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  1. #1
    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    Default Billboard Author (Chuck Klosterman): The Irresponsible "Journalist"

    Hold up! All fans here at least owe yourself a skim of this Facebook post from a VH fan talking about this author. Seems what KevinDodds and Jape eluded to. This guy is fishy. Like some of us have said... there is context and demeanor missing from the printed article we read.

    It doesn't excuse Ed's comments on Mike...but still there is a spin on this nobody here wants to accept...
    _______



    Chuck Klosterman : The Irresponsible "Journalist", Who Is Responsible For The Billboard Eddie Van Halen "Interview". By Jon Oldemeyer

    "I have come to believe that overcoming a self-focused world-view is impossible," Klosterman explained, reading from his latest book, I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling With Villains (Real and Imagined) . "Life can be experienced only through an imaginary mirror that allows us to occupy the center of a story that no one is telling. I don't think the human mind is capable of getting outside of that box, and I'm not even sure if this is problematic". A quite telling excerpt from a book after having Googled "Chuck Klosterman Reputation". Most of the links presented will be from that search.

    Yesterday 06/19/2015 Billboard Magazine published a story that caused a shitstorm of controversy amongst Van Halen / Sammy Hagar fans. *Watch the accompanying video provided with the story before reading, as I know Klosterman's voice from having seen him several times on a very opinionated Kiss related podcast as a guest, which much like Mr. Klosterman, seems to thrive on controversy. The video shows Eddie Van Halen's demeanor at the time (it was filmed during the interview), which seems almost jovial, yet in the written interview he comes off as almost being bitter and curmudgeon like.

    About 18 months ago I read an interview with Jimmy Page, in which the writer came off as someone who had read "Hammer Of The Gods" one too many times. He seemed to be very interested in Page's past heroin use and dirt on the band, rather than the musical aspects (which this interview was supposed to be about the upcoming remaster series) or what made the magic between them as a group of individual musicians. I vividly remember how after reading it, that the interviewer seemed to be trying to get Page's goat and that Jimmy Page seemed very irritated by this man, but at the time I had no idea who Chuck Klosterman was and soon forgot about the article.

    A few months later during the KISS hall of fame induction fiasco, I ran into a fan based KISS podcast / Web series. It had been on for over a year and there were plenty of Ace Frehley related episodes, so through April 2014 - January 2015, I would slowly catch up on the episodes that were of interest to see what crap they had to say about Ace (the only reason I ever gave a shit about that particular band) and in the process I would watch a few new episodes, in which I would be introduced to the name and face of Chuck Klosterman. He would be a guest on the show in September and November of 2014. He came off to me like some really hyper guy who'd drank one too many energy drinks. He really seemed to enjoy coming up with "what if?" scenarios and base stuff on conjecture, but that particular show thrives on that and since I already had a certain disdain of varying degrees for the three hosts of the show, I came away with a more favorable opinion or first impression of Mr. Klosterman. He also appeared to present himself more as an author as I recall and I had no idea he was also a freelance journalist.

    6/17/2015
    Moving forward to the day before yesterday, I had ran into another story that seems to pop up every few months and has been going on for the last 8 years, where Sammy Hagar brings up something negative about Van Halen just to get himself some press, which is funny, because by selling a huge 70% stake in his tequila business several years ago to Seagram's, he's worth more than each and every single member of Van Halen, but I do suppose that not being able to sell records the way you're accustomed to by only going gold once as a solo artist since originally quitting / being fired from VH and that release was hot on the heels of him leaving the band. Since then each album has sold less and he's been forced to play smaller and smaller venues and this certainly could cause a problem for somebody with such a huge ego. These are just facts and can easily be looked up. The only reason I even bring this up has more to do with why I chose to vent my frustration and give information this way, instead of having to deal with people who only look at headlines and soundbites to make their stupid and uninformed opinions without even reviewing the source material beforehand. They give me a fucking headache! Hagar is a narcissistic master manipulator who knows how to get a headline. He knows that Van Halen can't stop him from performing the songs in concert, nor can they forbid him from re-recording the songs and besides, they get paid for it anyway, but if this is even truthful to begin with, it was presented to VH1 about him performing the songs on the show Live From Daryl's House and for no other reason that I am aware of, but he neglects to give this information and makes it sound (like he always does) like The VH brothers are conspiring against him and "Mikey" and his fans follow him blindly. He knows he's responsible, because it's all in there for the listener to see the omission. If Eddie did it to be a dick, because he knew a TV show would cave in at a lawsuit, then so be it, because Hagar has said and done enough shit to deserve the inconvenience, but it also could be that television broadcast law is different for rights and he simply doesn't want music he wrote being presented in that format.

    Anyhow, after going through the motions on that bullshit, the Eddie Van Halen interview in Billboard Magazine that I had been anticipating arrived yesterday and once I finished reading it, I looked for the "journalist" who wrote it and there it was... By Chuck Klosterman... Holy Shit, No fucking wonder!! Eddie's demeanor sounded so bitter and negative, but because the writer was using so much of his own narrative to push the story and I found it odd at how much of this narrative was familiar after 35 years of Van Halen articles and interviews that I've read in numerous guitar magazines, Rolling Stone, Circus, Hit Parader, etc (Creem Magazine is missing because most of their stuff was made to be hilarious, which it was... R. I. P.), that I smelled a rat. I kept my mouth shut all day while seeing post after post by people saying things so hateful that it's futile repeating them, but they made my blood boil and yet I am so thankful for multiple reasons.

    1. This article caused this response from Mr. Hagar, in record time. It was almost like he had "Eddie Van Halen" on his Google alert. Maybe he knew about the content of the article and what it contained beforehand and figured he'd lie and wait? It certainly would explain the reason for the "cease and desist" story planted the day prior and out of the blue. Sure it could be purely coincidence, but really?

    2. Seeing how people react to headlines, but form an opinion only on that, instead of bothering to inform themselves. This story as a whole means almost nothing to the majority of the world, but as a microcosm of how people react to headlines, soundbites or just plain misrepresentation of information meant to cause a ripple effect of distorted truths or flat out lies, so that it becomes fact almost instantly is amazing to me. Although I didn't take on an experiment, but I can now look at it from that perspective and it's scary as hell to think about how we process information now, especially when it's exactly the same when something truly important comes along. maybe we were better off with newspapers? Sure, maybe there were people that would see a headline and then start talking out their asses, but the majority would read the story and then form an individual opinion without instant analysis from idiots to cloud their judgement.

    3. That the saying that "You Can't Fix Stupid" is more profound than the simple saying or witticism that it was most likely originally intended to be. It fits our reality show mentality as a species more than ever.

    At the same time, I cannot in good conscience close this without stating that some responsibility of this actually lies with Eddie Van Halen himself or at least his publicist, who at last check was his wife's job. Through one morning of some simple checking out of Chuck Klosterman and his credentials, would've shown even a layman that this guy was a potential problem. Eddie probably will just let this ride and not defend himself. It's what I've known him to do. He should make the tapes (which do exist or should) be made public. And get a retraction and apology from Billboard. Of course I have no proof that he didn't say these things, but if you read the Jimmy Page article, you'll be able to see how he may have been very irritated by the writer's line of questioning and either said some things he should not have, in which case he would need to apologize and make a retraction or as I think, he was in an antoganizing situation and had his answers taken out of context. The piece on Page shows me this, but from what I remember, Jimmy was too witty for that and threw it back in his face. It also could be a character assassination piece as well. Make him produce the tapes!

    One last thing, it looks like Mr. Klosterman also does or did write an ethics column for the New York Times. Here's a link of somebody having a problem with one of his columns and asking the question "Chuck Klosterman: Worst New York Times Ethicist Ever?" http://ethicsalarms.com/…/chuck-klos...worst-new-york

    Judge for yourself, I'm done with this clown.
    Last edited by thismusicsux; 06.20.15 at 11:00 PM.

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    Meh. That's a red herring no one should chase.

    Klosterman's journalistic awards and curriculum vitae speak for themselves. You don't achieve all that by pushing agendas. He's good.

    This article on Eddie is actually good, too. In fact, Klosterman doesn't touch the Michael Anthony stuff until 2,600 words into the essay, so it ain't exactly the lead. That's the bit we're focused on because we know MA's history, which is solid.

    Last point, no journalist in the world worth his salt makes up quotes. This was my line of work for nearly 20 years. Trust me.

    Eddie said what Eddie said. You're shooting the messenger.


  4. #3
    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    We know Eddie said what he said, nobody is denying that. There's still a lot of spin that can be done, emphasizing lines and we don't know how the questions were asked. Still... Ed's a jerk for saying it.

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    I think Klosterman is a talented writer, no question.
    And this piece was miles beyond your typical "Guitar World" sit-down.
    Eddie opened up, something he rarely does, and maybe Chuck tricked him a
    little bit with his line of questioning.

    Ed could have said something like: Mike had a hell of a range, it was pretty amazing.

    (joking) kind of like a piccolo trumpet effect, though i could never sing that high...

    He had the power, and maybe i had the soul...like Jimi used to say...maybe i was the
    more soulful layer to the backing vocals..."

    "I was writing off the wall stuff, it wasn't your typical big rock thing.

    Poor Mike, i had to teach him the parts. I'd video tape what he had to play (joking).

    God bless him for indulging me..."

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    So, my non-Van Halen fan friends are having a laugh (once again) about how my favorite band is (once again) in a soap opera.

    That's the worst of it; this band put out such incredible music with both David and Sammy, and everyone will remember them for this sort of horseshit. It's sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by japeape View Post
    I think Klosterman is a talented writer, no question.
    And this piece was miles beyond your typical "Guitar World" sit-down.
    Eddie opened up, something he rarely does, and maybe Chuck tricked him a
    little bit with his line of questioning.

    Ed could have said something like: Mike had a hell of a range, it was pretty amazing.

    (joking) kind of like a piccolo trumpet effect, though i could never sing that high...

    He had the power, and maybe i had the soul...like Jimi used to say...maybe i was the
    more soulful layer to the backing vocals..."

    "I was writing off the wall stuff, it wasn't your typical big rock thing.

    Poor Mike, i had to teach him the parts. I'd video tape what he had to play (joking).

    God bless him for indulging me..."
    You gotta trust me; it doesn't go down like that. Klosterman delivers his first draft with the interview tapes (well, not so much tapes these days - I'm dating myself, obviously). Point being, if editors hear recorded quotes that are presented in a different context on the page, they put the brakes on and straighten it out.

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  11. #7
    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    Also didn't everyone say before they wanted Ed to do more open and honest interviews... not the same old switching instruments jive... eeek.

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    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddE View Post
    You gotta trust me; it doesn't go down like that. Klosterman delivers his first draft with the interview tapes (well, not so much tapes these days - I'm dating myself, obviously). Point being, if editors hear recorded quotes that are presented in a different context on the page, they put the brakes on and straighten it out.
    true... but there must be a lot more to the conversation left out in editing. These are all pretty quick 2-line blurbs. No real depth to them. "Dave doesn't want to be my friend" -- seemed out of left field just thrown in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thismusicsux View Post
    Also didn't everyone say before they wanted Ed to do more open and honest interviews... not the same old switching instruments jive... eeek.
    Yup. I don't think any of us expected him to (my opinion) discount Mike's contributions in such a way.

    The other thing I'll repeat because it's important - the bit about Michael Anthony begins after 2,580-ish words into the piece. This was NOT the thrust of the article, but it's the thing we're latching onto.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddE View Post
    You gotta trust me; it doesn't go down like that. Klosterman delivers his first draft with the interview tapes (well, not so much tapes these days - I'm dating myself, obviously). Point being, if editors hear recorded quotes that are presented in a different context on the page, they put the brakes on and straighten it out.
    I understand, i was just trying to put a comical spin on it.

    It hurts, but Klosterman's interview was exceptional.

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    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddE View Post
    Yup. I don't think any of us expected him to (my opinion) discount Mike's contributions in such a way.

    The other thing I'll repeat because it's important - the bit about Michael Anthony begins after 2,580-ish words into the piece. This was NOT the thrust of the article, but it's the thing we're latching onto
    .
    Point taken... but there were like 3 or 4 zingers sprinkled throughout

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    Quote Originally Posted by thismusicsux View Post
    Point taken... but there were like 3 or 4 zingers sprinkled throughout
    If only Eddie knew a public relations specialist who could better prepare him for media.

    Ha ha!

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    Who the heck from here already edited Chuck's Wikipedia page?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Klosterman

    "Conducted a very misleading interview with Eddie Van Halen,forming the interview in a way as to have readers believe Mr. Van Halen was bitter and angry towards ex band members . In doing so said interview caused more Van Halen mud slinging and could possibly jeopardize the bands upcoming tour."
    Last edited by smithtone; 06.21.15 at 12:10 AM. Reason: I
    "We got the brand-new album, we got the brand-new songs, we got the brand-new equipment, we got the brand-new show... And we got the same ol' shitty attitude!" David Lee Roth, May 20, 1984 in San Diego

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    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    More Klosterman ...

    ___
    Chaz said...
    There is something phony about Klosterman, but I'm not sure he's aware of it. If he is, then he's smarter than his critics realize.

    He may be mildly aware that he's full of shit, but this might be part of his point. I really just think that he enjoys writing about things that literary types hate. And he has the ability to get people talking about him: people who would otherwise not know who he is.

    ___
    Klosterman wants it both ways: serious critic and pop critic, elitist and populist, college professor and college student. He's full of shit. The funniest part of it all, though, is that these distinctions are, at root, meaningless; there is no real difference between high and low culture. It's all just culture. Every story has something to say, every piece of art has a meaning, somewhere in there. And that's what pop criticism should aspire to: finding and evaluating those meanings, and celebrating them, instead of declaring they're not there.

    ___
    Jay said...
    Klosterman is a self-indulgent/self-glorifying whore. Killing Yourself to Live is probably the most boring read ever. I find myself wondering through the entire novel, "Who the fuck cares about this guys ex-girlfriends? Why the fuck is he telling me this?" Anytime you read something, put your hand over your wallet and ask yourself, "Why is the author telling me this?"

    Then you will realize Klosterman is a waste of time and energy. And he is a total hipster. Spin Magazine sucks, and speaks in hyperbole all the time. Because much like most hipsters, they want there word to be the end all be all. Fuck Klosterman, Fuck the anonymous guy, Fuck Spin magazine.

    ___
    Jay said...
    Many people's comments here are valid. Klosterman sucks, and he is definitely anti-hipster (his favorite band is KISS, and he ripped on the staff of spin as "all looking like members of Pavement), though he is largely the property of hipsters and heralded as such.

    The main problems with Klosterman are

    a) his writing style is impersonal, overwrought, and designed to make you think he knows what he is talking about by using "academic" language, even though:

    b) He is a student and practitioner of journalism, not criticism (electronic or otherwise). As such, his writings and "essays" are just the MUSINGS of a befuddled journalist. He knows the rules of journalistic writing very well, but he lacks the knowledge base to perform proper criticism (for just a quick example, his favorite band is again KISS).

    He's definitely educated and smart, but he perpetually misses the head of the nail, in my opinion, because he doesn't have the background in critical analysis.

    I'd be extremely surprised if any electronic media scholars or professionals thought his work was important (beyond maybe one or two pieces from each of his books)

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    Klosterman was hired by an indie band to fabricate their bio, no biggie but points to how he thinks and writes...

    ___
    Klosterman continues: "One person asked me, 'Will you feel bad if someone goes to this show or buys this record based on the fact that you wrote this fictional piece (Bio)? And then you're kind of ripping them off in a way.

    "I'll be honest — I don't feel bad. Because to me, I've probably helped that person to learn that you should not make consumer decisions based on some random media message that someone just fabricated for no reason. And I'm just not talking about my press release, I'm kind of talking about all press releases."

 

 

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