The infamous Craig R. Marquardo has resurfaced in Portland with a new magazine, Music Spectator. He claims it to be "The Magazine for the Portland Music Scene," a media source to bring our music community together. More on that later. First, lets talk about Craig.
Perhaps you've already forgotten the generally maligned musician, film financier and "journalist" Marquardo. His story could fill the 19 pages of Music Spectator's debut twice over. The Hood River resident (at last check) has a fairly hilarious and rogue-ish past in our neck of the woods. In 2003, he made a pathetically clueless attempt at bringing Portland major league baseball entirely via the private sector, only to be quashed when the O revealed that the sometimes-journalist had published a "startling candid" Q&A with Leonard Nimoy in a local Hood River paper, that turned out to be total BS. Yeah, the publisher of "The Magazine for the Portland Music Scene" is also the Jayson Blair
of the Columbia River Gorge.
It gets better. Quoting from a Portland Tribune profile
: "He says he played minor-league baseball in 1990, sang backup with the pop singer Sting at the age of 15 and was wounded in Iraq on an assignment after the Persian Gulf War." The paper couldn't verify any of it.
I also dug up an old Portland Communique post
about him, his apparently BS resume and the whole baseball ordeal. Read it. There's 17 comments there, and they're all pissed
From John Allen
Change your name and practice these these words " would you like some fries with that? "
This guy is a scammer, BS artist, Lousy actor, Bull shitter, and a scam artist.
In a heated breakup with an ex-fiance, Marquardo broke down and confessed that he had never gone to the Gulf, sang with Sting - none of it. He also purchased a purple heart on e-bay and a suspecting ex found the printed receipt! He will go to many lenghts to fabricate and manipulate information to appear bona-fide. Yet the man still remains in business because he can talk a good line of BS!!
Last year Marquardo also got into some shit running for a board seat with the Port of Hood River. Surprise: it was for making things up on his candidacy form, according to another Portland Tribune article.
For this episode of being a grade-A d-bag, he wound up with a five days in jail and a whole lot of fines and community service.
I almost feel bad. If he can see fit to start a magazine in Portland under his own name after all of this, he's truly not-quite-there
Normally, I hate to rag on an upstart magazine. It's a bold move to start a print publication of any sort, let alone one regional, and music-focused. I myself was fortunate enough to once be a part of one, slaving for months on a Cascadian culture glossy called Traffic that died sadly and quietly before its second issue. But, when a magazine is so obviously insipid that there isn't the barest shred of hope, I can't help it. In fact, I kind of enjoy it. For example: who was the first to call PDX Magazine "a graphically abominable, poorly written ad vehicle." Well, that would be me
Now, let us turn our attentions to the newest entry, Music Spectator
. The rag--glossy covers, B&W paper content pages--is subtitled "The Magazine for the Portland Music Scene." Ahem. The cover story is on Chris Isaak, the advertised stories include a Bravery Q&A, concert photos of John Legend and the Killers, and finally a "Artists You Should Know" piece of locals Three Legged Torso and a memoriam to Paul DeLay. That's dandy: He was a massive Portland figure, but he died three months ago. Heckuva lead time, and way to represent the "Portland Music Scene" with the Isaak cover story, et almost al.
I won't drag this slam on too long, but let's pause for a moment on the Publisher's Notes. The stated goal is "to become the the singular source for Portlanders and beyond for the rich music scene we have available to us." The facing page is the Q&A with the Bravery, who are as much as a part of Portland's music scene as the Bowery Ballroom. Marquardo nearly begs for advertisers and then goes on to call Portland's music scene "a big mess," with this mag a definite "step in the right direction."
There's a couple of really vague CD reviews, a Joss Stone photo spread, a rousing declaration that a band should be able to fill half a venue to expect to play there and the climactic Chris Isaak interview. Contained within the latter is the grating, nonsensical line--showcased in a pull-quote--"If you are gonna download music, steal the machine you downloaded it on (too)." (Chris, first off, you can
download music now without "stealing" from the artist. Second...oh, nevermind.) Whether or not you believe this actually came from Isaak is up to you.
For more on the illustrious life of Craig Marquardo click below. Seriously, it's good.
Photo: The man himself. Hot!