Rant: Why I’m Ditching Guitar World

April 5, 2011 | By | 7 Replies More

NoBozos_1I’ve been on the fence about this for a while. Then I’ll get an issue of Guitar World that makes me think, Dang, I need to keep getting this magazine! (Like the fact that it gets all, and I mean all, the EVH interviews.) Well, the most recent issue of GW was the nail in the coffin for me.

So it’s not the fact that I need to go through the magazine and rip out the ads with the sparsely clad gals so my 9-year-old son doesn’t see them – and so my wife doesn’t get POd at me. Btw, a guy who was a tech for a famous guit-slinger calls GW “Guitar Maxim” (disparagingly) for that reason. But GW has a younger demographic, I get it.

It’s the fact that no one is at the wheel over there.

A while back I emailed the editor and publisher about a story they ran, about an unrepentant murderer from some northern European country who was back on the obscure metal trail. How did I know he was unrepentant? He said so in the article!

Ridiculous. I’ve been in the journalism/publishing biz my entire professional life, and contrary to what it may appear, there is (supposed to be) a responsibility you have as an editor and publishing company to be a filter, of sorts – particularly when you have a younger demo.

And it’s not like the guy the article was about is famous and thus somehow worthy of coverage. I guarantee you’ve never heard of him.

I emailed the editor and publisher, and got the standard “it was interesting” and “I think you’re not giving our readers enough credit” lines back – from the editor (the publisher never responded). That’s BS and I told him so.

That was incident one.

Incident two was a special issue on grunge, with a bunch of articles about the grunge “scene” in the day. One article was about some guy who did gross stuff on stage involving his front and back “privates.”

Honestly, why am I reading that crap in a guitar mag? How does it help me enjoy my passion more?

The nail in the coffin was an article in the latest issue about an old GnR/Metallica tour. In it is a quote from some book, Slash telling a story about how Hetfield skull-f***ed a girl.

So this is a guitar enthusiast magazine? Does it have any female readers?

Who’s at the freakin’ wheel over there?

My hat’s off to the folks who still do good work at Guitar World – good, revealing interviews. Good columns. But the powers that be there can kiss my a** (amp!).

I’ll continue to send my money to, and spend my valuable time reading, the other three: Guitar Player, Vintage Guitar and Premier Guitar. Thanks to them for having good folks at the helm.

Category: Rants

Comments (7)

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  1. rockman627 says:

    I agree. GW panders to the impulses of its young demographic. I occassionally get it, like the Jeff Beck issue, and it kind of sickens me to wade through the rest of the mag.
    Have you seen Guitar Afficianado? That’s the other end of the spectrum: “Ah yes,my good man,vintage wine and a 59 Les Paul: quite tasteful, quite tasteful! ”
    But if they have an article I like, I reach for the cash. And again it kind of sickens me to wade through the rest of it.

  2. khs says:

    Yes, I let my Guitar World subscription expire as well for the same reasons. That last magazine with the GnR/Metallica story was indeed sleazy. Guitar Player rules.

  3. C.J. REBEL says:

    Hello Guitar Comrades!

    I remember in the mid 80’s when GW came out. It was a breath of fresh air – more modern players. It seemed that Guitar Player wasn’t as hip, you know? I was a lot younger then, so YMMV. I remember they did a whole issue on Jimmy Page! A whole issue on David Gilmour! Keef! Interviews! All his gear with pictures, etc.! And I believe that was the magazine that had the amp issue in the 80’s – all of the different companies offerings with reviews and what was new. It seemed unbiased.

    Well, I haven’t gone near guitar mags thanks to the internet. There’s always an angle in magazines – you can’t get an honest review of anything as the big manufacturers pay for good reviews. Same with the news. Capitalism run amok. Thank goodness we have internet freedom – for now.

    It reminds me – I had a 15 year subscription to Car & Driver magazine. I loved the writing style and all the new stuff. But in the Bush years it went far right – political rants and stabs at progressives everywhere. I sent them a letter canceling my subscription. Focus on cars a-holes – keep your propagandistic dogma to yourself.

    I love T&A, but in a guitar mag? Constantly? Like more than guitars?

    You have a fantastic site sir. Keep up the good work!

  4. rockman627 says:

    Speaking of T&A, why do guys go nuts for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue? There are plenty of mags devoted strictly to T&A, why get it from a sports mag?

  5. Ianoffogus says:

    I also agree that they seem to play to the sexist pig “metal dudez” way more than is responsible for a magazine aimed at teenagers.

    Another problem I have with them, is their “gear reviews”. It is not the same as a REAL review, where you not only focus on the good stuff, but also focus on what’s wrong with it. It seems that their “reviews” are nothing more than commercials for their sponsors to help them sell products, in return for ad revenue. GW Paul seems to just gloss over the gear and “review” it as if it’s the best thing to ever touch his hands. I’m not expecting Roger Ebert, but at least they should TRY to be more subjective.

    I do like their lessons and educational columns, as well as their new streaming feature. I really dig Andy Aledort too… seems like he just smoked a doobie before every take.

  6. C.J. REBEL says:

    Totally agree Rockman. I’m not big into sports, thus I would just pick up a Maxim or Stuff for that. I guess SI started that trend so long ago to sell mags that they don’t want to lose sales on it. It’s totally ridiculous. I mean, honesty in mags! If it’s sports, how about unbiased sports? If it’s t&a, unbiased an unabashed t&a. Cars – just car stuff and stuff relating to that without the personal unrelated opinions (with the exception of the super hot girls in Low Rider lol). Or, an honest guitar mag – real facts – real reviews – real stuff we give a crap about. I wouldn’t mind losing like 3/4ths of the interviews, etc. just to have more gear represented like the pro audio mags…

  7. Ace Steele says:

    I totally agree with you on this subject.
    There should be some sort of ethical/moral “filter” in place. (I think it’s called a responsible editor) I don’t have a problem with the cheesecake guitar ads, I’ve seen them since the late 70’s when Dean started the “T & A sells guitar” craze. But I draw the line at promoting the black metal murderer. They needn’t give him free press. More gear coverage, & less puff pieces would be nice. I applaud your you ethics!

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