Soon after the 9/11 attacks on America, Clear Channel issued a list to their numerous radio stations of songs not to play, due to what the company deemed as “questionable lyrics.” Tunes with titles like Blue Oyster Cult’s “Burnin’ for You,” The Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” and R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” unsurprisingly made the list, but so did any song that could even slightly be associated with terror attacks, flying, bombs, plane crashes, guns, smoke, or fires, as was anything considered ironic at the moment (Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”, AC/DC’s “”Safe in New York City”).
One song that made it inexplicably onto this list was the Jimi Hendrix Experience version of “Hey Joe,” which is all about a man named Joe who shot his girlfriend after finding out that she cheated on him. While it involves gun violence, it was a stretch to be on a post-9/11 “do not play” list, especially since the song title itself isn’t controversial. But you know when it’s not a good idea to play “Hey Joe”? Right after reporting on the Oscar Pistorius trial, where the gold medalist stands accused of shooting and killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
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