Open Letter to Rolling Stone
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TimSchirmer

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An Open Letter to Rolling Stone

by Maya Price

(This letter was written to rolling stone after their "women
in "rock" issue was published, but was not printed by their editors.)

-------------------------------------------


I tried to find some cleverly worded way to express my disgust with
your "Women in Rock" issue, but what i have to say is really quite
simple: You guys are completely dumb.


By RS standards, Rock is no longer a style of music but a trendy
costume to be whipped up by expensive stylists and slapped onto the
latest pop tart barbie doll. Give a girl some tight pants and a spiky
bracelet and POOF! She ROCKS!

Your poor choice of cover girls and featured artists brings to mind
the Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions. There is nothing
necessarily wrong with the breast-baring models inside..but we all
understand that they have NOTHING TO DO WITH SPORTS--Which just might
be offensive to women who are interested in sports or who might even
be (gasp) real athletes.

Yes, Britney has a talented stylist and yes, somebody gave Shakira a
Guns & Roses t-shirt to wear..but they ARE NOT NOW NOR WILL THEY EVER
BE ROCK.

Maybe it's naive of me to expect any glimmer of rock'n'roll
credibility OR respect for women from a magazine whose cover shot is
regularly a naked underweight actress. The thing is , I AM a woman
musician with a rock band, and as we all are I am STARVED for any
little crumb of recognition that real women rockers might be thrown.
So like a sucker I find myself short another five bucks ..and pissed
enough to write my first letter to an editor. Avril Lavigne gets some
studded accessories from Hot Topic so now she's "upholding the brazen
tradition of teenage outrage"???!! Are you SERIOUS? And could someone
please explain to me why people keep insisting on referring to PINK
as rock? Wasn't she doing the white girl hip hop thing a minute ago?
Yeah, she performed on the Aerosmith tribute show --big deal..she was
on the Janet Jackson tribute show just before that--whatever's
trendy. WHO CARES. She's a Spice Girl reject...but I digress.

Jewel and Mandy friggin' Moore have full page features as Rock
Icons...Meanwhile Joan Jett gets one line. ONE LINE. Joan Jett & the
Blackhearts, who have never stopped touring, recently did 10 days in
the Middle East playing for the troops stationed in Afghanistan. In
AFGHANISTAN, Joan would come onstage wearing a birkha, which she
ripped off and stomped on before blazing through the purest and
nastiest rock show ANYWHERE. But even in the RS WOMEN IN ROCK issue,
a story like that gets ONE SENTENCE on the bottom of the last page of
Random Notes.

Britney's Rock credentials? Well, she butchers the song "I Love
Rock'n'Roll" on her latest record, and when asked about it the genius
replies "Well, I've always loved Pat Benatar." And SHE is your Rock
issue cover girl?? You should be REALLY embarrassed.

Sleater Kinney was the only rock group listed on the cover..and they
got only half a page. Ashanti, the r&b back up singer who can't seem
to do anything without "featuring Jah Rule," has two pages.

What about the Donnas? The Yeah Yeah Yeahs? The Distillers? A mag
like RS has the power to shine important light on groups like these--
instead they are afterthoughts, and that valuable spotlight is wasted
on the same overexposed pop princesses WHO HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH
ROCK.

In your own letter from the editor you have the hypocritical balls to
say "rock radio won't touch female artists, while the pop factory
keeps churning out soundalike clones, and ambitious musicians with
something to say find themselves left out in the cold."


The pages that follow those words are a blatant display that Rolling
Stone magazine is happily working for the factory now too.

If the issue had been called "Women in Music"..or maybe "Some Cute
Girls with Top 10 Records out Right Now"..I would have no beef with
it. Corny as it may sound, ROCK is something which is still
meaningful and even sacred to some of us. Use the word "rock" in bold
letters next to a picture of Britney ****ing Spears, and you're
turning your whole publication into a joke...and an offensive joke at
that.
 
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gloco

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Joan Jett has just moved up in my list as "cool rock chick."

I used to subscribe to RS but dropped it like a bad habit about a year back...it's one of the most worthless rags out there.
 
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Mr.PD

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Thanks for sharing that Tim. Maya really put that nicely.
 
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TimSchirmer

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It wasn't actually written by joan jet, but she supports it. I edited part.

I thought you guys would appreciate it though.
 
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Aong

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same. I suscribed to RS for about 3-4 years, and dropped it about a year ago, after it went severely downhill.

On the letter; i think it does make some points, however she brand RS as hypocritical, when i she herself is just as hypocritical. I'm not defending RS, as i agree it is no longer is worth the paper its printed on, but i am defending women who can sing and write music (be they attractive or not). Sure i agree, some are where they are simply on looks (i.e. britney and party..etc), but others such as jewel can genunally sing/write music. And it seems unfare that the writer praises Joan Jett 'charity work' in the same paragraph as dissing jewel. Totally disregaring the extensive charity work of jewel, who even has her own non-profit charity organisation.

Im not sure whether the writer has a problem with the RS for branding these singers as 'rockers', or whether she is simply trying to 'keep-it-real' by dissing attractive singers. Either way, i dont blame rolling stone for not printing it.
 
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grinch

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i bought that issue because shakira was on the cover. sue me.


some people have too much time on their hands.. why read about music when you can listen to it?
 
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markl

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Rolling Stone recently hired one of the editors of one of those disposable men's mags with babes on the front like FHM, Maxim and the like. They are trying to move the mag to a different demographic and change the format to be more like a standard men's mag. That said, I haven't read it in years.

There are GREAT music mags out there, but they all come from Brittain and will cost you $8-$9 an issue at Barnes and Noble, Borders and the like.

Uncut-- my favorite music mag comes with a free CD with the months best cuts from the months best albums (released in Britain). You usually get 18 songs. I've discovered a lot of music this way. They also review around 200 CDs, including re-issues. Excellent writing about newer music that matters.

Mojo mag-- This is a lot like Uncut, but without the free CD and more of a calssic-rock bent. Excellent writing about music that matters. 200+ reviews.

Mark
 
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radrd

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I know a girl who could have written that letter (and done a better job too); she's in my honor's English seminar and she was complaining about the lack of integrity displayed in that RS issue on the bus the other day. Some guy that she didn't even know apparently heard her talking about it, and when he was getting off the bus he called her a dike. Apparently RS does still have some loyal readers.
 
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carlo

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Rolling Stone is dead. Was when they printed that limited edition Backstreet Boys cover from a few years ago, was when they put people who have nothing to do with music on the cover. The dream is dead, its over - their last glimmer of hope was that Ken Kesey was still submitting pieces to them and, well, now he's dead too. Rolling Stone is MTV Illustrated. Nothing more.

Support people who still care. Rolling Stone is a lost cause, but there's a ton of good magazines out there. Go to an independent music shop, flip through the magazines and subscribe to what floats your boat. LA and OC Weekly (free newsletters in Southern California) consistently have damned good music pieces.

I don't see the point of that letter. **** and Ass get you on MTV and magazine covers... what a shocker.

carlo.
 
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gloco

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Quote:

Originally posted by markl
There are GREAT music mags out there, but they all come from Brittain and will cost you $8-$9 an issue at Barnes and Noble, Borders and the like.



Q is a good mag but i dont get a lot of the british humour...still a good read everytime i pick it up. If i see an artist on the cover that i dig i'll pick it up.
 
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TimSchirmer

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Quote:

Originally posted by carlo
LA and OC Weekly (free newsletters in Southern California) consistently have damned good music pieces.
carlo.


Hehehehe... one of my (former) crush's writes for LA weekly now.
 
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