Back in 1982, Van Halen produced a video for the "Pretty Woman" single, off the album "Diver Down."

The video was banned from MTV. Why?There were two reasons.

One was the image of midgets humorously tickling the leg of a woman bound and tied between two posts. (Think miniature King Kongs trying to pick up a normal-size Fay Wray).

The second was when "she" took off her wig at the end of the video and became a "he."

Prodigy does one better. The techno group's single "Smack My (bleep!) Up" - which sounds more like "Snap My Picture" - is filled with cocaine snorting, nightclub brawls and full frontal nudity, along with a raunchy sex scene. Oh, yeah, and there are a few images of spurting vomit.

The clip wasn't going to air on MTV, according to a report in Billboard Magazine a couple of weeks ago.

But it is.

Do they know the "bad guy" in the video is actually a woman?

- DRUGS AND SEX CONTINUED: One of the more popular songs out today is Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life." And it's no wonder. Rumors about what the song is about (oral sex and drugs) are true.

Lead singer Stephan Jenkins commented backstage at the Billboard Music awards that the song is "about snorting speed and defiling women, but it's good fun."

Go figure.

- CONTRACT RIPPER: Toni Braxton, dubbed the First Lady of La Face Records, is suing her benefactors.

No monetary damages are being sought. She just wants to be free.

Ain't it funny how money and success change everyone's outlook on life?

Braxton even went so far as to leave La Face and its founder Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds out of her thank-you list when she picked up awards for "Female Rhythm & Blues Artist of the Year," "Adult Contemporary Artist of the Year," and "Adult Contemporary Single of the Year" for "Unbreak My Heart."

Without La Face, Braxton wouldn't be where she is now.

Edmonds discovered her while she was singing at a self-serve gas pump. Edmonds also co-wrote a majority of her hit singles - "Breathe Again," "Unbreak My Heart" and "You're Makin' Me High," just to name a few.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Braxton. Even if another label picks her up, do you think Babyface will want to write with her again?

Maybe she feels she needs to break away and do things on her own. But she signed a contract, and for the most part it has paid off in her favor.

Maybe she should re-record the song and call it "Ungrateful Heart."

- MORE CONTRACT SHREDDING: Don Henley fought Geffen, Metallica took on Elektra, George Michael battled Sony and Boston bashed heads with Columbia and MCA.

Henley did it to rejoin the Eagles. Michael did it to be "artistically free" and Boston did it because founder Tom Scholz wanted to do things his way. Metallica didn't like the administrative changes that were happening at Elektra.

Well, Henley did well - and he did the Eagles thing, one of the more successful band reunion tours. George Michael signed with Dreamworks and released an artistically mediocre album, "Older." And Boston just released its fifth album (since 1976), called "Greatest Hits," with a few new songs that would have fit in on any of its previous four releases.

But Metallica has never been the same. Even the new album "Reload" is a rehash of last year's "Load" . . . which was really a load.