- The release of Rolling Stone’s 1,000th issue is a major event – for me: I got my first RS writing assignment! Try my generation-spanning rock trivia! (And marvel at how I got hacked.)
Twenty years ago – 20 years and three months, to be exact – my pimply, 14-year-old self came home from school to find the first issue of my new Rolling Stone subscription on the bed in my room. It wasn’t the first issue I’d seen. When I was 12, I had scandalized my parents by buying a Rolling Stone from a newsstand; within weeks, I was asking my Dad questions about what the term “self-abuse” meant, prompting my Mom to inform me that this magazine was not for me. But by my freshman year of high school, Mom and Dad had given in and let me subscribe.
Issue #467, the one lying on my bed that day, didn’t have one of Rolling Stone’s iconic, Zeitgeist-defining, single-personality covers. My first issue instead celebrated the induction of the first crop of inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which was spearheaded, not at all incidentally, by RS editor Jann Wenner). On that cover were acts dating back to the ’50s, men famous enough to be known by one name: Elvis, Chuck, Buddy, Ray, Fats, Sam, Little.
Looking back, that cover was a pretty apt introduction to Rolling Stone: here was a magazine that was going to teach me the history of rock, whether I liked it or not.
Within months, I knew I wanted to write for this magazine someday.
Within a couple of years, I adopted the too-cool, snarky-teen sense that these old farts didn’t always know what they were talking about, especially when it came to new rock or hip-hop.
Who’d have guessed that two decades later, I would finally write something for Rolling Stone, and become an old fart, all at the same time?