Rolling Stone has officially turned 40! We can't honestly say it's aged very well, but it sure is partying like it's 1967. Last year, at 39 and issue number 1000, Jann Wenner wrote, "The fact that we had John Lennon on the very first cover [pictured] was serendipity. We had a publicity photo from his role in the anti-war film How I Won the War. That photo, we now realize, speaks so clearly to the paths of culture and politics that came to define Rolling Stone."
Wikipedia tells us that In the 1980s, "despite still employing [Hunter S.] Thompson and other iconic writers of the sixties and seventies, Rolling Stone had adopted some of the corporate values that it had shunned earlier. Wenner called the Bay Area a 'media backwater' and the magazine moved to New York in 1977, and many date its change in culture from this point."
To celebrate this year, RS editors have interviewed "twenty artists and leaders who helped shape our time," audio clips from these Q&As will be posted here over the next four weeks. They've also made a list of the Top 40 Songs That Changed The World. Some (at one point in time) New Yorkers on the list:
4. Bob Dylan "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"
10. Bob Dylan "Like A Rolling Stone"
12. The Velvet Underground "Heroin"
18. John Lennon "Imagine"
Their first cover boy comes in at 18 (when in 2004 they voted "Imagine" as the third greatest song of all time)? And the fact that Nirvana is only one away from Britney Spears (or that Spears is even on the list) is exactly why Rolling Stone is showing its age. We'll keep reading though, as long as they promise to never do this again.