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A Bad Reputation… or Something

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Tim Blair brings us news that Joan Jett, rock goddess in good standing, is pissed. Rolling Stone magazine’s latest Women In Rock feature has lots of women, but little rock. As Jett puts it in an open letter to RS on her website (scroll down to see it):

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 retarded.

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!

A brief look at the RS.com feature she speaks of gives proof that the magazine’s editors are indeed retarded. Britney Spears? Nelly Furtado? Mandy More? Sharon freaking Osbourne?!? What does the word “Rock” mean to these auto-fellating marketing poofs? Stevie Nicks, whose last meaningful contribution to music took place years before my birth, made the list, right alongside the Britney of pseudo punk, Avril Lavign.

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.

My sentiments exactly. And what about Bikini Kill, or the Hissyfits, or a million other good female rock acts that no one ever hears about. Rolling Stone has always dealt in the pop world, which is fine and all, but calling these prefab performers rock is insanely off-base.

Jett is entirely justified in her rage over being passed over. She was not just an amazing female act, she was an amazing rock act period. Have these clowns even heard I Love Rock And Roll before Britney butchered it? Bad Reputation? Or how about the Blackheart version of Crimson And Clover? And her recent tour in Afghanistan to support our troops? Oh, I could write a list of Jett’s mighty accomplishments, of how she’s influenced and completely rocked-out two generations of musicians and fans, but these swine would be too busy reviewing Alanis Morissette’s latest whining opus to notice any real rock.

But this complete lack of taste or knowledge should be no surprise to anyone who has watched RS collapse into irrelevance over the last decade. Who reads Rolling Stone any more? Not me. Face it editor-boys, you’re printing the equivalent of Tiger Beat for emotionally retarded adults.

Oh, and, from the sounds of this letter, Ms. Jett needs to start up a blog…

Update: As Jessa points out in the comments, I suck. The letter was not written by Jett herself, but by a fan, and Jett just posted it to her site. I can’t remember the attribution at the end being there yesterday, but hey. Regardless, it still speaks the brutal and honest truth about RS’s asstastic march forward…

Also Posted to CaptainMojo.Com

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About Tycen Hopkins

  • Anne

    As a woman who’s always been drawn to loud, aggressive, guitar-driven rock, I completely agree with Ms. Jett. Before the latest crop of pseudo-punk princesses emerged, I think it was the Lilith Fair that made my gag reflexes kick in. In the eyes of many radio programmers, female artists are fine as long as they’re playing acoustic guitars or singing about love. *rolled eyes* Yes, where are the Donnas on the RS list? Or the Distillers? Kim Shattuck of the Muffs also comes to mind, ’cause I’ve never heard a woman play guitar like her. She can kick ass with the best of them.

  • Ant

    100% agreement here. RS has lost the great writers, (Hunter, Bill Grieder, etc) that once allowed me to put up with issue after issue of inane blather, posing, and everything except R&R. Now it’s a clothing, (or lack thereof) magazine written by old guys trying to be hip by saying the f word a lot. They even surprised themselves with how stupid they were that they didn’t mention Chrissie Hynde. Unfortunately electronics have made it possible for anyone to sound like they can sing today, so the music gets lost behind the hype. Rock on Joan!

  • Did no one read the whole thing? Joan Jett didn’t write the letter. A fan did. She merely posted it on her website.

  • As I say in the update, I could have sworn the Maya Price attribution wasn’t there yesterday, but even so, I should have been able to figure it out from the tone and the third person descriptive. I just figured Joanie was really pissed!

    Thanks for fact checking my ass Jessa.

  • Anne

    Thanks as well for the fact checking. I usually have a good sense of when something’s legit, but we’re here to help each other in the blogosphere.

  • eggester

    Joan Jett and The Blackhearts at Nike Run Hit Wonder in Los Angeles Sept. 24th.

    Considering that there were around 16,000+ runners/walkers out for the evening, not many stayed to see Joan Jett. It was clear that the Los Angeles crowd either did not know Jett, nor could name a song that she had done. While maybe fewer than 2,000 remained for the concert, most left after a couple of songs. Others simply were visiting with friends or not paying attention to the band.

    Jett appeared to not realize that she is now a woman in her forties, clad in leather pants and showing the signs of the hard rock n roll lifestyle. While there is no doubt she can rock, her fan base must be the die hards that were not present at an athletic event such as this run.

    Nike would have been better served by having a more likeable mainstream band for the top of the bill.