Roots Music: The Beginnings of Rolling Stone
By Peter Richardson, California Magazine

The 50th anniversary of iconic rock magazine Rolling Stone arrived in November, and the party was long and loud. Origin stories have festooned the magazine and its website; a coffee table book appeared in May; Joe Hagan’s biography of cofounder Jann Wenner, Sticky Fingers, was published in October; and an HBO documentary is scheduled for November. To keep things interesting, Wenner announced that he plans to sell his company’s stake in the magazine, prompting a round of retrospective articles in The New York Times and elsewhere.

When recounting its own past, Rolling Stone routinely features its San Francisco origins. From the outset, the magazine called “the journalistic voice of its generation” attached itself to the city and its Summer of Love. Hatched in a San Francisco loft space shortly after that season, Rolling Stone touted Jefferson Airplane and covered the Grateful Dead drug bust at 710 Ashbury Street. Well before that, cofounder Ralph J. Gleason was featuring the Haight’s vibrant music scene in his San Francisco Chronicle column.

But if Rolling Stone was a creature of the San Francisco counterculture, its success can also be traced to its Berkeley roots. Read more HERE

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