The Secret History
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Table of Contents

Number 4 / August 1983...."Beat It, Don't Join It": MTV's refusal to air videos by black artists. Comments by David Bowie and representatives of Sting and Pat Benatar.

Number 7 / December 1983...."Number One With a Bullet": The invasion of Grenada--pop music as the soundtrack for military dirty work.

Number 17 / October 1984: "Dance With the Devil":Ronald Reagan tries to get an endorsement from Bruce Springsteen. Dave Marsh and Greil Marcus reply.

Number 21 / February 1985: "The Cradle Will Rock": The beginning of music censorship. RRC begins the counterattack.

Number 24 / May 1985: "Win to Eat": Hunger plus music: How the original meaning of the "We Are the World" record got lost, what was accomplished anyway.

Number 40 / September 1986: "(Don't Fear) The Sampler": Learning to love high technology. Myths about how music was purely made in the past.

Number 44 / February 1987: "Players": Sports and music. Segregation on the playing field and in the concert hall.

Number 63 / December 1988: "Let's Talk About Girls": "The beat of rock and roll may be the beat of sexual intercourse, but for the most part, it's intercourse from the male point of view." Maggie Haselswerdt provides the female side of the story.

Number 63 / December 1988: "Draggin' the Line":Prince, gangs, God, and the Stop the Violence movement.

Number 69 / July 1989: "The Student Body Electric": College radio. Who pays for it, who benefits, why it's under fire.

Number 73 / December 1989: "Trouble Brewing": The musical revolt against beer company sponsorship.

Number 79 / June 1990: "How We Gonna Breathe Without Them Trees?": The new environmental movement and its unlikely musical supporters (rapper KRS-1, country stars Alabama).

Number 79 / June 1990: "Prisoner of Race": Free James Brown.

Number 85 / February 1991: "Rock and Roll":James Baldwin and James Bernard on Led Zeppelin.

Number 92 / October 1991: "Gideon's Trumpet": The death of Miles Davis.

Number 94 / January 1992: "It's Not a Black Thing": The witch-hunt against Ice Cube and Death Certificate.

Number 102 / December 1992: "Who's a Rebel?": Sinead O'Connor, Kurt Cobain, and Arrested Development. Can religion be revolutionary?

Number 105 / April 1993: "Unplugged": Texas man imprisoned for carrying a boombox on a plane.

Number 111 / December 1993: "Gangsta Rap Loves You": Gangsta rap as the vehicle of unity, as a pro- woman voice. Read it and believe it.

Number 112 / February 1994: "Born Jamerican":
Reggae finally conquers America.

Number 112 / February 1994: "State of New Jersey Covers Up Rock Fan's Murder":Adam Katz, a 19- year-old Deadhead, killed by security guards at Grateful Dead show at the Meadowlands.

Number 116 / July 1994: "Growing Pains": Jello Biafra crippled by thugs. Why punk's popularity has grown and what it means for the scene.

Number 118 / September 1994: "Angry Eyes": "From Pantera to M.C. Eiht, a lot of records in the Top Ten this year have been filled with anger. While the instinctive response of the targets of this anger (e.g. the police) is to kill the messenger, cooler heads may simply ask: Why?"

Number 122 / February 1995: "Living for the City": Led Zeppelin versus Tupac Shakur.

Number 123 / April 1995: "Ladies Choice": Pentecostal minister La'Chelle Woodert stands up for rap and against Newt Gingrich.

Number 124 / June 1995: "Live Through This": Dave Marsh's 5,000 word essay on the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, exploring Cobain's life in depth and linking it to many other bands / musicians and the social and political currents that laid a trap for him.

Number 127 / September 1995: "Attics of My Life": Jerry Garcia's death--the view from Oklahoma.

Number 128 / November 1995: "It Takes a Nation of Millions (To Push Itself Forward)": The Million Man March, racial politics, and rap music.

Number 130 / January 1996: "Cops and Chronic": The war on drugs becomes a war on music.

Number 133 / May 1996: "Radio Wars": The explosive growth of pirate radio. Pearl Jam's Monkey Wrench Radio and the murder of pirate radio operator Michael Taylor in Los Angeles. RRC, which has been a part of the pirate radio movement from the very beginning, puts it in perspective.

Number 134 / June 1996: "Big Brother and the Holding Company": Why the high-profile "anti-drug" programs of the music industry are a dangerous fraud.

Number 134 / June 1996: "Victims of the In-House Drive-By": Why Metallica is NOT a sell-out band. Why the whole idea of musicians selling out has little to do with reality. Where the idea came from, how we can get rid of it.

Number 136 / October 1996: "Holler If You Hear Him":
Tupac is killed.

Number 137 / December 1996: "Evil Empire":
Wal-Mart and censorship. The role of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Number 143 / July 1997: "Something's in the Air":
Throughout most of human history, music has been free. Over the past century, the advance of technology allowed music to be turned into various configurations that could be sold. Now the further advance of technology is returning music to its original, free state.

Number 145 / September 1997: "Cop Land": More evidence that Tupac's imprisonment and attempted assassination in New York were set up by the police. The connection between Tupac and Mike Tyson.

Number 148 / January 1998: "An Open Letter From Ani DiFranco to the Editors of Ms.": Ani writes a letter to the editors of Ms. magazine in which she wonders why they regard her as a mere businesswoman instead of as an artist and revolutionary. Ms. wouldn't print it. We did.

Number 159 / February 1999: "Celebrity Skin":How we've allowed musicians to take our political responsibilities and the problems that causes. Told from the point of view of the history of the song "We Shall Overcome."

Number 165 / September 1999: "Fooled Again":The promoters of the 1999 Woodstock festival even managed to make a travesty of the "peace" part of the message of the first Woodstock by claiming that holding the festival this year on an abandoned Air Force base was some kind of symbol that, despite Belgrade and Baghdad, "we have won." Still, there's no denying that a new concept of freedom has replaced the old one.

Number 170 / March 2000: "A Wolf In Wolf's Clothing": Why do artists continue to associate with Rock the Vote, an organization that honors major label flunky Hilary Rosen, a woman who is actively subverting their careers, and honors Bill Clinton, a man who is actively subverting their country?

Number 180 / March 2001: (SOME) VOICES CARRYÖ.The most important issue here isn't whether Eminem's lyrics are "good" or "bad" or whether he is "right" or "wrong." The issue is that a kid from the trailer parks has been able to create a de facto dialogue within (and certainly without) a huge and diverse fan base. The issue is that most of this dialogue, which could be of great benefit to society, is never heard.

Number 182 / June 2001: COVER ME.....Musicians, like the rest of us, cannot afford proper health care. They constantly reach out to each other to try to help out, but their efforts almost always fall short. Now, at last, a solution may be on the horizon.

No. 185/October 2001: "Imagine There's No Unity"....The average American has much more in common with the average Arab than with the U.S. government, which continues to impoverish Americans AND Arabs under cover of false patriotism. The threat to music detailed.

No. 192/July 2002: Vincible.....The music industry is racist. But Michael Jackson's claim that he is the victim of a racial conspiracy is 100% wrong. Here's whyÖ

No. 196/February 2003: The Today Show.....
Bono means well as a rock star/politician but he's making a fool of himself. Here's whyÖ

No. 198/May 2003: The Dixie Chicks Cross the RoadÖ.
Banned from country radio, the Dixie Chicks began their Top of the World tour in the Deep South on May 1. Making explicit their solidarity with the civil rights movement, they were received with open arms everywhere. There's more to the South than the Dukes of HazzardÖ.

No. 202/January 2004: COLD SWEATÖ
Why are so many musicians getting their gear made in sweatshops? And how are they connected to the do-nothing Democratic Party?

No. 203/February 2004: KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZEÖ
Rock & Rap Confidential has been down with voting since day one. Now, with so many musicians saying we should work for any sleazy Democrat to get rid of Bush, it's getting more complicated.

No.206/July 2004: RAY AND RONNIEÖ
Ronald Reagan and Ray Charles are forever linked by Ray's appearance at the 1984 Republican convention to sing Ronnie's favorite tune, "America the Beautiful." But that's all they have in common. The difference between them can be summed up in the fact that Ray backed the civil rights movement while Reagan opened his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi-where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964-and gave a speech about states rights, readily understood as code for "no more integration."