Most people will remember W.A.S.P. for their combination of heavy metal with shock rock. The band was formed in 1982 by Blackie Lawless, who is now the only remaining original member. They were in the LA scene in the early 80’s that also included Mötley Crüe, Dokken and Ratt. Their self-titled debut album was released in August 1984 and their first single ‘Animal (F*** Like A Beast)’ was excluded from the album in the US so that it wouldn’t get banned from major chain stores. In fact, their early releases were all littered with sexually explicit songs and they suffered a backlash from the establishment. Tipper Gore (the wife of a US senator) founded the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), an organization that pushed for warning labels on recorded music, and made the band one of their prime targets.
Blackie Lawless had a fundamentalist Baptist upbringing and went to church until his late teens. But when he left home and moved to California, he ended up studying the occult for three years. It wasn’t until many years down the line that Blackie would shock the metal community by reading the bible and becoming a born-again Christian.