How Did The Who Get Away With This? (Not a Cafe question)

In the song Who Are You (at least that’s what I think its called), you can hear Roger Daltrey sing at least two places in the song, “Who the fuck are you?” I believe that Daltrey’s even admitted that he is saying it, and not merely something that sounds like it. So, why does the FCC allow the song to be played uncensored? Is it because its kind of difficult to hear unless you’re listening for it, or is it because it was played for so many years before anyone ever figured it out that they just say “The heck with it.” and let it go?

Been wondering that myself for a long ass time. Hope someone has the answer. And I hope it isn’t something lame like the “Wings” song “helen wheels” where he sings something LIKE “who the fuck are you” just to throw censors off.


From .

Also,why do they let Money by Pink Floyd get played?
Every time I hear the line,
“Don’t give me that do-goody-good bullshit”
I’m simply in awe.
Chris W

According to (which has already been quoted above), the original US radio edit of Who Are You replaced “fuck” with “hell”. At some point, the radio stations seem to have decided on their own to start playing the US single edit (which included the naughty word), and more recently (within the last two years) the stations in my area have started playing the full LP version (which also includes the naughty word.) is silent on why these changes occured.

Where I live they used to just fade out the words, like they do on most RATM songs. They stopped doing that several years back, maybe as far back as the early 1990’s.

The FCC doesn’t pre-censor songs, though they will take action if anyone complains. In addition, plenty of listeners never really listen to the lyrics and when the lyrics are unclear, the only people who realize what’s being said are those who wouldn’t bother to complain.

In college, we used to trick DJs into playing Harry Nillsson’s “You’re Breaking My Heart.” The word always got on the air (well, on the carrier current), but no one complained.

I just keep wishing for CBS to play that particular part of the song during the opening credits for CSI…:slight_smile:

WMMR in Philadelphia (when it was still good) used to never bleep curses out of songs. The “fuck” in Jeremy and Who are You?", the “shit” in Jet Airliner, etc.

So I always thought it was indicative of their attitude and their audience’s attitude – they wanted the real songs and no one was going to make a big deal over it.

Smapti is correct in that the Who released an edited version of the single for radio airplay. This is the only version of “Who Are You” that I have ever heard on the radio. If the unedited version is being played elsewhere, it is because the station has made that choice. It’s not a case of the Who “getting away” with anything.

First of all, I’d take exception to the assertion that any station that played “Jet Airliner” was “good,” but that’s just me. The lame rock station around here (WAQY – gag) used to play a version that substituted “Funky kicks going down in the city.” Hee hee.

It is strange how some songs get the bleep treatment and some are allowed to go uncut, like “Who Are You?” I’ve never heard anything resembling an edited or censored version of that song.

On the same topic…when I was a rookie DJ on WWPV at St. Mike’s College in Vermont, I often played requests, sometimes hearing songs for the first time in the process if they were unfamiliar to me. I was once “tricked” into playing a song called “Getting Out a Posse” (or something with the word “posse” in the title) by Anthrax, I think it was. I’ve never heard a song with more vulgarity, and I apologized profusely while laughing and worrying that I’d get fined.

I’ve also heard that time of day affects what version of the song gets played. You’re more likely to hear the unedited version at night after 10 or so. RealityChuck is also correct when he says that the FCC doesn’t act until they get a complaint. There’s no FCC mandated “do not play” list (though the station manager may have one). Not too long ago here is Madison, a station got into hot water for “accidentally” playing the unedited version of “The Real Slim Shady”. Someone complained, the FCC investigated, and the station was fined (though not a whole lot as it was an accident/their first offense etc.)
So, I’m guessing not too many people have complained about the almost hidden “fucks” in those songs.
BTW, Nineiron, that song was “Startin’ Up a Posse” no?
Hilarious song about Tipper Gore and the PMRC.

Yep, “Startin’ Up a Posse” sounds right. That was the first and last time I have ever heard the song.

I don’t think I have heard “Who Are You” without the ‘who the f…are you’ slipped in.
I don’t know about “Helen Wheels” but on the Wings “Hi, Hi, Hi” Paul keeps singing things that sound sort of dirty, but on paper make no sense…like" wanna to lie on the bed, get you ready for my polygon" - but it sounds more like “ready for my body gun” or some crap.

Anyway, when you really did hear an out and out dirty word on a ‘mainstream’ rock record before the late 1980’s it was a big enough deal to call your friends and play the tape over the phone.

The band Disturbed song “Stupify” always shocks me that they play it on the radio. They seem to drop about a dozen F-Bomb’s in the song. And live (at least when they were on HBO) you can tell they are saying it. Checking the lyrics online proves it to. I also dont ever recall hearing the edited version of “who are you” on the radio. I’ve also noticed they tend to play the longer album version to nowdays. I dont listen to classic rock radio much anymore though.
nineiron “startin up a posse” was, at the time, the most curse word laden song I’d ever heard. Funny as hell though. How DIDN’T you get fined??? Funny stuff.

I’ve always wondered why - here in the bible belt south where the bleep everything- they don’t bleep Pearl Jam’s Jeremy when he clearly says “he seemed a harmless little FUCK.”

But the other posters are right in saying that the FCC doesn’t regulate the airwaves as much as people think they do. The biggest pressure to censor stuff comes from the advertisers. That’s why South Park “got away” with saying ‘shit’ like 160 times in one episode.

   Pink Floyd in the song Pigs from the album Animals.  He sings the line fucked up old hag ah ahhh charde you arrrreeee

In the Pink Floyd song Pigs he sings the line …you fucked up old hag. ah ahhhh charade you arrre

Welcome, twice even, to the legendary SDMB.

The thread you’re commenting on, although probably timeless, is still technically a zombie… it’s been harmlessly dead for more than a decade.

Oh, we don’t mind, generally. Especially if the new contributions are actually, you know, an actual contribution.

With that in mind, since this is a “General Question”, and the general question has been generally answered, I’ll let a moderator know to perhaps close this down… because a zombie rising from the grave even after it’s actually answered is a tragedy.

It might also be worth mentioning that it’s not a good idea to use your real email address as your username. (If that is your real address.)