Parental Guidance

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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about the Parental Advisory warning stickers that record labels agreed to put on albums with offensive lyrics after being pressured by a group called the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), which was comprised of the wives of prominent legislators and led by Tipper Gore, wife of Senator Al Gore. In 1985, the PMRC released a list of 15 songs they found particularly offensive, and a Judas Priest song - "Eat Me Alive" - made the list. The group found it hard to fathom that anyone would take the subject matter of that song (forced oral sex) seriously, and like many musicians, didn't like where this was heading. In "Parental Guidance," they make their position clear:

    No parental guidance here...
    One life and I'm gonna live it up


    The upside of the controversy was that it boosted sales of the acts that incurred the ire of the PMRC, as kids bought the albums to see what the fuss was about.
  • This was one of the first songs Judas Priest recorded for their Turbo album. They laid it down at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas before the temptations of the island proved too enticing. After a lot of drinking and a few run-ins with locals, they they left the island and returned to the mainland. Before they could start up again at the Record Plant in Los Angeles, leas singer Rob Halford's drug and alcohol use got out of control and he entered rehab. When he got out, the band finished the album, but many of Halford's lyrics and vocals weren't up to standard. "Parental Guidance" is one of the tracks he made while still functional.
  • Judas Priest made a live video for this song with director Wayne Isham that was shot at their show in Dallas on June 22, 1986. Earlier in the set, they had a mishap: Halford swung his arm in a stage gesture that caught K. K. Downing's guitar, and the end of a string went into his eye. Downing put on big sunglasses to cover his bleeding eye, which he's wearing in the video. Many fans assumed he was making some king of fashion statement.

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