In 1976 Elton John was one of the biggest superstars in pop music. His album from the previous year, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was the first album to enter the Billboard charts at #1. The follow-up album, Rock of the Westies, was the second album in history to enter the charts at #1. But behind the outrageous costumes and garish glasses was a lonely man whose fame had grown to the point where he and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin started referring to it as "The Beast". Thousands of adoring fans all over the world wasn't enough; as Elton confided to interviewer Cliff Jahr, "I crave to be loved".
"I don't want to bring in the violins, but we all came from hardship," says McCartney. "All of us except for George lost someone. I lost my mum when I was 14. John lost his mum. But Ringo had it worst. His father was gone; he was so sick they told his mum he wasn't going to live. Imagine making up your life from that, in that environment. No family, no school. He had to invent himself. We all had to come up with a shield, but Ringo came up with the strongest shield."In anticipation of the inimitable Mr. Starkey's imminent (and long-awaited) induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone presents Being Ringo: A Beatle's All-Starr Life.
Part of that shield was playing the fool; part of that shield was booze. It led to a lost decade of L.A./London/Monte Carlo partying where Ringo woke up many mornings wondering, "Why are the birds coughing so loudly?" But he's been sober for 26 years, and there's one essential thing that keeps Ringo young: the sticks and the drum kit.
Rolling Stone has published an exhaustive Columbia School of Journalism study on their flawed reporting of an accusation of gang-rape at a University of Virginia fraternity (previously), with recommendations both for Rolling Stone and for media outlets globally about how to report on rape more responsibly in the future.
It's been a long winter, everyone's a little loopy, and that's probably as good a reason as any for the Internet to have delved into the 30th anniversary of "We Are the World" a bit more (and more entertainingly) than strictly necessary: [more inside]
On the day before Danielle Smalley was to leave for college, she and her friend Jason Stone were hanging out in her family's mobile home. Seventeen years old, with long chestnut hair, Danielle began to feel nauseated. "Dad," she said, "we smell gas." It was 3:45 in the afternoon on August 24th, 1996, near Lively, Texas, some 50 miles southeast of Dallas. The Smalleys were too poor to own a telephone. So the teens jumped into her dad's 1964 Chevy pickup to alert the authorities. As they drove away, the truck stalled where the driveway crossed a dry creek bed. Danielle cranked the ignition, and a fireball engulfed the truck. "You see two children burned to death in front of you – you never forget that," Danielle's father, Danny, would later tell reporters. [more inside]
Here's a horrifying game you can play during this Sunday's Super Bowl and the nearly 12 hours of pre- and postgame content: count the number of times you hear some variation of "deflated balls" and compare that to the number of times during Super Bowls XLV or XLVII you heard the phrases "two-time accused rapist" or "accused co-conspirator in a double murder." Or just compare "deflated balls" to "brain damage." Then see if the first number dwarfs a combination of the last three by an order of magnitude. It will.
Linda Ronstadt - Canciones De Mi Padre Complete Concert (YouTube) "Entire performance of Canciones De Mi Padre, Spanish for Songs Of My Father. During Linda Ronstadt's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony on April 10, 2014, Glenn Frey of The Eagles speech mentioned the album is the biggest non-English language seller in American record history. Linda Ronstadt's 1987 album has been RIAA certified Double-Platinum with over 10 million copies sold worldwide. Linda Ronstadt won the Grammy Award for Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album at the 31st Grammy Awards." [more inside]
John Holmes was a porn star. Eddie Nash was a drug lord. Their association ended in one of the most brutal mass murders in the history of Los Angeles. The Devil and John Holmes [more inside]
Poynter's List of the Best (and Worst) Corrections, Retractions and Apologies in Media in 2014 Previously. Previouslier.
Although he has already created several notable soundtracks for his films John Carpenter has just released his debut album Lost Themes. Interview.
Rolling Stone has announced its 50 best albums of 2014.
Ongoing Swedish film series Experiment Ensam (Experiment Alone) films people experiencing things completely alone that are usually reserved for large crowds. Past films focused on lone people at comedy clubs or karaoke bars. The filmmakers thought a lot bigger for this one and made arrangements with Bob Dylan and his touring band to perform a private show for 41-year-old Bob Dylan superfan Fredrik Wikingsson at Philadelphia's Academy of Music.
Frackers, fuckers, racists and robbers – you don't need to be a bad person to own a pro franchise, but it certainly helps.
30 years ago, Rick Rubin was a college student, living in NYU's Weinstein Residence Hall, room #712. It was there that Def Jam Records was formed, shifting the focus of hip-hop from the MCs to promote the DJs, too. Rubin and his label quickly outgrew the dorm, and he hasn't been back since. Recently he returned, and the adventure was captured and put into context by Rolling Stone Film's mini-documentary, Rick Was Here. New footage rolls alongside old, with some animations to bring a few audio-only stories to life. [more inside]
"My count is now up to five. Five of my friends and fellow comedians have taken their own life. It's shocking, but, sadly, not surprising. Non-comedians — or as we call them, 'civilians' — are always surprised. And I am always surprised they're so surprised. They have yet to realize the Two Big Things all comedians know." [may be triggering] [more inside]
Lou Reed's New York LP hit the quarter-century mark earlier this year. "Meant to be listened to in one 58-minute sitting as though it were a book or a movie," New York couples an unusually accessible rock style with some of most topical lyrics of Lou's career. "Protesting, elegizing, carping, waxing sarcastic, forcing jokes, stating facts, garbling what he just read in the Times, free-associating to doomsday, Lou carries on a New York conversation--all that's missing is a disquisition on real estate." - Robert Christgau
Get caught between the twisted stars, the plotted lines, the faulty map that brought Columbus to New York. [more inside]
Get caught between the twisted stars, the plotted lines, the faulty map that brought Columbus to New York. [more inside]
Reelgirl: Slut-shaming Princess Leia or protecting childhood from adult sexuality? HitFix: The Terrible Unspoken Implications Of Star Wars' Slave Leia [more inside]
"[F]rom the vantage point of a 12-year-old, adulthood is something best avoided. The key question, then, is how long can you run?" Rolling Stone launches their new monthly feature, "Be Kind, Rewind" with a new look at Step Brothers. [more inside]
Q&A: Ginger Baker on Why 'the Rolling Stones Are Not Good Musicians'
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson, published in Rolling Stone, November 11, 1971.
It was almost noon, and we still had more than 100 miles to go. They would be tough miles. Very soon, I knew, we would both be completely twisted. But there was no going back, and no time to rest. We would have to ride it out. Press registration for the fabulous Mint 400 was already underway, and we had to get there by four to claim our soundproof suite. A fashionable sporting magazine in New York had taken care of the reservations, along with this huge red Chevy convertible we'd just rented off a lot on the Sunset Strip ... and I was, after all, a professional journalist; so I had an obligation to cover the story, for good or ill. The sporting editors had also given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous drugs. The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. We had two bags of grass, 75 pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers ... and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. All this had been rounded up the night before, in a frenzy of high-speed driving all over Los Angeles County – from Topanga to Watts, we picked up everything we could get our hands on. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
In 1972, Tom Wolfe was assigned to do a piece for Rolling Stone on Apollo 17, NASA's last moon mission (Google book preview). That turned into a four-part series on the astronauts, written in a frantic three weeks. From there, he thought he could quickly expand the piece into a book (Gbp). But that book, on what makes an astronaut, ended up taking a much broader scope and more time. In 1979, The Right Stuff was published, and later was made into a well-regarded 3 hour movie. A few years later, Andrew Chaikin started on a similar path to Wolfe, more broadly documenting the US moon missions in his book, A Man on the Moon. The book was published in 1994, and HBO used it as the basis of a 12-part mini-series that they aired in 1998, titled From the Earth to the Moon. [more inside]
Apocalypse, New Jersey Matt Taibi looks at the sad story of Camden, N.J.
The Men Who Leaked The Secrets
To the likes of Brooks, Snowden was a disconcerting mystery; Glenn Greenwald, though, got him right away. "He had no power, no prestige, he grew up in a lower-middle-class family, totally obscure, totally ordinary," Greenwald says. "He didn't even have a high school diploma. But he was going to change the world – and I knew that." And, Greenwald also believed, so would he. "In all kinds of ways, my whole life has been in preparation for this moment," he says.[more inside]
"Brown has been called many things during his brief public career – satirist, journalist, author, Anonymous spokesman, atheist, "moral fag," "fame whore," scourge of the national surveillance state." From Rolling Stone, the story of Barrett Brown, the public face of Anonymous.
Rolling Stone's 50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now as voted by 'a panel of writers, industry figures and artists'. [more inside]
The cover of the Rolling Stone has been a cultural touchstone for a long time. Now, the dreamy, tape-it-to-the-bedroom-wall worthy image of terrorist eye-candy, Jahar Tsarnaev, rocks the magazine's legendary cover real estate. Teenage girls swoon, others fret.
The last mystery of the financial crisis. It's long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it. by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone.
Mike McCready, Barrett Martin, Mark Lanegan, and Peter Buck got together last year to finish tracks from a second Mad Season record that was abandoned following the deaths of John Baker Saunders in 1999 and Layne Staley in 2002. Rolling Stone has the first track streaming, with the rest coming in April for a double album + concert dvd re-release of Above.
The Revival Tour documentary celebrates the annual acoustic folk-punk Revival Tour that was founded by Hot Water Music frontman Chuck Ragan. Now in its fifth year, The Revival tour has featured musicians like Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon, Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, and British star Frank Turner. This year's lineup includes Chuck Ragan, Rocky Votolato, Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath, Streetlight Manifesto's Toh Kay, Jenny O, Loved Ones' Dave Hause and Jenny Owen Youngs. Folk-punk previously.
America's Last Prisoner of War by Michael Hastings (single page) - In the early-morning hours of June 30th, according to soldiers in the unit, Bowe approached his team leader not long after he got off guard duty and asked his superior a simple question: If I were to leave the base, would it cause problems if I took my sensitive equipment? [more inside]
The FBI has orchestrated "14 out of the 22 most frightening plans for attacks [on U.S. soil] since 9/11" according to the NY Times' counting. As noted previously though, Mother Jones' investigative report found that "all [but three] of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings" and one third of terrorist defendants were actually led by an FBI agent provocateur, often outside contractors. A Rolling Stone blogger has now called out the FBI for "singling out ideological enemies [of the State]", including the FBI's recent Ohio bridge plot, while ignoring much more dangerous right wing groups, including white supremacists. [more inside]
"Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted "Intercepted!," and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind." A User's Guide To Smoking Pot With Barack Obama. [more inside]
I was a member of a fraternity that asked pledges, in order to become a brother, to: swim in a kiddie pool of vomit, urine, fecal matter, semen and rotten food products; eat omelets made of vomit; chug cups of vinegar, which in one case caused a pledge to vomit blood; drink beer poured down fellow pledges' ass cracks... among other abuses.A sobering look into the world of Dartmouth College's fraternities. Single page view.
Comedian Bert Kreischer was named the "top partier" at Florida State University in a 1997 Rolling Stone article. The 2002 movie "Van Wilder" was inspired by his life. Bert Kreischer is THE MACHINE (animated version). Bert Kreischer hangs out with Tracy Morgan. NSFW (language).
In November 2002, at a meeting in the White House, the president and his top economic advisers packed tightly around a mahogany table in the Roosevelt Room. With the administration's own forecasts showing that the economy had already regained its footing, one after another of Bush's deputies sounded the alarm about the dangers of a new tax cut. "This burns a big hole in the budget," deputy chief of staff Josh Bolten told the president. "The budget hole is getting deeper," added Daniels, "and we are projecting deficits all the way to the end of your second term." O'Neill warned the president that a "tax cut that benefits mostly wealthy investors" could imperil the budding prosperity. "With the economy already improving, this could cause an unnecessary boost," he said. "That's how you get a bubble." Entertaining the chorus of doubters, Bush himself voiced qualms about more cuts for the rich. "Won't the top-rate people benefit the most?" he asked. "Didn't we already give them a break at the top?" But Cheney was having none of it. When O'Neill warned Bush that America was headed for a "fiscal crisis," the vice president, sitting at the Treasury secretary's right elbow, dismissed him midsentence by citing the ultimate champion of Republican tax cuts: "Ronald Reagan proved that deficits don't matter, Paul." Rolling Stone's Tom Dickinson on how the GOP became the party of the rich.
When you ask what Perry's true nature is – the first and principal thing that defines him – there's just one answer: favors.
The Best Little Whore in Texas Matt Taibbi on Rick Perry.
In 1977, Rolling Stone magazine turned 10 years old. To celebrate, they put together a TV special, which included "A Day in the Decade" -- a star-studded, 15-minutes-long tribute to the Beatles. [more inside]
Using album & digital song sales, Hot 100 rankings, radio airplay, YouTube views, social media, concert grosses, industry awards and critics' ratings, Rolling Stone compares sixteen female artists to name the Queen of Pop. [more inside]
The Girl Who Played With Fire: Rolling Stone profiles the "rise, fall and stubborn survival" of Kiki Kannibal, ‘The Most Hated Girl on the Internet’
"I'm not going to be asked any conceptualizing questions, right?" STANLEY KUBRICK - THE ROLLING STONE INTERVIEW. Conducted in 1987 by Tim Cahill to promote Full Metal Jacket, it's considered one of the longest he ever gave.
On February 27th, Paula Deen hitched a ride on Food Network host Robert Irvine. Overnight, a meme surfaces. Today, Rolling Stone re-imagines their March cover.
Page: 1 2