After Jann Wenner’s racist and sexist remarks, rock music’s famous white men should speak up

After Jann Wenner’s racist and sexist remarks, rock music’s famous white men should speak up


When Tina Turner died in Might, the podcast “Rolling Stone Music Now” paid tribute, calling her “one of many biggest rock and soul singers who ever lived.” The publication’s admiration shouldn’t be current.

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Opinion Columnist

LZ Granderson

LZ Granderson writes about tradition, politics, sports activities and navigating life in America.

Though John Lennon was the primary cowl boy, Turner was positioned on the quilt for the journal’s second difficulty ever in 1967 and continued to search out the quilt over the course of 4 a long time. Mick Jagger, whose band’s title influenced the one chosen for the journal, posted in Might: “she helped me a lot after I was younger and I’ll always remember her.”

You realize who did neglect her?

Jann Wenner, co-founder of Rolling Stone journal.

In selling his upcoming e book about nice rock artists, Wenner included Lennon and Jagger. He didn’t embrace Turner or another lady. In an interview with the New York Occasions, he tried to justify the choice, saying “the individuals needed to meet a pair standards, but it surely was simply sort of my private curiosity and love of them … insofar as the ladies, simply none of them have been as articulate sufficient on this mental stage.”

He additionally didn’t embrace any Black individuals, although he later stated “possibly I ought to have gone and located one,” including “possibly I’m old style and I don’t give a (expletive) or no matter.”

He has since backtracked and has been faraway from the board of administrators of the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame Basis. Maybe now he provides a (expletive) or no matter.

However whereas it’s enjoyable to choose on Wenner for being no matter it’s you want to name him, I’m extra curious in regards to the response from “The Masters” within the e book. The white males who made the reduce. Those Wenner thought-about adequate to be in his membership. Together with anybody who, as an example, stated they might always remember Tina Turner.

So, guys … are you comfy being given secure passage by no matter it’s you suppose Wenner is?

As a result of the Tina Turner snub shouldn’t be an remoted case. When Sinead O’Connor died in July, the Rolling Stone podcast paid tribute to her as properly.

The visitors spoke of her bravery, the breadth of her catalog, her voice. They counted Shirley Manson of Rubbish and Alanis Morissette amongst those that have been influenced by her work and even identified she was among the many first rock artists to embrace hip-hop. Her 1987 debut album, “The Lion and The Cobra,” included a remixed single that includes MC Lyte.

She was a drive. A rock star. NBC banned her after she tore up an image of the pope throughout her “Saturday Night time Stay” efficiency, in protest of the Catholic church’s dealing with of pedophilia. Later she was booed off Madison Sq. Backyard’s stage throughout a tribute to Bob Dylan. He made Wenner’s listing.

O’Connor didn’t. Dylan shouldn’t be accountable for that, after all, however I do ponder whether he’s OK with it, contemplating the standards Wenner specified by the New York Occasions. I wouldn’t be.

I don’t know whether or not Wenner is simply trolling us to attract consideration to his e book. It wouldn’t be the primary time controversy was used to drum up curiosity in a brand new launch. However regardless, there may be an outcry now — and I wish to know why the loudest voices are coming from outdoors the music business.

Are the artists whom Wenner thought-about worthy, those behind the gate that he’s conserving, all OK with being granted entry when Turner and O’Connor and Aretha Franklin and Prince and so many others have been turned away?

These well-known white males aren’t powerless. They might converse up.

The truth is it’s pretty frequent for a recording artist to difficulty a “stop and desist” to political candidates who use their music however don’t share the artist’s values. Neil Younger informed the Trump marketing campaign to cease utilizing “Rockin’ within the Free World” at rallies. The Rolling Stones and others objected to their music getting used on the Republican Nationwide Conference in 2016.

Why not object to their legacy being hooked up to a e book written by a person who didn’t suppose Black individuals or girls belonged in his rock ‘n’ roll membership? If somebody like Jagger stated he’ll always remember what Tina Turner did for him, is he comfy with Wenner first ignoring her, after which insulting her too? We’ll discover out. I hope he’s not.

@LZGranderson