During last week’s interview about his new book The Masters, Rolling Stone magazine founder and a driving force behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jann Wenner had some not-so-kind things to say about female and black artists. I quote:
“Joni [Mitchell] was not a philosopher of rock’n’roll. She didn’t, in my mind, meet that test. Not by her work, not by other interviews she did. The people I interviewed were the kind of philosophers of rock…“Of Black artists – you know, Stevie Wonder, genius, right? I suppose when you use a word as broad as ‘masters’, the fault is using that word. Maybe Marvin Gaye or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just didn’t articulate at that level.”
Ah. So white male artists are articulate musical masters and female and Black artists are not? Sure. Right.
The backlash was swift and severe. Wenner is out at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And then Rolling Stone, the magazine he founded, released this statement. Wow, huh?