09 November 2009

This Date In Rock History: 9 November

On this date in 1967, the first issue of Rolling Stone magazine was published in San Francisco, California. Founded by Jann S. Wenner (who remains publisher to this day) and music critic Ralph J. Gleason, while clearly aimed at the burgeoning counterculture, Rolling Stone (named after a Muddy Waters song, not Dylan's classic or a hybrid of a certain famous rock group) sought to distinguish itself from the underground press that had bubbled-up in so many U.S. cities at the time. In the first edition - which sported a cover photo of John Lennon on the set of the movie "How I Won The War" - Wenner wrote that the publication "is not just about the music, but about the things and attitudes that music embraces." Over the years, the physical style of Rolling Stone evolved from folded newspaper tabloid to stapled newsprint magazine to glossy bound edition. It is certainly the godfather of modern music criticism and has spawned a number of noted rock journalists, including Greil Marcus, Cameron Crowe, Jon Landau, Ben Fong-Torres and David Fricke. In addition, contributions from authors like Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson, as well as the photographs of Annie Leibovitz, have famously graced its pages.

Happy birthday, RS. But TNOP still misses the lengthy album reviews.

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