It has been 35 years since Dee Snider’s speech before the US Senate, debating the accusations of Tipper Gore, who said that his music and heavy metal in general incited physical and sexual violence and therefore should be banned and censored.
Dee Wasn’t Gonna Take It! Watch The Full Video Below.
Dee Snider not only defended his band and the livelihood he treasured but also the work of hundreds of other musicians. He stood in front of the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) and to be kind, systematically handed them their asses. Thanks to Dee Snider heavy metal was not banned but simply given a content warning stamp placed across album covers, the warning stamps that ultimately pushed heavy metal record sales through the roof!
This group pushed strongly for a voluntary ratings system for the music industry similar to that of the movie industry and released a list of songs they had found objectionable that was dubbed the “Filthy Fifteen.” One of the songs on the list was “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” while tracks by Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, AC/DC, and Black Sabbath also found themselves under heavy scrutiny.
Sporting a cut-off vest, snakeskin boots and maybe a little too much mascara for some peoples taste, Snider recalled being nervous the second he heard them call his name. Totally out of his element, Dee Snider defended the stance that music, like any other art form is open to interpretation, and nobody’s interpretation of art should prohibit one’s freedom of speech.
When you listen to heavy metal, remember Mr. Snider and everything he did for you and for all metalheads.
Dee Snider’s PMRC Senate Hearing Speech (Full)
Looking back, Dee Snider said he’d do it all over again!
Footnote; The PMRC was originally formed after Al and Tipper Gore were listening to Prince’s Purple Rain album with their daughter until they heard the song “Darling Nikki” where it references a female “sex friend” who was “masturbating with a magazine.”