I’m Todd L. Burns, and welcome to Music Journalism Insider, a newsletter about music journalism. I highlight some of the best stuff I hear, read, and watch every week; publish news about the industry; and interview writers, scholars, and editors about their work. My goal is to share knowledge, celebrate great work, and expand the idea of what music journalism is—and where it happens. Questions, comments, concerns? You can reach me anytime at email@example.com. And if you’re not already subscribed to the newsletter, you can do so at musicjournalisminsider.com.
During the month of August, I’m taking a break from the regular format to present a series of special editions. This week’s newsletter features a new edition of Notes On Process. The idea behind the column is pretty simple: I invite a writer to a Google Doc where I’ve copy-pasted one of their pieces and added a bunch of footnotes with flattery, jokes, and questions. They reply to my queries, and then we provide you with a link to the doc where all of our marginalia is visible. The goal is to provide a window into the writing and editing process, so that folks can see how great writers think about their work.
This edition is focused on Simon Reynolds’ 1992 Melody Maker piece “Gathering of the Tribes.” Simon’s article was all about Castlemorton, a legendary free party that drew tens of thousands of ravers to the English countryside. The event garnered enormous media and political attention, but Simon’s article was one of the few written by someone who had actually attended.
As if that wasn’t interesting enough, Simon still had his first draft of the piece (!!), so we put both in the Google Doc. You can literally see how the piece changed in the editing process. I think it’s a fascinating look at a fascinating article. I hope you agree!
Simon is a music journalism hero of mine, so it’s a great pleasure to be able to present this. If you’ve missed out on any previous editions of Notes On Process, they’re all right here.
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Thanks for reading! Full disclosure: My day job is at uDiscover Music, a branded content online magazine owned by Universal Music. This newsletter is not affiliated or sponsored in any way by Universal, and any links that relate to the work of my department will be clearly marked. Feel free to reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter, it’s @JournalismMusic. Until next time…