There is no question about the message. I still hear art is art,
and in America artists are supposed to be free to express themselves,
out [sic] who has the responsibility to regulate? Parents? The
music industry? The Government?
I speak as a legislator. I speak as a parent, a veteran who has brought three children through adolescence. I know the temptations dangled in front of teenagers and I know the frustrations parents experience all through this process. The sense of hopelessness when you get the feeling your child will not listen to you.
There is in these times often a need to look to a force outside yourself for help. The question we must ask is, should the force be the Government, and that is what this hearing is designed to determine.
I believe it will be helpful before we proceed any further to get an idea of what it is we are talking about.
One criticism of the rock industry is the way it portrays values in rock videos which are viewed by the kids. There are suggestions that the move to label rock albums be extended to videos as well. I do not watch much television. I am not sure how many of my colleagues get much opportunity to watch any of the music video shows now available on cable and free TV.
I brought along two videos from which to choose which I believe are representative of the kind of presentations which cause the problem. The first is by the group Van Halen.
[The rock video "Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen was shown.]
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Hawkins, just a minute.
Now, this is a very large crowd today. We have allowed people in beyond the capacity of this room. We are not going to have any demonstrations. No applause, no demonstrations of any kind.
Senator HAWKINS. I thank the chairman. The title of that tape was "Hot for Teacher."
The next video is by the group Twisted Sister, and we will show you a brief portion of that. This is a very popular video.
[The video "We're Not Going to Take It" by Twisted Sister was shown.]
Senator HAWKINS. Mr. Chairman, I think a picture is worth a thousand words. This issue is too hot not to cool down. Parents are asking for assistance, and I hope we always remember that no success in life would compensate for failure in the home.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Hawkins, thank you very much.
The next witness is Susan Baker, Mrs. James Baker, from the Parents Music Resource Center.
Mrs. Baker, thank you very much for being with us. Please proceed.
Mrs. BAKER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. We would like to thank you and the committee for the opportunity to testify before you.
The CHAIRMAN. Could you please speak directly into the microphone, thank you.