Play it pretty for Atlanta.

At the moment, I’m sitting at my computer wearing a Lynyrd Skynrd t-shirt. ($12.99 from Target, now sold out. I should’ve bought three.) If the fourteen year old version of me were transported to the present, the shirt would rank third on a list of things that surprised him the most. Second on the list would be the fact that we eventually lost our virginity.

In middle school and into high school, the kids who wanted to beat me up — the ones who seemed to never leave the school courtyard or have a care in the world, who smoked…

Jay-Z looks pretty happy here, I wonder why

When you interview a famous musician or actor, the time you spend with them is usually pretty boring and uneventful. Interviews take place in a controlled setting: a fixed amount of time, which is rigorously enforced; a quiet spot, perhaps a restaurant, so you can hear one another; a set of questions they’ve, let’s face it, heard before, and for which they have a set of rehearsed answers.

The job is to take that boring and uneventful 45 minutes and turn it into an eventful and insightful article.

From time to time, the controlled setting breaks down into something unexpected…

A surprising Kenny Rogers Q&A, about drugs, Prince, Hendrix, Viagra, growing up poor, and why he doesn’t want to live in the friend zone

Note: I interviewed Kenny Rogers in 2000, when he was enjoying a surprising, late-career return at country radio. A shorter Q&A ran in Rolling Stone, and it’s still online. Here’s the longer, uncut version, which I happily found on my computer.

Twenty years ago, Kenny Rogers was the Garth Brooks of his day. “I introduced mega-sales to country music,” he says.

With his fatherly mien and fireplace-warm voice, he had an increasingly pop string of hits…

Dr. William Meyers is medicine’s most prominent expert on core injuries, and some of the top groins in sports owe it all to his surgical handiwork

Dr. WIlliam Meyers

Roy Oswalt tried to gut it out — literally. In 2003, Oswalt was in his third year as a starting pitcher for the Houston Astros. He was a rising star but had developed a mysterious injury: Whenever he threw, Oswalt felt a sharp, sudden pain in his groin. “It was like someone had stabbed you,” he recalls. And the pain moved around, from his pubic area down to his inner thighs or up to his gut.

A pitcher creates a burst of kinetic energy by pushing off his dominant leg and taking a long stride forward as he throws the…

Rob Tannenbaum

Co-author of “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution.” Contributor to New York Times, New York Magazine, GQ, Rolling Stone, DETAILS.

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