Malaka Of The Week: Jann Wenner

Two douchebags being douchey.

Rolling Stone Magazine founder and defrocked publisher Jann Wenner has put his foot in his mouth again. It’s landed him in a world of pain. And that is why Jann Wenner is malaka of the week.

Wenner is promoting a book of his interviews called The Masters; they’re supposedly the philosophers of rock whatever the hell that means. They’re all white males and when Wenner was criticized for that, he made things worse:

“When asked by Times reporter David Marchese why he did not include female artists or people or color on his list of rock legends, Wenner, 77, responded, “Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level.”

He went on to state that female artists such as Joni Mitchell did not meet his criteria to be considered a “philosopher of rock-and-roll.”

“She didn’t, in my mind, meet that test,” Wenner said. “Not by her work, not by other interviews she did. The people I interviewed were the kind of philosophers of rock.”

Regarding artists of color, he continued: “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.”

Jann Wenner is one of those liberals who expect you to assume their progressive bona fides. He clearly has issues with people of color and women. Joni Mitchell isn’t intellectual enough for him? Please, dude. How about Robbie Robertson? He was a proud Native American rock star and legendary autodidact.

Linda Ronstadt is another woman known for her brainpower. The Wenners of the world scoffed, but then California Governor Jerry Brown swore that Linda’s intellect was the most attractive thing about her.

Jann Wenner is a blurter. He discussed the trouble he got into with one of his so-called rock philosophers in the original NYT interview:

In the Maureen Dowd profile of you last year, you said that the Rolling Stones look like “Lord of the Rings” characters. Did Mick Jagger give you a hard time about that?

Oh, yeah.

What did he say?

He [Jagger] couldn’t believe I had said that. I had to say, Look, I’m so sorry. I was just, in the pursuit of publicity, trying to be super clever and please forgive me. Of course, he did. But it was one of those careless remarks. A friend shouldn’t say that kind of thing. You don’t want to read it in Maureen Dowd’s thing in The New York Times. Oh, Mick Jagger looks like he’s Gandalf the wizard. He was absolutely right and I felt terrible.”

I don’t think Wenner inspired the new Rolling Stones song, but the title describes Jagger’s reaction to being compared to a wizened wizard:

How Seventies is that video? Maybe Wenner is right about the Stones; Keef and Woody are short men who resemble hippie hobbits, after all.

Wenner also said this stupid shit to the NYT:

“It’s not that they’re inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. Please, be my guest.”

Janis Joplin died in 1970, dickweed. You full well know that. You’re always looking for a snappy quote even if it’s not true. I’m a factual smart ass. Wenner is not. The whole thing makes me want to:

Shit got real when Wenner was ejected from the board of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. That must have hurt since Wenner was the founder and driving force behind the museum. He issued an apology, but the damage was done.

Jann Wenner has always been a pompous ass. I disliked him even when I was a subscriber to his former magazine. When I was a young rock fan, Rolling Stone Magazine was my bible. I usually disagreed with its album reviews because Wenner exercised a heavy hand, especially regarding progressive rock bands. He hated prog, so bad reviews were mandatory for the likes of Yes, Tull, and ELP. The word most used to describe them fits Wenner: pretentious. Rock philosophers, my ass. Is there anyone on the planet more pretentious than Paul Hewson DBA Bono?

I have another long-standing grudge against Jann Wenner. When he moved Rolling Stone’s headquarters to New York in 1977, he derided San Francisco as a minor league town on the way out. It’s just like the people who claim to love New Orleans, then attack it on the way out. There’s a cottage industry of such attacks. Every time it happens, I think of Jann Wenner and his attack on my other hometown. The rock malakatude, it burns.

Wenner strikes me as utterly lacking in self-awareness. He’s a rich old misogynistic gay man who’s convinced he’s a champion of oppressed outsiders unless he has to be around them. Then he’s uncomfortable and would rather be anywhere else. Hypocrisy is the essence of malakatude. And that is why Jann Wenner is malaka of the week.

I’m sure that Wenner is disappointed that his big fat bazoo got him in trouble again. That’s why the last word goes to XTC:


3 thoughts on “Malaka Of The Week: Jann Wenner

  1. Doonesbury did a series of strips poking fun at Wenner (whom Trudeau called “Yawn”) for his pretensions and self-absorption. I remember those comics preparing me for the “Slow Train Coming” debacle in 1979. Rolling Stone ran a review of the new Bob Dylan album by one of its staff writers. Wenner couldn’t stand that the review was lukewarm toward the album. In an unprecedented move, Wenner himself wrote another review of the album gushing about everything from musical sophistication to its great lyrics and on and on, totally undercutting his own staff writer. It was about that time that I aged out of the Rolling Stone demographic.

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