Things were going along well for me as a reviewer/interviewer. Jeff only had one ironclad rule for reviews - no first person pronouns, i.e. "I" "me" "my" "mine." Which seems like a fairly easy rule to follow, but it grated on me. I argued with him on the grounds that was an antiquated guideline, that readers were smart enough to know the reviews weren't written by a machine and circumventing the rule led to such ear-clunking phrases as "this reviewer" and "yours truly."
Jeff argued - and won - on the grounds that he was the boss.
So I suggested I write a column mainly so I that I could step out from behind the curtain and say what I wanted to say. Originally I wanted to call it "The Country Curmudgeon" because the first several columns were mainly just me beefing about stuff going on in the world of C&W - you know, stuff like "Why in the hell is a magazine called Country Weekly published bi-weekly?" But I thought there was a chance where I might write a column where I was in a good mood, and I didn't want to lock myself into a restrictive format.
Jeff said yes, and the rest is a (very, very small piece of) history. I've written some columns that've cost Jeff some subscribers who were upset about my political opinions, but to his credit, he's never asked me to change anything. He only rejected one column, and that was because it was mainly about Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jeff didn't think they were country artists. (I would have argued the point, but then I remembered that "boss" trump card he holds.)
A few of my favorites right off the top of my head: The one about how Tammy Wynette changed my life, the one about Johnny Bragg, the prisoner responsible for launching Elvis Presley's career and the one explaining why "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is the most overrated song ever (which generated almost as much controversy as the political ones.)
I want to say to Jeff Remz: Thank you for giving me this forum, I really appreciate it.
And to the readers: Thank you for putting up with me. If you have any questions, complaints or thoughts about why "Country Weekly" is published bi-weekly, send ‘em to firstname.lastname@example.org
The views in this column are those of Robert Loy and do not necessarily reflect those of CST.