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50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 27

Rolling Stone issue #27 had a cover date of February 15, 1969. 32 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of Karen Seltenreich by Baron Wolman.

Having learned a big lesson back in Issue 22 about the power of controversy and nudity, Jann Wenner came up with a 14,000-word, 15-page spread on the story of groupies “and other girls” including the GTOs, the Plaster Casters, Trixie Merkin, and various others. It featured lots of Baron Wolman’s photographs and scandalous tales of women who enjoy hanging out with rock stars.

It apparently achieved the desired result. According to Joe Hagan’s Sticky Fingers, Wenner spent $7,000 on an ad in the New York Times to promote the issue. “When we tell you what a Groupie is, will you really understand? This is the story only Rolling Stone can tell, because we are the musicians, we are the music, we are writing about ourselves.”

A few years ago, Wolman’s photos — and lots of outtakes — and the original text were published as a new book (Groupies and Other Electric Ladies) along with new interviews with several of the women and a foreword by Holly George-Warren. Amanda Petrusich reviewed it for the New Yorker: Reconsidering the Groupie. The Guardian posted some quotes and photos.

Features: “The Groupies and Other Girls” by Jerry Hopkins, John Burks, and Paul Nelson; “Beatles as Cinderella: A Soviet fairy tale” by A. Martynova; “The Motherfuckers: Fillmore East vs. The East Village” by Paul Nelson; “I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone” by Richard Brautigan.

News: “Tim Hardin’s Mom Blows Her Mind”; “2 New Yorkers”; “Arlo & Alice’s Restaurant Hit the Flicks”; “Nudity Gimmick for Bubblegum Music”; “Apple is Alive & Healthy in the UK”; “Stones USA Tour Still Uncertain”; “Who Finishing Rock Opera”; “Record Industry Ups LP and Single Prices”; “The Cream: Final Album and Farewell Film Due”; “Chess Does It Again – Electric Wolf: Man, It’s Dogshit.” Plus Random Notes on Tiny Tim, Grace Slick, Pat Boone, the Lovin’ Spoonful, and the Fugs.

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