Heavy Metal Suicide

Ozzy Osbourne and bands Metallica and Judas Priest
In the 1980s Ozzy Osbourne and the bands Metallica and Judas Priest were brought to court by parents who accused the musicians of hiding subliminal pro-suicide messages in their music.

Bands Metallica and Judas Priest

Two days before Christmas in 1985, a pair of young Nevada men shot themselves after listening to albums by the heavy-metal band Judas Priest. Today the rock group and CBS Records went on trial in Washoe County District Court here, accused by the men's families of having driven them to suicide.

lawyers for the families of Raymond Belknap and James Vance argued that the musicians had placed subliminal messages in several recordings, including the album ''Stained Class,'' thereby inciting the two troubled young men to try to kill themselves. Both the group and its record label are charged in a civil suit with the liability arising from the manufacture and marketing of a faulty product, as well as negligence and intentional and reckless misconduct.

Ozzy Osbourne

Unknown-2.jpegIn at least three previous incidents, in California, Georgia and New Jersey, fans of heavy metal have killed themselves after listening to the album ''Suicide Solution'' by the rock singer Ozzy Ozbourne, another artist who has recorded for CBS. The California case was dismissed before coming to trial when a court ruled that song lyrics were protected by the free speech provisions of the First Amendment. The Georgia case is still pending, and heavy metal is no longer a factor in the New Jersey case.

n this case, however, lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that the young men were driven to shoot themselves by the subliminal messages the musicians placed in the music, such as ''Let's be dead'' and ''Do it.'' Though he has yet to decide whether the Judas Priest recordings had such material, Judge Jerry Carr Whitehead has ruled that such subliminal messages were not a form of speech and therefore were not covered by First Amendment protections.


Although the suicide rate is higher among rock and heavy metal fans (particularly the latter), a study of students with psychiatric disorders who were also heavy metal fans actually showed improved mood after listening to their music of choice. Other studies of depressed students have found similar results, suggesting that students may use this music to help treat their depression rather than becoming depressed as a result of listening to it.

Anotated bibliography
Read more at : Psychology of Heavy Metal Music: Effects on Mood, Aggression, Suicide, Drug Use and Intelligence | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/psychology-of-heavy-metal-music-a53261#ixzz1NZEtr4HT
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