Spin magazine founder: Today’s music isn’t any good
Much has changed in the 30 years since Bob Guccione Jr. put Madonna on the inaugural cover of his Spin magazine and positioned the monthly as a “menacing” alternative to category-owner Rolling Stone.
Guccione, 59, who no longer owns Spin — having sold it in 1997 for a top-of-the-market price of $43.5 million — is hunkering down to guest-edit its 30th anniversary issue, scheduled for cyber-release in October. It’s clear that music remains foremost on his mind.
“The commodification of music is so complete that artists these days create songs thinking they would make a good car commercial,” Guccione says. “And they’re more fixated on their social-media strategy than they are on their music.”
The second-generation magazine maven — he’s the son and namesake of the creator of Penthouse — shared these and other insights with The Post.
Despite his decade-long absence from the publishing world, Guccione is as outspoken as he was when he called out Live Aid in 1986 for funding Ethiopia’s military instead of tending to famine relief. But his issue today is the “corporatization” of music — even at concerts. “What music festival doesn’t have its Verizon tents?” he complains.
“The problem now is that nobody’s blowing the lid off anything,” he says. And it’s not just music that’s in the ditch — it’s pop culture, too. “TV ads aimed at kids all have a perfectly diverse group of perfectly attractive people jumping up and down, appearing to be perfectly happy.”
This over-the-top political correctness, as he calls it, comes at a price. “It’s the exact opposite of rebellion and innovation,” he explains. And it has ceded so much control to Corporate America that even Occupy Wall Street was a joke: “There was no agenda there other than rich people are bad, and yoga is good. At the end of the day, how useful is that?”
The good news is that technological advances — especially those that make the back catalogs of once-renowned musicians available to new generations — promise to loosen the screws that corporatization and political correctness are keeping so tight.
Guccione realized as much on preparing a fanzine devoted to Jimi Hendrix. The one-off, currently on newsstands under a “Bob Guccione Jr. Presents” banner, portrays “the guitar god,” pimples and all.
“It’s intoxicating, especially if you’re 18, to learn we once had break-out artists — both musically and culturally,” Guccione says of feedback the fanzine has received.
Blog Credit/ Author: mypost.com