Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner says a new biography about him is a “nasty, negative portrait,” in an interview with Anthony Mason for CBS SUNDAY MORNING to be broadcast Sunday, Nov. 5 (9:00 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network.
The new book by author Joe Hagan, Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine, contends that Wenner was obsessed with celebrity. The book also chronicles affairs, drug use and frequent feuds. Wenner proposed the biography idea to Hagan and cooperated with the author until he got an advance manuscript.
Though the book has gotten favorable critical reviews, in Wenner’s opinion, “it’s a nasty, negative portrait.” As he tells Mason, “It’s tawdry. It’s salacious. It doesn’t really deal with what happened.”
Wenner goes on to say that the book doesn’t capture any of the real of his many years at Rolling Stone or the importance of the work and the lasting impact of the magazine.
“And it just tries to make the whole thing seem like a cynical attempt at marketing and making money in a generation,” Wenner tells Mason. “And, yeah, the guy compares me to Donald Trump. Says I share responsibility with Donald Trump for the age of celebrity. I think it’s bulls***. I mean, it’s – it’s a disappointment. I don’t like it. And I don’t think it’s worthy.”
Wenner opens up to Mason about the 50-year history of Rolling Stone, his fall-out with the late John Lennon, other highlights and lowlights of his career, and the decision to put the magazine up for sale. Wenner previously sold 49% of the magazine, and now the remaining ownership is on the market. He has no plans to leave, however.
“It's not that I’m leaving. I intend to stay with it for a while longer,” Wenner tells Mason, adding that he could however envision life without Rolling Stone.
“I could be happy, but I don’t think – see that happening,” he says. “I think that if you’re gonna buy – if you want to buy this and be a partner of this place, I think you want me.”
CBS SUNDAY MORNING is broadcast Sundays (9:00-10:30 AM ET) on the CBS Television Network. Rand Morrison is the executive producer.