From the Barstool of the Publisher – January, 2006


It was reported in December by CNN, that hard-line Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad banned Western music from Iran’s radio and TV stations, reviving one of the harshest cultural decrees from the Islamic Revolution.

According to Iran’s Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council, the ruling was “required.”

Now, I don’t know what life in Iran is like. I’ve never been, I don’t know personally anyone who has, and I don’t plan on visiting any time soon. But from the sounds of this report alone, it doesn’t seem like a pleasant place to live.

It’s not because of rulings like this, or the fact that the country has, most recently, been gripped for eight years by a reformist-led revolution and that the new president won office in August on a platform that he’d revert to ultra-conservative principles promoted by the revolution.

No, what really struck me as terrible were the  tracks that the president was banning. CNN reported that songs such as George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” as well as tunes by saxophonist Kenny G. regularly accompanied Iranian broadcasts — and that alone makes me feel like Iran must be one of the most horrible places to live in the world.

I might have been able to argue that I understand where President Ahmadinejad was coming from if they were talking about music that was wrought with Western ideals and commercialism. I might have even been able to empathize with a man who thinks that the culture from the West was bringing with it morally challenged societal ethics and beliefs. But, come on!

If they’re playing George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” then the country has a few more problems than just a revolution on its hands.

And, wouldn’t it just figure for the United States, that of all the good music and culture we’re fortunate enough to have here, Kenny G. would be the one that would leak all the way to Iran?

No wonder the rest of the world hates us.

On a brighter note, devoid of “Hotel California,” Happy 2006. This year marks the start of year four for The Marquee. We can’t begin to emphasize how grateful we are that the Front Range has supported us the way it has over the last three years and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us. To everyone who has helped us, we thank you from the bottom of our musically-cholesterolled hearts.

As always, we’ll see you at the shows.

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