That Time the Foo Fighters Got Censored on FM Radio Because of 9/11

Looking back at the soft, bizarre censorship in a post-9/11 world, including songs by Elton John, AC/DC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more.

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Nov 7 2017, 8:41pm

Photos by Sarah Palmer.

This story appears in VICE magazine and Noisey's 2017 Music Issue. Click HERE to subscribe to VICE magazine.

Some songs seem like they've always just existed. I know who performed "Wipe Out" and "Dancing in the Street," sure, but on a visceral level, it's hard to believe tunes so ingrained in the collective consciousness were created relatively recently. I remember being five years old and hearing "American Pie," and already knowing it was corny. Who could possibly remember when they first heard "Great Balls of Fire," or imagine a time before they knew "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"?

For many Americans who grew up listening to FM radio in the 80s and 90s, these songs are our canon. Their soundtracks evoke times and people and places; the first chords of a song like Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" might bring back memories of riding in my dad's truck, while hearing Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff" reminds me of being powerless and 12 and watching TRL. Your own attachments will be different, obviously, but there is one thing these songs probably don't make you think of, and that is 9/11.

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