WBPT Censors Lyric In Eagle Song, Gosh Darn It
March 4, 2009 at 5:24 AM (PT)
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."