Sep 26, 2019 | By Jane Boddy
Dec 21, 2017
Are you looking for something to read this holiday season? Something that is substantial enough to get you through Christmas and into the New Year? Well, if you are a fan of music or magazines then you need to get your hands on Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine.
This book is a must-read. It is written by Joe Hagan and has just hit shelves, it’s also rising in popularity on Instagram thanks to its fantastic book cover. The book is an ode to print magazines and their power to convey the heart of a story, which is especially interesting against today’s backdrop when we get our trending music news from Twitter. This book reminds us what life was like before, back in the early 70s when Jann Wenner founded the magazine (interesting fact: it started life as a newspaper that was written up on typewriters).
In this book Wenner sits down with Hagan and explains what the process was like, starting the magazine from scratch and giving it a clear USP. Rolling Stone started like more like a zine and the idea was to cover music in a way that it hadn’t been done before, Wenner explains to Hagan in the book. “Our values were more traditional. We wanted to be recognized by the establishment. Part of it was our own mission; part of it was what we were looking for, music. We wanted the music to be taken seriously. We wanted to be heard, we wanted the music to be heard, we wanted to change things.”
Wenner didn’t want it to be too liberal, he wanted to run it more like a business so that he could pay writers and get great cover stories. Also design fans will love this book because Wenner explains how he came up with a distinctive logo and layout for the magazine. Entrepreneurs will also find the book inspiring because it talks about the many challenges of getting enough money to get the publication off the ground.
He managed it though and in his first editorial Wenner talks about Rolling Stone not just being a newspaper that comments on the music scene but “also about the things and attitudes that the music embraces….the magic that can set you free.”
An inspiring read.
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