Jim's Open Road


    Team Central Route


Music Critic
Chicago Sun-Times

“If you're just gonna live by the rules of 'what you should do,' or let somebody tell you what you can't do, then there's not much point in living.”


Journalism Music


Talent Determination Perseverance


Being Creative


  • Was always a "voracious" music fan, always had strong opinions about what he played and listened to.
  • Kept bothering one of his teachers about how he could become a rock critic; teacher said, "I don't know; go interview someone who does it."
  • He reached out to Lester Bangs, one of the world's most famous rock critics and his personal hero.
  • Lester Bangs encouraged him to follow his dreams and try his best to become a rock critic.
  • His first five years as a reporter, he was stuck writing about mundane things, but getting paid to write was "enough of a thrill."
  • Relentlessly kept writing about music because he loved it; would print out write-ups and hand them out for free.
  • Encourages young people to "just start writing," use your friends, family as your first audience.
  • Still plays drums on the side for fun because he loves music so much.

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