Jonah Weiner’s got a new piece up at Slate today, called “Spinning in the Grave: The Three Biggest Reasons Music Magazines Are Dying.” As far as this type of article goes, it’s pretty well done, I guess. The three reasons (the death of the superstar, downloading, social networking) could be listed by a sleeping five-year-old, of course, but that’s not Weiner’s fault.
The real reason I mention the piece, though, is this part, from the section on record labels not giving writers the kind of access they once did, because getting press in a print publication doesn’t help anyone sell records.
When I profiled Beyoncé for a 2006 Blender cover story, I was granted one hour to interview her and one hour to observe her at a video shoot. I stayed on the set for three hours, hoping to wring some lively detail from the mundane proceedings, until a bodyguard showed me the door. Beyoncé’s mother, Tina, gave me a warm goodbye, then called a publicist to chew her out for letting me hang around so long and accused me of “going through Beyoncé’s underwear.” (I’d quizzed a seamstress about a pair of hot pants she was mending.) The writing that arises from situations like these invariably suffers, and readers notice.
Ugh, not cool at all, Beyonce’s mom. They were hot pants, which are worn on the outside.