The Aquarian Weekly
Little Falls, NJ
Occasionally, I had to get out and hustle, in order to get an article published. Actually, I had to do that a lot. One method that worked pretty well for a while, was to pick a band I liked that either had a new record out or was on tour, and let their label know I was interested in running a story on that artist. Then, I had to get out there and target the market where it would likely make the biggest impact. A new release could sell almost anywhere, but an interview with a touring band would only work in the regions where they would actually be performing. Which also meant convincing an editor in the immediate area that they wanted to run a story I had access to.Read more or less
Admittedly, I had never heard of this local weekly prior to the Radiohead/Beta Band 2001 U.S. tour. I had a commitment for an interview with The Beta Band, and a weekly on the West Coast that was going to pick it up. Sweet, until the word came down that it wasn't going to run after all - not enough interest, apparently. An alternate explanation was that so many people had written about the band already, that it was yesterday's news. The funny thing was that I had never seen any press on the band at all, and here they were, touring with one of the year's biggest acts, and no one seemed interested. Trust me - I called every single paper within a couple of counties surrounding every stop they were making on this tour, and the words "No thanks" began to sound like a mantra.
I really wanted to run the story, and I had a hard time believing how little interest there seemed to be. A few editors I talked with said they wouldn't have even made room for a piece on Radiohead, much less their tour support. Okay, maybe I was thinking too much like a fan, but I really thought there was a place in the world for an article about The Beta Band. Maybe they just weren't everyone's cup of tea? Yeah, everyone's a critic, alright ...
Fortunately, with only a couple of cities left to go on their tour, I got a tip from a friend that there was a little weekly in the NJ area called The Aquarian that catered to the market I was writing for, so I called them up, and to my utter surprise, he said he was interested. I sent the original draft—which was longer than I expected anyone would want, in order to withstand the usual editorial dissection—and resolved myself to just be happy with whatever it ended up looking like, in the end. Then I got a call from the editor, who basically asked if I had any objections to them running the piece unedited - for the cover story, no less, the same week the band would be playing in town! Let me tell you, it was tough making such a concession - especially getting paid more for the full feature, but I swallowed my pride and said I could be okay with that.