Where Rock N Roll Dreams Become Reality - Words by Chandler Kidd
Chandler Kidd is a dear friend of Gold Hand Girls, and was factually the first person to ever put us into print! You can check it out here
I’ll never forget picking up that first issue. Rolling Stone issue #1086 with “Why The Beatles Broke Up-The Inside Story” written by Mikal Gilmore.
I was 11 years old and wearing itchy ballet pink tights and a leotard. I had just finished ballet practice and my mom always allowed me to buy a new book to read, this time I happened to pick one up that would inspire my career.
Music has always been engraved into my soul, I remember running errands with my mother listening to Elton John, The Beatles and Boston.
At the time, I didn’t understand the major impact of what this article had imprinted on my brain, heart and ingrained a liveliness within my veins. I began reading the issue over and over. It was so captivating even at 11. Although I didn’t understand some topics such as politics I still absorbed the content with such great detail. To this day whenever I feel down about the possibilities that journalism may provide me in the near future, I pull out the yellowed, ripped and even a few missing pages issue to get the creative juices flowing.
Time continued to move forward and Rolling Stone magazines filled my mailbox bi-weekly, it was my favorite day of the week. I would beg my mom to drive faster from school just so I could feel the glossy pages glide through my fingers.
During this period of being young I also met the teacher who would coax me to become a writer.
Through his teaching methods my tone progressed exponentially as I understood the complexity of the English language. I continued to harp and build on my writing throughout the years, I method I still practice to this day because as a journalist each and every day someone out there is better than you.
As I entered college I noticed that the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication had many outlets for me to get a step closer to achieve my goal of becoming the next Mikal Gilmore. I joined the magazine interest group and traveled to New York City during my sophomore year. At this time, I met publications and networked with people but, most of all fell in love with the magazine industry all over again.
I wanted to be a magazine feature writer. I wanted to work at Rolling Stone and no one was going to step in my way.
What did I do you ask? I persevered and became tenacious knowing that I had the drive and passion to belong within the Rolling Stone family. I sent countless emails to the publication begging to be the Summer 2017 intern. For months, I sent emails pleading my case about how my application and story was vastly different than the others.
Finally, one day in January I got a reply asking to come in for an interview. I don’t remember much from that moment due to me blacking out from excitement. I do remember crying hysterically while jumping up and down on my bed.
In February, I was sitting in the waiting room of Wenner Media ..
waiting to be called back for my interview at 4:30. I remember looking in front of me and seeing blown up picture of Bono with the latest issue of Rolling Stone spread out in front of me. As I got called back I thought to myself “this is my time to shine”. During my interview, I was in the presence of great journalists who influence my writing and tone every day of my life-I was able to breathe the same air as Andy Greene and Brian Hiatt. Most importantly I was walking in the same footsteps as famous musicians such as Lorde, Miley Cyrus and countless others who have made the cover of Rolling Stone. Making the cover of Rolling Stone is an accomplishment in itself but, becoming a writer is another animal. I looked around before the interview began and noticed that I was sitting in front of a signed copy of Lorde’s first cover and it began to set in, that things happen around here.
I can’t mention the exact details of what I was told during that precious time spent in that office but, I can say that I wasn’t rewarded the position at the time. Although they did encourage me to reapply in the near future which leads me to now.
As Rolling Stone stated on September 18, Jann Wenner the founding editor will be selling the magazine to another publishing house. It is the end of an era but, also the beginning of a new one.
With me graduating in May, applying to grad schools and jobs its time to make my mark again. Hopefully this time as the foundation for the new face of Rolling Stone.
Chandler Kidd, Author
Chandler Kidd is a senior at The University of Oklahoma studying Journalism with a minor in Sociology. Chandler is currently the OU Daily's Music Beat reporter for the 2017-2018 school year. She also is the president of the Magazine Interest Group. When she isn't consumed by the crazy world of music journalism or applying to grad schools Chandler can be found listening to Black Sabbath, Green Day or watching vintage horror movies.
"Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams, telling myself it's not as hard, hard, hard as it seems" Lyrics from Going to California/Led Zeppelin
You can follow Chandler on Instagram @kiddykiddy_bangbang