Sticky Fingers

Sticky Fingers

The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine

Book - 2017
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"The first and only biography of Jann Wenner, the iconic founder of Rolling Stone magazine, and a romp through the hothouses of rock and roll, politics, media, and Hollywood, from the Summer of Love to the Internet age. Lennon. Dylan. Jagger. Belushi. Leibovitz. The story of Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone's founder, editor, and publisher, is an insider's trip through the backstages of storied concert venues, rock-star hotel rooms, and the political ups and downs of the latter half of the Twentieth Century, right up through the digital age: connecting the counterculture of Haight Ashbury to the "straight world." Supplemented by a cache of extraordinary documents and letters from Wenner's personal archives, Sticky Fingers is the story of a mercurial, wide-eyed rock and roll fan of ambiguous sexuality but unambiguous ambition who reinvents youth culture, marketing the libertine world of the late sixties counterculture in a stylish, glossy package that would stand for decades as a testament to the cultural power of American youth. Joe Hagan captures in stunning detail the extraordinary lives constellated around a magazine that began as a scrappy rebellion and became a locus of power, influence, and access--using hundreds of hours of reporting and exclusive interviews. The result is a fascinating and complex portrait of Jann Wenner that is also a biography of popular culture, celebrity, music, and politics in America over the last fifty years."--
Publisher: Toronto :, Knopf Canada,, 2017
ISBN: 9780345815057
Characteristics: x, 547 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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vickmeister
Feb 19, 2018

It's only rock and roll, but he liked it. From a young age, Jann Wenner knew exactly what he wanted: to be seen with the right people and surround himself with the ostentatious trappings of wealth. Mostly, he wanted to become a mogul along the lines of William Randolph Hearst. Insatiably driven to succeed, Wenner plotted and schmoozed his way from chubby enthusiastic fanboy to suave society icon, eventually running the most influential rock and pop culture magazine of its day, "Rolling Stone." This is the fascinating story of how he did just that: cultivating and alienating upcoming talents along the likes of Hunter S. Thompson, Annie Leibovitz, and Cameron Crowe, simultaneously sucking up to and tearing down every rock and roll giant from the 60s onward, sleeping with whomever caught his fancy or whom he felt could achieve his ends, building ever bigger mansions and creating his own grand personal empire in reality and in his head. Wenner's personal story is an intriguing one, serving also as a condensed pop culture history lesson contained within the pages of his magazine. The idealism and rebellion of 60s youth culture turning to early 70s revolution and disillusionment, only to be dismantled in the dizzying drug world of the disco years and unapologetic 80s materialism. Wenner was there for it all, manipulating everything to suit his own personal desires, continuing to build his empire as he hobnobbed with the likes of Jagger and Springsteen, blindly refusing to accept the changes coming to music with the ascent of MTV and other cultural changes. A complex man, an utterly engrossing story.

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