Gathering No Moss

By: sonofabeach96

Nov 09 2015

Category: Uncategorized


On this date, in 1967, the first issue of Rolling Stone magazine hit the newstands.  The initial issue cost $.35 and came in newspaper form.   The magazine was started by Jann Wenner, still the publisher, and music critic Ralph Gleason. The pic above is of the first cover, one of over 30 that included The Beatles, either as a band or individually.

The magazine name came from a couple of sources.  According to stories, Gleason first suggested naming it after the Bob Dylan song, “Like A Rolling Stone”.  Wenner was quoted in the first issue as saying, “You’re probably wondering what we’re trying to do.  It’s hard to say: sort of a magazine and sort of a newspaper.  The name of it is Rolling Stone which comes from an old saying, “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”  Muddy Waters used the name for a song he wrote.  The Rolling Stones took their name from Muddy’s song.  “Like A Rolling Stone” was the title of Bob Dylan’s first rock and roll record.  We have begun a new publication reflecting what we see are the changes in rock and roll and the changes related to rock and roll.”

The magazine initially reported on the hippie counter-culture of San Francisco of the late ’60’s. It also focused on political reporting during those tumultuous times, led by the late, great Hunter S. Thompson, who, by the way, is from my hometown.  That agenda remained the same throughout the ’60’s, ’70’s, and ’80’s but morphed into more pop culture coverage in the ’90’s, mainly to attract and maintain a connection to a younger readership.  The covers would eventually feature the likes of Snookie, “Ron Burgundy”, the dreaded Kim Kardashian, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused, at that time, and later convicted, Boston Marathon bomber, to name a few non-musician and/or political figures to grace the cover in recent years.  The music and political coverage continue though, in spite of the increased pop-culture lean.

Over the years, some of the most notable writers, reporters, and photographers of our time have worked for and/or contributed to the magazine.  Names such as Robert Altman, Cameron Crowe, Timothy Ferris, Ralph Gleason, Caroline Kennedy, Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle, Kurt Loder, Dave Marsh, and, of course, Hunter S. Thompson have graced us with their work.  It’s withstood it’s share of criticism over the years for misreporting, for its political agenda, for revisiting and re-rating albums years after the fact, and for reporting errors and discrepancies in its coverage of the UVA gang rape case, for example.  But, it’s undeniable that this publication is part of the fabric of US culture and now has a worldwide readership.  It’s a treasure, endures to this day, and is an invaluable resource for music, pop-culture, and political information.

My songs of the day are:

“Rollin’ Stone” by Muddy Waters

“Like A Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan

“Can’t You Hear Me Knockin'” by The Rolling Stones

10 comments on “Gathering No Moss”

  1. i see that you had dropped by to have a read, i thank you!

    To learn something new, “To get my picture on the cover of the roll stone!”

    those were the days,

    throughout the 80s i was mixing live music in nightclubs
    it seem like one long party…


    Liked by 1 person

  2. So much good info from you… it…kat

    Liked by 1 person

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