The first issue carried a cover date of November 9, 1967 and was in newspaper format with a lead article on the Monterey Pop Festival. The cover price was 35¢ (equivalent to $2.48 today). The magazine was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson.
Rolling Stone Magazine was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner. To get the magazine off the ground, Wenner borrowed $7,500 from his own family and from the parents of his soon-to-be wife, Jane Schindelheim.
Wenner named his magazine after a Bob Dylan song. Rolling Stone initially identified with and reported the hippie counterculture of the era. However, the magazine distanced itself from the underground newspapers of the time, such as Berkeley Barb, embracing more traditional journalistic standards and avoiding the radical politics of the underground press. In the very first edition of the magazine, Wenner wrote that Rolling Stone “is not just about the music, but about the things and attitudes that music embraces.”
In the 1970s, the magazine helped launch the careers of many prominent authors, including Cameron Crowe, Lester Bangs, Joe Klein, Joe Eszterhas, Patti Smith and P. J. O’Rourke. It was at this point that the magazine ran some of its most famous stories, including that of the Patty Hearst abduction odyssey.
Did You Know?..
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was first published as a serial in Rolling Stone
In the 1970s, Rolling Stone began to make a mark with its political coverage, with the likes of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson writing for the magazine’s political section. Thompson first published his most famous work Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas within the pages of Rolling Stone, where he remained a contributing editor until his death in 2005.