Joe Hagan is penning a biography of Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner that will be published by Alfred A. Knopf and is set to debut this October. Titled Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine, the book will feature reporting based off of a number of interviews with Wenner as well as friends and associates, many of whom have graced the pages of the magazine, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Those interviewed include Mick Jagger, naturally, as well as Paul McCartney, Bette Midler and Tom Wolfe among many well-known others.
As the title implies, the biography will cover both Wenner and the magazine’s history, from fight to love triangles to the story of a brutal rape at the University of Virginia that led to a lawsuit and a retraction.
According to Hagan, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the idea for the book was Wenner’s own:
We met in 2011 as neighbors in upstate New York and kept up a semi-regular dialogue about the news and journalism. He would occasionally drop wonderful anecdotes about rock stars and one day he asked me if I was interested in writing his biography. That began a sometimes knotty conversation. How would it work? We finally agreed the book had to be independent. I would report and write it, and he would provide all the access I needed. But he would not have approval over the material. Credibility was important to him. And he wanted his story to be told in full. It was also the only way I was willing to do it.
That may have been a random break, but Hagan himself is an experience journalist and has written for and previously worked at New York magazine, The New York Observer and The Wall Street Journal.