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Description : A delicious romp through the heyday of rock and roll and a revealing portrait of the man at the helm of the iconic magazine that made it all possible, with candid look backs at the era from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elton John, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and others.
The story of Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone‘s founder, editor, and publisher, and the pioneering era he helped curate, is told here for the first time in glittering, glorious detail. Joe Hagan provides readers with a backstage pass to storied concert venues and rock-star hotel rooms; he tells never before heard stories about the lives of rock stars and their handlers; he details the daring journalism (Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, P.J. O’Rourke) and internecine office politics that accompanied the start-up; he animates the drug and sexual appetites of the era; and he reports on the politics of the last fifty years that were often chronicled in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine.
Supplemented by a cache of extraordinary documents and letters from Wenner’s personal archives, Sticky Fingers depicts an ambitious, mercurial, wide-eyed rock and roll fan of who exalts in youth and beauty and learns how to package it, marketing late sixties counterculture as a testament to the power of American youth. The result is a fascinating and complex portrait of man and era, and an irresistible biography of popular culture, celebrity, music, and politics in America. An Amazon Best Book of November 2017: Jann Wenner wanted a biography. As founder and Editor in Chief of Rolling Stone magazine, he has wielded an outsized influence over popular culture for decades, and his biography would have to match. When Wenner launched his “sort of a magazine and sort of a newspaper” in 1967, it also shot him into the whirlwind; soon he was socializing with the likes of John and Yoko, Mick , Janis, and Jimi, while indulging in the excesses inextricably intertwined with the rock-and-roll lifestyle. His success was deserved; as an editor, his eye was confident and sharp, and as the magazine grew in stature through the 1970s, his direction fostered the careers of Hunter S. Thompson, Annie Leibovitz, and Greil Marcus, just three of the many counterculture outliers to grace its pages. (Maybe grace isn’t always the right word.)
One might assume that he’d been planning a monument to himself all along, but in hiring Joe Hagan to write it, he might have gotten more than he bargained for. Wenner kept an exhaustive archive of all of his records and correspondence, and he gave Hagan full access. He also gave his permission–or at least acceded to it—to write the story as he saw fit, with all the sticky facts that unfailingly accompany a life so large. And, man, did Hagan pull it off. Sticky Fingers is overstuffed with anecdotes, interviews, and history that not only evoke Wenner’s persona in all its grandiosity and creative energy, but also that of the era he helped create. One way to know that the book is good: Although Wenner reportedly regrets the result (he has denounced it as “tawdry”), he doesn’t dispute it. Hagan did him a favor. This is certainly not hagiography, but ultimately, Wenner will loom larger for it. –Jon Foro, The Amazon Book Review