Anniversary of ‘Monster Mash’ Controversy
Halloween's creeping up fast and this is the time of year where you're bound to hear some Halloween-themed songs. You know the ones. "Ghostbusters"; "Purple People Eater"; "Thriller"; "(Don't Fear) The Reaper; just to name a few. And, of course, "Monster Mash", a fun little ditty about all the famous monsters having a party. Would you believe that song was actually a topic of controversy?
On this date, 56 years ago in 1962, Britain's BBC actually banned Bobby "Boris" Pickett's smash hit "Monster Mash" because they considered the song "too morbid". And this is coming from the country that brought sex, nudity and gore to horror movies with the Hammer Films series of gothic horror films released from the mid-1950's thru the 1970's. At the time, anyone who was bored with Bela Lugosi's interpretation of Count Dracula certainly took notice when Christopher Lee took on the role in 1958's "Dracula" filmed in TECHNICOLOR!!! All the better to see the RED BLOOD. Lee went on to appear six more times in various Dracula sequels for Hammer that, at times, were increasingly bloodier and sexier.
But despite this, the BBC took offence at a NOVELTY song. They failed to notice the fact that the lyrics were entirely humorous. Across the pond here in America, the song went all the way to #1 the year it was released in 1962. But it wasn't until 1973 that the song made the charts in the UK where it eventually made it as high as #3. I realize that things were different back then and times have changed, but WOW! So the next time you hear "The Monster Mash", think about how that song was actually CONTROVERSIAL at one point in history.