Sometimes controversy sells – but not this time. On the heels of a disastrous New York Times interview, Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner has released The Masters, which is currently ranked 7,639th by book sales on Amazon.
77-year-old Wenner’s latest book, full title The Masters: Conversations with Dylan, Lennon, Jagger, Townshend, Garcia, Bono, and Springsteen, officially became available to the public yesterday. Spanning about 370 pages, the work, as its name suggests, consists of “new and collected interviews” with “some of the greatest rockstars,” including a “never-before-seen” discussion with Bruce Springsteen, according to the appropriate description.
(Springsteen today revealed that he “will continue treatment” for peptic ulcer disease “through the rest of the year on doctor’s advice,” with his planned shows postponed until 2024. The 74-year-old’s team is expected to announce the rescheduled dates next week.)
Meanwhile, the initially mentioned Times sit down appeared to experience heavy turbulence out of the gate, with Wenner acknowledging that he’d allowed his interviewees to edit their comments (directly on the transcripts) prior to publication. “It’s interview subjects clarifying what they want to say,” maintained the Like a Rolling Stone author.
Things hardly improved from there, for Wenner proceeded to downplay the lazy, defamatory, and extremely damaging “A Rape on Campus” article published by Rolling Stone in 2014.
And to top off the trainwreck of a conversation, Wenner provided a highly offensive and demeaning attempt at an explanation as to why he didn’t interview any female artists (“just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level”) or black artists (“Maybe Marvin Gaye, or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just didn’t articulate at that level.”).
But the ensuing controversy, complete with a public denunciation from Rolling Stone, hasn’t resulted in a major commercial boost for The Masters, as highlighted at the outset.
Besides being ranked 7,639th overall on Amazon’s book-sales list and having received just one on-platform review, The Masters was at the time of this writing occupying the 96th spot in the ecommerce giant’s “Arts & Literature Biographies” category, the 24th position in the “Essays & Correspondence (Books)” category, and the fourth ranking in a decidedly specific category for Beatles books.
Additionally, the price of the book’s main Amazon listing had been reduced by 10 percent to $27 – with other sellers offering The Masters for slightly less than that. Not to be outdone, a seller on Walmart has moved to attract library-averse readers with an aggressive $23 price point.