If You’re Going To Play In Alabama, Watch Your Damn Language


The Birmingham Weekly reports that local classic rock station Eagle 106.9, with no prodding from the FCC or corporate higher-ups, censors the Eagles‘ “Life In The Fast Lane” to remove the “god” from the line “We’ve been up and down this highway / haven’t seen a goddamn thing.” I don’t know if it’s such a big deal, or whether the listeners would even notice, but the Weeklyhas interviewed former Eagle Don Felder (who’s sympathetic, and who points out that the paper actually brought this matter to his attention) and is polling its audience on whether or not the song’s violation of the Third Commandment is offensive. Sadly, there’s no question asking whether classic rock radio should play more Foghat and less Eagles as a general rule, but maybe the editors down in Alabama just assume that attitude to be a given. [Birmingham Weekly; HT Rob Murphy]

idolator
  • Anonymous

    They should have a poll on how offensively dull classic rock stations are (yet, we need to have them two of them here in NYC yet no rock station playing current music).

  • Chris Molanphy

    It’s too bad this article is so narrowly focused on that one song and on such a benign (albeit blasphemous) expletive. Because there’s an interesting thread one could explore on little expletives, especially on classic-rock songs, that have been slipping by censors for years.

    You won’t hear any of them on the radio now, in our post-Janet/Nipplegate, post-Clear Channel era, but I swear in the ’80s and ’90s this used to happen quite a bit. Some AOR stations used to play Steve Miller’s “funky shit goin’ down in the city” on “Jet Airliner” for years before the “funky kicks” version became standard. Also there’s that “Shit, I got to have her” line in ZZ Top’s “Legs,” which still makes it through the gate from time to time.

  • T’Challa

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised by new L.A. somewhat classic rock station “The Sound-FM” at 100.3. Check out this list of recently-played songs:

    2:04 – Houses Of The Holy by Led Zeppelin

    1:59 – All Mixed Up by Cars

    1:56 – Refugee by Tom Petty wiki Buy Now iTunes

    1:53 – This Is Not America

    1:49 – Lay Lady Lay by Bob Dylan

    1:45 – Backwater by Meat Puppets

    1:40 – Until The Day Is Done by R.E.M.

    1:36 – Boulevard by Jackson Browne

    1:33 – One Thing Leads To Another by

    1:28 – Freedom Overspill

  • T’Challa

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised by new L.A. somewhat classic rock station “The Sound-FM” at 100.3. Check out this list of recently-played songs:

    2:04 – Houses Of The Holy by Led Zeppelin

    1:59 – All Mixed Up by Cars

    1:56 – Refugee by Tom Petty wiki Buy Now iTunes

    1:53 – This Is Not America

    1:49 – Lay Lady Lay by Bob Dylan

    1:45 – Backwater by Meat Puppets

    1:40 – Until The Day Is Done by R.E.M.

    1:36 – Boulevard by Jackson Browne

    1:33 – One Thing Leads To Another by

    1:28 – Freedom Overspill

  • T’Challa

    @Chris Molanphy: I always loved it when FM stations would play “Midnight Rendezvous” by the Babys, and let it play out so you could hear John Waite sing “Oh, I really wanna fuck you” deep in the fade-out.

  • T’Challa

    @Chris Molanphy: I always loved it when FM stations would play “Midnight Rendezvous” by the Babys, and let it play out so you could hear John Waite sing “Oh, I really wanna fuck you” deep in the fade-out.

  • T’Challa

    Whoops–I got cut off there at the end of that list:

    1:33 – One Thing Leads To Another by Fixx

    1:28 – Freedom Overspill by Steve Winwood

    [www.thesoundla.com]

  • T’Challa

    Whoops–I got cut off there at the end of that list:

    1:33 – One Thing Leads To Another by Fixx

    1:28 – Freedom Overspill by Steve Winwood

    [www.thesoundla.com]

  • Thierry

    @T’Challa: There’s also Lennon’s “Fucking hell!” in “Hey Jude”. And let’s not forget all the airplay that Andrew Dice Clay sample (“What the fuck WAS that?”) thanks to EMF’s “Unbelievable”.

    One thing that remains a mystery to me: Jet’s “Cold Hard Bitch” was never edited on the radio or on TV, yet Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” always was…

  • Anonymous

    @Thierry: And the “do goody good bullshit” in Pink Floyd’s “Money”.

    Editing these days isn’t done to remove words, it’s done to emphasize them. Except for editing out Eminem’s rapist brag. I think everyone would rather that weren’t there.

  • BawstonSean

    Every station should play more Foghat. You can never get enough of the rock n roll outlaws.

  • natepatrin

    Swear to god, back in the ’90s I’ve actually heard Pink Floyd’s “Not Now John” more than once on the local classic rock behemoth — this being a song that drops about a dozen or so f-bombs.

  • Lucas Jensen

    Well, unless I’m mistaken, I believe there are still “safe harbor times” (I think it’s 10PM to 6AM) when expletives can be played within reason. This could have changed, but it used to be the way.