Songs That Were Banned From American Radio After 9/11

For many Americans, the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center is the most important cultural turning point in history. The tragedy was the deadliest terrorist attack in world history and sparked rampant patriotism throughout the United States. It also had a dramatic effect on the arts, with many media companies calling for songs deemed insensitive or anti-American to be banned for fear of upsetting the traumatized nation. One such entity was Clear Channel Communications, which sent a memo just 3 days after the attack to its 1,100+ radio stations with a list of songs they deemed “lyrically questionable” and insensitive to play following the World Trade Center attacks. Some of the 164 songs that were banned include Duck and Run by 3 Doors Down, Shot Down in Flames by AC/DC, Sea of Sorrow by Alice in Chains, Sabotage by the Beastie Boys, Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel, and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan. While some DJs still chose to play those songs, they were strongly urged not to do so.