Angie Moon is an American journalist and blogger. Angie started The Diversity of Classic Rock a few years ago. This is a blog focused on Classic Rock that also works as a judgement-free zone that allows everyone to express his/her opinion.
Today, she’s sharing her experience with Job Wherever, to teach our audience how to start and maintain a blog.
Let’s find out all about The Diversity of Classic Rock!
Hi, I’m Angie Moon, classic rock enthusiast and creator of The Diversity of Classic Rock, also known as Crazy on Classic Rock. I started this blog when I was 20 and in study abroad. I was taking this class called Introduction to Social Media. I never thought this class would change my life with the creation of my blog and my Twitter. I’ve made quite a few friends through those outlets and made so many connections. I have to say I feel fulfilled writing about what I love and the passion shows through my writing.
How it all began
In that class, we learnt how to use Twitter and how to start a WordPress blog. The main assignment was to start your own blog about whatever topic you want. Naturally, I chose classic rock. I already had a classic rock radio show called Crazy on Classic Rock, named after the Heart song, “Crazy on You” and I thought this would be a good companion for the radio show.
The initial inspiration for the blog came from when I worked at my school’s radio station and they told me that the music I listen to is “too white” and “too old”. I told them that classic rock is actually quite diverse in sound and in people and they didn’t believe me.
It all began with posts about musicians who were African (did you know the first African rock star was a woman named Cherry Wainer?), Black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, and LGBT. There’s only so many posts you can write about musicians who are from different identities, so I had to think about what makes a musician who they are. It’s all about their story and every musician has a unique story and through reading these stories, I see all sorts of connections. Classic rock is really a small world and it’s incredible to see all the different links.
I also think about the sound and influences side of classic rock. Classic rock isn’t just more than meets the eye, it’s more than meets the ear too. I love all the classic rock subgenres: rockabilly, skiffle, instrumental rock, surf rock, British Invasion, blues rock, garage rock, protopunk, psychedelic rock, hard rock, country rock, progressive rock, glam rock, punk rock, post-punk, power pop, synth pop, new wave of British heavy metal, and Madchester. Classic rock really has a little something for everyone and I can’t believe someone when they say they don’t like classic rock.
Each of these genres sounds different and have different roots from all over the world. For example, surf rock has Middle Eastern roots, psychedelic rock has Indian roots, and British skiffle borrows from American country music. Cultural exchange happens in all directions. Rock stars covered Motown and Motown artists covered rock songs. The British Invasion didn’t just influence Americans, in Japan they put their own spin on it with Group Sounds, Thailand had Shadow Music, the French had yé-yé, the Dutch had Nederbeat, and Eastern Europeans had Big Beat.
As a writer, you have to be responsive to what your readers think and it means evolving, changing, and growing. People have been asking that I cover newer music, and I do a bit of that now with a quarterly feature about new music from mainly smaller and newer acts. I also interview up and coming musicians and it’s fun hearing their stories too. I also organise how I talk about musicians in themes, like what characteristics they have in common. I’ve written posts on who are the most educated rock stars, which rock stars are vegetarians, classic rockers with the best social media accounts, rock stars who did drag, rock stars who made it as teenagers, rock stars who made it later in life, and classic rockers who have been ripped off by the industry – a tragic story that happens way too often to count.
Why did I continue this project?
Simply put, I love classic rock more than anything. I think of the Ben & Jerry’s motto: “If it’s not fun, why do it?” I have Aspergers and while it has a bunch of downsides, maybe it’s why I’m so passionate about classic rock, and in that way it has been a boon to my blog. People say that even in my writing they can picture a smile on my face as I write about classic rock and can tell I really love and know what I’m talking about. Everything I do is classic rock and it has been that way since I was a teenager. Every school project? About rock bands. Essays? Rock band references will somehow be thrown in there. Conversations with random people? Let’s infodump about classic rock!
Now, for the kind of sad part of the story. Back in 2018, I walked across the stage with my journalism degree in one hand, a peace sign in the other hand, and no idea what I was going to be doing. I felt like I was free falling off a cliff and had no idea where I was going to fall. I was going to job interview after job interview in the journalism and PR field, and no dice. I was not experienced enough, “overqualified” (Really? Why is this a bad thing?), not from Ireland, a second choice, or good enough to work unpaid but not worth paying (super duper insulting).
No one in the journalism industry believed in me and I was often treated as lesser for being a foreigner and for my specialty being writing about music. There were times that I wanted to give up. We all have bad days and when you’re a success story, that’s not the stuff people talk about or see on your way up, but I’m an open book and that means telling my story, warts and all.
People working in the industry made digs at my looks, my ideas, and the way I did things. But I reminded myself that all of my idols faced rejection and hard times on the way up at some point. The Beatles were rejected by Decca Records, Queen weren’t rich until “Bohemian Rhapsody” (released when most of the band were in their late 20s), and Jimi Hendrix was called a show off and kicked out of backing bands.
I must be doing something right if my blog is going somewhere and gaining traction. Classic rock is timeless and there are so many stories to be told in that world. Some that are well known, and others that aren’t. Like in the Disney movie, Coco, when you pass away, people only forget about you if no one talks about you. So many classic rockers are old or no longer with us, but they all created something that will live forever. Good music has no expiry date.
They say if you can’t find a job, you create your own, and that’s just what I decided to do. I went full steam ahead and dedicated all my time to writing my blog and treat it like a job.
I’m lucky that I am in a position to do so and I recognise my privilege in this situation.
I can proudly say that I’ve learnt more from writing this blog than I have learnt from working in any job that I’ve held. I’m the only person running the blog so I wear multiple hats: social media, graphic design, writing, researching, and interviewing. You learn skills with practise. You don’t get to your 100th blog post unless you write your first. I look back at my old stuff and cringe a little, but that’s a sign of progress. Life is a journey and a learning experience.
Go and create a blog because you love it. Not because you want to get rich and famous. Know what you’re talking about, have a vision, and take chances. Who knows where you’ll be in five years? Maybe at the top of the Google search results and
Through The Diversity of Classic Rock, I found my way.