ROLLING STONE REJECTED MY COMMENT! Two years ago, the Rolling Stone Daily newsletter ran an article titled “Hear the Beach Boys Reunite on Charity Re-Recording of ‘Add Some Music to Your Day.’ ” I read the piece, watched and listened to the video, and left a comment. It was immediately rejected for—get this—inappropriate language!
In early 1970, the original Add Some Music to Your Day had been the Beach Boys’ first single for Brother/Reprise, their new record company after almost eight years of making hits for Capitol Records. It was the lead-off track on SUNFLOWER, their first album of the new decade. While neither record sold well at the time, both have been “classics” for a long time.
This is not about the Beach Boys; it’s about the unpredictability of language restrictions on the internet.
As a 50th anniversary, musicians associated with the Beach Boys got together and recorded a new version of the song that sticks closely to the original arrangement and sound. This includes former Beach Boys Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Mike Love, and David Marks along with a few famous family members (Brian Wilson’s daughters Wendy and Carnie Wilson of Wilson-Phillips fame), a few not-so-famous family members (Matt Jardine and Ambha, Christian, and Hayleigh Love), along with a few friends.
For this project, this rather large ensemble of singers resurrected the group name California Music, a projected West Coast “supergroup” from the ’70s that was the brainchild of Bruce Johnson and Terry Melcher.
And — lo and behold — I was impressed with the recording, something that I haven’t said often about anything that the Beach Boys have done in decades! This includes almost everything the group has released since the KEEPIN’ THE SUMMER ALIVE album of 1980, which had some fine tracks on it.
So I wrote a lengthy comment about “Hear the Beach Boys Reunite on Charity Re-Recording of ‘Add Some Music to Your Day’ ” by Andy Greene and submitted it to the Rolling Stone website.
Slip on through
Here is the comment that I submitted on February 26, 2021:
“The Beach Boys’ 1970 album SUNFLOWER is one of my all-time faverave albums and Add Some Music To Your Day is one of the album’s many high points. It had been released as a single prior to the album but was ignored by virtually every AM and FM radio station in the country.
Back in the early ’70s, I used to plop this down on the stereo whenever I had friends over and had gotten them appropriately high. Of course, I never told them I was gonna play the Beach Boys as that would have turned them off as the group was in bad odor at the time. I just played the album and let them get into the music.
The album’s opener, Slip On Through, didn’t sound anything like any previous Beach Boys’ record and usually sucked my unsuspecting listeners into the album’s warm embrace. I believe that everybody I played it for fell in love with it!
I also believe that my playing it led several friends to go out and buy a copy! This probably drove sales into the double digits in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1970 alone!
This new 2021 version by various Beach Boys along with family members and friends is a lovely recreation of the original, even though the video is meandering and kinda hokey.
‘The world could come together as one if everybody under the sun would add some music to your day.’ ”
That last sentence (in single quotes) was lifted from the song’s lyrics.
I received an automatic message that read, “Your comment has been rejected as it does not align with our Community Guidelines.” Included was a link to those guidelines. Here are the guidelines for posting comments on their website (indented below):
Your post will/might be rejected if it contains:
• Insults, profanity, incoherent, obscene or inflammatory language and threats of any kind
• Attacks on the identity of other commenters or the article’s author
User accounts will/might be blocked if we notice:
• Continuous attempts to re-post comments that have been previously moderated/rejected
• Racist, sexist, or homophobic comments
• Attempts or tactics that put the site security at risk
So, how can you be a power user?
• Stay on topic and share your passion. Feel free to elaborate to get your point across.
• ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ when you are filled with emotions!
• Protect your community. Use the report tool to alert us when someone breaks the rules.
They closed with a jaunty send-off: “Thanks for reading our community guidelines. Don’t forget, freedom of speech is not the freedom of reach!” I did not recognize this witticism (although I knew it wasn’t anything attributed to Mark Twain). I did not find any site even pretending to be a dictionary offering a meaning for freedom of reach.
Most of the remarks online were on blogs or social media and they led me to believe that what the Rolling Stone algorithm was telling me was that while I had the freedom to say anything I wanted, I did not have the freedom to use their platform to reach their readers, especially if they didn’t like what I was saying.
Your comment has been rejected
Needless to say, I was baffled as nothing in my comment appeared to breach any of the site’s rules. Nothing could be construed by a reasonable person as being spam, insulting, profane, obscene, inflammatory, threatening, racist, sexist, homophobic, or an attack on another person.
Was I missing something? I looked for what could be causing the rejection.
Could the ’60s slang term faverave be mistaken for my encouraging readers to participate in raves, which could be inferred that I was encouraging the use of an illegal drug? I changed faverave to favorite and submitted the comment a second time.
It was rejected again.
My statement that “I had friends over and had gotten them appropriately high” could certainly be read as my encouraging the use of marijuana, even if it was now legal in many states. I deleted that entire line and submitted the comment a third time.
It was rejected again.
My wife read it and said, “Maybe it doesn’t like you calling the video ‘hokey’,” so I changed hokey to charming and submitted the comment a fourth time.
It was rejected again.
A second message
After this rejection, I received a second message, this one alerting me that continued submission of previously rejected comments could lead the website to believe I was maliciously trying to hack the site. Unfortunately, I did not copy the message and so cannot paste it here.
Frustrated, I said to my wife, “Honey, I’m frustrated. Let’s watch some House and see if he can cheer me up.”
More inappropriate language
The next day (February 27, 2021), I attempted to post my comment again without any new changes. I received a new message: “Certain parts of your comment may include inappropriate language. Please revise to take part in the conversation.”
This time, I thought maybe it was my use of the word sucked. So I changed one sentence:
“The album’s opener, Slip On Through, didn’t sound anything like any previous Beach Boys’ record and usually sucked my unsuspecting listeners into the album’s warm embrace.”
“The album’s opener, Slip On Through, didn’t sound anything like any previous Beach Boys’ record and my unsuspecting listeners usually found themselves in the album’s warm embrace.”
Voila—I was in!
As I have always viewed sucking as a good thing — indeed, a very good thing! — I have never used it in the slang sense of it being insulting (“You suck!” “That sucks!” etc.). Hence it’s being “inappropriate” didn’t dawn on me at first. I mean, who exactly does suck offend, and how?
Like, no matter what your pronouns are and what pronouns you choose to interact with, most of us like sucking something and having something sucked in return, right?
Oh, well, my daddy always told me to look for the silver lining in every dark cloud and here the silver lining was to turn a rejected comment into this—a (hopefully) entertaining and educational article.
The heart of the American dream
I just visited “Hear the Beach Boys Reunite on Charity Re-Recording of ‘Add Some Music to Your Day’ ” to check what I wrote above with what appears on the Rolling Stone site and the site does not appear to maintain a comments section anymore.
Of course, if these Rolling Stone Community Guidelines had been in effect for contributors to Rolling Stone magazine fifty years ago, they would have made it impossible for a writer such as Hunter Thompson.
Hell, Thompson might not have found another publisher willing to take a savage journey to the heart of the American Dream in 1971. And the ’70s without “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” would have—well, you know—sucked!Beach Boys reunite (well, sort of) to add some music to your day. (This is not about the Beach Boys; it’s about the unpredictability of language restrictions on the internet.) Click To Tweet
FEATURED IMAGE: This is the photo of Mike Love that was used as the featured image for the Rolling Stone article. The grooviness of the oh-so-sixties shirt is offset by the clunkiness of the sports cap.
To hear the 1970 version of Add Some Music to Your Day, click here.
To hear the 2021 version of Add Some Music to Your Day, click here.
PS: Regarding the title of this article, “Beach Boys Reunite (well, sort of) to Add Some Music to Your Day.” Um, anyone who thinks the Beach Boys have “reunited” without Brian Wilson might want to read David Leaf’s God Only Know – The Story of Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys & the California Myth.
PPS: I have more than 200 unpublished drafts on this blog. While most of them consist of an image a link, and a few notes, some of them are articles of thousands of words that simply need tweaking prior to posting. For one reason or another, I put these pieces aside for a day or two and then forgot them. I tend to blame it on my being “overbooked” (six blogs are probably four too many) but it probably also has something to do with me being over 70 . . .