They say time heals all wounds, and to some degree that seems to be the case as Tipper Gore accompanies her husband Al on his march to the presidency.
In the mid-'80s, Tipper was one of the founding members of the Parents' Music Resource Center, a cultural watchdog group that set its sights on the music industry and "objectionable" lyrics. A lengthy campaign yielded Congressional hearings and eventually the "parental advisory" stickers that record labels now voluntarily place on potentially offense albums. It also yielded charges of censorship and a great deal of animosity among artists deemed "obscene."
Tipper has since apologized to many of those affected by the PMRC, and now, some 15 years later, Al Gore stands as the Democratic presidential nominee facing Republican hopeful George W. Bush in this fall's election. Gore's nomination also finds many artists mulling the possibility that their former nemesis may become First Lady.
Twisted Sister guitarist
Jay Jay French, one of the many musicians who saw his music slammed by Tipper and the PMRC during the '80s, admits that he will now likely vote for Gore come November. French called Tipper's PMRC past "a non-issue" and told MTV News, "I would have any Democrat over a Republican any day."
Twisted frontman Dee Snider offered more support for Gore, and some rather backhanded compliments, in a recent Associated Press article. Snider noted that he is supporting Gore, telling the AP, "I don't trust the guy as far as I can throw him. He's a conservative liberal, but I think he's going to chew up George W. and spit him out. He's an old-school, dirty-fighting politician." Snider also told the AP that he supports Gore's views on the environment and abortion.
While the men of Twisted Sister have tempered their ire over Tipper, W.A.S.P. frontman Blackie Lawless still faces nagging doubts over both Al and Tipper. "To be honest with you, I'm not in
the revenge business," Lawless told MTV News. "It makes no sense, I have nothing to gain by it. If he does get elected, I can't get this old [Who] Pete Townshend line out of my head, when they sing 'Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.'" [RealAudio]
Lawless, who still refers to the PMRC as the "Washington Wives Clan," argues that those involved used the PMRC and its movement to further their own political aspirations. "They were never about censorship. Don't give a damn about censorship, and never did," Lawless said.
"I remember when it first started happening and I thought to myself, 'What's the big deal all about? Why are they attacking us? Why are they coming after a bunch of people like myself?,'" Lawless explained. "We represent a sub-genre. All the kids already knew who we were. They were making us a household word to people's grandmothers in Wisconsin who don't buy the records anyway. 'What's it all about?
This doesn't smell right to me.'"Given that Lawless compares the PMRC hearings to the Spanish Inquisition, Al probably shouldn't count on Blackie's vote, though the frontman notes that it's not the idea of President Gore that he has a hard time handling.
"He doesn't bother me, but there's something kind of eating away at me," Lawless said. "What's going to happen if they get in and she starts believing in her own self-importance? That's what that little man on my shoulder is talking about right now."