Rolling Stone was the first magazine I ever loved. During a college journalism class, we were asked to pick any magazine and write a demographic assessment. It was easy. Rolling Stone appealed to people who were young, educated, adventurous, loved music and culture, and were liberal. In other words, it described me.
I bought a subscription upon graduation in 1986, and proceeded to devour and save every issue for about fifteen years. It informed me of the world, shaped my politics, inspired me to start my own music publication, and introduced me to a ton of new music. To this day, I can tell you how critics rated several albums during that period.
It was inspiring this morning to hear an interview with founder Jann Wenner on “How I Built This,” a podcast for entrepreneurs. Wenner was twenty-one when he started the magazine. He was short on money, like a lot of start-ups. But he made up for it in passion, sweat and tenacity. Fifty years later, even though I only follow it peripherally, appearing in Rolling Stone is still the gold standard for the music industry.
“I wish I had my picture,” sings Charlie Robison, pining for fame,”on the Rolling Stone today. And I wish that the Enquirer would spread a rumor that I was gay.”