I probably don’t need to explain the subject of this new two-part HBO documentary: it celebrates the storied past of Rolling Stone magazine at 50. Take a moment to soak that number into your psyche. I’ll wait. Took me a moment and a gut check. Like realizing kids born in 1990 are almost 30. Ugh.
But I digress.
It’s 1967 and rock is full of teenage rebellion (its own). A young editor starts up a magazine in the Summer of Love to honor the requisite adolescent fascination with fame – mostly his own. And it’s a massive success to the point that being on the cover is enshrined in song.
Now it’s 50 years later: Jann Wenner is still in love with himself and the magazine he manifested. He had a hand in creating a cultural icon so
perhaps he deserves his godlike complex. God knows I subscribed through the ‘90s and the man is a great editor. So many writers there could write so well. Hey there, Ben Fong-Torres.
I spent a good chunk of this doc flashing back to Cameron Crowe’s magnum opus, Almost Famous. And the writer-director is featured in HBO’s two-parter, albeit briefly. He gets about as much screen time as Hunter S. Thompson who wrote some amazing stuff about politics and rock, among other things.
ps, Ike Turner is a talented bassist and a completely gaping asshole. There is a fascinating parallel of Tina Turner and Mick Jagger as they both own the stage and attack the mic.
Really, really short review: It’s a total Wenner party and we’re all invited.