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Rock 'n' roll seminar erupts in verbal brawl

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Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 1991 12:00 am

What started as a quiet seminar on rock music erupted into a verbal brawl last night between a heavy-metal rock musician turned born-again Christian and his audience.

Jeff Godwin, a former rock musician and drug addict, argued with a group of 80 nearly devoid of supporters while he attempted to show the evils of rock music.

"Music is meant to glorify God and rock does not," the Bible-quoting Godwin said.

"I'm here to encourage you to surrender to Christ," he said during the intense seminar -- the second part of a series sponsored by the Penn State American Family Association titled "What is Wrong With Rock Music." He tried to connect Communism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, rape, violence and Satanic worship to rock music.

At times he yelled and hissed at the audience.

Godwin, the author of three books on the dangers of rock music, claimed that promiscuity is the principal theme of rock music.

"Rock is the last bastion of women as sex slaves," he said.

"Rock and roll and perversion are the same thing," he said, claiming that Satan is the driving force behind rock 'n' roll. The Devil is using the New Kids on the Block to lure youngsters into the world of rock, he said.

Several listeners said they thought Godwin supported music censorship.

"I believe that people like him want to censor my life and that scares me," said J. Gunnar Schroyer of State College.

Others took the lecture light-heartedly.

"It was almost too comical to be taken seriously," said Carlos Castaneda Jr. (freshman-music composition) in summing up the evening.

Godwin labeled the Beatles as "anti-christs" and said the group was an example of rock 'n' roll promoting Communism. He claims that Paul McCartney is a Communist and those who buy Beatles records support Communism.

"Lennon made a career of blasphemy and is most assuredly burning in Hell. He won't be drinking beer and having sex in Hell; he will be suffering," Godwin said.

To the crowd's delight, Schroyer refuted Godwin's claims that rock music leads to premature aging and drug abuse by asking, "What about Dick Clark?"

When asked to provide an alternative to rock, Godwin replied, "The alternative is Jesus." A voice in the crowd yelled back "I don't buy that."

The remaining two lectures will be held tonight and Thursday night at 7:30 in 105 Forum.

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