04 All About Jaan Uhelszki

Jaan with frequent interview subject Neil Young.

As a lifelong creator, contributing writer Jaan Uhelszki is worthy of her very own cover of The Fire Theft Project.

Always operating under a mantle of fearlessness, Jaan was—and continues to be—a pioneer in music journalism. She started as the “subscription kid” at the legendary Creem magazine back in the ‘70s before graduating to writing and editing assignments as Senior Editor, a title she shared with her friend and mentor Lester Bangs.

The story that put Jaan on the map was the George Plimpton-style participatory piece “I Dreamed I Was Onstage With KISS in My Maidenform Bra,” in which she performed as a fifth member of the masked marvels for a night, chronicling her experience in vivid prose. (It remains this writer’s favorite piece of rock journalism.)

Since then, Jaan has continued to set a high standard for insightful interviews, wielding a signature style that balances a deep empathy with a “you can’t ask that!” boldness, an approach in evidence with this issue’s cover story.