Before he was the frontman for Seattle’s legendary Alice in Chains, Layne Staley was in a glam rock band called Sleze. The young rocker openly criticized the PMRC once while he was in the audience of a TV show.
The PMRC, or the Parents Music Resource Center, was founded in 1985 by a group of women including Tipper Gore with the intention of increasing parental control over children’s consumption of music. Many rockers were against the organization, such as Dee Snider, who famously attended the PMRC Senate hearing and deemed it censorship.
Staley was involved with Sleze in 1985, and a television show on KOMO News called Town Meeting aired a special on the PMRC amidst the height of the controversy. The singer was in attendance during the filming, and had the chance to voice his opinion on the matter — decked out in glam gear and teased hair, of course.
“I play for a rock band called Sleze — and I mean, there’s enough controversy on our name more less than our songs. We just signed with a local record company, I don’t feel there’s anything objectionable about any of our songs,” Staley said.
“But, I don’t feel anyone else has the right to rate our songs. I mean, I’m the only one that the right to rate my album — you don’t have it.”
Watch the clip below.
According to David de Sola’s Alice in Chains: The Untold Story, the Seattle Times wrote an article about the special, noting, “Layne Staley, a Lynnwood teen who plays in a heavy-metal group called ‘Sleze,’ says, ‘Our lyrics are all positive—“we don’t use bad language or sing about drugs and sex—but I just want the freedom to write about what I want.’”
Young Layne Staley Criticizes the PMRC on TV
The Worst Lyrics From the Satanic Panic’s ‘Filthy 15’
The most graphic lyrics from the “Filthy 15.”