Like a Rolling Stone: A Memoir

Little, Brown. Sept. 2022. 592p. ISBN 9780316415194. $35. MUSIC
Wenner turned on to drugs and politics as a student at Berkeley in 1964 but by 1967, it seemed to him “the only thing people were making better than drugs was music.” That year, Wenner and music critic Ralph J. Gleason founded Rolling Stone. It quickly became one of the most influential magazines in America, read not only for music reviews but also for the quality of its writing and its take on public issues. In 1995, Wenner dissolved a 28-year marriage and moved in with Matt, now his husband. (His wife had known he was gay from the start.) He has hung out with virtually every big name in the rock world, including Dylan, Lennon, Ono, Jagger, Springsteen, and Bono. He also boasts of his friendships with Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Wolfe, Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, and presidents Clinton and Obama. There are so many in rapid succession that often they blur as individuals. Three relationships stand out. With Jagger and Thompson—difficult to unpack characters—they were complicated, with Springsteen, more direct. Wenner’s description of Tom Cruise? All front and deflection.
VERDICT Wenner writes engagingly and doesn’t pull his punches. It’ll be hard to keep this book on the library shelves.
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