So some bloke named Josh Eells of Rolling Stone interviewed Taylor Swift (here) and some bloke named Theo Wenner (no relation -yeah, of course that’s a joke) took pictures of Taylor Swift? And me? Some bloke named Iman Lababedi read it and is here to share with you what he knows: it kinda sucks being a star as big as Taylor Swift because everywhere you go and every moment you’re there, people want a piece of you.
That is the essential point of the new Rolling Stone story and if you are a Taylor fan the story kinda sucks even if she doesn’t feel that way. I guess you can’t be one of the biggest pop stars on earth and not have to buy an additional apartment next to yours to house your security detail. I guess so because in the creepiest moment of the story, Josh and Taylor are trying to get from the Boathouse in Central Park to their SUV: “Pretty soon it’s time to go. One of Swift’s bodyguards, Jeff, a former Marine Corps anti-terrorism specialist, comes over to brief her. “OK, we’ve got a six-minute walk to the exit. Twitter is going like wildfire, so some of the more obsessive fans . . .” He trails off. “We’re just gonna close the gap on you and keep them back.” Earlier she had said: “Think about it.Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone? Take that, add ‘crazytown’ to it, and it sounds like an invitation for kidnapping.”
Otherwise my bet is what we get here is a version of TS, and, of course, what else can you expect? Tay claims no boy friends, no dates, no sex, just work and friends and work and it is like it is a job to be who you are. I am actually reminded of a story about John Lennon filming “How I Won The Won” -he couldn’t even go buy some milk with the other stars of the movie, he had to hide in the back of the car when they stopped at the grocery store… and are you ready for the kicker? THEY WERE FILMING IN MALTA.
The problem with Taylor is I don’t know how she could not be instantly recognizable, there is nothing ordinary looking about the five foot ten blonde, what disguise could she use? And even if she could it would be too dangerous. To be honest, I am a little ashamed of New Yorkers. Cmon, we’ve seen everything. I, myself, because of my job in advertising have met Koch, Guilliani and Bloomberg to name but three, we see celebrities constantly, they walk among us. Hell, we even left JFK Jr alone (more or less). We are cool. Why are we stalking this young woman? It is repulsive. It infuriates me and embarrasses me.
And it makes me a little sad. It is hard to feel too bad for Taylor but it doesn’t take too much reading between the lines for there to be a veil of sadness in the story. It’s like the gods say “ok, you can be our best songwriter but you’ve got to give up your normalcy, You can travel on a private plane that you yourself own but you can not travel on a public plane and flirt with that cute guy sitting next to you”. And, plus OK she’s a feminist and I’m a sexist, but shouldn’t we be treating a woman specifically with more delicacy and respect?
While I certainly preferred the New York Magazine Jody Rosen interview from a coupla years ago, I don’t hate this one. Still it is strangely unrevealing even as it appears to reveal. The problem is that it suggest proximity but my feeling is, if you really wanted to talk to Taylor you should concentrate on the music to the exception of all else. It is a footnote in this story of celebrity access and New York excess but if you are not Taylor and not her friend or family, it is the story. It is what matters: the work is where it’s at and “Shake It Off” is a terrific song which must have sold a million units by now. It is a self portrait and also a self-help manual. It is a joyful and awesome song. Eell doesn’t mention it.
I was looking for pull quotes but either Taylor is a bland conversationalist or Josh can’t maintain a conversation. The talk has no flow, it is too fragmented, it doesn’t hang together quite well and again, the reason is because he doesn’t keep his eye on the music. When he writes at any length about a song, “Style” from the upcoming new one 1989, it is, for obvious reasons, a gossip fest. And even then he sure didn’t get her joining “The Voice” as a mentor scoop. So he doesn’t really get the story on either level.. If I could interview Taylor at the very least I’d like to know about Nathan Chapman, I’d like to study the musical transition, I would like to know about Liz Rose, who was so central to Fearless... The story as read here is an old Costello song: “There are wires in the windows, there are wires in the walls, there are wires in the kitchen and wires in the hall, there are wires on poles, there are wires in your face, there are wires in the holes coming out all over the place.” But that’s not the story I wanna read. I wanna read about Max Martin. It is one thing to control the paparazzi, something else entirely to control the top producer of our time.
C’mon let’s find a pull quote here:
“There’s someone whose entire job it is to figure out things that I don’t want the world to see. They look at your career, they look at what you prioritize, and they try to figure out what would be the most revealing or hurtful. Like, I don’t take my clothes off in pictures or anything – I’m very private about that. So it scares me how valuable it would be to get a video of me changing. It’s sad to have to look for cameras in dressing rooms and bathrooms. I don’t walk around naked with my windows open, because there’s a value on that.”
If we lose Taylor to L.A. we have only ourselves to blame.
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