50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 11

Rolling Stone issue #11 had a cover date of May 25, 1968. 24 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo by Baron Wolman.

For some reason they decided to label this as “Vol. II, No. 1 (Whole No. 11).” They kept that up through issue #14 (Vol. II, No. 4) and then abandoned the volume business and stuck with “whole” numbers. It’s funny to see them messing around with those kind of formalities.

This was the “rock fashion” issue and the cover featured chief photographer Baron Wolman’s wife. He later said, “For Rolling Stone Magazine No. 11 I had made some lovely photos of Johnny Cash and B.B. King, both of whom were featured in that issue. I had also recently shot one roll of pictures of my then-wife Juliana; I made a few prints and brought them into show Jann and Janie with whom we were social friends. For some reason I must have left the photos at the office because when the issue appeared a few days later, there was Juliana on the cover!”

There wouldn’t be many nobodies on the cover once Wenner realized the value of the placement. But they were still figuring all that out.

Features: “Monterey Festival Done In; $52,000 Is Missing” by Michael Lydon; “Country Tradition Goes To Heart of Dylan Songs” by Jann Wenner; “A Few Folksy Fashions: Far out outfits from the Haight-Ashbury” by Susan Lydon; “Jerry Ragavoy: One of the Best New R&B Producers” by Sue C. Clark; “Pop Staples at the Fillmore” by Charles Perry; a funky full-page illustration (“With Liberty and Justice for All”) by Patricia Oberhaus; and a poem called “Where Are All the Beatle Fans: Part III (St. Mark’s Place — The East Village — Three o’clock in the afternoon)” by Isabel.

Columns: Jon Landau on B.B. King; Ralph J. Gleason on how Monterey “showed the difference between Los Angeles and its lotus land dream and San Francisco and its rejection of that as well as the orthodox American dream”; “The Death of the Great Poster Trip: The show is over; concert posters aren’t the art pieces they used to be” by Thomas Albright; “Stop This Shuck, Ralph Gleason” by Nick Gravenites in response to Gleason’s column in the previous issue accusing Mike Bloomfield of trying to sound black; John J. Rock with tidbits on Janis Joplin, Elvis Bishop, and how narcotics agents are hanging out at the Fillmore, the Avalon, and the Carousel.

Reviews: Wow/Grape Jam by Moby Grape on Columbia (by Jim Miller); Bookends by Simon & Garfunkel on Columbia (by Arthur Schmidt); The 5000 Spirits Or The Layers Of The Onion by the Incredible String Band on Elektra (by Arthur Schmidt); The Circle Game by Tom Rush on Elektra (by Barry Gifford).

Full-page ads: Wow/Grape Jam by Moby Grape on Columbia; We’re Only In It For The Money by the Mothers of Invention on Verve; Papas and the Mamas by Mamas and the Papas on Dunhill/ABC; The Loading Zone by the Loading Zone on RCA.

Other ads: The Inner Mystique by the Chocolate Watch Band on Tower; Guitar Player magazine subscription ($3/year); Like to Get to Know You by Spanky & Our Gang on Mercury; Two Suns Worth by Morning Glory on Fontana; Born Under a Bad Sign by Albert King on Atlantic; The National Gallery Performing Musical Interpretations Of The Paintings Of Paul Klee on Philips; The Loading Zone at the Fillmore; “Join ASCAP for a Song”

Subscription offer: New subscribers could get a free (plus 50 cents shipping and handling) copy of Otis Redding’s The Dock of the Bay, compiled by Jon Landau. $5 for 26 issues; $10 for 52.

Previously: Issue 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

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