Rolling Stone

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Rolling Stone
description Music magazine
language English
publishing company Penske Media Corporation ( United States )
Headquarters San Francisco , California
First edition November 9, 1967
Frequency of publication per month
Sold edition 556,296 copies
( AAM 2019 )
Editor-in-chief Jason Fine
Web link
ISSN (print)

The Rolling Stone is a magazine focusing on pop culture and rock music .

In the United States

The Rolling Stone was in 1967 San Francisco by Jann S. Wenner and Ralph J. Gleason founded. The name goes back to Bob Dylan's song Like a Rolling Stone and an article of the same name by Gleasons in American Scholar magazine . Gleason's article was about the tremendous changes in music and politics in the 1960s. The Rolling Stone business in the coming years successfully the New Journalism . His style-forming authors include Hunter S. Thompson , Lester Bangs and Cameron Crowe .

The Rolling Stone has always been more than just a music magazine. For example, an article that led to the dismissal of Stanley A. McChrystal , US commander in chief in Afghanistan , received international attention . The National Magazine Awards won by Rolling Stone in 2004 for the 14th time.

The Rolling Stone was especially known for its cover pictures . Nude photos of John Lennon with Yoko Ono in 1970 and of young David Cassidy in 1972 caused a sensation. The Rolling Stone cover picture had become so significant that Shel Silverstein's band Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show made it into the top ten with an ironic song about it and then on the cover picture. In the years that followed, the photographic quality set standards through the work of Annie Leibovitz . The photographers Albert Watson, Herb Ritts, Anton Corbijn and Mark Seliger also shaped the aesthetics of Rolling Stone .

In 1997, the magazine received the Type Directors Club New York's top award for its typographic design , the Type Directors Club Medal , which is only awarded to people and institutions that have made an exceptional contribution to the development of typography.

The Rolling Stone is not numbered separately according to year, but consecutively since it was founded. The Rolling Stone no. 1000 was published on 18 May 2006.

For more than 30 years until October 2008, Rolling Stone had an unusual newspaper format around 30 cm high and 25 cm wide.

In 2015, the paper came under fire for the November 2014 revelatory story A Rape on Campus (rape on the campus of the University of Virginia ). As a result, Rolling Stone had to withdraw the poorly researched allegations and was sued by the character murder victims for US $ 25 million in damages. The lawsuit was settled in 2017 after Rolling Stone agreed to pay $ 1.65 million.

In December 2017, Penske Media Corporation acquired a 51 percent stake in the magazine from Jann Wenner and in January 2019 the remaining 49 percent of the shares in BandLab Technologies.

German edition

Rolling Stone
description Music magazine
language German
publishing company Axel Springer Mediahouse Berlin GmbH ( Germany )
Headquarters Berlin
First edition 1994
Frequency of publication per month
Sold edition 52,114 copies
( IVW  Q4 / 2018)
Editor-in-chief Sebastian Zabel
Web link
ISSN (print)

After a short-lived attempt from 1981 with Klaus Böhler as publisher and Frank Steffan as editor-in-chief, the magazine was established on the market with the second attempt in October 1994. It was originally published by DRS-Verlag, which was specially founded for this purpose, the publisher was the concert organizer Werner Kuhls, the editors-in-chief were Jörg Gülden and Bernd Gockel . The freelancers were already known from other publications. Arne Willander, who has been part of the editorial team since the first edition, shaped the style of the German edition. One of the editors in the early days was the later writer Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre . In 2002, due to disagreements between the parent and DRS publishers, the licensed edition was awarded to AS Young Mediahouse, a subsidiary of Axel Springer Verlag . It appears there with the former competitor Musikexpress , and an impending cartel lawsuit has been averted. Since the editorial team moved from Munich to Berlin in 2010, the magazine has been published by Axel Springer Mediahouse Berlin. Editor-in-chief initially remained Bernd Gockel, who was already the sole editor-in-chief before the change of publishing house and after Jörg Gülden left. He was followed by Rainer Schmidt in 2010 . It's been Sebastian Zabel since 2012.

In the fall of 2008, Rolling Stone and the US alternative country band Lambchop from Nashville , Tennessee, took an unusual route to market their new album OH (ohio) . The CD, including the plastic cover and booklet, was included with the October issue of the magazine, the price of which was only slightly increased. In the summer of 2010 (issue 260) the magazine included the new Prince album 20Ten (which was otherwise not available in stores) and, for subscribers, the concert DVD Prince - Sign O 'the Times . Since 2011, Rolling Stone has been adding exclusive vinyl singles to its editions at irregular intervals, for example previously unreleased versions of Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones (edition 06/2015), Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan (11/2015) or In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins (07/2019).

20th anniversary

In 2014, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the German edition of the magazine, Rolling Stone organized an exhibition with the best cover pictures in the nhow Hotel Berlin from October 23 to December 28, 2014. These were selected by the editorial team from the more than 200 covers published to date and some of them were determined by online voting. In addition, a book with the best contributions from 20 years of Rolling Stone was published by Metrolit-Verlag.


  • 1996: Echo for the Rolling Stone editorial team (Jörg Gülden / Bernd Gockel)
  • 2015: Rocco Clein Prize for the outstanding cover design of Rolling Stone


The Rolling Stone has lost a lot of its circulation in recent years . The sold circulation fell from 109,160 copies in the first quarter of 1998 to 52,114 copies in the fourth quarter of 2018. A decrease of 52.3 percent. Since then, the circulation figures are no longer reported to the IVW .

Development of the number of copies sold
Development of the number of subscribers

Rolling Stone leaderboards


  • Robert Draper: Rolling Stone Magazine - The Uncensored History . Doubleday, New York 1990.
  • Robert Love (Ed.): The Best of Rolling Stone - 25 years of journalism on the edge . Doubleday, New York 1993.
  • Arne Willander: 1967, 1994. How it all started. In: Rolling Stone , 232, February 2014, p. 7
  • Fred Woodward: Rolling Stone - The Complete Covers 1967-1997 . Abrams, New York 1998.
  • Robert Buckley: Rolling Stone - 1000 Cover . Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-89602-736-0 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Jason Fine. In: Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 15, 2019 (American English).
  2. The Origins of Rolling Stone . In: The Daily Californian . August 20, 2007. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  3. Rolling Stone Turns a Prosperous 20 . In: New York Times . August 23, 1987. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  4. ^ Ralph J. Gleason: Like a Rolling Stone . In: Jann Wenner . Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  5. ^ Rolling Stone Magazine: The Uncensored History Review . In: Entertainment Weekly . June 8, 1990. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  6. A Magazine back on a roll . In: New York Times . June 27, 2010. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  7. With the magazine loaded . In: Spiegel Online . June 24, 2010. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  8. ^ Rolling Stone's Biggest Scoops, Exposés and Controversies . In: Wenner Media . Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  9. ^ Rolling Stone magazine switching to rack-friendly size . In: New York Times . August 11, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  11. Jay Penske Gobbles Up the Remaining 49 Percent of Rolling Stone, January 31, 2019
  12. The Stone rolls in German . In: Der Spiegel . No. 49 , 1981 ( online ).
  13. rolling stone german edition.
  14. newsticker. ( Memento from October 5, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Süddeutsche Zeitung
  15. 20 years of Rolling Stone in German. In: .
  16. Rolling Stone
  17. according to IVW , fourth quarter in each case ( details on )
  18. according to IVW , fourth quarter in each case ( details on )