Notes and Quotes
"Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine
Joe Hagan, 2017 (Review here)

"The psychedelic counterculture of San Francisco promised a revolution, one immune to capitalist forces."

Jann Wenner "understood that, along with the drugs and freedom, there was fame, and also money."

"For marketers, this new youth culture was uncharted territory and [Jann] Wenner was the pioneer."

Photographer Annie Leibowitz's "intimacy with both Wenners [Jann and Jane] completed a triangle of ambition and pleasure that lay at the creative heart of Rolling Stone in the 1970s"

"It was the prickly celebrity tablet Us Weekly, [Jann Wenner's] last successful invention, highly lucrative but culturally toxic, that would barricade his flagging rock magazine against the collapse of both the record and the print industries."

"From 1971 to 1977, Jann Wenner was the most important magazine editor in America, shepherding the generational plot lines of the 1960s into a rambling biweekly serial of rock n roll ..."

"I quit everything and concentrated on making enough money so that when the kids grew up, we could have them psychoanalyzed" - Jann Wenner's mother

Jann Wenner saw "LSD culture as virtuous precisely because it bypassed politics for an alternate reality."

"Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?" - Allen Ginsberg "America"

"If Jann Wenner had a tail, it would always be wagging." -- Dotson Rader

"Forms and rhythms in music are never changed without producing changes in the most important political forms and ways." Plato, as quoted by Ralph Gleason to explain mid-1960s rock n roll

Crawdaddy was the first American rock n roll magazine, founded in 1966 by Paul Williams, and named after the club where The Rolling Stones got their start.

"When he first saw it, Mick Jagger was startled by the audacity of Rolling Stone: To name a newspaper after his band, and not even put The Rolling Stones on the cover of the first issue. It was an affront that would stick with Jagger for the next 50 years"

Paul Simon probably did his critical reputation widespread & untold harm in the mid-1960s by sleeping with a love interest of Jann Wenner.

"When the inevitable blowback from a record label came, [Jann] Wenner would blame a writer or simply shrug. It was a cycle he was destined to repeat, fomenting controversy and then whistling past the ensuing storm."

"Newsprint, which [Jann] Wenner saw merely as pragmatic until he could afford to become a 'slick,' gave Rolling Stone a street feel that made it more authentic than a rock exploitation magazine like Cheetah."

"If Rolling Stone was a professional newspaper about rock n roll, the moment of truth was nigh. What did Jann Wenner really stand for? Was he a groupie? Or a fucking journalist?" On Altamont

"In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" was carved on the gravestone where Dickey Betts consummated an affair with the girlfriend of Boz Scaggs, who didn't find out until he read about it in a Rolling Stone interview with Duane Allman ....

"There was a narcotic freedom to Rolling Stone as it charted the late 1960s, the primitive newsprint pages opening like a lotus flower, pedal by pedal, with revelations."

"The proof that Rolling Stone was a great idea was that it survived [Jann] Wenner's management." -

"... The working class primitivism of hard rock - Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath - which Wenner personally detested."

Book cover of Sticky Fingers

Just a year after Altamont, Jann Wenner put Mick Jagger on the cover of Rolling Stone: "Wenner's staff was outraged that he bent his knee to the man Rolling Stone virtually implicated in a local murder."

"In late 1969, Columbia [Records], whose suited executives were indistinguishable from IBM men, ran an ad campaign called 'But The Man Can't Bust Out Music,' imploring rock fans to reject the establishment by purchasing records from Columbia."

Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner "had long fiddled with the [record] reviews, tweaking them for personal and business reasons."

"...But what it looked like in the underground press, and to staffers at Rolling Stone, was that Jann Wenner had just sold his newspaper to the record companies, while their readers were being shot dead in the streets of America."

Had Hunter S. Thompson "never come along, Rolling Stone might have survived as a rock n roll trade paper, but instead it was about to become the most adventurous and ambitious newspaper-cum-magazine of the 1970s."

"Wenner had, in fact, cast off the youth revolution, such as it was. But it wasn't exactly a betrayal, because he had never subscribed to its political tenants in the first place."

For "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas," Hunter S. Thompson "tried expensing a laundry list of drugs, alcohol, and even weapons paraphernalia to Rolling Stone."

Unlike any other Hunter S.Thompson gonzo writing before or after, "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" arrived fully-formed, "requiring little editing," Jann Wenner said.

"This was it! As I started reading the now-famous first sentences, I felt a crackle of electricity in the air ... This is going to change everything." - Chet Flippo on reading the original draft of Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas."

"The marriage of Jann and Jane had never been a conventional love. It was not so much sex that Jane craved from Jann Wenner as the thrust of his ambition."

"At the time, tape-recording party talk was all the rage. As Lillian Roxon reported in the spring of 1971, her friends were all carefully saving and filing their cassettes for the great day when they could be released as social history."

"The attention of a female with a camera was a powerful aphrodisiac for a male rock star."

Annie Leibovitz could "intimidate people into getting naked" for the camera. If David Cassidy disrobed for her, why couldn't Peter Fonda?

"The volume of what I witnessed, and saw, and photographed began to create me."

"Leibovitz immediately fell under Jagger's spell, writing that he was the most elusive of her photographic muses."

"At one point, [Truman] Capote describes the tour doctor recruiting 13 and 14 year old girls for sex play on the tour plane, with one such incident allegedly filmed for posterity by Robert Frank."

Hunter S. Thompson's reportage was called "the most accurate and least factual" coverage of the 1972 U.S. presidential campaign.

"As he had been doing since 1967, Jann Wenner made puncturing Los Angeles egos a staple of his San Francisco newspaper."

Jann Wenner "was, in effect, reframing rock n roll as a celebrity culture like any before it. It wasn't a movement or a youth culture any more, let alone a revolution. This was the age of personalities."

"Clive Davis was fired from CBS for allegedly charging his son's $20,000 Bar Mitzvah to the company expense account."

Tom Wolfe's fame "made [Rolling Stone] the center of gravity for New Journalism, at the movement's high-water mark."

"The youth movement in the 1960s seemed to be essentially unitary, but as it shattered, its fragments proved to be even more journalistically interesting."

"'Glamour,' someone once wrote, 'required looking like you didn't work.'"

"Coke eventually distorted all facets of Wenner's life ... During the 36-hour rush to close an issue, Wenner began conducting what staffers would come to refer to as 'cocaine edits' on stories and covers, slashing them up during weekend frenzies..."

"...But mainly, he saved money by regularly underpaying writers. As Wenner joked to a group of students in 1973, 'The better they are, the less we pay them.'"

"The pages of Rolling Stone were endless expanses of prose, page after page of the novelistic, the literary, the baroque, the indulgent..."

"In 1973, Jann Wenner was speaking to students at the University of Colorado about the success of Rolling Stone when a man bolted on stage and lobbed a pie into his face, declaring "A present from the Rock Liberation Front."

Jann Wenner considered 60s activist Abbie Hoffman a "huckster," one who according to Rolling Stone lived in "capitalistic splendor while exploiting idealistic naifs."

"The idea of Rolling Stone as a front for the Xerox Corporation had taken hold in certain precincts of the underground."

“We thought we invented sexuality ... We were the generation between the pill and AIDS. It was just a form of expression.”

Jann Wenner asked Annie Leibovitz to photograph him “nearly every day.”

Rolling Stone’s “underpaid staffers marveled at [Jann] Wenner’s audacious commitment to luxury.”

A walk through the ground floor of Bloomingdale’s in NYC, Jane Wenner once said, “and you are at once aware on what is current in Paris, Rome and California.” #StickyFingers #quote #RollingStone

“‘Funky chic’ was as good a description of the Wenners’ style as any, the casual mongrelizing of European jet set and Californian haute hippie.”

“Every issue of every magazine since magazines were invented has been a ‘men’s issue.’ And now you’re trying to do one on purpose?” —Rolling Stone female staffer, quoted in the intro of the magazine’s first men’s issue, 1975.

Rolling Stone’s women copy editors often “served as de facto editors while Wenner’s macho men — Paul Scanlon and Joe Eszterhas — failed to pull off their journalistic heroics on deadline...”

“The gay vamping of Rolling Stone cover boys like Bowie and Jagger was all well and good, but it was ‘pretend libertine,’ observed Bette Midler...”

“When [Ben] Fong-Torres discovered [Cameron] Crowe was 16,Rolling Stone immediately began advertising his age in Crowe’s biographical blurb, a kind of public relations corrective to their accumulating reputation for dyspeptic and aging critics” #quote #StickyFingers @RollingStone

“Tom Wolfe told [Jann] Wenner that covering politics ruined [Hunter S.] Thompson’s talent.”

“Cocaine became part of [Hunter S. Thompson’s] writing life, which soon became a non-writing life.‘From then on, he wouldn’t do a story unless you included cocaine with the payment,’...”