Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


The Eagles get censored in Birmingham – My reaction? $%#!

Saw this posted on the radio industry website All Access and had to share it - the article includes a quote from former Eagles guitarist Don Felder...

The Eagles

Via Huffington Post (original source)

If you’re one of the 16 million people who bought THE EAGLES’ album "Hotel California," you’ve heard the song, "Life In the Fast Lane." And probably you like it: 33 years after its release, it remains a standard on hundreds of radio stations. Unlike the vast majority of radio stations, writes THE BIRMINGHAM WEEKLY, COX Classic Hits WBPT (EAGLE 106.9) censors the song.

You probably know the line:

"We’ve been up and down this highway/ haven’t seen a goddamn thing."

EAGLE 106.9 PD MIKE SCHOENHERR, a.k.a. HURRICANE SHANE, replaced "God" with a snippet of lyric-less music from elsewhere in the song. This was neither per any FCC policy or a mandate from EAGLE 106.9’s owner, COX RADIO.

"It’s everybody’s policy," says EAGLE 106.9 VP/GM RAY NELSON, explaining his decision. "People find it offensive."

"This is the first time this issue has come to my attention," says THE EAGLES' DON FELDER. A native of the South, he agrees with NELSON in one respect, "There are people who have extreme religious beliefs that would find it offensive. I can understand why they wouldn’t like to hear it."

FELDER believes the song should be broadcast as THE EAGLES recorded it, though. His long list of reasons includes his determination that classic rock fans prefer it that way. Legally, THE EAGLES have no recourse.

The heart of the issue is to what extent classic rock fans in fact find the original version offensive. "I’d be happy to conduct an online poll to gauge listener opinion, because after all the station is theirs, not mine," says HURRICANE SHANE. "I just mix the music and try to amuse and entertain the listeners occasionally."

The above article reminds me of a program director that I worked for (pre-Janet Jackson/Super Bowl incident) that insisted on album versions of all of the songs that we played, especially the classics. The exception was any new songs (Disturbed, for example) that had blatant F-bombs or other swear words that were overly offensive. As long as it wasn't blatant, it was good to go.......and as far as the classics, we went out of our way to make sure that we were playing the "right" version.

For example: Steve Miller Band "Jet Airliner" - You're probably familiar with the original album version lyrics "funky shit going down in the city," which is replaced on the Greatest Hits 1974-78 package with "funky kicks going down in the city." The album version is so embedded in my brain that I didn't even notice that we were playing an edit until someone pointed out to me that "we need to replace that edit of Jet Airliner."

Edited Version:

Album Version:

I can understand censoring certain songs for the radio, but reading something like the above story about "Life In The Fast Lane" drives me crazy. Sure, the rules of radio have changed a lot in the past few years, but stuff like this is going overboard, in my opinion.

And on a side note, I love that the station is called "The Eagle." Extra props to Hurricane Shane for working the "this is your radio station" crap into his quote.

What do you think about censoring classic songs that have been aired on radio for decades without censorship? Right move, or wrong move?

  • Dave Lifton

    The obvious joke is that The Eagles should have been censored from the radio years ago…

  • Matt Wardlaw

    Don Henley’s gonna kick your ass for that one, Dave

  • Eagle Tony

    Enough of the censoring. Put your time and effort into something that matters.

  • Shana Phoenix

    Everyone is bored. They find things to do that are pointless. For instance editing a word out or banning a certain song because it has “God” or “Shit” or even “Bitch” in it. Who cares?! Do you think religious people or conservatives are listening or looking up that type of music anyway? No. They are not. They have radio stations for them too. Edit “God” out of religious songs and see what happens. I mean really. I could say that word offends me. When if I know the station plays music like that then why would I listen to it?! It doesn’t make sense. It’s like when you’re 5 and you say “Mommy, my arm hurts when I do this.” Well what are you doing that for?! Come on people. Jeez. The world is going down….way way down….

  • hosein

    i love eagles group an hotel california music

  • hosein

    i love eagles group an hotel california music

  • Arkychick

    It’s the 21 century…………..stop with the censoring already!