Leader of the Banned

Sam Kinison is an icon of sorts in the raunchier corners of rock & roll. Only half of his new album, Leader of the Banned is comedy; he also rants his way through four classic rock songs, backed by a band that includes such luminaries as Slash, Guns N’ Roses’ lead guitarist.

Kinison’s last album got him in trouble. He made jokes about AIDS so offensive and ill-informed that his record company stuck an AIDS information booklet inside the sleeve and slapped a sticker on the front, disclaiming responsibility for anything Kinison said.

This time he talks about the war on drugs, which he thinks is wimpy. Instead, he says, we should napalm schools in Iran. He asks guys in the audience to tell him how women have mistreated them. One man says that a woman he dated slept with his best friend. Kinison then phones the woman, right from the stage; her roommate answers. ”DANA IS A WHORE!” Kinison screams.

Let’s hope the guy was a plant, and the phone call faked. Even so, the joke sounds like misogynist rage, aimed by a frightened man at women strong enough to have sexual feelings of their own. One of Kinison’s four songs is the Rolling Stones’ ”Under My Thumb,” whose title tells women where the singer thinks they belong. Amazingly, the record company plans to release it as a single. Is that a joke, too? F

Leader of the Banned
  • Music