April 14th, 2013


Gagging (on) the Munchkins

Of course, it went to number one. Anyone who actually remembers the '80s could have predicted that.

In 1984, a year that has some weight in the annals of censorship, the BBC banned the song "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood from its airwaves, largely because the Radio 1 DJ Mike Read found it offensive. Of course, it immediately went to Number 1 as well, having been languishing in the thirties prior to that - just as the Sex Pistols' banned song "God Save the Queen" had done seven years earlier at the time of the silver jubilee. You'd think they'd learn.

Oddly enough, I remember hearing that same Mike Read shortly afterwards playing the Beatles' "Come Together" with every sign of approbation - even though (to quote Ian Dury) a seasoned-up hyena could not have been obscener. But I suppose the Beatles' dirty jokes were by that time as far beyond reproach as Shakespeare's.