Was a music hobby once more dangerous?

It occurred to me that it used to be a real minefield to be a young music fan. Anyone else relate to this as either a parent or young person (in pre-Internet times)??

1, Young people jealously guarded their scenes and would threaten or beat up other kids for trying to join their crowd without approval. (i.e., don’t even think of listening to Iron Maiden in 1983 if you’re not a bona fide juvenile delinquent - you’ll get your ass kicked. And don’t openly listen to ethnic music if you’re white - you’ll get your ass kicked. Etc, etc.)

2, Parents would watch their kids’ musical preferences like hawks, would read all the album lyrics & liner notes and seemed to live in terror of kids getting brainwashed through music. Listen to the wrong music and you could get grounded or worse, and the records (expensive ones at that) would get destroyed. The Tipper Gore / PMRC events happened because this was an extreme concern for parents at that time. Adults would always accuse rock bands of being “talentless junk” or whatever.

Lots of kids I knew only listened to Christian music or very mainstream Top-40 music in school because of this… My family was cooler than that, but lots of “classic” music remained undiscovered until college years, with the help of the Internet of course. Interesting times which are much different now.

In which alternate universe did you grow up? Granted, there is much of my youth I can’t clearly recall, but I’ve read very few accounts of music-related rumbles—at least not in the US Midwest in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

None of the OP is familiar to me. Though in 11th grade, a kid named Matt made fun of me in the school hallway for wearing a Talking Heads t-shirt.

Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada (I went to college there too.) There were no rumbles, just physical intimidation of kids for allegedly trying to act cooler than they were.

Adults have always accused the next generation’s music as being junk. Sometimes the government even got involved.

But “dangerous” is a bit hysterical. Dangerous was being caught in the Warsaw Ghetto with a radio tuned to the BBC.

I just meant that there were very real social consequences that one had to consider, in a way that seems utterly foreign today when looking back on it.

I’ve often noticed that “kids these days” seem to listen more readily and happily to music from very different genres than when I was a kid. When I was growing up, genre tastes were practically political–to listen to a particular type of music was to identify with a social group. Having eclectic musical tastes marked you as special in some way–either super super cool or really really weird depending on your social skills.

These days, the kids are so eclectic they don’t even know they’re eclectic.

Yeah, sorry: neither of the OP’s points is at all familiar to me. (I musically came of age during the early-to-mid 80s.)

Interesting, not all that far away from me, but I don’t recall any kind of social divide based on musical genres. In the headbanging crowd I hung out with, anybody was welcomed, even those New Wave poseurs ;). We were always delighted to try to convert disco people, too. Maybe this intimidation you speak of was a Canadian thing?

Our parents were indifferent to our music as well. We heard mutterings in the media about evil influences in rock and roll, but I can’t recall anybody’s folks objecting to the music we enjoyed.

When I was growing up (mid to late 70s) you might get made fun of for some of the music you listened to, but you certainly wouldn’t get beat up for it.

It could well have been a Canadian (or local) thing. I’m afraid that many of us were socially paranoid snobs who also lived in fear/admiration of the hollow-eyed delinquent metalheads who we called “skids”. The middle class moms & dads also tended to be scary, and very paranoid of outside influences. Musical preferences were very much a flashpoint for this kind of stuff.

But if Americans were so much more laid back about musical culture, how do you explain Tipper Gore? :wink:

At least in my case, Tipper Gore’s crusade was while I was in college, well after my parents would have had any say over what I might be listening to. And, they were lefty folkies when they were young folks, anyway, so I kind of doubt they would have even considered trying to censor my musical tastes.

My experience (in Green Bay, WI) was similar to Frylock…different social cliques tended to listen to certain genres (such as the stoners, who all listened to heavy metal), but there was never any sort of social pressure or threats around musical tastes.

Well, yeah, I remember that sort of stuff going on in the “Easy Rider”/“Okie From Muskogee” era but I figured that was more about politics and cultural change than just musical clique"turf"wars. {insert shrug smilie here}

Well, there were the Mods and Rockers battles in Britain in the 1960s. Rockers liked 1950s style rock’n’roll (Elvis, Bill Hailley, Little Richard, etc., and maybe also The Stones) and Mods liked stuff like Motown and (later) The Who and The Small Faces. Their musical and other stylistic differences were not the real reason for the fighting, however. Rather, liking the relevant style of music was one of the badges of tribal identity.

Later on the original British skinheads, who were into reggae, would beat up … well, anyone really (in practice, probably mostly other skinheads, but also unwary longhairs, who were into psychedelia and prog), but again, it wasn’t really about the music.

Heh! Tipper was a little late to have any effect on somebody my age. She came along just in time to annoy some of my nieces and nephews.

I don’t claim Americans were more laid back about music, just that my parents and those of my friends never objected to our music. Maybe it was because they had so many more legitimate things to be freaked out about :D.

I just want to say my parents didn’t care what kind of music I listened to (I grew up in the 60s) as long as I didn’t play it too loud in the house.

Well, my *parents *grew up in the 60’s, and I’m embarrassed to say that most of the music I listened to growing up was off their old albums.

Music was segregated in America pre-1960’s. There were “white” and “colored” radio stations, particularly in the south. Indeed, many southern stations refused to play Elvis because he sounded “too colored.”

In my Bostonian junior high school, blacks listened to “black music” and whites to “white music.” The Beatles and Motown changed all that.

Dick Clark was told there would be fallout when he had Fats Domino on Bandstand. He replied “I don’t care about their color, I only care about their music.” And Sinatra stopped playing hotels that would let Rat Packer Sammy Davis Jr. perform there, but not stay there.

Speaking of someone who, in 1983 was:

  1. Decidedly not a delinquent
  2. Arguably no longer juvenile
  3. A big fan of Iron Maiden
  4. A possessor of an intact posterior

I would also question the OPs premise.

Also my parents, while devout, never bought into the Evils of Demon Rock hysteria. Neither I nor my oldest little sister needed to hide our Alice Cooper albums. My younger little sister (also decidedly non-delinquent) didn’t need to hide her Iron Maiden albums, either.

Granted, not all parents were that open, but our 9th grade English teacher who played Tommy for my class when I was in Jr. High and Iron Maiden’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner for my little sister’s class never received any flak for it.

I question the universality of it, but not the effect it must have had on the OP.

Seriously, I would’ve been scarred by such a repressive environment, and would need to mention it to a counselor…

Or at least to listen to a lot of loud music of all genres and wear weird clothing just to prove to myself that “Hey, I would’ve gotten beat up for this as a kid, but now I can! I’m feeeee!”

(I was forbidden to wear jeans to school, because my mom said I’d be “disrespecting the school”. Now that’s all I wear… and I’m a teacher. In your face, mom!)