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  • Fred

Jann Wenner's Blindspot(s)

According to the website Consequence of Sound, Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner "personally dictated" U2’s Songs of Innocence to be the magazine’s No. 1 album in 2014.

I believe that.

And earlier this week, Rolling Stone released its list of the year’s 50 best albums, and U2’s Songs of Experience had claimed the No. 3 spot. COS insinuated that Wenner was at it again.

I believe that also.

Rock and Roll is a young man's game. The genre is meant to elevate the young and consume and regurgitate the old. Now there are exceptions to every rule, but Rolling Stone seems to have a blindspot for old, horrible rockers. Especially this year:

41. Gregg Allman's Southern Blood

What I Say: Gregg Allman is way, way off my radar. Too close to country for my liking. With that being said, putting Southern Blood in the Top 50 seems to be more of a lifetime achievement award than a recognition of the album itself.

35. Bob Dylan's Triplicate

What I Say: For a longer rant on Dylan go here. Today all I have to say is, 'there's no way in hell, 76 year old Dylan, has one of the Top 500 ROCK albums of the year doing an album of cover tunes of American Classics from the 50's.

13. Randy Newman's Dark Matter

What I Say: Number of quality Rock Songs in Newman's 55 year career? ZERO

and, of course

3. U2's Songs of Experience

What I Say: I kinda liked U2, in the late 80's and early 90's, then I lost interest. iTunes downloaded the Songs of Innocence album straight into my library for free in 2014. so I gave that album a listen. IT WAS HORRIBLE! IT WAS HORRIBLE, SQUARED. IT WAS HORRIBLE INTO INFINITY. I refuse to listen to that album's sequel.

And the above list doesn't even include entries from legends like Robert Plant or 4/5ths of Fleetwood Mac, which are potentially good, but I ain't listening to....


...And then I paused. Why I am I still bitching about Rolling Stone Magazine? That is passé. Rolling Stone is for sale. Jann Wenner clinging to the ghosts of the past is ultimately going to cost him when he sells the magazine. I couldn't find what the sale price was on the internet, just a lot of speculation of what the sale price COULD be. So I'm picking a nice, round number, $100 million. Rolling Stone Magazine is the entree at an expensive restaurant where there are no prices on the menu. No one in their right mind is paying $100 million for a magazine.

But after watching bits and pieces of the documentary 'Rolling Stone: Stories From the Edge' I'm more convinced than ever that Jann Wenner was as much about agenda and his own lifestyle than the music. I watched a very likeable Cameron Crowe talk about the higher ups making him cover the bands they didn't like, and with wide-eyed glee he exclaimed that he didn't mind, he was living his dream. Just like in the movie Almost Famous, it was about the music, at least for Crowe.

So with that in mind, I think I may take out a loan, and offer Rolling Stone $100 THOUSAND for their catalog and website, strip it down to nothing. Then re-launch it without political reporters

and basically make it like Rotten Tomatoes, but for music. Using old reviews from the magazine, set up the website with 2 tiers, the critics and the fans. So when the critics give Triplicate 98%, then you see that the fans respond with 22%, you'll know what the score really is. You could argue that that system could potentially kill rock music, but Rolling Stone itself said 'Rock is Dead'... in 1974.

I apologize. Let me step back and briefly explain why.

I always hated the band the Eagles, I thought they were terrible, but then I watched their documentary. I still thought that they were terrible, but I respected them, in a wierd sort of way. I watched the Rolling Stone documentary and had thought Jann Wenner was terrible and came away from that viewing thinking that he was infinitely more terrible than I had even thought. Complaining about Rolling Stone has been a sport upon itself since the early 80's and the magazine itself had lost its respectability long before the U of Virginia Rape Story.

Not unlike another magazine whose time had passed, Playboy was hemorrhaging money at the end. When Hef died, he was worth "surprisingly little." Look for Jann Wenner to share the same fate when the dust clears on his Rolling Stone fortune.

Me? There's no Beacon of Speech fortune to be had. The next article will clarify my musical tastes: Fred's Top 150 Songs of All Time.

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