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Richard Marx (probably) sent me hate mail too

Richard Marx

Been meaning to share this story for a while:

In January 2010, Richard Marx pulled out of HullabaLOU, a music festival at Louisville’s Churchill Downs. Upon hearing the devastating news, I wrote an article for Louisville.com: “Sorry Louisville, you don’t have Richard Marx to kick around anymore at HullabaLOU.” If you don’t feel like selecting the link, executive summary:  it wasn’t flattering to Mr. Marx.

My article led to hateful comments from Marx’s dedicated fans (since lost after Louisville.com switched its commenting system), as well as a nasty thread on a Richard Marx-dedicated online forum (since defunct, because of course).

About two weeks after I published the article, I received this email:

Zach..That last “anonymous” post wasn’t me [a commenter on Louisville.com claimed to be Marx], but…THIS is. Turns out, having zero to do with putting you in your place..whoever you are…I have these insanely loyal and protective fans who not only post online, but then alert this kind of mindless crap to the woman who runs my website (Yep, I do have one…makes me SO cool) and then I occasionally hear about it. I’ve weathered these kind of nasty attacks for over 20 years. Mostly by over-achievers like yourself, who have “Air Canada’s enRoute” as the headline of their resume.

I was actually looking forward to playing HullabaLOU but it was just one show and I was offered a tour in China that, while only 4 shows in country over 8 days, will compensate me in numbers that would fill you with even more envious rage than you already seem to possess, if that’s possible.

Oh, yeah..I’m also still really happily married to a kind and beautiful woman after 21 years; have 3 amazing sons who are great human beings; and I still not only tour and make my own records, but write and produce with a ton of great artists for their records. I love every second. I realize it’s not on par with being editor-in-chief of Louisville.com, but… [UPDATE Aug. 11, 2017: Marx and his wife divorced in April 2014.]

See, like or hate my music, I have, for 20 years plus, put myself out there and given 100% to my craft. I’m a pro. I never phone it in and I’ve never taken the 30 million records and slew of hits for granted. I wrote “Right Here Waiting,” which you denigrated, not to be a hit song, but a musical love letter to my wife years ago. Luckily my friends persuaded me to record it. People all over the world sing that song to each other. I just got a letter from a young lady whose husband was killed in Iraq and the lyrics to “RHW” were his screensaver. She wasn’t the first who told me stories like that.

So…upon looking at what’s available about you…and seeing your photo…dude, your photo is so grim…all I can assume about you is that you’re a bitter man who either never got a break, or never had the talent to deserve one.

Vivian will certainly grow up to be so proud.

Richard Marx

Vivian, by the way, is my daughter. Who was then not even 1 month old.

Using the sender’s email address, renegadestudio@aol.com, I did some online research (I forget the specifics) that made it appear likely the email was in fact from Marx. It wasn’t conclusive enough though to share publicly.

Then, in January 2013, Salon.com published “Richard Marx hates my guts” by Edward McClelland. The subhead:

I made a snarky comment about the 1980s soft-rock balladeer on my blog. And now he won’t leave me alone. Really.

Well call me a hipster: I got hate mail from Richard Marx before it was cool.

Photo: Flickr/skyobrienpics

Eater Louisville, Louisville.com sweep Greater Louisville Journalism Awards

Society of Professional Journalists logoLast night Eater Louisville and Louisville.com cleaned up at the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Greater Louisville Journalism Awards:

The SPJ’s Chicago chapter judged the entries.

Thanks to the readers, owners and contributors to both sites!

Photo: Courtesy SPJ

Hear me—and my parents—on 102.3 The Max’s Lambert and Lindsey show

My parents in 102.3 FM The Max's studio with Lambert & Lindsey.For the past year I’ve been a regular guest Friday mornings on 102.3 FM The Max’s Lambert & Lindsey radio show, highlighting weekend events and promoting Louisville.com’s Weekender. Normally I just post the audio on Soundcloud and promote it via social media. But today, today was a special episode: my parents are visiting from Boston and joined me in the studio.

Thanks as always to Lynda Lambert, George Lindsey and Jesse Rasmussen for inviting me on their show. You can hear me join them Friday mornings around 7:40 a.m. at 102.3 FM, themaxfm.com or via their iOS app.


Louisville.com tops 1.5 million visits in 2012

Compared to 2009—the year before I assumed my part-time gig as the site’s editor-in-chief—visits to Louisville.com increased 131 percent in 2012 (665,561 to 1,539,414). And it was a 29 percent increase over 2011. Thanks to all our readers and contributors!

Louisville.com, Louisville Magazine are hiring ad execs, staff writer

Louisville Magazine and Louisville.com are looking for ad executives:

Louisville Magazine and its sister company Louisville.com are looking for accomplished account executives for new business development. If you are self motivated and have proven sales and communication skills, give us a shout! Print and online experience helpful. Position is commission based. Please submit cover letter and resume to sales@loumag.com.

Also, Louisville Magazine is hiring a full-time staff writer. That’s right, a full-time editorial position:

Wanted: a staff writer. Qualifications: Talent and a great attitude. Duties: Write. Louisville Magazine is looking for somebody who’ll turn into a master at longform journalism, who thinks up story ideas 24/7 (never underestimate the story idea formed in deep sleep), who has a sense of humor, who is as adept at doing the quirky front-of-the-book pieces as the deeply reported profiles and issue stories that shine in the feature well. Must appreciate good editing and play well with others. It wouldn’t hurt if you’d like to have some fun, too — especially since working at a magazine is only the best job in the world. Oh, and did we mention talent and attitude? We’re big on the best of both. Salary will be commensurate with skill and experience. To respond, please send résumé and clips to Kane Webb at kwebb@loumag.com or at 137 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., Suite 101, Louisville, Ky., 40202-1438.

And, as always, Louisville.com is looking for writers. And interns.

Photo: Courtesy Louisville.com

Louisville.com picks up 6,000th Twitter follower, 5,000th Facebook fan

Louisville.comLike Lance Armstrong speeding through the Tour de France finish line, in the last two weeks Louisville.com shattered the 6,000 Twitter followers and 5,000 Facebook fans milestones (wait, is that Armstrong metaphor no longer a good one to use?). When I began my gig as part-time editor-in-chief of the site in January 2010, those numbers were 1,800 and 100 respectively.

Unlike a lot of outlets, Louisville.com’s social media presence isn’t just about branding or vanity (as in, “Hey potential advertisers, look at how many people like us!”). All of Louisville.com’s articles automatically post to both of those social networks within 15 minutes of appearing on the mother site. In the last 30 days, Facebook was the site’s fifth highest source of traffic (it was third before Facebook cut back on the reach of fan pages that don’t advertise with it) and Twitter is eighth.

Congrats to our writers for putting out content that so many Louisvillians find valuable. And thanks to our readers for being followers and fans!

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