time when descriptions of sexual behavior in entertainment media can be obtained only by employing a lawyer to petition under the Freedom Of Information Act? Must all sexual practices in the United States be tested and approved by The Moral Majority? When they test them, do we get to watch? Assuming, for argument's sake, that the basic premise of the PMRC's effort is to shield people in a certain age bracket from exposure to various f orms of UNDESIRABLE INFORMATION, the proposition is grossly inequitable since it singles out Rock Music as the villain. Country Music contains references to sex, violence, alcohol and the devil, yet the PMRC is not requesting a warning label on THESE records. Could it be that a certain Senatorial husband and wife team from Tennessee has concocted this issue as an affirmative action program to benefit the suffering multitudes in Nashville? Surely there are other ways to protect this vital source of Tennessee state revenue. Is there anyone in the PMRC who can differentiate i nfallibly between rock and country music? Artists in both fields have crossed stylistic lines, even within an individual album. If an album is part rock, part country, what sort of label does it get? Is this determination to be made according to the state in which the material was recorded? The PMRC wants ratings to start as of the date of their enactment. What will be the status of those recordings remaining from the Golden Era prior to censorship? Do they become collector's items...or will the gover nment order them burned in a public ceremony, somewhere in Virginia? If, as they suggest, hearing a certain type of music can cause UNWANTED BEHAVIOR, then anyone who has heard a Beatles or a Beachboys record is in danger. Those were Charles Manson's favorite groups. Wagner's influence on Hitler is well documented. Shouldn't the PMRC consider a big red "M" for those classical works favored by Megalomaniacs? What if statistics become available showing a marked preference for Wayne Newton and Barry Manil ow among convicted white-collar felons? Fundamentalist Christianity is not a State Religion. The PMRC's request for labels regarding sexually explicit lyrics, violence, drugs, alcohol, and occult content reads like a catalog of phenomena abhorrent to practitioners of that faith. Is the PMRC aware of the Muslim affiliations of some black performers? If they should suddenly decide to record lyrics advocating the violent overthrow of America in the name of Allah, will the PMRC's labels deter a nation of se mi-literates from learning an exciting new dance called 'The Funky Jihad'? Will the PMRC wish they had used the big red "M" to warn of Muslim Content? The establishment of a rating system, voluntary or otherwise, sets the stage for an endless series of 'control programs' based on 'Things Certain Christians Don't Like'. What if the next bunch of Washington Wives demands a large yellow "J" on all material written or performed by Jews, in order to save helpless children from exposure to 'concealed Zio nist d octrine'? How long will it take till somebody else's wife demands that composers and performers wear a Special Arm Band at all times in public, reflecting the stigma of their category rating? The PMRC has demanded that the record companies 'reassess' the contracts of those groups who do things on stage that they don't approve of. GROUPS are comprised of INDIVIDUALS. If one guy wiggles too much, does the whole band get an "X"? If the group gets dropped from the label because of the "X", do the other guy s in the group who weren't wiggling get to sue the guy who wiggled because he ruined their careers? Should the individual musicians be rated? If so, who is qualified to determine if the BASS PLAYER behaves like an "O", the GUITAR PLAYER behaves like an "X", the VOCALIST behaves like a "D/A", or the DRUMMER behaves like a "V"? Will unscrupulous performers voluntarily rate themselves "B/A" (Born Again), in order to protect their careers and differentiate themselve s from the rest of the Stigmatized Scum whe n they shoot the next "Let's Go Pretend To Feed Somebody" video? It was a sad day for composers, performers and record retailers when the major labels agreed to the first of PMRC's absurd demands. Why did they agree? The record industry bills (H.R. 3163 and H.R. 2911) regarding tape royalties and piracy must pass through Senator Thurmond's Committee. With Mrs. Thurmond a member of PMRC, the industry was hardly in a position to express their true feelings on the matter. After broad hints of 'legislative strangulation', the major labels attempted a comprise. "Not GOOD enough!" said the Washington Wives, pressing for legislation to control "satanistic or occult content". A composer or performer stigmatized by the "O" rating winds up on the Ultimate Blacklist. All it might take is a song with a reference to someone's astrological sign. What legal hazards lurk then for the unfortunate retailer who sells "O" rated records? If he sells one to somebody he's not supposed to, does he get the red-hot tweezers or what? The PMRC's program protects country musicians, not children. It is mechanically unworkable from a listening/rating standpoint, considering the quantity of recorded material released each year. If enacted, American Musical Culture will become a hostage in the Beige Zone, somewhere between the Salem Witchcraft Trials and The McCarthy Era. facts make bad law, and people who write bad laws are, in my opinion, more dangerous than songwr iters who celebrate sexuality. The facts simply do not support the PMRC's outlandish claims. This is more than a First Amendment Issue. Freedom of religious thought (if this matter produces legislation determining what is 'occult'), the right to assemble (if these idiotic ratings extend to live concerts), and the right to due process for composers, performers and retailers (if the major labels proceed with 'album identification', in violation of existing contracts) are all jeopardized by PMRC's demands. I submit that elected officials hav e a spiritual and fiduciary duty to their constituents that takes precedent over the whims of their spouses. How many other costly and ill-conceived governmental programs have been generated in this manner and dumped onto the shoulders of American Business? Those involved in this sort of 'connubial insider trading', if not subject to prosecution under existing law, ought to be disciplined by their peers...or perhaps they should take their own medicine and VOLUNTARILY RATE THEMSE LVES. It shouldn't be too hard to determine who deserv es the Congressional "X", the Congressional ?D/A", or the Congressional "V". It's hard to imagine a Congressional "O", but there must be a few on somebody's committee. The PMRC loudly decries the label of censorship when it is applied to their plan. Jesse Jackson reminded Jerry Falwell in a recent CNN debate that "You do not judge a tree by the bark it wears, but by the fruit it bears..." Mr. President, if you are not serious about getting government off our backs, could you at leas t do something about getting it out of our nostrils? There seems to be a lethal cloud of brimstone and mildewed bunting rising form the Senate floor. I do not expect a reply to this letter, however, any public statement from you on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Frank Zappa (signed) FZ/ws IT'S NOT OVER YET, FOLKS by Frank Zappa Okay...the 'hearing' is over...you think it's all going to fade into the sunset now, right? Not quite. The GOOD NEWS is the PMRC has given up o n all demands EXCEPT that SOM E KIND OF SYMBOL APPEARS ON THE FRONT OF AN ALBUM WITH 'UNDESIRABLE CONTENT'. That's right. Just a 'tiny little symbol' on the front. Is this too much to ask? YOU BET IT IS! That 'tiny little symbol' still requires somebody else to decide what those lyrics mean, and whether or not they are 'filthy'. This determination is the responsibility of individual parents making decisions based on standards in their community, not those of a record executi ve in New York or Hollywood. Most of you did not see or hear what really happened during the 'hearing'. There was quite a bit of 'news management' taking place, especially regarding my testimony. CNN viewers saw only the semi-apoplectic Senator Gorton denouncing me for my 'Constitutional ignorance'. Under the 'hearing' rules, I was not allowed to say anything in response, however, I would like to take this opportunity to remind him that although I flunked just about everything else in high school, I did get an "A" in Civics, and secondly, if he wan ted to tell me I was just an ignorant musician, why didn't he use the Koppel method and say, "Now, Mr. Zappa, you're an intelligent man..." Anybody who gets that recitation from Ted twice in one episode of Nightline has surely been told how stupid he is. Since the media coverage was enormous, including foreign press, I began my testimony with a 'reference reading' of The First Amendment so that people outside the U.S. might understand what we were discussing, and to remind vermin like Senator Gorton that, in spite o f their bizarre interpretation, this 'historical document' was still in existence. The 'hearing' lasted about 5 hours. The 'denouncement' was the only thing offered by Gorton during the whole event. No questions. No debate. Just a photo opportunity for another Congressional bozo. Since my written speech would have lasted longer than the 10 minutes I was allotted, I read a short version. The full version prepared testimony. After reading it, I propos ed a solution to the whole matter, based on a sugge stion from my attorney, Larry Stein. Senator Hollings (the one who said "IF I COULD DO AWAY WITH ALL OF THIS MUSIC CONSTITUTIONALLY, I WOULD ...") said, in the hearing, on the record, that he preferred my proposal to the PMRC rating idea. You never heard about it, did you? This revolutionary proposal is very simple. No rating. No sticker. No committee decisions. Let the parent decide after reading the lyrics. The lyrics would be printed on a sheet of white paper (preferably with a First Amendm ent Re minder at the top of the page), under the shrink-wrap on the back of the album. For cassettes, an accordion-fold. Since they asked for it, we'll let the PMRC figure out how to PAY for it. The royalties to writers and publishers must be paid at the statutory rate. The cost of printing must be paid. Once the album leaves the store with this information on it, you can't bring it back. Any kind of warning system is going to cost money. This one puts the responsibili ty for the decision of what is clean or dirty where it belongs: in the hands of the parents. IF MILLIONS OF PARENTS REALLY WANT THIS, THEN FUNDING IT SHOULD NOT BE A PROBLEM. If not: most record stores still have a CHILDREN'S SECTION. You can always shop there. ARTICLE FROM BILLBOARD DATED FEB. 15, 1986 MARYLAND ASSEMBLY MULLS BILL ON RECORD OBSCENITY by Bill Holland ANNAPOLIS, Md. The Maryland State Assembly is considering a bill that would make it a crime - punishable by fine or jail term - for a retailer to sell an audio recording co ntaining obscene lyrics to a minor. Should the measure become law - and sources say it has a good chance - it would become the first obscenity law in the country to prohibit the sale of state-defined X-rated records and audio tapes to minors. The measure, an amendment to a long-standing Maryland law forbidding the sale of obscene books, magazines and, more recently, videocassettes to persons under 18, was introduced last month by Democratic Delegate Judith Toth. Toth represents both rural an d affluent su burban constituents in upper Montgomery County. The bill has already gone through a Jan. 14 hearing. No one spoke in opposition, and area dealers say they did not learn about the hearing until afterwards. "Dealers have called me and said, 'Hey, what's going on here, I could go to jail'," says Toth. "I tell them, 'That's right, you could go to jail'." A spokesman for the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) says that the hearing also caught them by surp rise, although the group has since sent out both a mailgram and a letter explaining the content of the bill to area members. Toth is not sympathetic to dealer alarm. "There's no excuse for their lobbyists not picking this up," she says. "They're paid very well to monitor these things. We notified the press several times about the hearing." Asked if she made any direct contact with Maryland dealers and distributors to invite them to the hearing, she answered, "We're not under a ny obligation to let our opponents know." The measure, H.B. 111, is "high on the voting list" in the House Judiciary Committee, and committee vote is expected on the measure by the middle of this week. If it passes, it will go to the floor of the House, and then to the Senate side for a hearing in March. Because of the 90-day Maryland session schedule, the bill will have to be voted on by April 7. While some industry sources say that chance of passage is not at all assured, others point to Toth's success in getting a similar amendment passed in the 1984 session which imposes a maximum first-time fine of $1,000 and jail term of one year to any dealer who rents or sells an X-rated video to a minor. Toth says she received a packet of material, including offensive song lyrics, from the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), the headline-making mothers' group that negotiated a compromise agreement on the issue of controversial lyrics with Recording Industry Assn. of America (RIAA) member companies last fall (Billboard, Nov. 9). She then too k the package around to other mem bers. "I didn't even Xerox that stuff," she says. She and her staff have also visited several area record stores. "They told us, 'Hey, we don't carry that kind of stuff,' but we went down the line with them and there they were," she says. She mentions albums by Twisted Sister, Marvin Gaye, W.A.S.P. and the Tubes as examples. Toth says the purpose of the measure is not to go after dealers. "We're not going to waste our time going after some little dealer; we'd go after the manufacturer to keep up their agreement [with the PMRC] and to make sure that such material is clearly labeled." She says that "Maryland has a fairly liberal court system, and something would have to be grossly objectionable - a clear-cut case - for the state's attorney to step in." Local dealer reaction was angry. "It's ludicrous," says Howard Applebaum, owner of the Kemp Mill Records chain, which has 15 stores in Maryland. "Obscenity by whose standards? I'm not prepared to be the arbiter of what's obscene or not." Appl ebaum say s he is going to call Toth's office and talk over the content of the bill, and will call other local chain owners. David Blaine, general manager of Waxie Maxie's, with 13 Maryland outlets, says the bill misses the mark: "Retailers are not the arbiters of public taste." Senior NARM officials were attending a seminar in Los Angeles and could not be reached for comment. The bill would amend Article 27, Section 419 of the Maryland State Code to make it illegal to rent , sell or otherwise disseminate obscene material relating to phonograph recordings, magnetic tape, CDs and laser disks to anyone under the age of 18. Penalties for first-time offenders could be as high as $1,000 or one year in jail; repeat offenders could face a $5,000 fine or three years in jail. Executives of several smaller chains say they didn't even know about the existence of the proposal. "This is the first I've heard of it," says Page Wiencek, owner of Penguin Feather, a Virgin ia- and Washington-based outfit with three Maryland stores. ARTICLE FROM DAILY VARIETY DATED WED., FEB. 12, 1986 PMRC TAKES 'PORN ROCK' SLIDE SHOW ON THE ROAD by Henry Schipper The Parents Music Resource Center, which last year wrested a "porn rock" record labeling agreement from the major diskeries, is still intact and active. Indeed, instead of resting on its laurels and closing shop, the group has quietly set about pursuing a grass-roots campaign to alert localities nation-wide of the allegedly pornographic dangers of rock. In place of a h igh-profile media -intensive effort, which climaxed last September in Congressional hearings on the subject, the PMRC has been sending speakers, armed with an up-to-date "porn rock" slide show, to parents groups around the country. Thus far, the PMRC has been receiving approximately 20-25 requests a week for its speaker/show, but those requests - and the PMRC's overall campaign - could intensify greatly as the group tries to work its way into the 24,000 branch network of t he Parents Teachers Association. The PTA, main ally of the PMRC in last year's labeling fight, has agreed to cooperate with the latter group in its "educational" drive. PTA president Ann Kahn recently met with PMRC leaders and subsequently sent a letter to the 50 PTA state chapters asking them to tell all local PTAs that the PMRC slide show is "available without cost . . . to any PTA council which requests (it)." A second letter, this one sent to the PTA's vast network of local branches, will inform them directly of the PMRC's "continuous awaren ess progra m," a PTA spokesperson said. Second mailing is set for March. "We're working in conjunction with the PTA, trying to get a system where the slide show will be available all over the country," Susan Baker, founding member of the PMRC and wife of treasury secretary James Baker, told DAILY VARIETY. "That's how we hope to get the slide show around. The PTA has 5,600,000 members, and there's a real interest and commitment on their part that parents be aware." Only hitch i n the widescale PTA-PMRC program is f unding, with money for reproduction of the slide show and traveling expenses as yet uncertain, Baker said. According to Baker, PMRC's ongoing efforts are aimed at educating parents about the "violent and explicit lyrics in rock music," and building a ground-up movement to pressure record companies, radio stations, artists and corporate sponsors to create, sell and support inoffensive product. "We're trying to activate 'em (the parents). We're te lling them to listen to rock stations in cars when they driv e and if they hear something offensive, to call the stations. This needs to be done on a grassroots level," Baker said. One apparently direct result of the PMRC's ongoing efforts is the recent introduction in the Maryland Senate of a bill that would make it a crime to sell state-defined X-rated records to a minor (DAILY VARIETY, Feb. 11). Bill was introduced last month by Democratic Delegate Judith Toth after she received a packet of material, including allegedly porn lyrics, from the PMRC . Latest updat e of the PMRC slide show includes recent releases by death metal group Exodus and WASP, latter of which, Baker noted, recently landed a lucrative pact with Capitol Records, and an LP by the California-based punkish Dead Kennedys. LP contains a poster, graphically depicting the sexual act, that Baker described as "shocking" and "obscene." ARTICLE FROM BAM, DATED FEB. 28, 1986 FROM THE LETTERS COLUMN WHO'S SAVING WHOM? I realize that you are probably tired of receiv ing letters about the P.M.R.C.. Howev er, as the mother of two teenagers, I would like to express an opinion. A year ago, parents such as myself were concerned that their children were listening to Prince and Madonna. However, since the P.M.R.C. suggested that albums be labeled, record companies have taken full advantage of the situation. Last week, I found an album called SATAN'S REVENGE under my 14-year-old's bed. It was enough bait to arouse the interest of any rebellious teenager. Since the P.M.R.C. got involved in the music industry, nothing has changed except that it is easier for people to spot albums with objectionable contents. This may explain why my teenage boys have switched from listening to Madonna and Prince to Slayer and Executioner. Mrs. Robert L. Hutchins North Hollywood X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X Another file downloaded from: The NIRVANAnet(tm) Seven & the Temple of the Screaming Electron Taipan Enigma 510/935-5845 Burn This Flag Zardoz 408/363-9766 realitycheck Poindexter Fortran 510/527-1662 Lies Unlimited Mick Freen 801/278-2699 The New Dork Sublime Biffnix 415/864-DORK The Shrine Rif Raf 206/794-6674 Planet Mirth Simon Jester 510/786-6560 "Raw Data for Raw Nerves" X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X

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