Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2017
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A delicious romp through the heyday of rock and roll and a revealing portrait of the man at the helm of the iconic magazine that made it all possible, with candid look backs at the era from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elton John, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and others. The story of Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone's founder, editor, and publisher, and the pioneering era he helped curate, is told here for the first time in glittering, glorious detail. Joe Hagan provides readers with a backstage pass to storied concert venues and rock-star hotel rooms; he tells never before heard stories about the lives of rock stars and their handlers; he details the daring journalism (Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, P.J. O'Rourke) and internecine office politics that accompanied the start-up; he animates the drug and sexual appetites of the era; and he reports on the politics of the last fifty years that were often chronicled in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine. Supplemented by a cache of extraordinary documents and letters from Wenner's personal archives, Sticky Fingers depicts an ambitious, mercurial, wide-eyed rock and roll fan of who exalts in youth and beauty and learns how to package it, marketing late sixties counterculture as a testament to the power of American youth. The result is a fascinating and complex portrait of man and era, and an irresistible biography of popular culture, celebrity, music, and politics in America.
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Street Date:
10/24/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101874387
ASIN:
B071P63FXF
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      • role: Author
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      • bioText: JOE HAGAN has written for New York, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. He has published long-form profiles and investigative exposés of some of the most significant figures and subjects of our time, including: Hillary Clinton (her first post-Secretary of State interview), Karl Rove, the Bush family, Henry Kissinger, Dan Rather, Goldman Sachs, The New York Times, and Twitter. He lives in New York with his wife and children.
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title
Sticky Fingers
fullDescription
A delicious romp through the heyday of rock and roll and a revealing portrait of the man at the helm of the iconic magazine that made it all possible, with candid look backs at the era from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elton John, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and others.

The story of Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone's founder, editor, and publisher, and the pioneering era he helped curate, is told here for the first time in glittering, glorious detail. Joe Hagan provides readers with a backstage pass to storied concert venues and rock-star hotel rooms; he tells never before heard stories about the lives of rock stars and their handlers; he details the daring journalism (Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, P.J. O'Rourke) and internecine office politics that accompanied the start-up; he animates the drug and sexual appetites of the era; and he reports on the politics of the last fifty years that were often chronicled in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine.

Supplemented by a cache of extraordinary documents and letters from Wenner's personal archives, Sticky Fingers depicts an ambitious, mercurial, wide-eyed rock and roll fan of who exalts in youth and beauty and learns how to package it, marketing late sixties counterculture as a testament to the power of American youth. The result is a fascinating and complex portrait of man and era, and an irresistible biography of popular culture, celebrity, music, and politics in America.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 15, 2017
        The definitive biography of Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner (b. 1946).Much like its spiritual cousin Saturday Night Live, Rolling Stone magazine has been a murderers' row of talent for decades, from the groundbreaking Lester Bangs to the gonzo engine of Hunter S. Thompson to political wunderkind Matt Taibbi. Here, former Rolling Stone contributing editor Hagan provides the most complete portrait ever of the man who has firmly gripped the magazine's helm the whole time, a man whose thumbprint on the American culture was matched only by a vacillating stew of ego and insecurity. For fans, newbies, and journalism junkies alike, the iconic stories are here--e.g., Patti Hearst's Stockholm syndrome, the assassination of John Lennon, and the combative, brotherly bond between Wenner and Thompson in the latter's heyday (Wenner's response to his first meeting with Hunter is priceless: "I know I'm supposed to be the youth representative in the culture, but what the fuck is that?"). The author also explores the heavily drug-fueled work ethic among Wenner and contemporaries like Annie Leibovitz, Wenner's infamously combative marriage, and his long, painful struggle with his sexuality. To his credit, Hagan doesn't trade on his access to his subject's celebrity friends; when Mick Jagger or Michael Douglas pop up in the narrative, it's because they're substantive eyewitnesses to the scene at the time. Working with his subject's full consent and participation, the author manages to create a far deeper portrait than many readers will expect. In capturing Wenner's legend, Hagan creates a moving portrayal of a complicated, brilliant, flawed man who genuinely moved the needle on American culture. "He was the fame maker but also the flame keeper," Hagan writes of Wenner's evolution after Lennon's death. "The success and power of Rolling Stone made him the de facto architect of rock's cosmology, but it was his attention to the legends that made him the indispensable man." An engaging doorstop of a biography and a lasting legacy for the keeper of rock-'n'-roll's watchtower.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 9, 2017
        As freelance writer Hagan posits in this searingly honest biography, Rolling Stone and its founder, Jann Wenner, turned rock stars into celebrities, fed salacious fare to slavering fans, and assembled a staff of writers (including Ralph Gleason, Greil Marcus, and Jon Landau) who elevated rock music criticism into serious writing. Wenner, who founded the magazine in 1967, was a schmoozer who was equally capable of making close friends and repelling them, as adept at publishing gushing profiles of his favorite artists as firing at those he disliked or against whom he held a grudge. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with Wenner (who exercised no control over the book), his family and friends, writers who’ve worked for the magazine, and musicians, Hagan, who has written for Rolling Stone, chronicles Wenner’s fawning over Mick Jagger and aborted attempt to start, with Jagger, a British edition of Rolling Stone; Keith Richards describes Wenner and Jagger as “very guarded creatures,” but wonders if “there’s anything worth guarding.” Hagan has provided an entertaining insider’s history of a legendary magazine.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2017

        Journalist Hagan's biography of Jann Wenner, the ambitious and contentious founder of Rolling Stone, marks the 50th anniversary of the magazine's debut in San Francisco during the Summer of Love in 1967. Wenner cultivated a swath of cultural icons, including photographer Annie Leibovitz and journalist Hunter S. Thompson. As an editor, he fostered their careers and sometimes bitterly alienated them. Born in New York City in 1946, Wenner was the son of a California businessman and an indifferent mother; a difficult child, he was often asked to leave the private schools he attended. His childhood was disrupted by his parents' divorce, and enduring a strained parental relationship, he began to exhibit his lifelong desire for social climbing. During his years at the University of California at Berkeley, he fell in with alternative journalists. At 23, with money borrowed from family, he launched Rolling Stone. Although Wenner ran the magazine into near bankruptcy several times, the publication's unique place in American culture is largely owing to his overt drive, which Hagan skillfully recounts using primary source documents, personal letters, and exclusive interviews. VERDICT This biographical chronicle of the cultural evolution from the 1960s to the present is a must-read for counterculture enthusiasts and historians.--John Muller, Washington, DC, P.L.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription
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...
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group