The Concert in Central Park 

Simon & Garfunkel reunite for a free concert in Central Park on September 19, 1981. Simon has said he didn’t appreciate the magnitude of the event until later when he went home, saw it covered on all media and on the front pages of newspapers the next day. Over 500,000 people showed up for one of the seminal gatherings in rock history.


January 22, 1981 ~ The John Lennon tribute issue of Rolling Stone is published with the famous Annie Leibovitz photo of a naked Lennon embracing a fully-clothed Yoko Ono.

Lennon had done an interview with the magazine to promote his 1980 album Double Fantasy, his first since 1975. For the cover photo, he insisted Yoko join him. Leibovitz was dispatched to their apartment in the Dakota building in New York, where she showed them a sketch of the pose she had in mind. John and Yoko gave it a go, he wearing nothing and she fully clothed. When Leibovitz showed them a Polaroid, Lennon said it captured their relationship exactly. That night, Lennon was shot and killed outside the building.

When the issue arrives, it’s dedicated entirely to Lennon. The cover is simply the photo and magazine’s logo.

Richard Pryor 

(December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) He was the one who made me laugh the hardest. More importantly, he was the one who first showed a young boy how humor could expose racism, hypocrisy and general lack of critical thought.

Side note:  Be sure to check out the piece on Pryor and Chase from David Henry and Joe Henry via Salon.

Source: Richard Pryor (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) – You Can’t Make This Stuff Up …

Happy birthday, Rolling Stone …

…it’s not just about the music, but about the things and attitudes that music embraces.

Jann Wenner

November 9, 1967  ~ The first issue of Rolling Stone magazine is published.

John Lennon is the first cover subject. The still shot from the movie set of How I Won the War shows the Beatle in his familiar round glasses and a mesh-covered helmet, setting the tone for the mix of music and politics that become the magazine’s hallmark.

The first issue costs 35 cents and becomes a collector’s item, selling for upwards of $400 decades later.

The magazine’s name is inspired by the Muddy Waters blues song “Rollin’ Stone,” the Bob Dylan hit “Like a Rolling Stone,” and the band The Rolling Stones. 

When the editors realize they are aging out of their demographic, they bring in young writers to keep it fresh. One of these is the journalism prodigy Cameron Crowe, who begins writing for the magazine in 1973 at age 16, covering the likes of Deep Purple, The Allman Brothers and Jackson Browne. These experiences form the basis for his 2000 film Almost Famous.