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Publisher's Summary

The first and only biography of Jann Wenner, the iconic founder of Rolling Stone magazine, and a romp through the hothouses of rock and roll, politics, media, and Hollywood, from the Summer of Love to the Internet age.

Lennon. Dylan. Jagger. Belushi. Leibovitz. The story of Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone's founder, editor, and publisher, is an insider's trip through the backstages of storied concert venues, rock-star hotel rooms, and the political ups and downs of the latter half of the 20th century, right up through the digital age: connecting the counterculture of Haight Ashbury to the "straight world".

Supplemented by a cache of extraordinary documents and letters from Wenner's personal archives, Sticky Fingers is the story of a mercurial, wide-eyed rock and roll fan of ambiguous sexuality but unambiguous ambition who reinvents youth culture, marketing the libertine world of the late '60s counterculture in a stylish, glossy package that would stand for decades as a testament to the cultural power of American youth. Joe Hagan captures in stunning detail the extraordinary lives constellated around a magazine that began as a scrappy rebellion and became a locus of power, influence, and access - using hundreds of hours of reporting and exclusive interviews.

The result is a fascinating and complex portrait of Jann Wenner that is also a biography of popular culture, celebrity, music, and politics in America over the last 50 years.

©2017 Joe Hagan (P)2017 Random House Audio

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Sex, Drugs and Rolling Stone

Even though STICKY FINGERS is about Jann Wenner and his greatest creation, Rolling Stone Magazine, there are a lot of bit players and big and small moments from music, politics and personal history here.

Rolling Stone writers Jon Landau and Greil Marcus. Rolling StoneS front man Mick Jagger, who weaves in an out of this story. (Apparently he was miffed when Wenner named his rock mag Rolling Stone.) Wenner's boyish beautiful wife Jane. Wenner's confused sexuality and his coming out in the 1990s. Sex and drugs in the Rolling Stone offices. Political conventions and a drugged-out Hunter S. Thompson who wrote trippy prose masterpieces before he lost his mojo. A complicated friendship with Annie Liebowitz, who couldn't be trusted with Rolling Stone photo equipment or money. John and Yoko, betrayed by Wenner. Tom Wolfe and the Right Stuff. The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. The ups and downs of the print periodical biz.

This a readable biography, chock full of interesting characters. I didn't always like Wenner, who was too hung up on being rich and had the sharklike mentality of a businessman on the make. But he and his reporters were there for a lot of the pop cultural moments that made their way into a magazine that didn't shy from admitting a biased point of view that told you who and what was important.

Jann Wenner authorized this biography, so author Joe Hagan had access to a lot of insiders.

Dennis Boutsikaris does a good job narrating.


Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Wenner is a pretentious star F*****

Would you try another book from Joe Hagan and/or Dennis Boutsikaris?

Yes

What was most disappointing about Joe Hagan’s story?

His filling page after page with "bold type" names then describing their sexual peccadillos or other gossipy tangential tidbits "trust fund" "addict"

Which scene was your favorite?

Bill Graham

Did Sticky Fingers inspire you to do anything?

Not purchase Rolling Stone magazine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Hatchet Job

I have, after many years of listening to audible books, never been moved to write a review until now. I was looking very forward to Sticky Fingers, given that I am of an age that puts me squarely in the demographic in which Rolling Stone was an important magazine (late sixties through the seventies). I didn't know much about Jann Wenner other than some rumors about his being an ambitious guy. This book had a sneer running through its pages. It reads like some sort of Bill O'rielly culture war historical revisionism. Anyone who can remotely digest information with a critical eye can see the cherry picking of unflattering snippets threaded together to paint a grotesque picture while thinning out the narrative of competence, ingenuity, instinct, perseverance, etc. I did not expect Wenner to be a saint or a genius but he clearly has been, at the very least, competent and successful. Hagan flips the script when it's convenient. Ambition is seen as perverse and gross but only when it's Wenner's ambition, others are hip and savvy and astute, but not Wenner. He's made out to be some sort of Chauncey Gardiner on speed. Hagan takes snippets of quotes then re frames them, through the addition of his own editorializing, as negative. It was very telling that, after listening to this book, I watched the HBO Documentary on Rolling Stonne and saw the same people Hagen used to belittle Wenner, speaking highly and warmly of Jann. The Kicker is, at the end of this cheap, mean spirited 'biography', Hagan praises Wenner for having the courage to give him full access and agreeing not to touch the finished book, to not even read it until it was already published. Hagan completely left that kind of courage out of this character assassination. I will be returning this book. I want no part of it. The narrator was very good and did a fine job with the reading. It was he and the hope that there would be some redeeming chapters in the end that kept me listening.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

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A fascinating jerk.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Unlike some biographies, this one does not make any attempt to white-wash it's subject's glaring personal flaws. Even his friends didn't like him. But the subject was in the middle of so many events and personalities, what he chose to do explains a lot about US social history from 1960 to the present.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sticky Fingers?

How one egomaniac's self-centered view of the world shaped my own.

Which character – as performed by Dennis Boutsikaris – was your favorite?

Well read. The narrator's tone and attitude matched the material.

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Great Book, Repulsive Subject

If you could sum up Sticky Fingers in three words, what would they be?

Cancel Rolling Stone.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jann Wenner, kept topping himself in the a-hole department. Talk about someone you would never want to meet.

What about Dennis Boutsikaris’s performance did you like?

Clean, clear and precise.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

God no.

Any additional comments?

Will take the shine off of anything good you have ever thought about the magazine. Great research, terrible subject. Yuck.

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Delivers the goods

Well researched and (apparently) honest recounting of the humble beginnings, incredible ambition, and, ultimately, the incredible force that Rolling Stone magazine and Jann Wenner were.

Highly recommended.

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Super Groovy!

If you like anything about the history of rock and roll, or classic rock in general, this book will fit the bill! Great narration to an extremely chronological in depth look at the birth and development of Rolling Stone. If you have read RS like I have (lifetime subscription!) you MUST check this out! Includes the backstory on so many bands and rock rumors - I literally found extra chores to do to continue listening to this book!

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Very annoying

This was a book about a gross little man doing gross things with gross people. They are celebrities though so we pretend it is becoming. I could not get past the early 70s in the story. The baby boomers were so screwed up.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful