Friday, July 6, 2007

Rolling Stone magazine...

The new issue of Rolling Stone is the second of a series of three celebrating RS's 40th anniversary! Wow! 40 years. I remember buying the third issue, way back...well...40 years ago. Porteous's Drug Store on the corner of Cannon and Ottawa Streets, had a small magazine rack at the back. There was this raggedy looking newspaper with the flowing lettering across the top Rolling Stone. Just the name held so much promise. Was it named after the band? Or was it, like the band, named after the Muddy Waters' song? Or maybe it was promising to "gather no moss" as it printed "all the news that fits." How many of the early readers got the little NYTimes reference?
I read RS fairly regularly, or as regularly as Porteous Drug Store supplied it...and over the years the newspaper turned into other formats, developed staples, colour pictures, slick paper, new flowing, then not flowing, then flowing, then not flowing lettering. Sometimes the new logo design would not last any longer than the latest Top Ten singles! The politics got in the way sometimes, sometimes the editorial staff got in the way. Often newer glossier magazines with a new way of grabbing our attention came along and distracted us from what RS was doing. Sometimes they were just their own worst enemy. But on and on they went introducing writers like Richard Brautigan, Dave Marsh, Lester Bangs, Hunter Thompson, Greil Marcus and photographers like the great Annie Leibovitz to us. We never really gave up on RS. I subscribed for a couple of years. Stopped when my wife was throwing out the magazines before I had a chance to even read them. (OK it only happened once...but I still remember it!)
Nowadays Mojo has more of interest musically, Fretboard Journal guarantees keeping my interest throughout all its pages, but I always check the new RS. I look at the reviews, I get the e-mail subscription service with highlights, and I will buy the new issue about once in three or four. That's far more often than I even look at Time or Newsweek.
Ah well...things change. This most recent celebratory issue has a nifty cover and is a retrospective of all the things that happened in 1967...Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Doors, Donovan, the Byrds, the Airplane, the Dead, music I'm still listening to today. 40 years on...whew! Whodathunkit?

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