50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 25

Rolling Stone issue #25 had a cover date of January 4, 1969. 32 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of the MC5’s Rob Tyner.

I hadn’t originally intended on continuing this series into 1969. By the end of 1968 Rolling Stone had firmly established its identity as the leading voice of the rock and roll generation. It was no longer the ramshackle underground newspaper that gave away roach clips to new subscribers. It was serious.

So it seemed like a good place to stop. But the January 4 issue has that glorious photo of Rob Tyner on the cover, and well…it looks like I’ll be doing more of these after all. 1969 was a pretty exciting year and Rolling Stone was there to cover it.

It’s a shame more of this content isn’t available online. Eric Ehrmann’s MC5 cover story, published before their debut album was released, is hilarious in all its myth-making, jive-talking hagiography.

Features: “Detroit’s MC5: Kick Out the Jams” by Eric Ehrmann; “The Blind Leading the Deaf Through a Desert” by Jann Wenner; “Beggar’s Banquet” by Jon Landau; “Taj Mahal” by Tom Nolan; “Jose Feliciano” by Ritchie Yorke; “The Ghost Children of Tacoma” by Richard Brautigan.

News: “No More Traffic; Winwood-Clapton Rumors” by Ritchie Yorke; “God Save The Cream” by Jonathan Cott; “Your Ears Are In Good Hands”; “Janis Joplin’s New ‘Revue'”; “Jools [Julie Driscolll] Denied Work Permit”; “Family Dog Shot Down.”

Columns: Perspectives by Ralph J. Gleason (“It Ain’t Really Funny” on the Man coming down on the Kids: “there are more people out there in the boonies than are covered by our philosophy…”); Books by John Grissim, Jr. (Hunter S. Thompson’s Hells Angels and Frank Reynolds’ Freewheelin’ Frank); Cinema by John Luce (Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend); “Pardon Us, But It’s Christmas” (a note about how they’re skipping an issue because the printer is closed on Christmas Day — printing takes places three and a half weeks before the issue’s cover date); Random Notes on Allen Ginsberg, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Motown, Arthur Brown, Bing Crosby, and a disgruntled message about Vox guitars and amplifiers:

Full-page ads: The Fool on Mercury; Jefferson Airplane on RCA; Rhinoceros on Elektra; Steve Miller Band/Sunn Amplifiers.

More ads: Two Jews Blues by Barry Goldberg on Buddah; Sea Train on A&M; Wonderwall by George Harrison on Apple; Richard P. Havens, 1983 by Richie Havens on Verve Forecast; Christmas message from Billy Smith; Street on Verve Forecast; Sleep Faster, We Need the Pillow by Michael Lessac on Columbia; Colwell-Winfield Blues Band on Verve Forecast; Laurel Canyon by Jackie De Shannon on Imperial; Melanie on Buddah.

Reviews: Traffic by Jann Wenner; Rock and Other Four Letter Words (no byline, two-word review: “What garbage!”); Lucille by B.B. King (by Pete Welding); A Genuine Tong Funeral by the Gary Burton Quartet (by John Burks); Rhinoceros (by Peter Applebome); The Battle of the Bands by the Turtles (by Jim Miller); Mad River (by Ed Ward); Saloom, Sinclair and the Mother Bear (by Alec Dubro).

Poems: “Cop on Campus” by Gerald Joth; “Lint” by Richard Brautigan.

Subscription offer: New subscribers could get a free copy of Steppenwolf’s The Second (with 50 cents for shipping and handling). $6 for 26 issues; $10 for 52.

Previously: Issue 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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