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How Tom Wolfe Changed Music Journalism

Walking into Tom Wolfe’s home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan was like walking into literary history. The place looked like an old-world library, with all the wood and books and cloth-draped tables. I was there one afternoon in the mid-2000s, to interview him for CNN, where I was a new correspondent. Some producer had wanted him interviewed right away and I took on the challenge of getting to him. I emailed him and asked if I could come by. He said yes right away – we both were in the Rolling Stone fraternity and he felt you’ve gotta be there for your Rolling Stone family. So I rushed up to his place to meet him. I got there at about 2 p.m. and, even though he was home, he was dressed immaculately. He was in one of his tailored suits, a bespoke vanilla double-breasted number with a brightly colored tie and a bold, perfectly folded pocket square. There was a gold tie bar beneath the tie’s knot. He looked luxurious – he made dressing up seem fun, an expression of creativity and of character.

This was his trademark: the white suit, the bold pops of color in the tie, the boldness and yet tastefulness of the whole look. It established him as an old-school Southern gentleman, a man who was both tasteful and showy, who

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