Fifty Years of Rolling Stone Book by Jann Wenner

Book Excerpt: 50 Years of Rolling Stone

"It was 1967, the 'Summer of Love.' What a time to be 21 and footloose in a beautiful city bursting with music..."

And so begins the journey of Rolling Stone magazine's inception by founder Jann Wenner, who contributed his thoughts as the book's introduction. In this retrospective book, 50 Years of Rolling Stone: The Music, Politics and People that Changed Our Culture, landmark interviews, iconic images and snippets from leading journalists that helped shape the magazine's unique voice from the 1960's onward are pulled together. 

Organized by decades, the book illustrates the cultural feelings and obsessions through the musicians, celebrities and other personalities chosen among stories and interviews. Inside the pages, captivating images from photographers Baron Wolman, Annie Leibovitz and Mark Seliger and others that show the candid nature of Rolling Stone's famous subjects. 

50 Years of Rolling Stone  begins with a letter from Wenner:

"The idea for starting Rolling Stone came when I was 21 years old and couldn’t find a full-time job. My brief run as the entertainment editor of a local alternative newspaper, Sunday Ramparts, had just ended when the paper folded. That gig had given me a perch in the small world of rock & roll in San Francisco, going to concerts, writing reviews and hanging out with the likes of the Grateful Dead, the Airplane, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. 

It was 1967, the “Summer of Love.” What a time to be 21 and footloose in a beautiful city bursting with music. The counterculture was thriving in neighborhoods all over town, and there was a very liberal attitude toward drugs. I didn’t live in, nor much visit, Haight-Ashbury. But I went to the Monterey Pop festival, heard The Who and Jimi Hendrix for the first time, met great musicians and slept on the floor at the Blue Cheer house. That summer, Sgt. Pepper’s was released. I got an advance tape and was commissioned to review it by High Fidelity magazine. My piece was rejected for being “too hyperbolic.” So much for freelancing..." 

An adapted excerpt from Jann Wenner’s introduction in the new book 50 Years of Rolling Stone (Abrams) ©2017 Jann Wenner.

Select Images Included

To the top
To the top