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Like a Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner


It’s a memoir released this year that needed to be written. A juxtaposition of the state of world affairs and rock and roll. A timestamp for what was going on in our lives and what shaped us as individuals and society as a whole. As the founder of Rolling Stone magazine, he spoke to a few generations and dictated how many of us viewed the world, perceived right and wrong, what music to listen to, and suggestions on where to go down that music highway. It’s over 550 pages and needed to be. The man has lived 10 lifetimes in his years. If you were a music artist or celebrity during the time period of 1968 – the 2000s Jann was most likely touching base with them in some way or another. I bring this up because I feel it to displays how he would perceive the world and its archaic surroundings. There’s no doubt your worldview and sense of self can become tainted. And it did I think for him. A grandiose sense of self and take-no-prisoners- mentality of what he said would change the minds of the millions of readers of Rolling Stone… which became the most widely read magazine in the country. Family dynamic changes (he left his wife and started a new family with a man), rivalries, friendships, bro hugs, all sense that he was forming our minds and those that came in contact with him. But I wonder how many ‘friends’ he had just because of his title? Would so many artists even bother to spend time with him if he wasn’t CEO and editor-in-chief of a popular magazine? There is no doubt he helped shape the way a generation viewed itself, its responsibilities, and its way of interpreting its achievements by speaking to it. I recently was traveling back from AZ and stopped at a kiosk at the Houston airport. I picked up a copy of Rolling Stone and thumbed through it, trying to pass the time before my next flight. I barely recognized any of the artists. They were flashy, over-the-top, brands of individuals, not bands. Music articles on musicians that I would never, ever, bother to turn on in my daily life. Wenner sold RS, and is now retired. New, younger generations are at the helm, guiding the line of RS. Perhaps I’m just getting old, becoming an old fart out of touch with what music is, what it can do, and how its being shaped. But I think otherwise and click on Houses of the Holy from the gods of Led Zep, and know different.

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