What a Creep Season 22, Episode 1: Jann Wenner

Jann Wenner was the editor of Rolling Stone magazine from 1967 to 2019, covering everything from the Beatles to Woodstock to Live Aid and even Hip Hop at some point in the 1990s. He made millions as rock culture’s gatekeeper and key in developing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For decades, critics derided Rolling Stone as a bastion for a white, male-centered worldview with little appreciation for women or people of color. This past week, his interview with the New York Times over the release of his book The Masters: Conversations with Bono, Dylan, Garcia, Jagger, Lennon, Springsteen, and Townshend, which is a compilation of his interviews with seven artists he considers cultural icons that created the “Zeitgeist” that shines brightly to this day.

When asked why he didn’t include any women or people of color, his response:“When I was referring to the zeitgeist, I was referring to Black performers, not female performers,. It’s not that they’re not creative geniuses. It’s not that they’re inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. Please, be my guest…The people I interviewed were the kind of philosophers of rock. 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.

Today, we discuss Wenner’s long career and where he winds up in the Creep category.

Trigger warnings: Racism, misogyny, and sexual harassment.

Sources for this episode:
· Vulture