Rolling Stone is owned by Jann Wenner and so is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So it should come as no surprise that the new issue of Rolling Stone ‘ now shrunk to the proportionate size of its owner ‘ is a sad reflection of the Hall’s shortcomings on the occasion of its 25th anniversary
Let’s start on the cover: Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Mick Jagger. Jagger wasn’t even one of the hosts of the anniversary shows last month. Stevie Wonder was; there’s only one feature sized photo of him in the issue, and that’s with Smokey Robinson.
But there are roughly eleven ‘ 11 ‘ photos of Springsteen including the cover, nine ‘ 9 ‘ of Bono, and eight ‘ 8 ‘ of Jagger in the special issue.
Sting played on two nights as a favor to the Hall and to Jeff Beck, and got one small black and white picture. Similarly, Ray Davies of the Kinks, Annie Lennox, BB King, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Dion DiMucci, Darlene Love ‘‘each got next to nothing. ‘, who has nothing to do with the Rock Hall except that she’s pals with Jann Wenner, got herself a bigger picture than anyone. I do not recall seeing her on stage.
There’s a tiny picture of guess what ‘ the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland ‘ buried in the back of the magazine.
The magazine should now be called “Bonography.” Or “Bruuuce.”’ Both it and the Hall of Fame are over, frankly. Rolling Stone long ago ‘ like at least 1990 ‘ ceased to be of interest to anyone, or important to the world of rock music. It’s now small and poorly thought out it’s a shadow of its former self ‘ the RS of Chet Flippo, Ben Fong Torres, Jon Landau, Cameron Crowe, etc. (What ever happened to Parke Puterbaugh?)
As for the Hall of Fame, it’s a joke. It’s time to stop inducting people, close shop, seal off the voting process, and just raise money to keep the facility going. The shows on October 29 and 30th should have been the farewell. I went to the first show, and it was mostly a dull affair. To see Stevie Wonder excluded from the cover of Rolling Stone after the yeoman service he gave is an utter embarrassment. Publisher Wenner’s pandering to friends and associates is just a direct violation of whatever pact he made with his reading public back in 1967.
As for the abundance of redundant photos: they’re not Bono, Bruce, or Mick’s fault. But it’s just pathetic. Those three are the first to give credit to the real creators of rock, R&B, rockabilly, whatever. They know that Jerry Lee Lewis only opened the shows each night was because his benefactor, Steve Bing, underwrote him. (Thanks, Steve.) Little Richard and Chuck Berry weren’t so lucky. Neither was Chubby Checker. They know Wenner’s total disingenuousness. I am sure Bono, Bruce, and Mick are laughing as they page through this slip of a publication. Rolling Stone is now nothing but the historic record of Jann Wenner, nothing more.
P.S. I am told that writers of pieces that were “rerun” in this issue weren’t even paid. Rolling Stone considers itself the lifelong owner of its old stories. I wonder if Wenner would have tried to pull that stuff with Hunter S. Thompson or Ralph J. Gleason.
After this, I can’t wait to see the TV special edited down to four hours for HBO. If Rolling Stone is any indication, you can guess what we’re going to see.