On this date, 9 November 1967, the first issue of Rolling Stone Magazine was published in San Francisco. It featured a photo of John Lennon on the cover, dressed in army fatigues while acting in his recent film How I Won the War and the first issue had a free roach clip to hold a marijuana joint.
The decision to put John Lennon on the cover was hastily made just two days before going to press, but in retrospect, Jan Wenner, the co-founder of Rolling Stone, felt the image was prophetic.
âIt was the last piece of the puzzle for the issue,â Wenner recalled. âIt was a defining cover, because it encompassed music, movies and politics â¦ And John was on the cover so many times after that.â
At the time, Jan Wenner, a Berkeley College dropout, was only 21 years old. The idea was to publish a new kind of magazine that, in his words, would take rock music seriously.
The name of the magazine was compiled from three significant sources: the Muddy Waters song, the first rock ânâ roll record by Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.
While John Lennon, he’s been on the cover of Rolling Stone 31 times with & without The Beatles. With Yoko or as a solo, John was on the cover 9 times.
On the other hand, Mick Jagger was startled by the audacity of Rolling Stone â to name a newspaper after his band and not even put the Rolling Stones on the cover of the first issue? It was an affront. “Why did Jann call it that, when there was a band called that?” he asked. Keith Richards put it more succinctly: “We thought, ‘What a thief!'”
In local context, Rolling Stone did once exist in Indonesia. Bob Marley appeared on the cover of the first issue of Rolling Stone Indonesia, published in May 2005. The Jakarta-based magazine lasted for 12 years, 2005-2017.