Well readers, I apologise for the delay between drinks on the Backwards Masking front. There’s life in that dead horse yet, and today my new horse arrived in the mail – “More Rock & Country Backward Masking Unmasked. Which promises, at the outset, to be just as edifying. But comes without the signature of a member of the QTC faculty on the inside front cover. Sadly. Though I may ask our principal to sign it. The first one will be worth dollars on ebay. Tens of dollars. If we ever launch our “Brisbane Presbyterian Relics” store…
But I digress.
Before moving on to book two, I promised to tell you why Olivia Newton-John is to be avoided, and I don’t feel like I’ve done justice to book one yet… here is a bit of Jacob Aranza’s story – the last chapter in the book.
I can never really remember not being around music. My sisters sang, and so did my brother. My sisters were even going to record an album at one time, but my dad thought it would lead to their dropping out of school, so he didn’t let them. They dropped out anyway! As far back as I can remember they were listening to Frankie Valle, Neil Sadaka and others playing similar music. I was always more influenced by my brother who was listening to the Beatles, Poco, Jefferson Starship and the Rolling Stones. He once spent the night outside a concert hall just to get tickets to a Rolling Stones concert.
The crowd that I ran with was just beginning to get into people like Janis Joplin, Black Sabbath, The Guess Who, Led Zeppelin and, my favourite, Jimi Hendrix. Although I had never seen him in concert I treasured every picture, poster of album that I had of him.
What we’re dealing with here people is the genuine article. A convert from the clutches of the dark and dangerous Rock and Roll.
I believe we could have titled it the “Age of Black Lights.” Because of the fluorescent lighting fad we bought black light t-shirts, black-light posters, black-light pants, black-light shoes… you name it and we either had it or could get it!
Awesome man. Black light fever.
Psychedelics were in and words like “far out, heavy, solid and wow” were in their prime. It seemed like the whole world was taking acid, snorting THC, and dropping mescalin.
It may be that this book doesn’t translate well from the 80s – but hearing someone talk about the words that used to be cool when they used to be cool is always fodder for laughs… it’s a cheap shot. But it’s hard to imagine “solid” ever being the height of rock and roll rebellion.
“With rock and roll in my ears, and drugs in my mind, I was trying to understand my role in this messed up world… I was living with my dad and stepmother who was a ‘backslidden Pentecostal woman preacher.’ My friends and I were into the street gangs and we thought stealing and violence were where it was at.”
But it gets worse. Much worse.
As if all this wasn’t bad enough, they had just started integration in the schools. Because our school was 90% Mexican a lot of integration was to come its way. By the time it was all over we ended up with a school that was 60% Mexican, 39% Black, and 1% white! Our school already had problems with drugs, sex and violence. All integration did for our school was put the match to the fuse of a bomb that was already there.”
You know what it was. It was the white people. That one percent. They must have introduced the school to rock and roll…
But then a preacher arrived, took control of a chaotic situation. And converted 1,000 troubled teens within a week.
“Our school turned into a revival center! instead of carrying knives and chains, they began to carry Bibles! You could see T-Shirts throughout the classrooms that read “Read your Bible – It’ll scare the hell out of you.”
I can’t help but think that shirt would have been better off capitalising the Hell.
Aranza converted, but faced Mormonism at home, he moved out, to live with his mum. Who ran a pub. He poured beers. But started preaching to the patrons. And “God kept me straight every day that I lived there.” He didn’t get drunk, or listen to rock and roll once.
Aranza doesn’t like our (Australia’s) Liv. How dare he.
“Olivia Newton-John who had been looked on for years as a clean pop singer, set pornography to music with her recent hit “Physical.” A segment of the song says “I took you to an intimate restaurant, then to a suggestive movie, there’s nothing left to talk about unless it’s horizontal.”
In case you’re confused, at this point, Aranza helpfully lets you know that horizontal means “laying down”…
These lyrics are basically the reason young people were experimenting with sex in the early 80s.
To close, here’s Aranza’s take on some of your favourite bands – Twitter style…
AC/DC: Sexually charged, on a highway to hell.
Adam and the Ants: Adam, leader of the group, represents rebellion, absurd fashion, and bisexuality.
Aerosmith: Singer impregnated his girlfriend, married her, was arrested for drugs in high school, and their fans get carried away.
Allen Parsons Project: Have a pyramid on their album cover, which causes an out of body experience, and they wrote an album about VD.
America: Singer found God, quit band, lost record deal because the record company said “your fans don’t want to hear about Jesus”…
Beach Boys: Involved in meditation, believe in reincarnation, sing about girls.
The Beatles: Drugs, sex, the occult and a messiah complex. Have children out of wedlock. Sponsored Monty Python.
Bee Gees: Look wholesome, but like drawing naked people. Swear lots. Believe in reincarnation, smoke pot.
Black Sabbath: Satanic name and imagery, including the “rock and roll”/devil salute (incidentally popularised by their singer – who replaced Ozzy Osbourne – James Dio, who died this week).
Blue Oyster Cult: Have the word “cult” in their name. Believe in aliens. Question the cross with their logo.
Richie Blackmore (formerly Deep Purple), Rainbow: Conducts seances, records his music in a haunted castle. “Blackmore’s music and message are certainly not that of a rainbow but rather a “lake of fire.”
Blondie: Bimbo, drug addled, sex addicts.
David Bowie: Gay man, married to a lesbian, drug addict. Says “rock is the devil’s music”.
Eric Clapton: Former heroin addict, world’s greatest guitarist. Treated drug addiction with acupuncture.
Captain and Tennille: Vegetarians, believe in reincarnation and karma.
Alice Cooper: Eats animals, sings about dead people, named after a witch.
John Denver: Messiah complex, looking for meaning in spirituality.
Doctor Hook: Sing about perverted sex, and drugs, and sex and drugs.
Eagles: Satanic, friends of satanists. Give drugs to teenagers. Based on media reports, conspiracy theories, and hearsay.
Earth, Wind, and Fire: Believe in reincarnation. Have a spiritual ritual. Think all religions are the same.
Fleetwood Mac: Sing about witches, especially a “witch in Whales(sic)”. Not Jonah. The country.
Pink Floyd: Encourage rebellion (we don’t need no education) – “Mind control? They have it over the minds of millions of young people as they encourage rebellion against authority in the school classrooms.
The Grateful Dead: Used to be called “the Warlocks.” Sing about destructive habits. Do drugs. Confusing lyrics. “I’m sure some people will be grateful when their music is dead”…
Hall N’ Oates: Possibly gay, like witches. Not wholesome.
Jimi Hendrix: Drugs. Plays guitar with his teeth. Sets things on fire. Likes to “hypnotise” people with music. More drugs. Thinks rock is fun. Died from drugs.
Billy Joel: Does drugs, compares music to sex.
Jefferson Starship: Singer named bastard child ‘god’, did drugs, called rock “church,” sing about drugs. Warning to those wanting to fly in the Starship: “Flight pattern ends in death.”
Jethro Tull: Suggested Jesus doesn’t like denim, but prefers corduroys. Swear when singing about Jesus.
Elton John: Sings about rebellion, disguised as wholesome music. Sings about prostitution and sniffing glue. Possibly gay. Outed by Bob Larson (the exorcist? Possibly).
Janis Joplin: Born in Texas. Died of a drug overdose (possibly related?).
Judas Priest: Bad name. Incorrect message of salvation.
Kiss: Evil, wear makeup. Sex addicts. Possibly satanic.
Led Zeppelin: Delved into occult. Use backwards masking.
Meat Loaf: Thinks rock is supernatural and claims to be possessed on stage.
Bette Midler: Likes pot, flashed her audience.
Iron Maiden: Playing with occultic fire.
Barry McGuire: Started “protest music,” starred in Hair, became a Christian.
Jim Morrison: Messiah complex, died at 27, flashed his audience, promiscuous.
Nazareth: Into the occult and demons.
Ted Nuggent: killed a raccoon, scraped it off the pavement, cooked, and ate it. (This is literal, not a metaphor).
Ozzy Osbourne: Claims the help of the Devil. Treated for rabies after eating a bat.
The Police: Take drugs, sing about Zen. “Watch out for the Police.”
Prince: A man who wears a bikini. Swears. Sings perverted songs.
Queen: Name comes from homosexual slang, Freddy Mercury wears makeup and tight pants.
Patty Smith: Sings about horses. Probably a lesbian. Doesn’t want Jesus to have her sins.
REO Speedwagon: Sings about infidelity. Got into music to meet girls. Claim to have a “cult following”…
Rolling Stones: Equate sex with dancing. Do drugs. Talk about the Devil. Singer has rubber lips.
The Who: Break their guitars. Follow eastern religions. Do drugs. Have fans.