• The wildest story that Rolling Stone never printed: its own filthy gay

    From Gay Means Degenerate Scum@21:1/5 to All on Fri Jan 12 02:28:53 2018
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    As editor of rock'n'roll codex Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner has
    led by example for over 50 years. Joe Hagan's explosive
    biography of the publishing titan is an addictive tale of sex,
    drugs and John Lennon's wrath

    In 1995, Jann Wenner, the founding editor of Rolling Stone
    magazine, left his wife for a man. To those outside his orbit
    (and many within), it was a shock. As the Wall Street Journal
    reporter Patrick Reilly recalled, "There was nothing gay about
    him. When the news came out, it was like, really? Of all the
    people in media who might be gay, Jann Wenner?" It was yet
    another contradiction to add to the list of Wenner dichotomies.
    He was a confidante and a gossipmonger, a groupie and a svengali
    and, of course, he ran Rolling Stone, a chronicle of sex, drugs
    and rock'n'roll, counterculture and youth revolution, as an
    aggressively capitalist operation. Wenner's mother chose his
    name after Janus, the Roman god with two faces.

    A new biography, Sticky Fingers (Canongate, £20) by Joe Hagan,
    attempts to unpuzzle the publishing titan who, at 71, has helmed
    the iconic magazine for half a century. Drawing on more than 100
    hours of conversation with Wenner, combined with access to his
    personal archive and 235 interviews with those who populate his
    world, Hagan treats his subject with the same reportorial scope
    and literary ambition as the New Journalism championed in the
    column inches of Rolling Stone. Anecdotes unspool unflinchingly,
    page after page – the manuscript of which, Hagan notes, Wenner
    was not permitted to see prior to publication. It makes for a
    thumpingly good read. Well, unless you're Jann Wenner. Having
    seen the finished product, Wenner has tried to distance himself
    from the book. He released a statement last week: "I gave Joe
    time and access in the hope he would write a nuanced portrait
    about my life," Wenner said. "Instead, he produced something
    deeply flawed and tawdry, rather than substantial."

    It's an unfair assessment: the book is nuanced, and while it is
    doubtless tawdry – this is rock'n'roll, after all – it is
    nothing if not substantial. At its core is a story about the
    birth and triumph of American celebrity culture, positioning
    Wenner, with his fame-making magazines (which came to include
    Men's Journal and Us Weekly), as one of its principal
    architects. But the subplot is about sexuality. Hagan's
    narrative portrays the early Wenner as an incorrigible social
    climber, keenly aware of his gay impulses while committing to a
    heterosexual identity for the normalcy and mobility it afforded.
    While enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, in the
    mid-Sixties, Wenner resolved this dissonance by treating
    straight relationships with ironic detachment. He slept with
    various women, writes Hagan, but framed these encounters as
    social conquests. One of Wenner's roommates recounted how Wenner
    "slept with the daughter of a UN diplomat and used the sheet
    from their tryst as a tablecloth for a dinner party the next
    night, strategically placing her plate over a stain and giggling
    during the meal". Wenner denies the tale. This is typical of the
    book – conflicting versions of events are often presented
    without adjudication.

    That's not to say the biography doesn't draw conclusions. Some
    of the best insights concern Wenner’s enigmatic relationship
    with Jane, the urbane, attractive “nice Jewish girl” to whom
    Wenner was married for almost 30 years. This wasn't an ironic
    relationship – he loved her – yet he was able to square it with
    his homosexual urges thanks to a tacit arrangement. "She gave
    him implicit permission to enjoy extracurricular sex, as long as
    he kept it well hidden," Hagan writes. "When she did get wind of
    it, Jane forgave him." Their mutual desires for money and status
    were best served by being in partnership.

    As a power couple, they commanded a lavish lifestyle. In the
    Seventies, their San Francisco house on California Street was
    lined with French 18th-century mirrors, and stuffed with artwork
    (Warhols, German lithographs, a Claes Oldenburg sculpture). They
    had a colour-projection TV with a four-by-six-foot screen; the
    upstairs bathroom contained chaise longues, a Japanese steam
    room and a Rauschenberg print. A decade later they would buy a
    $4.2 million New York duplex, build a manor house in the
    Hamptons and acquire a Gulfstream II. Wenner dubbed this jet the
    "Capitalist Fool".

    There was similar excess at Rolling Stone itself. In 1977,
    Wenner hosted a staff retreat in the Hamptons. Hagan recounts
    how Wenner “tried leading a series of presentations from his
    different departments – until John Belushi came bounding in and
    declared, ‘Oh bullshit!’ and performed an impromptu version of
    his samurai skit from SNL." When Wenner introduced his business
    team, "the editorial staff groaned and were led screaming to the
    swimming pool by the art director for Outside [magazine], a
    large lesbian who had stripped naked. A blizzard of coke
    snorting ensued, Belushi slept with a Rolling Stone photo
    editor, and limos were sent back to Manhattan to raid the petty
    cash drawer and scrounge up more."

    A blizzard of coke snorting ensued and John Belushi slept with a
    Rolling Stone photo editor
    Such was Wenner's desire for the good life, he was willing to
    compromise his most important friendships. In 1970, he was
    spending time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, luxuriating in
    their celebrity and convincing Lennon to give Rolling Stone a
    landmark interview. After printing it in 1971, Wenner received
    an offer of $40,000 to turn it into a book. The musician was
    firmly against the idea, but Wenner chose the money and
    published regardless. The pair never spoke again.

    So why did he risk his fortune for a Calvin Klein model and
    designer named Matt Nye? The decision to leave his wife and come
    out of the closet is one area where the biography feels
    underpowered. Wenner puts it down to Jane's depression and
    addictions, which left him feeling miserable – but why Nye
    rather than any previous lover? And why then?

    It was certainly a major risk, given that Jane had shares in
    Rolling Stone and the magazine meant everything to him. Among
    Hagan's most telling passages is a reconstruction of the Hearst
    media empire's 2006 offer to buy a stake in Wenner's operation
    with an option to own. At the time, it was valued at $1.1
    billion. There was one condition: Wenner would have to
    relinquish control of the business. "Jann Wenner could be a
    billionaire or he could be Mr Rolling Stone," writes Hagan, "but
    he could not be both."

    He didn't sell and two years later, the economy collapsed,
    leaving Wenner Media on its knees and shackled to a $300 million
    debt. But Wenner still had Rolling Stone, the passport to all he
    could wish to be. Editing the magazine had never been an end in
    itself: it was always about mixing with the stars as much as
    reporting on them. His 60th birthday was attended by Michael
    Douglas, Al Gore, Larry David and a plethora of other boldfaced
    names. Robin Williams gave a bawdy speech and Bruce Springsteen
    sang a song that he wrote for the occasion:

    I got to know the man a little bit, by and by,
    I've never seen so much innocence and cynicism walk side by side.
    I never guessed a man whose magazine once changed my life,
    Would one day want to have a threesome with my wife.

    Jann Wenner, reportedly, was in heaven.

    Sticky Fingers: The Life And Times Of Jann Wenner And Rolling
    Stone Magazine by Joe Hagan is out now. This article first
    appeared in the November 2017 issue of GQ magazine

    GQ, another faggot magazine.

    http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/sticky-fingers-jann-wenner- rolling-stone-joe-hagan

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