Flaskaland
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
 
More trouble in paradise dept.

A belated visit to TOT and I was all brought up to date (at least as of the June 6 hub-bub) on more of the perils of writing a negative review.

This piece on Grumpy Old Men caused a reaction from the publicist who called the writer's editor, who reacted by contacting the writer, who had to defend his actions.

Though mostly weird and some normal, he can hurl a few well aimed observations with the best of them:

"The problem here is not that the review was circulated (and continues to be circulated). The problem, clearly, is that a negative review is being circulated, while all the Big-Name Rock Rags are weighing in with their blowjob reviews and fawning features. The problem is that the unanimity sought, at great label expense, has been disrupted. I am not "on message," and that's a problem.


"This is what has been pissing me off more and more about writing about music for a living. This belief on the part of publicists that writers are all supposed to line up to suck their clients' cocks. If that's what they want, they can write the fucking reviews themselves. I can now add the Elektra Records publicity department, Metallica's division of it in particular, to the list of publicists who hate me. They can get in line behind John Scofield's people, Diana Krall's people, and Tom Waits's people. And they can all go suck a tailpipe.


"I don't write for Entertainment Weekly or Spin or Vanity Fair. I write for magazines and newspapers that are not uniformly besotted with celebrities -- magazines and newspapers that allow me to state my honest opinion in print. Those opinions are often positive, but sometimes they're negative. But that's not the point. The point is, I resent being held to the standards of Vanity Fair and Entertainment Weekly and Spin. I resent being expected to suck up to big-name acts. And I don't see the situation getting better. It seems like it's getting worse. I may be frozen out entirely soon, or reduced to writing only about minor, no-name figures where the consequences of a bad review (in terms of publicist wrath) are minimal.


"At that point, I don't know what I'll do. Maybe I'll turn to fiction full-time. Whatever. All I know is, I'm gonna keep writing reviews that state what I actually think about bands. And if their publicists don't like it, they can jump under the fucking subway for all I care."

 




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