Rolling Stone may suck up to their pals but that's cronyism, it isn't quite corruption.
Pitchfork, Spin, and the usual suspects will, as a rule of thumb, write what they believe about a given artist's recordings (though it is easy for an editor to put a writer with a subject the writer likes, especially in an interview situation where proximity to rock stars is a valuable commodity).
When I wrote for Creem, they let me loose on huge bands and if I didn't like em I ripped em to pieces DURING ACTUAL INTERVIEWS, but that doesn't much happen nowadays.
Anyway, my point was that neither exaples were rank corruption as such.
But in the past decade or so, rock magazines have become tour and festival promoters and there the waters are muckier. Still, they have to make money somehow or the other, and, as I get deeper into it, I don't feel as certain as to the moral ambiguity of even that.
But this I know.
Anybody who wrote an expose of Bruce Springsteen's tax subsidies would be blackballed by Sony so fast it would make your head spin. They would immediately lose from Sony:
1. All advertising revenue.
2. All reviewing purpose music.
3. All press passes to shows.
4. All access to Sony's roster of musicians.
If you crossed SONY the way rock nyc has. Or crossed Warners, or EMI, or UMAS, you would be excommunicated. Rolling Stone couldn't cover the Springsteen story EVEN IF THEY WANTED TO. Of course, that doesn't apply to rock nyc since we get nothing from them at all, anyway.
Anyway, this is where rock magazines have a serious problem. They can tell the truth but only up to a point, after that they could well lose their entire enterprise if they cross the line.
This has never been clearer than on the disgraceful ignoring of Springsteen taking tax subsidies off the nearly bankrupt State of new Jersey.
No, it isn't illegal. But it is hypocritical, immoral, despicable. It is scummy. Springsteen's greedy act is completely reprehensible, there is no excuse for it. Nobody believes for a moment he shouldn't pay taxes on his farmland (he pays $5 a year, otherwise known as breakfast for him and some friends -his next door neighbors pay $6 on an acre and a half).
He loves Woody Guthrie? Woody Guthrie would've have made him eat the grass on his farm.
He loves Pete Seger? After the revolution Seger's commie pals would've taken Bruce outside and shot him for wasting valuable farmland.
And there is no reaction from anyone or anywhere.
Because everybody is scared.
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1975 (Volume 7, Number 1)
Smith’s final freelance contribution to Creem.
putting Nigeria on the map
back at # 1 for a third non consecutive week
not a dreamer but a steely eyed businessman and pop musician
Willie Nelson will play at the Palomino fest on Saturday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1975 (Volume 6, Number 12
Elton John came across as completely engaging
by episode nine, season four, the bastards finally got me sick of Kate!
some hooky and wildly inspired tune
Harry has the summer of his career!