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Jann Wenner reportedly made a plea to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation during an emergency conference call following the backlash of his racist and sexist remarks to The New York Times.

Per Billboard, “An emergency meeting was called with the board’s high-profile music industry executives dialing in, as Wenner made a ‘self-serving’ and poorly articulated attempt to explain himself, according to a source.” (Note: Kudos to reporter Dave Brooks for saying Wenner “poorly articulated” himself during the emergency meeting. It was truly a delicious way to describe what happened considering Wenner’s comments.)

Billboard also reported the only board member to vote against ousting Wenner was Jon Landau. Landau, of course, is a noted Rolling Stone alum and Bruce Springsteen’s longtime manager.

Wenner has been music’s persona non grata since his interview with The New York Times was published on September 15.

RELATED: Living Colour's Takedown of Jann Wenner is a Must-Read

Wenner spoke with The New York Times to promote his new book, The Masters. The book is a collection of interviews Wenner conducted with seven rock subjects. All seven subjects were white men.

When pressed on why he didn’t highlight any Black people or any women, Wenner said, in part, “The people had to meet a couple criteria, but it was just kind of my personal interest and love of them. Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level.”

Wenner went on to namecheck the likes of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. However, he stuck to his “articulate” reasoning even with these beloved and respected music icons.

Three days after The New York Times interview was published, Rolling Stone issued a statement. The publication made sure to distance itself from both Wenner's comments and Wenner, himselfRolling Stone condemned Wenner’s controversial remarks and noted he’s had nothing to do with the outlet since 2019. Additionally, RS said, “Our purpose, especially since his departure, has been to tell stories that reflect the diversity of voices and experiences that shape our world.”


Lingering Thoughts About Jann Wenner's Insane 'New York Times' Interview

  • He let artists edit their interviews?

    Marchese asks Wenner during his interview, “In the introduction to the Bono interview in ‘The Masters,’ you mentioned that he edited and reviewed the transcript. What does editing mean in that context?”

    Wenner says, “Looking for grammatical stuff, usage stuff; changing a word here and there, if he’d want to use a different word that’s more precise; maybe something was too intimate and he decides he doesn’t want to put it on the public record.”

    Wenner then notes that he let John Lennon do the same in his infamous 1970 Rolling Stone interview, which is featured in The Masters.

    This tidbit is not nearly getting enough attention. It all just really tarnishes much of the legacy of Rolling Stone. Did Wenner ever really care about journalistic integrity, or was this all really just one seemingly insecure man’s way of making friends with rock stars?

    Jann S. Wenner, Mick Jagger and Ahmet Ertegun at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 19th Annual Induction Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel March 15, 2004 in New York City.

    Jann S. Wenner, Mick Jagger and Ahmet Ertegun at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 19th Annual Induction Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel March 15, 2004 in New York City.

  • How 'Rolling Stone' even became a reality.

    Never forget that Rolling Stone would likely never exist if it weren’t for Jann Wenner’s ex-wife, Jane Schindelheim. David Weir wrote in a 1999 piece for Salon, ” … Most of the money for the risky venture came from the family of his [then] wife, Jane Schindelheim Wenner, a dark-haired, fine-boned beauty who was rarely seen at the magazine, but whose presence was always felt in its formative years.”

    In other words: Women aren’t “intellectual” enough for Jann, but he has no problem taking money from their families, if it means funding his own projects.

  • What are the subjects of 'The Masters' thinking right now?

    All of the living subjects of The Masters — Bono, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen and Pete Townshend — should be asked to weigh in on Wenner’s comments and whether they now regret signing off on being involved in his book. Better yet, some journalists should be able to interview all of them and not allow any of them to edit their own interviews. This doesn’t really solve anything, but it certainly would be fun.

    Jann Wenner and Pete Townshend attend a book signing at Barnes & Noble Union Square on October 9, 2012 in New York City.

    Jann Wenner and Pete Townshend attend a book signing at Barnes & Noble Union Square on October 9, 2012 in New York City.

  • Jon Landau: WTF?!

    According to journalist Tim Sommer, the only person who didn’t vote for Wenner’s ouster from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was Jon Landau, Bruce Springsteen’s longtime manager and former Rolling Stone writer. Sommer went on to write, “As much as I despise the superficial, ignorant, arrogant, mediocrity-applauding, metal-hating clubby, chubby cabal that is, was, and always will be The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I admire the loyalty of Jon Landau in standing by his Lord, Master, and Creator in his darkest hour. Really. I actually mean that.”

    While I personally doubt Sommer’s claim of sincerity, Landau’s willingness to go full Tammy Wynette is truly something else. Then again, Landau is the same guy who panned The Jimi Hendrix Experience's 1967 album Are You Experienced, so clearly his judgment can be questionable at times.

    UPDATE: In a New York Times article published on September 19, Landau said in a statement, “Jann’s statements were indefensible and counter to all the hall stands for. It became clear that the vote to remove him from the board would be justifiably and correctly overwhelming. My vote was intended as a gesture in acknowledgment of all that he had done to create the hall in the first place.” (Sure, Jan…or perhaps, in this case, “Sure, Jann.”)

  • Guess we have an idea of why the Rock Hall lacks women artists?

    Many, myself included, have written at length about the lack of women inductees in the Rock Hall. We all just assumed the whole thing was a “boys’ club,” but it’s nice to feel this much vindication on such a grand scale.

    Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum at night.

    Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum at night.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights

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