There happens to be one area where I am in complete agreement
with the PMRC, as well as the National PTA and probably most of
the parents on this committee. That is, it is my job as a parent to
monitor what my children see, hear, and read during their preteen
years. The full responsibility for this falls on the shoulders of my
wife and I, because there is no one else capable of making these
judgments for us.
Parents can thank the PMRC for reminding them that there is no substitute for parental guidance. But that is where the PMRC's job ends.
The beauty of literature, poetry, and music is that they leave room for the audience to put its own imagination, experiences, and dreams into the words. The examples I cited earlier showed clear evidence of Twisted Sister's music being completely misinterpreted and unfairly judged by supposedly well-informed adults.
We cannot allow this to continue. There is no authority who has the right or the necessary insight to make these judgments, not myself, not the Federal Government, not some recording industry committee, not the PTA, not the RIAA, and certainly not the PMRC.
I would like to thank the committee for this time, and I hope my testimony will aid you in clearing up this issue.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Snider.
Mr. Snider, let us suppose that there is music which, say, glorifies incest; not yours, but suppose that there is some music that glorifies incest. Do you think parents should know about it, or do you think that it is just a matter between whoever is selling the record and whoever is buying it?
Mr. SNIDER. As I said in my testimony, I think it is very important that parents be aware that these lyrics exist.
The CHAIRMAN. How could they find out about it?
Mr. SNIDER. Well, quite simply, as a parent myself and as a rock fan, I know that when I see an album cover with a severed goat's head in the middle of a pentagram between a woman's legs, that is not the kind of album I want my son to be listening to.
If I read a title on the back of, say, Somebody's Ice Cream Castle, a title called "If the Kid Can't Make You Come," whatever it is, I realize that is a sexually explicit song. By just looking at the cover, looking at the lyrics, looking at, I should say, the titles, that should cover just about all bases.
The few albums that do not express their intentions on the cover or in the song titles, I think a parent could take it home, listen to it. And I do not think there are too many retail stores that would deny them the ability to return the album for something different.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that most parents, or even kids for that matter, know everything that is on an album when they buy it, when the child buys the album?
Mr. SNIDER. I do not know half the things that are on half the albums I own. Some of the bands I listen to, I listen for musical reasons. Other bands I listen to for lyrical reasons.
I know that AC/DC, one of my favorite bands, sings a lot of songs glorifying hell and damnation. I am a Christian. I do not