Dinosaur rock: Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner proves what a white boy’s club music still is

He jettisoned Joni, Janis and all Black artists from his book on musical masters (while eulogising Bono and Bruce). It’s hardly a shock, says Helen Brown – Jann Wenner was always the ultimate egotistical rock fanboy, and the epitome of the pale, male and stale rock-writing dinosaur

Monday 18 September 2023 18:37 BST

Is anybody really surprised that Jann Wenner thinks the only “Masters” of rock’n’roll are pale and male? In an interview published by The New York Times last week, the 77-year-old co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine defended his decision to exclude Black and female artists from his new book of rock star interviews, The Masters.

“It’s not that they’re inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin,” he declared. “Please, be my guest. You know, Joni [Mitchell] was not a philosopher of rock’n’roll. She didn’t, in my mind, meet that test.”

Wenner went on to say that he regretted not including Black artists but felt they “just didn’t articulate at that level”. They don’t articulate, say, at the level of fawningly featured interviewee Bono? The U2 frontman whose wince-inducingly rhymed thoughts on the war in Ukraine were widely derided as “the worst poem ever written”?

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