One of the most pathological forms of evil is in the form of the cult killer or deranged person who believes it is OK to hurt others or to kill. The Son of Sam who killed eight people in New York was allegedly into Black Sabbath's music. Ricky Kasso, the teenager in Long Island who stabbed his friend, took out his eyes, and then hung himself, followed Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. That is in Rolling Stone in November 1984 where they interviewed the kids that were at the funeral.
Most recently, the individual identified by the newspapers as the Night Stalker has been said to be into hard drugs and the music of the heavy metal band AC DC [sic].
This is not to say that the music made them into killers, but that in their insane, drug-crazed thinking, identification strongly with the lyrics of songs. I see the same process in my work with chemically dependent and hateful teenagers.
Every teenager who listens to heavy metal certainly does not become a killer. Young people who are seeking power over others through identification with the power of evil find a close identification. The lyrics become a philosophy of life. It becomes a religion. Young people in our treatment program recovering from drug problems, do, we ask them to give up heavy metal for at least a year so that they are not again overtaken by feelings of resentment, hate, and the urge to party. Partying, wich [sic] teens identify as a combination of drug use and hard rock music, is a strong stimulus to go back to that "Highway to Hell," which is an AC DC [sic] song.
Young teens who already think too much with their hormones and too little with their heads, succumb to heavy metal bombardment.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen thank you very much.
One 16-year-old music listener said to me–in fact, she is my daughter–you know, I really do not pay very much attention to the words. And my concern, said she, with labeling is that a label would simply underscore the fact that there are words here that really should be listened to, and that therefore, said she, labeling can make the situation worse, not better.
Do you think she has a good point or not?
Mr. STUESSY. I think she has a point there. Frequently that can in fact be the case. I think it is a matter of communicating to the record industry and related industries, whether it is through labeling, whether it is through ordinances such as are being considered today in San Anonio and other places, that we are not going to take this anymore. Do something. Clean up your act. Many of the problems Mr. Gortikove [sic] related just a few moments ago–that we cannot do this or that and if we print lyrics, then we might be guilty of pornography–there is a very simple answer. Get off that stuff; move on to something else. The industry itself creates the market for this.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, the industry could obviously stop making records that advocated this sort of behavior, but we are not talking abut that today. All we are talking about is making information available to parents. The information that is available to parents is