Taboo Tunes: A History of Banned Bands and Censored Songs

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9780879307929: Taboo Tunes: A History of Banned Bands and Censored Songs

In this extensively researched ode to scandal, Peter Blecha recounts the travails of musicians who have dared to air inch. unacceptable inch. topics. Filled with several centuries' worth of raunchy sex ditties, morbid murder ballads, satanic songs, paeans to intoxication and radical political anthems, this book lays the censors' stories bare, and casts a much-needed spotlight on civil liberties and artistic freedom in our post-9/11 world. Highlights the work of hundreds of controversial musicians, including: The Beatles, Ray Charles, the Dixie Chicks, Dylan, Eminem, Billie Holiday, Nirvana, Elvis, Public Enemy, Sex Pistols, Springsteen, Zappa and others. inch. Blecha tells a story of how free we aren't. It's a story every music fan needs to know. inch. - Dave Marsh

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From the Inside Flap:

"Fear of music? Talking Heads didn't know the half of it. Peter Blecha’s tragicomic, comprehensive account of how paranoid conservatism has always ranged itself against artists and fans in its attempts to suppress the most innovative rock, jazz, blues and rap is an education, an entertainment and a warning of how the price of cultural freedom is eternal vigilance." Charles Shaar Murray [author]

"Peter Blecha tells a story of how free we aren't. It's a story every music fan needs to know. Otherwise, we might come to the false conclusion that 'You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party' is just a slogan." Dave Marsh [editor, Rock & Rap Confidential]

"Fundamentally, we have to recognize that powerful music speaks to people in a way the censor can’t – and having a compiled history like Taboo Tunes at hand makes this realization most clear." Krist Novoselic


"Blecha charts a fear of ideas, and the power of music, that's continued through the ages." -- Gillian G. Gaar, The Seattle Times, May 4, 2004

"Blecha isn't going all conspiracy theorist, shouting in paranoia; he's got solid, tangible evidence for his research." --, May 25, 2004

"Blecha provides some good historical perspective, especially as we could learn from this history so we don't repeat it." -- Jason Gross & David Manning, Perfect Sound Forever, July 2004

"Blecha shows what a history there is when it comes to government acting as a societal baby-sitter." -- Dan Nailen, The Salt Lake Tribune, May 12, 2004

"Culled from the annals of the naughty, provocative, blasphemous, heretical, outrageous, anarchical, and downright dirty, this compendium is... Original." --, July 2004

"packed with delightful trivia... it's a depressing litany of cultural obstruction that apparently has no end in sight..." -- Mojo Magazine, London July 2004

Blecha's escalating outrage is refreshingly partisan, and many morsels throughout Taboo Tunes are revelatory...excellent...highly entertaining... -- San Francisco Bay Guardian, August 25,2004

Like Howard Zinn's seminal 'A People's History,' Blecha's book is a study of the edges of sanctioned culture... immensely valuable". -- AM New York City, May 28, 2004

Peter Blecha has written the first comprehensive history of music censorship. -- New York Press, June 2, 2004

superb...If we’re ever going to mount a successful resistance [to right-wing censors], we’ll need heralds such as Blecha... -- Scram Magazine, Summer 2004

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