Obviously the Internet is the biggest reason the magazine's circulation has declined sharply from a couple of decades ago. Rolling Stone publishes twice a month (with the occasional larger double issue) so day-to-day music news doesn't appear in the magazine for 3-4 weeks after it actually happens. By then most people have already read details about a particular story online and moved on, so immediacy is not something the print magazine has going for it. Rollingstone.com assists in filling that gap but I've never warmed up to the magazine's online presence. Their website layout has never knocked me over and a lot of the same content posted there ends up in the magazine shortly thereafter (as you'd expect), but as a subscriber that just leaves me feeling a little cheated that I'm reading the same content twice and paying for it the second time around. So, I tend to avoid Rollingstone.com. It's actually somewhat refreshing in this age of immediate information to read something for the first time on an actual page that doesn't have the prefix "web" attached.
A look at an issue from last month (issue 1082/1083) gives a pretty bang-on representation of why the magazine is still an essential part of my reading diet. On the cover we have (*cough*) The Jonas Brothers. Now, I'm not a fan of these lads, but of course I'm not a 12-year-old girl either. Actually, the demographic issue perhaps isn't as relevant with me because I will admit to being a Hanson fan for years now. Yes, that fact has gotten me crucified by friends and it's pretty damn uncool to be admitting this on a forum open to the entire world, but our ears like what they like, no? The half dozen or so Jo Bros. songs I have heard didn't do anything for me, but I give them full marks for playing their own instruments (and a couple of the brothers can play more than one) and writing their own music, which is one of the things I always respected about Hanson. The interview with them provides some interesting insight into what it's like to be the biggest boy band in the world at the moment.
Also included is a completely fascinating interview with rock legend Gregg Allman. I've never been a fan of his music but he's definitely one of those interesting characters who's lead a colourful life full of excess and this is captured well by writer Mark Binelli. One of the funnier anecdotes involves the time, during his 9 day (that's day) marriage to Cher when Allman was so wasted on heroin that he passed out face first into a plate of spaghetti at a banquet. And here's a great quote regarding his numerous marriages:
He starts to talk about his most recent ex, then stops himself. "When you think about it, it takes a fool to tell half a story," he says. "So as long as she's not here telling you her half, me telling you my half doesn't hold much water. 'Cause, of course, it's going to be pro-me." He pauses, then adds, "To tell you the truth, it's my sixth marriage - I'm starting to think it's me."
As good as the Allman interview is the
Aside from an occasionally annoying "list" issue, which other magazines such as Entertainment Weekly also rely on too frequently, Rolling Stone still remains a vital read for me.