Christianity turned me on to rock ‘n’ roll

Erin Roof

When I was 16, my Sunday school teacher sat my class down to watch a film documenting the evils of rock ‘n’ roll. Taped before Marilyn Manson, the narrator instead detailed ad nauseam stories about The Beatles throwing condoms at nuns, Jimmy Page’s dabblings in the occult and the gross promiscuity of George Michael’s music.

The backmasking portion was my favorite. The film illustrated how when impressionable teens play heavy metal backwards, devilish moans churn out evil phrases. I believe when one plays Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight” backwards, Rob Halford can be heard bellowing repeatedly, “Lick c— and eat fetuses.” (This was, of course, made before Halford came out of the closet in the mid 1990s.)

Instead of scaring me away from Satan’s music, the film gave me a good history lesson. I learned all about The Who, The Beatles, Pink Floyd and AC/DC.

But I knew something was missing. The narrator warned throughout the movie that listening to rock made kids do drugs. I knew that was the catalyst. To really appreciate this new music, I had to do drugs.

And that was all it took. Not long afterwards, I smoked my first joint in my friend’s basement, while listening to Led Zeppelin IV, and made my firm commitment to the drug and rock ‘n’ roll culture.

And I’m not that evil. I mean, I only commune with Satan on Tuesdays while blasting “Shout it Out Loud” by KISS.

I certainly don’t eat babies … maybe …

Yet, a book at my grandfather’s house reminded me again that rock ‘n’ roll twisted me to the dark side. The author argued not only that kids who listen to rock are bad, but even those who listen to Christian rock are going to hell. Whoa, can’t kids have any fun nowadays?

I pity the youth who are scared away from drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. They will never know the lightning – bolt rush of amphetamines and punk rock.

They will never experience the incapacitating beauty of Lou Reed’s “Heroin” drenched in psychedelia. The will never be stoned at 5 a.m. listening to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and putting their lives into perspective.

I wouldn’t have made it out of high school alive if not for Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile.

Velvet Underground: White Light/White Heat; Jesus and Mary Chain: Psychocandy; Iggy Pop: Lust for Life; Ahem … any David Bowie album …

These records shaped me into the creature I am. More than awards, boyfriends or car crashes, when I look back, I think of this music and stumbling and fumbling with the strands of reality.

Oh, it has been fun! And while most of society snorts safety as its drug — being reckless is all the more thrilling.

Where am I going with this rant? It’s summer, children. It is the season for stupidity — so let’s do it or die every day.

Turn it up to 11.

You know me, I’ll be prowling around downtown Kent, squandering my meager earnings on a good time. So, buy me a drink and let’s talk about






Erin Roof is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].