Fifty-one years ago this Friday, after what was seen as a monumental summer (or the Summer of Love, as we now know it), a new magazine Rolling Stone burst onto the scene in San Francisco.
At that time, bands like The Doors, Pink Floyd, Cream, the Byrds, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Velvet Underground and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, were all making headlines as the voices of a new generation.
They were voices that not only charted their own personal issues but those of the turbulent world around them. And the magazine, Rolling Stone, took up their cause, discussing not only music but also popular culture and politics, with many of the magazine’s writers also becoming key voices (and critics).
As the founding publisher Jann Wenner said at the time, “Rolling Stone is not just about music, but also about the things and attitudes that the music embraces.”
The magazine was not just a rock & roll heaven fantasy but also widely seen as the bible to the Baby Boomer generation.
Over the following decades, the magazines chronicled the growing rock & roll scene with Rolling Stone writers interviewing stars of every era, from David Bowie and Rod Stewart, to Michael Jackson and Madonna, to Nirvana and Beastie Boys.
But it wasn’t just the revealing interviews that kept the readers coming back – to accompany each story, the magazine also featured stunning photography. With a knack for capturing the spirit of the times, Rolling Stone found an audience instantly.
So how do you pay homage to a magazine that meant so much to our parents (or even in some cases grand-parents) generation?
Well, careful … ‘cause just like the pied piper, the minute you start playing Jefferson Airplane or the like, baby boomers start showing up from nowhere. And after a night of that, just like Jerry said, we’ll all be the really grateful dead.
As mentioned, one of the factors that made the magazine such a success were the images it managed to capture. Utilising the talents of photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Mark Seliger, Baron Wolman and Albert Watson, to name a few, the magazine was able to feature some of the most iconic images of musicians and bands through to celebrities and politicians.
It might be fun to grab a few back issues of the magazine (through second-hand stores and eBay), and cut the best images out and display them around the party. This will not only be a visual representation of the magazine but also put your guest in the mood for the documentary – Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge (which of course should be shown with everyone sitting in bean bags).
The most obvious choice is, of course, the Grateful Dead Cocktail- but be aware it packs a bit of a punch
Also, The Janis Joplin Cocktail might also a good choice (in case you weren’t aware Ms Joplin was very fond of Southern Comfort)
Let’s face it the Rock & Roll lifestyle is fast-paced, so you don’t really have time to eat but when you do get a chance you want something easy, so of course, the ultimate Rock & Roll food is a burger
And to go with that? Well, a Cookies & Cream Parfait … naturally …
If you are unsure what you’ll talk about, then we have a few articles that can provide some fun facts for you and your guests.
“Who Shot Rock and Roll” Celebrates the Photographers Behind the Iconic Images
Australian Rolling Stone founder on the magazine’s death after 46 years
“It Was Us Against Those Guys”: The Women Who Transformed Rolling Stone in the Mid-70s
How Mick Jagger waged war on Rolling Stone magazine
How Rolling Stone Magazine Redefined Culture for Generations