Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner calls new biography about him "bullsh*t"


Rolling Stone editor & publisher Jann Wenner, with correspondent Anthony Mason, and the first issue of Rolling Stone, dated November 9, 1967.

CBS News

A new biography about Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner is a "nasty, negative portrait," Wenner tells correspondent Anthony Mason in an interview to be broadcast on CBS' "Sunday Morning" November 5.

The new book by author Joe Hagan, "Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine," contends that Wenner was obsessed with celebrity. The book also chronicles affairs, drug use and frequent feuds. Wenner had proposed the biography idea to Hagan and cooperated with the author, until he got an advance manuscript.

Though the book has gotten favorable critical reviews, in Wenner's opinion, "it's a nasty, negative portrait."

Rolling Stone editor & publisher Jann Wenner. CBS News

As he tells Mason, "It's tawdry. It's salacious. It doesn't really deal with what happened."

Wenner goes on to say that the book doesn't capture any of the reality of his many years at Rolling Stone, or the importance of the work and the lasting impact of the magazine.

"And it just tries to make the whole thing seem like a cynical attempt at marketing and making money in a generation," Wenner said. "And, yeah, the guy compares me to Donald Trump. Says I share responsibility with Donald Trump for the age of celebrity. I think it's bullsh*t. I mean, it's a disappointment. I don't like it. And I don't think it's worthy."

During the interview, Wenner opens up to Mason about the 50-year history of Rolling Stone; his falling-out with the late John Lennon, and other highlights and lowlights of his career; and the decision to put the magazine up for sale. [Wenner previously sold 49% of the magazine, and now the remaining ownership is on the market.]

He has no plans to leave, however. "It's not that I'm leaving. I intend to stay with it for a while longer," Wenner tells Mason, adding however that he could envision life without Rolling Stone.

"I could be happy, but I don't … see that happening," he says. "I think that if you want to buy this and be a partner of this place, I think you want me."

Rolling Stone's 50-year anniversary 07:15

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