Ten things you didn’t know about the rock and metal world last week… and one thing we misled you about
By Martin Kielty, Rock News Desk editor
Dammit.I hate getting it wrong. But as they say here in Glasgow, these things happen in big jobs.
Our story about Dave Mustaine was inaccurate enough for the Megadeth mainman’s personal assistant to make a statement correcting two major elements of the story. One, he didn’t collapse in Russia; two, he didn’t go to hospital with his kidney-stone complaint.
It’s even worse because the intention of our story was to inspire people and celebrate the grid-iron will Mustaine demonstrated by vowing the show had to go on, even if was only a cut-down set.
I suppose we could have underlined that better. We could have used what I regard as childish language like “Brave Dave” – although to be honest if I’d thought of that phrase at the time I might well have done it. But I felt the story stood on its own.
(And also, as I explained last week, the job of a headline is to persuade people who might not read the story to give it a look. The headline’s fine unless you happen to know, as we do now, that we’ve got some facts wrong. And by the way, I’m not changing it – I think it’s only fair we leave the crime visible.)
So I have to admit it: you can criticise our accuracy because that’s what we’ve set ourselves up to deliver. And I accept all those emails and have replied to them But criticising our motivation is a different thing – I’ve answered some of those mails but I’m not answering the nastier ones.
To be clear, I’ve established two things about the story.
Point one: my source didn’t mean “collapse” in any overdramatic sense; but as Mustaine’s PA comments, it’s a word when, added to other words, can sound more dramatic than was intended. I understood that at the time – there was never any suggestion in my mind or the source’s that the Megadeth mainman had swooned and clattered to the deck leaving screaming hordes of panic around him. But the inaccuracy was made worse by point two.
Point two: Mustaine did not go to hospital after playing the cut-down set. While doctors didn’t want him to play the show, they didn’t arrange any ambulance dash. Sadly, my source, whose dad has wound up in an ambulance with his own kidney stone problems, made the fatal mistake of assuming there’d been a hospital trip.
The responsibility is mine, not my source’s. I, Martin Kielty, made the call to run the story as we ran it.
If you’ve decided to claim RND’s motivation is to spread malicious gossip, then I assert you’re either a liar, or lacking in some basic abilities in language use.
The evidence is right here: look round the website. Check out a good number of our 300 or so stories published since we launched. If you can really see an intention to mislead, I’m telling you it’s only because you want to, and it simple isn’t there.
Some of you will know by now I have two mantras: “Life is about people,” and “entertain, educate, inform.” I live my professional life – and to a great extent my persona lifel – by those mantras. The evidence is not just on RND, but on all the other publications I’ve worked on (Google me if you care).
I’m disappointed we got it wrong. But I’m even more disappointed to be lumbered in with outlets who deliberately mislead their audience. One question: Do they really think that audience will come back once they realise they’ve been lied to? Maybe in the days when bad tabloids ruled the world, but those days are passing, and something better (I hope) is taking their place.
I assert that RND has earned the benefit of the doubt. If you believe otherwise, just go elsewhere. I won’t be discussing it with you again because if you do what you’ve rightly asked me to do – check the facts – you’ll see what’s what.
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This week’s top ten things
1. Slayer’s Kerry King was once asked to sign a fan’s arm with a scalpel – but refused. [read more]
2. Gene Simmons thinks no one remembers Ace Frehley or Peter Criss. [read more]
3. Sammy Hagar thought Joe Satriani was an “uppity prick” when they first got in touch. [read more]
4. The reunited Darkness are terrified at being booked to play the Download festival. [read more]
5. A classic-era Journey lineup including singer Steve Perry has been discussed. [read more]
6. The motivation that makes us want rock memorabilia is connected to the motivation that generated voodoo traditions. [read more]
7. Ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson believes Gary Moore died of a broken heart. [read more]
8. Mikkey Dee took part in a TV gameshow because he wanted a break from Motorhead. [read more]
9. David Coverdale only agreed to play his fateful final Deep Purple tour in 1976 as a favour to a friend. [read more]
10. Syd Barrett did not lead an unhappy life after he left the band. [read more]