I had a great conversation yesterday with Eric from My Name Is John Michael. This is the band that’s featured on offBeat Magazine’s March 2010 cover – both of them. Eric said that offBeat was working really hard to print a second version of the cover in time for SXSW, which I was very, very glad to hear. The new cover is featured on offBeat‘s website and here, below:
This action, to me, satisfies offBeat‘s responsibility to the band they honored with a cover. I’m glad offBeat was willing to take this step for the band and everyone featured in the March issue.
I still feel that offBeat has an unfulfilled obligation toward their readers and I recognize this is a matter of opinion. I think the apology posted online and Jan Ramsey’s comments after the fact were pretty disrespectful to their readers. So, it’s with this in mind that I’m looking forward to seeing this addressed in next month’s issue (or in the 2nd March issue, if I can get my hands on it). But the re-issue of the March magazine has given me a lot of hope.
Most of all, I was gratified to hear from Eric that everyone’s been very supportive of My Name Is John Michael. The band was on tour when the controversy broke out last week. Driving from Athens to Asheville, the band listened to “Strange Fruit” together in the car. I loved imagining that scene and how that must have felt to the band members to experience the song together at that particular moment.
I suspect that a few more people listened to “Strange Fruit” in the past week than ordinarily would have, and some may have heard it for the very first time, and if so, that is music to my ears.