Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Really, it•s all Frank Sinatra•s fault. If the Chairman of the Board hadn•t checked out in 1998, I probably wouldn•t be writing today. When he passed, I felt sufficiently moved to pen a eulogy, and as luck (or karma, depending on your viewpoint) would have it, it was the right size to fit an empty space in a local entertainment rag, and once I saw the byline with my name on it, I was like a rock hound with a new pipe and a fresh lighter • hooked. Swelled with the confidence that only comes after getting published • or dating Cindy Crawford, since the two are roughly the same when effort and reward are considered • I submitted a review of a Jimmy Page/Robert Plant show to Ink 19, figuring any publication that looked as strange as Ink did would surely have a place for my ramblings.

Well, as luck would have it, Ian Koss and crew were in need of copy (a condition that has continued unabated to the present day, strangely enough•) and suddenly I was on a roll. From that point, I•ve interviewed folks like Son Volt to Kelly Hogan, reviewed underground publishers and far too many CDs to count, and covered a range of shows from Nina Simone to Iggy Pop, and I•m currently the Features Editor of this august rag. Granted, the money is great • OK, actually, I would have the net income of a Bosnian family if I attempted to support myself by writing alone (I•m no Gail Worley, after all!), but even stating such, there is no other publication of the dozen or so I•ve penned for that feels as much like home as Ink 19.

The reasons for this are simple. Ian, Julio, David Lee Beowulf, and the rest have created a forum for any and all viewpoints. I feel free to write about most anything that crosses my fevered brainpan, assured that it will appear soon to the world, exactly as I wrote it. Try finding that at Spin or Alternative Press. Better than that, the editorial staff backs your goofy ass up if you piss off some second-rate swing band (find my Royal Crown Revue review and their response, for example). This is truly liberating. I•ve ranted about our sorry ass government and its nasty habit of giving money to bums, the wonder of William Burroughs, the entire Year 2000 debacle (I still feel cheated that we all didn•t go to hell with that one), and a plethora of other issues. And if tomorrow, I decide to pen 10,000 words on the joy of Tantric sex, it will get printed.

Ink 19 operates largely without limits. Other than an overabundance of European death metal reviews, it would be hard to say what •sort• of publication we are. We have jazz writers, pop writers, techno, mall punks, and most everything in between. Combine that with a general distain for conformity, a permanent sneer when confronted with propaganda, and a less than adoring outlook on the status quo, and you have a recipe for a good magazine. One I•m proud to be an ingredient of.

Ink 19, you land of the free and the home of the brave, may you live long and prosper!

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