“RS” Cover Boy Causing Old-Guard Readers To Yell, “Get Off My Lawn”


The next issue of Rolling Stone has as its cover subject High School Musical cutie/frequent Bop subject Zac Efron, who is captured in an awkward pose that looks like he’s sheepishly feeling himself up while showing off his Tegan and Sara-inspired haircut. Slightly creepy, yet repurposable photo selection aside, I think it’s admirable that RS decided to seize the moment and actually put on its cover an artist who a) is under 40 and b) has had something resembling music-biz success this year. But the fact that Efron’s music career was spawned in large part by TV–and not just TV, but The Disney Channel–has resulted in some (probably pretty predictable!) fussing from readers. A sampling of the comments thread, which has reached 41 comments in the last 12 hours and surely will explode once people straggle into work, follows.

First, a comment from the Old Guard who apparently didn’t know me in ninth grade:

Steve | 8/7/2007, 8:59 pm EST

Wow…from Guns N’ Roses to…this?

You can’t sell the same magazine to music fans and 14 year old girls. Pick one.

Next, the Aesthetic Police weigh in on the admittedly one-note tone of RS‘ recent cover choices:

Jake | 8/7/2007, 10:57 pm EST

rolling stone used to be known for their magazine covers. i’ve noticed a trend in the last few years that almost every cover looks the same. The artist the cover story is about in front of a white background. It’s boring. I go to an art school and have several friends who are photography majors, any one of which could take a better cover photo for you.

And here’s Kevin, who stayed up late for the purpose of basically synthesizing all of the current subscribers’ complaints into one post–he even got in a dig at RS‘ relentless boomer mythologizing:

Kevin | 8/8/2007, 1:07 am EST

Christ, I thought this mag couldn’t sink lower than the perpetual white background, a bunch of history lessons on classic bands people already love, and the kind of snide “we-have-cred-from-t he-60 ‘s-so -don’t-questions-us” attitude to do all this shit. Now they put a kid from a fricking MADE FOR TV MOVIE on the cover. I don’t care if his record was #1 for the rest of the century. COVER BETTER MUSIC (and I can’t emphasize music enough).

Sure, cover what’s popular or # 1 somewhere inside. But don’t tell me this kid deserves the cover of a Rolling Stone because a pack of prepubescent girls (and guys, to be fair) bought the soundtrack.

And finally, we have this comment from coolbreath86, whose cool breath is like an ice-water reminder of just why this cover subject was chosen:

coolbreath86 | 8/8/2007, 1:55 am EST

ppjjjjj…. you men can say whatever you want… still not gonna change the fact that he’s FINE AS CRAP to us ladies and that’s what sells the mag… shoot! I don’t even read rolling stone, but now I’m buy this one just because he’s on the cover. No Shame.

The Next Cover of Rolling Stone Revealed: Zac Efron [RS]