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Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner removed from Rock Hall leadership after controversial comments

by Gabriel Martinez
3 comments
Jann Wenner Removed from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Board

Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone magazine and a co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has been ousted from the Hall’s board of directors due to controversial remarks he made. Wenner’s comments, which were perceived as derogatory towards Black and female musicians, led to his removal from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s board.

This development came swiftly after Wenner’s remarks were published in an interview with The New York Times. At the time of this report, there has been no immediate response from a representative for the 77-year-old Wenner regarding this decision.

Wenner stirred controversy while promoting his new book, titled “The Masters,” which consists of interviews with prominent musicians such as Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, and U2’s Bono, all of whom are white and male.

When questioned about his decision not to include interviews with women or Black musicians, Wenner explained, “It’s not that they’re inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. 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.”

Regarding Black artists, Wenner stated, “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,” he remarked.

Jann Wenner’s influence in the music and media world is undeniable. He founded Rolling Stone magazine in 1967 and held editorial roles within the publication until 2019. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in co-founding the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which was established in 1987.

In the course of the interview, Wenner seemed to anticipate the backlash, suggesting, “Just for public relations sake, maybe I should have gone and found one Black and one woman artist to include here that didn’t measure up to that same historical standard, just to avert this kind of criticism.”

It is worth noting that Rolling Stone magazine, under Wenner’s leadership, published its list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” last year, with Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” ranking as No. 1, Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” at No. 3, Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” at No. 4, Prince and the Revolution’s “Purple Rain” at No. 8, and Ms. Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” at No. 10.

Rolling Stone, as a magazine, was renowned for its unique blend of authoritative music and cultural coverage coupled with rigorous investigative journalism.

For more information, you can follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Controversial Remarks

What led to Jann Wenner’s removal from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame board of directors?

Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone magazine and co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, was removed from the Hall’s board of directors due to controversial comments he made in an interview. These comments were seen as denigrating Black and female musicians.

Can you provide more context about Jann Wenner’s controversial remarks?

Wenner made these remarks while promoting his book “The Masters,” which contains interviews with prominent musicians. When asked why he didn’t include interviews with women or Black musicians, he suggested that they didn’t meet certain criteria he had in mind for the book.

How influential is Jann Wenner in the music and media industry?

Jann Wenner’s influence in the music and media industry is substantial. He founded Rolling Stone magazine in 1967 and played a key role in its editorial direction until 2019. Additionally, he co-founded the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which has been a significant institution since its establishment in 1987.

What was the response to Jann Wenner’s remarks?

Wenner seemed to anticipate backlash in his interview, suggesting that he could have included interviews with Black and female artists to avoid criticism. However, his comments were widely criticized for their perceived insensitivity and lack of diversity.

How did Rolling Stone magazine rank albums by women and Black artists in its “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list?

In Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” published last year, albums by women and Black artists were prominently featured. For example, Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” was ranked No. 1, Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” at No. 3, Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” at No. 4, and Ms. Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” at No. 10.

Who is the journalist Mark Kennedy, and how can I follow him for updates on this story?

Mark Kennedy is a journalist who reported on this story. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits for more updates and information related to this topic.

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3 comments

rocknrollfan89 September 17, 2023 - 1:26 am

whoa, Jann Wenner’s outta the Rock Hall board? not cool, dude!

Reply
musiclover23 September 17, 2023 - 1:43 pm

why he say those things? not right to diss Black and women musicians!

Reply
ClassicRockNerd September 17, 2023 - 8:41 pm

Rolling Stone mags had great music stuff, but this hurts their rep.

Reply

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