Rolling Stone magazine has been covering the movers and shakers of the music world for four decades, with John Lennon appearing on the cover of the magazine's first issue in November 1967. Gayle talks with Joe Levy, executive editor of Rolling Stone, about the publication's history and its special 40th anniversary issue.
Joe says Jann Wenner, the magazine's founder and editor-in-chief, launched the publication to not only cover the music of the times, but also to examine its broader impact on society. "There was nothing in the culture then that was taking rock 'n' roll seriously," Joe says. "There was nothing that was making the connection between rock 'n' roll and politics, and rock 'n' roll and social movements."
In honor of the magazine's 40th anniversary, Rolling Stone created three commemorative issues—the first takes a look at the publication's past and the baby boomer generation, while the second examines the so-called Summer of Love in 1967. The third focuses on the magazine's future, and includes interviews with prominent figures such as Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, Chris Rock and Kanye West.
Joe says the interviews reflect both the evolution and permanence of the magazine. "They are inspiring, they have things to tell us about where we're headed and the challenges ahead, and they're talking to us in a very serious, open manner," he says. "I think that the magazine is still executing 40 years later with passion and fearlessness."