Don’t Blame It On The Music

mindbump suggested by Bandpox

“Some people try and blame speeding tickets on fast music. Describe an event in which you allowed music to influence you into doing something irrational.”

I don’t agree with the claims that fast music or aggressive music or lyrics that can provoke you to do certain things that you wouldn’t do otherwise. I don’t buy that excuse so please forgive me for not drinking the kool aid. For instance the few cases that came up in the late 80s & 90s, particularly the Judas Priest trial that came up in 1990 – to refresh your memories he band was involved in a civil action that alleged they were responsible for the self-inflicted gunshot wounds in 1985 of 20-year-old James Vance and 18-year-old Raymond Belknap in¬†Sparks, Nevada, USA.

On 23 December 1985, Vance and Belknap, after hours of drinking beer, smoking marijuana and allegedly listening to Judas Priest, went to a playground at a church in Sparks with a¬†12-gauge¬†shotgun to end their lives. Belknap was the first to place the shotgun under his chin. He died instantly after pulling the trigger. Vance then shot himself but survived, suffering severe facial injuries. Following numerous complications, Vance too passed away three years after the shooting. The men’s parents and their legal team alleged that a¬†subliminal message¬†of “do it” had been included in the Judas Priest song “Better By You, Better Than Me” from the¬†Stained Class¬†album (actually a cover of a¬†Spooky Tooth¬†number). They alleged the command in the song triggered the suicide attempt. Over 5 weeks later the trial was dismissed.

Here’s my view; those two numbskulls were plainly idiotic and wanted to kill themselves. Blaming a single line in a song that they “happen to be playing” at the time is a cheap effort to extort some money by the survivor, the parents and the legal team. Similarly unless you are of the same mindset and are going to do something stupid anyway, the music/lyrics just happen to be playing. That’s it! It cannot influence you in such a way that you, an innocent person, will go and commit a crime or do something rash. That’s just bullshit. I have never done anything more than pump my firsts, head bang, do a mosh pit style dance and really get into the groove with fast music. Nutcases do stupid things and then find something else to blame it on.