Liner Notes: A Skinny Little Thanks To Rolling Stone

In a meeting of the minds last week at BreakThru Radio headquarters in Chelsea,  New York one of the BTR interns read the letter that had been printed on the back of Rolling Stone Magazine’s last issue. The letter, titled “A Big Fat Thanks to Record Execs,” was actually a reprint of a stunt pulled by the magazine giant on October 28, 2002. Back then it was through The New York Times that they reached out, publishing the letter in a full-page ad in arguably the world’s most read newspaper. Here is the letter:

While the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) continues with its losing battle against P2P file-sharing, media Web sites, and bit torrents used by millions, it is Rolling Stone Magazine itself that I would like to address in this article, leaving the RIAA lawsuit editorials to legal blogs and tech-y sites.

To the people of Rolling Stone—tell me you see the irony in this overly sarcastic letter appearing on the back of a “music” magazine selling copies on the coattails of Katy Perry’s rack. The issue that featured the RIAA letter had a headline that read: “Sex, God, and Katy Perry.” Other articles featured on the cover were Michael Cera (not a musician), an Aerosmith comeback (really? that’s refreshing news to the music world), and Arcade Fire’s recent album success (okay, that’s a quality music story, but how can they be ignored?). Even Rolling Stone Magazine couldn’t overlook Arcade Fire; but notice how the band isn’t good enough to make the cover. Katy Perry is though. Clearly her album must be so much better.

The joke improves. The very next issue published (the current issue) features even more nudity on the cover and within the pages. This time it is the cast of True Blood who are naked and splashed with vampire blood on the cover. I mean, come on Rolling Stone, they don’t even have an album. At least Katy Perry attempts music. The headlines in this issue read: “They’re hot. They’re sexy. They’re undead: The Joy of Vampire Sex.”

The street cred of Rolling Stone Magazine as an accurate voice for the ever-morphing music industry began to flounder years ago. To be completely and utterly blunt: it’s become a fuckin’ joke! Their most recent issue features top stories with headlines like: “True Blood’s steamy Rolling Stone cover shoot.” It also includes an article called “Vampire State of Mind,” in which writer Peter Travers “breaks down the best and worst vampires of all time.” Along with, “Bono Storms Back,” a report on U2’s return to the stage after Bono’s back surgery.

Is this really the same magazine that sarcastically derided the RIAA, claiming that “[b]ecause of [them], millions of kids will stop wasting time listening to new music and seeking out new bands.” Are you kidding me? Maybe you should be asked a similar question. What have you done for new bands recently Rolling Stone?

Just look at the arrogant tone to the letter of discussion. While its message may be valid, its sender is questionable. RSM is more interested in naked photos of Katy Perry, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, and Alex Skarsgård than anything to do with the music industry, especially when it comes to “new music.” Under the music tab on, its featured articles are about Steven Tyler joining American Idol, a new Neil Young album, and a lawsuit between an LA clothing designer called “Material Girl” and Madonna for allowing her daughter to design under the same registered trademark. Slow down on the “new music” coverage Rolling Stone, these “millions of kids” can’t read it all fast enough.

The irony is that Rolling Stone Magazine is just as guilty for marring the music industry as the RIAA. They don’t give a shit about “new bands” anymore than major record labels do. They’re only purpose is to sell magazines. And what sells a magazine these days better than slutty photos of Katy Perry, interviews with True Blood cast members, and editorials on vampires.

The millions of kids referenced in the letter on the back cover don’t even read Rolling Stone. Why would they? Nothing in its pages appeals to them. Rolling Stone Magazine is nothing more than a prop to the college frat-boy bro who buys it so he can get laid. What college chick doesn’t want to sleep with the guy who is “into music” and reads Rolling Stone? The magazine has become an ornament on the beach at Spring Break right along with a straw cowboy hat and barbed-wire bicep tattoo. I could go on with the imagery, but you get my point. There is really only one thing left to do…

Link to this article:

– Kory French


4 responses to “Liner Notes: A Skinny Little Thanks To Rolling Stone

  1. The letter you’re referring to never ran in Rolling Stone, and certainly not in the latest issue. It was an ad taken out by the Rolling Stone marketing department in 2002.

  2. No, it did NOT run on the back cover of the latest Rolling Stone, or ever, in any issue of Rolling Stone. You’re still wrong. Check your facts.

  3. You’re also confusing web content with magazine content. You have all your facts wrong.

  4. stumbled on this and the previous commenter is correct… this article is full of totally incorrect facts… not sure why it hasn’t been corrected. perfect example of why you can’t believe what you read on random websites. that rolling stone thing is a very old marketing campaign that seems to have gone viral recently for no real reason – why don’t you check it out? undeniably true. you keep saying it appeared on the back cover of rolling stone, or in the latest issue, or something, and it DEFINITELY didn’t. i’m a subscriber and i’ve NEVER seen this ad in the magazine… or the articles you’re referring to, apparently you’re too young to know the difference between the print edition of a mag and its website?
    whatever u think of rolling stone, and i’m not always a fan, you’re FLAT OUT WRONG when it comes to the facts and i hate that..

    kory french, I realize you’re probably just a young kid, but you need to get your facts straight

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