About


I started Why It Matters with one objective: To tell stories of my personal soundtrack.  That’s a long road that begins with The Beatles.  Where it ends remains to be seen.

But that was a few years ago.  WIM has grown into so much more than that.  On this site you’ll find playlists, interviews, reviews, concert photos, and features on albums (and other stuff) from my personal collection.  And as for those stories from a personal soundtrack?  They’re still cooking along, each one numbered so that you can read in sequence if you choose.  The Creative Non-Fiction page will help you navigate that.

Meanwhile, I’ve spilled over the boundaries of WIM a little bit since this little exercise began.  Here are some other places you can find me:

  • Enjoy a beer or cocktail? Me too, and thanks to Paste Magazine I’m able to review some favorites (and not so favorites).
  • Under The Gum Tree has been great to me, publishing a couple of pieces in their print edition and welcoming me to read at a couple of their functions
  • You can catch a short one about a father and son airplane ride on Airplane Reading.
  • If you were ever terrorized in the back of a muscle car or soothed your broken heart to Yacht Rock, you’ll enjoy this piece at The Write Room.
  • Training bras, lusty teens, and a cool Snoopy lunch box. All part of this little story at Red Fez.
  • “Bewitched,” a creative non-fiction piece about my introduction to the workplace, appeared in Work Magazine.
  • Guns: Good? Bad? I don’t know.  All I know is my experience with them, kindly published by Hippocampus Magazine.
  • Clear Nude Magazine’s second issue (Spring 2014) includes a piece I wrote regarding the infamous “naked lady” cover of Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland.
  • Storyscape Journal ran “The Song Poet’s Epistles,” a short story about a nice enough guy getting hustled by one of those “turn your poem into a hit song” companies.
  • Salon ran my interview with author/director Sebastian Junger.

If you’d like to get in touch for any reason, my door is always open.  Feel free to contact me at: jostaffordjr@gmail.com.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @jamesostafford.

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29 replies »

  1. Yep, I think a man can live off soup and music. My name is Dr. Tom Bibey. I wrote “The Mandolin Case,” a medical legal mystery solved by local musicians. As far as I know, I’m the world’s only physician bluegrass fiction writer. Come check out my blog at drtombibey.wordpress.com.

    Dr. B

  2. Your life in music. I like it. In my ipod I have a bunch of Bob Seger, Springsteen, Tom Petty, Go-Gos, Cyndi Lauper, Rolling Stones and Bonnie Raitt in my favorites. Then I have Kid Rock, Green Day and Wilco waiting in the wings. Norah Jones is in there somewhere gathering digital dust … I need to play her. I need to get KISS. They used to scare me with all that make-up when I was kid … but they do rock!

    • That’s quite a playlist you have there. I’ll save you the trouble with KISS: They have a predilection for rocking and rolling every night, and given the opportunity they also will party every day.

  3. Interesting images. DLed “Launching Satellites” hope is ok, 2 be my desktop wallpaper for awhile. Looking forward to a conversation with you, I think we will fing ineresting. please reply soon.

    Till then I wish you Serenity, – Jim…

  4. Cool idea! Like your outlook :)
    And yeah – everyone loves music. I consider my ipod to be a reflection of my personality and there are tons of stories behind each album…

  5. I dont have an Ipod but I do have big round black and coloured things with grooves, that have to be listened to with reverence and soul lol… Liking your blog x

  6. Hey there… I’m still here :)

    One of my pastimes is listening to radio instead of watching tv. I listen to a digital radio station called Planet Rock. One of their endearing features is their interaction with their listeners via Facebook. The dj’s talk with the listeners and vice versa..and yes, i join in occasionally..but I love PR with an understandable passion…but anyway.. they just posted a video link which I watched…and..well…it just made me wish I was living in Cadillac in 1975… I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d seen this before, but if you haven’t then I’m happy to make you acquainted with it ‘cos I’m sure that you of all people will appreciate it.

    Rock on :)

  7. Music often carries us through our sorrows… provides the soundtrack to our treasured memories. At all times an intellectual puzzle, a fine artwork, a primodial mechanic of deep dwelling spirit.

    James Stafford captures not only our love for music, but also our labored, imperfect relationships bouyed by song.

    I am no writer. I am a Twitter hack. I am certainly glad for finding him there… and to be afforded more than 140 characters to say as much.

    • Milo, I really don’t know what to do with this. I’ve been sitting on this comment for a couple of days trying to figure out how to respond. Unfortunately the best that I can offer is thank you. This really moved me.

  8. James, thanks for visiting my blog. I loved your original post in the showcase forum (Sears catalog guitars); after exploring your blog, I’m completely intrigued. You have a great original voice, integrating the music and childhood/adolescence memories- sort of the “music of our lives” but from a very quirky perspective. Really great writing . . . Bravo.

  9. Bohos look at I-Pods as Boergoius .. lol

    Truly entertaining read James. Added. liked, recommended and look forward to more. Glad I caught you off guard with the latest expressions blog :) Maddona who? nevermind, she has her place, but not in that group I referenced. I hope you agree? :)

    Old Wolf

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