Friday, May 24, 2024

Remembering Chet Flippo, One of the Real Founders of Rolling Stone


I just heard that Chet Flippo passed away. This is what I can tell you: I was lucky enough to hire Chet to write for me in the late 1980s when I edited Fame magazine. Most of the really good writers in town were signed up Vanity Fair at that point, and everyone else was busy. Chet had been a real idol of mine. When I was in high school, he and Ben Fong-Torres were the kings of Rolling Stone. This is when Rolling Stone really mattered. They, and later Cameron Crowe and Jon Landau, were the bylines you gobbled up. So when Chet said he would do interviews and profiles for me at Fame, it was like a dream come true. Wherever you sent him, whoever he saw, the work came back as perfection. Also, he had a strong Southern voice that lent his pieces an extra charm. Over a three year period we had endless conversations about music, about the old Rolling Stone, about everything. I was working 24 hour days for three years; he saved me. There was no one else like him. During that time I got to edit a number of people who’ve passed on since: David Halberstam, Spalding Gray, Harry Crews. But Chet was my hero. I am so sorry he’s gone. Look up his pieces for Rolling Stone. He was part of a group that invented what we now call Classic Rock. Chet, it’s too soon.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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