October/November issue of AARP The Magazine: Jann Wenner, The cofounder of Rolling Stone looks back – and ahead – as the groundbreaking magazine turns 50

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This month, Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner opens up in the October/November issue of  AARP The Magazine.  He gives advice to his younger self and getting older.

From October/November issue of AARP The Magazine

Jann Wenner

The cofounder of Rolling Stone looks back – and ahead – as the groundbreaking magazine turns 50


Advice for his younger self:

“Don’t be in such a damn hurry.  Take it easy and think.  I was very impetuous.  But that was what everybody was like back then, you know.”


The roots of Rolling Stone:

“I wanted my generation to have a say in the national conversation.  And I think we got there really quickly.  We’ve had crusades on drug legalization, the environment and gun control.  We’ve helped move the needle.  Our generation hasn’t won every issue.  But we’ve moved the conversation along.”



“I’m happy to see the music we love and believe in taken seriously.  And to provide the philosophical and moral basis on which certain social institutions evolved or were founded or altered.  Charity concerts are an obvious example.  Sexual freedom.  The idea that popular culture could so impact the political culture – and the moral and social fabric – of the country is really important.”


Music of the ‘60s

“I wanted to proselytize for it.  I wanted to be a part of it.  I wanted a place where musicians could have an outlet and talk to one another.  That sharing of ideas and knowing who else is out there is a reinforcing mechanism.”


A boost from the Boss

“Bruce signed his Rolling Stone  cover: ‘It still blows my mind.  Thanks for all the beauty, love, inspiration and information I’ve gotten from your magazine.  It changed my life.’ What could be more gratifying?”



“You just have to accept it.  Do what you can do, practically speaking: exercise, keep limber, try to stay healthy.  I’ve got three little kids, so they keep you young in spirit and attitude.  With Rolling Stone in my life, we were so at the white-hot center of everything for so many years.  Culture has changed. It’s all a young man’s game.  I’m not that.  We’re not the white-hot center anymore: the Rolling Stones or the Beatles or U2.  I mean, it’s Taylor Swift and Rihanna.”


Emotional rescue:

“Mick Jagger’s got eight kids, and he loves it.  He’s full of advice about what’s a good dad and a bad dad, all that kind of stuff.  So we bond on that.”


The Internet, pro and con:

“Although the internet has damaged the music business, it has actually strengthened the music itself.  There are more tours now because that’s how musicians are making their money.  And that music is ubiquitous.  Everybody in the world can get it free.  You don’t have to go seek it out, and you don’t have to pay for it.”


On 21st-century radio:

“The Beatles channel on Sirius XM is brilliant.  They play the Beatles all day long.  And they mix it up with some of the deeper tracks, solo albums and remixes. The opportunity to listen to that catalog again, it’s just great.”

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