Sticky Fingers

Joe Hagan peers into the life of Rolling Stone magazine founder, Jann Wenner.

Joe Hagan

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 50 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 60s 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. (From Knopf Canada

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From the book

John Lennon was in a movie theatre, crying.

The image of Paul, singing from the rooftop in the final ten minutes, had set him off. Jann Wenner shifted in his seat. In the darkness of a tiny movie house in San Francisco, the Beatle, Wenner's hero, whose iconic spectacles and nose adorned the first issue of his rock-and-roll newspaper, Rolling Stone, had tears running down his cheeks as light flickered off his glasses. And next to him was Yoko Ono, the bête noire of Beatledom, raven hair shrouding her porcelain face, also weeping.

From Sticky Fingers by Joe Hagan ©2017. Published by Penguin Random House Canada.