So let me first say that I subscribe to Rolling Stone magazine.
I would never say the things I am about to say without paying to have these opinions.
I’ll start off with a few things that I love about Rolling Stone.
1) The record reviews in Rolling Stone are great. I have purchased many a CD based on the recommendation of the reviews here. They seldom run reviews on albums they hate of course.
2) The articles on bands and music related artists are fun to read. They are usually written well and to a level above most “what is your favorite color” and “if you were an animal what color would you be” type questions. Interesting stuff that you would actually want to know.
I love paging through it on a Sunday morning.
The latest issue with Rush on the cover came and I am stoked to read it.
I swear Geddy is looking at me. Neil Peart. Alex… you guys are the real deal. Thank you Rolling Stone for delivering news of Rush to me!
That being said, here are my rants.
1) Just bring me the music stories! If I want to read about actors, the Pope, terrorists or political galvanizing stories… I’ll get Entertainment Weekly, People, Newsweek or Time magazine. Do you have to push these stories to try to attract the 20 something open-minded college kid or sociopolitical fledglings and think that you have to sneak it in packaged with articles about what the new hip kids are listening to these days like a pill for a dog in a snack.
I want Rolling Stone to be about what they do best… MUSIC.
Since I have been subscribing I have seen the article about the disgraced General, the now retracted college rape article, a Robin Williams issue, The Pope? I mean I understand that these are stories that should be covered and are important, and maybe I am making myself seem uneducated, but I just want to read about AC/DC and Rush and Bruce Springsteen and read the review of Morrissey or Beck’s new album.
Is that wrong? Does that make me a bad person?
I mean, if I want to read some hard-hitting articles on the upcoming Presidential race I certainly wouldn’t pick up Glamour. It’s not about the articles themselves either, they aren’t bad, they just aren’t what I want to see when I read a magazine about music. It feels very “cash in on it” to me when they cover things other than music.
2) In a similar vein, I want the cover shot to be of a musician. It is a music magazine, right? In 2012 there were 15 covers featuring musicians, and 9 non-musician covers. In 2013 there were 14 covers featuring musicians and 10 non-musicians. That was when I really noticed it and the hairs started standing up. Come on RS, musicians please. Only.
3) More. I want more. Rolling Stone used to be larger in size and in number of pages. Now it is a slim little mag. Is this a symptom of the electronic takeover? I get it, but someone forgot to tell Cosmopolitan and Bride magazine. They are fricking huge. I know that there is a good bulk of advertising in those, but if Rolling Stone wants to bulk up, and the advertising is about MUSIC (like record labels, new albums, collectors pages, etc.) then I say bring it on. There is certainly enough music news going on, maybe step out of the box a little and cover some Blues, or Jazz. You delve into Country music from time to time. Go for it RS. Be brave.
Whew. Sorry, but I needed to get all that out of my system instead of just complaining to my wife every time a new Rolling Stone arrives with another non-musician cover.
There are other music magazines around. I just subscribed to Alternative Press, and Guitar World and Guitar Player (which I read in High School – I still remember an article with Alex from Rush in that one) and I did buy a back issue of the crazy expensive Classic Rock magazine that featured vinyl.
So I’m aware that there are alternatives. I just want my Rolling Stone to be all that it can be and be the perfect magazine for the music lover like me. I’ll pay for the print version so I can keep it in a little pile by the stereo. I even have been known to buy an interesting back issue every so often.
Which brings me to my Pass It On Subscription recycling idea. Building chains of subscribers who subscribe to a magazine at different levels. The starter subscribes, reads the current months magazine for a prescribed time allotment, then mails it to the next in line who buys this “month later” subscription at a lower rate. Then they have it for a month and then pass it to someone who has an even cheaper “month after that” subscription. If you want to keep it, like I would, and you don’t mind reading older stuff, then you end up with a magazine, cheap. The people upstream recoup some of the subscription price for a magazine they may just toss, and those of us keeper people can get them even cheaper. Win win.
Okay, website developers. Call me.
I rest my case. The latest issue of Rolling Stone. Ick. Come on guys!