We've been hearing for years that rock music makes us bad people. We've heard it from our parents, from teachers, from those goody-goody kids at school. AC/DC has probably written at least 100 songs about the subject. But what if I told you that scientists in the Netherlands have proved definitively that rock music makes you a delinquent?
According to these scientists, "unconventional music" like rock, hip-hop, and metal not only makes you more likely to end up a bad person, but it also leads to you infecting those around you with your diseased musical taste. The study goes on to conclude that people who listen to Justin Bieber, One Direction, and other "highbrow" music become better students and better people.
Far be it from me to question the validity of these claims. I mean, I did grow up on "unconventional music" and now look at me: writing about it for a Web site and drinking beer while I do it! But it got me thinking, what bands made me the delinquent, criminal, beer-swilling, drug-taking piece of garbage that, according to this study, I am today? Where did we all go wrong in life? Here's a few of my guesses.
5. Jay-Z When I was a kid, I thought Jay-Z was so cool. I still do, I have to admit. This guy was rich and famous, yet he still went hard in the streets and openly admitted he came up from nothing. He had to be smart to get to his level of success. I idolized that in a big way.
But let's look at it. Jay-Z has been frequently misogynistic, he used to sell drugs and is unrepentant about that fact, he raps about drinking alcohol and partying, and he stabbed a bootlegger! After thinking it over, I realized that maybe this is why I've also been to a lot of parties and stabbed a lot of people who tried to make bootleg copies of my records! Damn you, Jay-Z!
4. Pantera The cowboys from hell always got big props from me, and I'm sure most of our readership here at Rocks Off, because they were local. No matter how much shit the rest of the nation could give Texas, we had Pantera to shove in their faces, a band who lived and breathed the very attitude that the rest of the nation condemned us for. They were the embodiment of the real Texas man who could just beat those people's asses.
But upon further examination, Pantera endorsed drinking, suicide, smoking marijuana, violence, taking pills, and having sex with other people's girlfriends. Are these the values we grew up with? Is this what the Texas youth of today is living like? Clearly this must be the band who made us go wrong!
3. Nine Inch Nails Trent Reznor really felt my pain when I was a kid and he put it into words and music. Nobody else understood me, man. I imagine a lot of others out there were the same way. Few other bands captured the raw and admittedly whiny emotions of suburbanite teenagers the way Nine Inch Nails did.
But in retrospect, we have to realize, perhaps this is what did us in. When I think about it, it was around the time I started listening to Nine Inch Nails that I started wearing bondage gear, self-harming, engaging in violent sex acts (especially auto-erotic asphyxiation), and shooting up massive amounts of heroin, to be just like my hero Trent! It turned out to be just a phase, but imagine the effect music like this must have had on other youths! Imagine how many people I infected when I was into that stuff! It's poison!
2. Ozzy Osbourne Ozzy has almost as many songs as AC/DC about people trying to stop him from rocking, people telling him he's a bad guy for rocking, etc., etc. We all love Ozzy for it, but with the results of this study, maybe he really should have stopped rocking. After all, look at what his rocking has wrought upon the youth of the world at large!
I don't know about you guys, but I discovered Ozzy before the age of ten. Black Sabbath's Paranoid was the first album I ever bought on cassette tape from a Walgreen's! And so it goes that before my 10th birthday, I was already biting the heads of bats, snorting fire ants mixed up in my cocaine, and running around Dallas pretending that I was JR Ewing. It's a tragic story that has befallen so many of the youth everywhere. Thanks, Ozzy.
1. Peter Gabriel "What? Really? Peter Gabriel is worse for kids than Ozzy Osbourne?!" I'm here to tell you that the answer is a resounding yes. Aside from all that other stuff, I grew up on Peter Gabriel too. It's strange to find a kid that does, but beware if you do! The things listening to Gabriel's music from a young age cost me, I can barely express.
Peter Gabriel's music made me want to start revolutions against apartheid ("Biko"), respect Native Americans ("San Jacinto"), give up my God and worship money ("Big Time"), have sex ("Sledgehammer" and "Steam")! Worst of all, is after listening to his music, I felt like I got somehow smarter and started thinking about things with a critical ear.
It was thinking man's music and it made me do crazy things like start writing and questioning things in the world! Truly no worse fate could befall someone, especially from an early age. If only I had just simply waited until later and discovered One Direction instead, imagine how different things could be today.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.