Look! I interviewed a Beach Boy! Decades ago, Brian Wilson led a troupe into a part revolutionary output of music- long before the breezy back catalogue epitomised the vitality fueled by bottled water. My Beach Boy wasn’t exciting as an acid fan imploding under the wight of his own genius/psychosis, rather the holder untold story regarding Doris Day and an album ‘taken off the studio storage shelves’, subsequently given a release thirty years later. If you’re lazily cynical and view this as a brazen attempt to cash in on a warbling relic of the past, it worked. Doris became the oldest person to achieve a top-ten selling album.
My first ever one-to-one interview and my virginal phoner, it’s difficult to maintain a phone conversation with a stranger for at least twenty minutes. The difficulties multiply when you’re not sure how you’re going to cater to a readership you’re not entirely sure will categorise as entirely relevant. Even the flamboyantly cockney-rhyming ‘Doris Day’ ones.
The symbiotic relationship is thus: magazines and websites need content, products need promotion, and people want to invest and monitor their sub-culture of choice through these magazines. A compromise in integrity is nigh-on inescapable. A rather dull dialogue of decade old memories from a non-revered band member about a feintly remembered starlette sprawls out online content, and strengthen’s Doris’s quasi-flattering age-associated record.
Outside of investigatory and lifestyle features, a majority of magazine writing appears to be translating feeble press releases into house style. I certainly had no previous journalistic ambition to lustfully advertise a Prison Break box set on the basis of the protagnosists’s torso. Nor did I ever envision correcting Marina & The Diamond’s PR to overpower the whiffs of justification for creating a record that sounded like pop music from 12 months ago, when she couldn’t even retain media focus for 12 months.
I never even fantasised about lounging on a revolving leather sofa in a boutique hotel, permanently ‘on set’ as nude men getting provactively photographed were lazily observed in the many reflections of the hotel paved with vanity, embossed with salaciousness and built on fickle interior design fashion foundations. This didn’t even creep into a single reckless and amoral Plan B day dream. Partaking in a gratuitous nude shoot and offering cock-socks to un-knowns using their dignity and humility as rungs on the promotional ladder to success revealed a commercial, taciturn yet hyperbolised veneer with little substance.
In the time since beginning this post, I’ve penned a blog preview for a cabaret performance and become aware that I’m finally penned as a journalist. Credited as a contributor and filling in the frisson between queer politics features and paper-bag job men, I’ve finally become a published author. I feel proud; it’s writing about a culture I am not immersed in and consumer content delivered by over-earnest PRs – but proud nonetheless.