So the weather has been super gray in Boston and that means I've been listening to a lot of The Misfits lately. They're one of my favorite bands (regardless of the weather) and one of the things that has always impressed me is how shocking their lyrics were for the time, and how well they've stood up over the last 30 years.
This got me thinking about punk controversy in general and what a weird time sensitive thing it is in most cases. A lot of the anti Reagan vitriol of 80's hardcore punk seems laughable by today's standards. Even looking at the lyrics for God Save The Queen... it seems so innocent now.
Railing against "the fascist regime" of British government and declaring that the Queen "ain't no human being" was enough to get the Pistols banned from the BBC and arrested during the Silver Jubilee. But less than a year later, The Misfits released the single for Bullet, a track all about the Kennedy assassination, with lines like "Kennedy's shattered head hits concrete" and some hyper sexual lyrics about Jackie O.
That's a huge leap in a year. From cover art defacing a portrait of the queen to cover art illustrating blood shooting from the head of a president.
I just thought it was really interesting and wondered... how much of it had to do with timing (releasing during the Jubilee versus touching on an assassination 15 years after the fact)? Was the reception so different because of the difference in British and American attitudes? Was God Save the Queen so much more inflammatory because The Misfits filter the much more violent lyrical content through the lens of shlocky 50's B movies?
Anyway, that's what I've been thinking of and I wondered what the community thought.