The Downward Spiral of Rolling Stone Magazine

     The title seen in my previous blog post (The Battle of Aspen…) was actually the title I used for my very first article for Rolling Stone. In it I discussed the Freak Power party and my campaign for Sheriff of Aspen in 1970. More about that can be seen below in my previous post. I would have loved to attach the entire article but I couldn’t seem to find a complete copy anywhere, and with deadlines rapidly approaching I didn’t have the time to search for it. According to my publishers, my last blog post was already late and it had to be posted Now. I would have used the Rolling Stone website to find it but it seems as though they too have finally fallen into the mainstream, corrupted by greed and the business world.
     In order to gain access to the full version of my article, they require you to become a “Rolling Stone Plus Member.” To me, this is an outrage… and not just because they picked such a stupid name for their “premium membership.” This bothers me, and should bother you too because a magazine that used to identify with the hippie/freak culture – one that embraced peace, love, happiness, and the spread of knowledge – is now charging people money to view an article which I wrote over 40 years ago. I find this astonishing, especially considering my long standing relationship with the magazine. They of all people should know that I obviously wouldn’t approve of this. This article especially should be avaliable free of charge to anyone with an internet connection and a desire to read it.
     Since the publishing of that article in 1970 I have frequently contributed to Rolling Stone, up until 2005. At that point I had to choose between being involved with the magazine, or keeping some sort of journalistic integrity. Of course Rolling Stone still occasionally surprises me. For example, the recent interview/article which resulted in the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal. That was what Rolling Stone was all about back in the 60’s. Well, that and good music. Sadly, they seemed to lose their edge sometime in the 90’s when they started embracing the mainstream pop culture, and left their counter culture roots behind. Basically, those corporate greedheads sold out the company and their image to make a quick buck.
     I can only hope the best for Rolling Stone. They were such a huge part of my career. They played an enormous role in helping me to establish myself as a journalist and an author… But that was the old Rolling Stone. The publication is clearly not run by the same people anymore. What they have done to my article is a travesty and I can no longer support them or their magazine. I strongly encourage anyone reading this to write them a letter of complaint, denouncing their recent shift towards the mainstream and their attempt at trying to further capitalize off my previous work.
     Rolling Stone was such an important part of our culture, and I can only hope that if they themselves don’t choose to once again embrace their ways of old, that some other publication comes along to take their place. One thing I do know, is that with our without Rolling Stone, true journalists will continue to exist, and their work will be read… somewhere