Stone Magazine was founded in San
Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph
J. Gleason (Wenner is still editor and publisher). Beginning
in the late 1960s and continuing through the 1970s, the
magazine embraced and reported on the hippy counterculture.
Rolling Stone's rise to fame was synchronous with that
of such bands as the Grateful Dead. It was so popular
during this era that a song dedicated to it, "Cover
of the Rolling Stone" by Dr Hook and the Medicine
Show, became a hit single.
the years Rolling
Stone Magazine has not only reported
on what Wenner called 'the magic that can set you free'
of bands like The Who, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Led
Zeppelin. It has also reported on many of the key events
of the last 35 years from the perspective of the young
- the Manson trials, the space programme, presidential
elections (and impeachments).
Stone was also important in giving a voice to artists
outside the mainstream, such as Captain Beefheart. It
was, Jann wrote, about the things and attitudes that the
music embraces. Things like women's rights, gonzo journalism,
hip hop, punk, funk, soul, disco, reggae, Watergate, Nixon,
Vietnam, Studio 54, sex, drugs, Woodstock, Patty Hearst,
Charles Manson, and the death of John Lennon.
Stone's writers included Hunter S Thompson, PJ O' Rourke,
Joe Klein, Joe Eszterhas, Tom Wolfe, Ralf Steadman, Dave
Marsh, Michael Lydon, Jonathan Cott, Annie Leibovitz and
Mick Rock, and many others. Jann explains the friendhips
he forged with rock's biggest names at the time including
John Lennon, Pete Townshend and Mick Jagger as well as
highlighting the biggest stories of the '60's.
the 1980s, despite still nominally employing icons such
as Hunter S. Thompson and the infamous rock-journalist
badboy Lester Bangs, Rolling Stone had become institutionalized
and adopted mainstream ideas that it had shunned earlier
(e.g., employee drug testing). The magazine moved to New
York to be closer to the advertising industry, and many
date its change in culture from this point.
the early 2000s, facing declining revenue due to the rapid
rise of young men's magazines such as Maxim and FHM, Rolling
Stone reinvented itself, targeting a lower age group and
offering more sex-oriented content. In 2002, they published
their list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All
Time. In 2004, Rolling Stone put out a list of The 500
Greatest Songs of All Time. That same year, the magazine
stated that it would continue to put out special issues