Jann Wenner: Rock Is Going the Way of Jazz

'Rolling Stone' founder doesn't mean that in a good way in Maureen Dowd interview
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2022 10:10 AM CDT
Jann Wenner: Rock Is Going the Way of Jazz
In this May 8, 1979, file photo, "Rolling Stone" editor Jann Wenner appears in New York.   (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis, File)

Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner has a memoir (Like a Rolling Stone) coming out in a few days, and Maureen Dowd of the New York Times is out herself with a lengthy interview/profile/sneak peak that makes for entertaining reading. Up high, Wenner gives Dowd a not-so-optimistic assessment of the fate of rock music. “I’m sorry to see it go,” the 76-year-old Wenner says. “It’s not coming back. It’ll end up like jazz.” Also of note: Wenner says he doesn't read his old magazine much in its current iteration under son Gus. "I don’t read that many magazines," he adds. "It’s about people I’m not personally interested in. I don’t really care for K-pop. I don’t really know who Cardi B is.”

Wenner also contrasts his at-the-time controversial cover photo of a naked John Lennon with modern celebs doing much the same. "John Lennon being naked on the cover was a statement," he says. "How would the most popular man in the world be willing to go out and be naked?” Lennon made himself vulnerable. "Now JLo goes out and it’s like, ‘I’m doing this to sell like hot cakes. I’m not doing this for a reason.'"

Wenner also offers his desert-island song picks (including “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Nina Simone and “Speedway at Nazareth” by Mark Knopfler) in the interview, which concludes with a "confirm or deny" segment. For example, "You slept with Mick Jagger," says Dowd. Wenner: "Swishful thinking, as Bette Midler would say. I never slept with a rock star." Read the full piece. (Or read more Jann Wenner stories.)

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