By Adam Waldman
Crash Midnight may very well become the new “bad boys of rock and roll,” following in the footsteps of bands like Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue and others. They certainly have the musical chops and attitude to fill a void in the genre, but did they really do anything so distasteful that YouTube felt the need to censor and remove the video for “Roxy” – the band’s latest single – 72 hours after it went live?
There was a time when adolescent boys relied upon sneaking a peek at magazines like Playboy and Penthouse or perhaps an R-rated movie on cable to see a woman’s breast. I’m sure that I’m not the only one from my generation to “read” National Geographic to see topless African women. And, I’m certainly not the only rock music fan to purchase Queen’s album, Jazz, for the poster that featured a slew of naked women on bicycles. In this day and age, my youthful “exposure” to women’s breasts is laughable compared to what can be found with the click of a button online.
Crash Midnight has always been passionate about their art, and unapologetic about putting their music first and not backing down from clashes with authority. They have routinely been banned from Boston-area venues because of their wild shows and outspoken views about certain local city officials, so it’s no surprise that the band is doing whatever they can to make the uncensored video of “Roxy” available to their fans.
“We’ve always been against censorship of the arts,” stated Crash Midnight frontman Shaun Soho. “We’re not going to let sites like YouTube (that pays artists next to nothing for their content), dictate what our fans get to see.”
Thankfully, because of the power of social media, we no longer live in the days where artists have no leverage to fight against censorship. YouTube may be living in the mid-‘80s era of the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center), but rock artists and their fans aren’t.
There is an inherent danger in the slippery slope of censoring art, and that’s exactly what the nudity in the video for “Roxy” represents. It is neither gratuitous nor salacious; it is used to help tell the story behind the meaning of the song. The video doesn’t feature disturbingly real, bloody violence, hardcore sex acts or anything that warranted its removal by YouTube. In fact, it can be argued that there are numerous pop videos that are far more suggestive/inappropriate and, to make matters worse, they target a much younger audience than Crash Midnight.
It’s 2016. Porn is readily available to anyone with an internet connection and the ability to lie about their age. You can find nudity and foul language on network television. Every sporting event features commercials about erectile dysfunction. Sexual suggestion and innuendo is so ubiquitous that it can be found on “family” shows like Family Feud. Are we really to believe that flashing to a woman’s breast in a rock music video rises to the level of dangerous?
If there is a silver lining to this ridiculous overreach by YouTube, it is the confirmation that rock and roll is alive and well, and heading towards a mainstream revival. After all, there is no fear of the underground. Let’s not go back in time to the censorship days of the PMRC. We have the power to start a rock and roll revolution with Crash Midnight leading the way.
Help spread the word by sharing this story. Go to www.CrashMidnight.com and check out the UNCENSORED video for “Roxy” on the new Crash Midnight app.