Re-The Jann Wenner Autobiography

Yep. It’s primarily a bunch of unconnected vignettes just factually recounted with a one-line commentary. Jan lived an extraordinary life, meeting extraordinary people creating extraordinary experiences and yet the book feels like the disappointing and fragmented memories of a distant passenger in his own life story.

Olivier Chastain


I wish I had read your review before I bought his book. I finally finished it, only reading it when I went to bed before falling asleep. It took weeks! Each story was only a paragraph & disjointed from the previous paragraph. His description of his drug use was particularly offensive. I’m older than Jann but no angel. What a waste of time!

Pan Oliver


You’re absolutely spot on. Never knew he was such a self aggrandizing lordly snob. I did make it about 2/3’s of the way through. Much more to gain and be inspired from with your great interview with Bonnie Raitt. Really well done Bob. Thank you.

John C. Yarmo


Chapter 57 (!) “My City In Ruins” encapsulates everything you said about this book.  Ostensibly about his recollection of being in NYC during 9/11, he sprinkles antidotes about yatching with Jagger and selling 49% of his gossip rag to Eisner before he actually gets down to the point of the chapter. Which only lasts 2 pages and then he’s back to Mick and actually trying to defend his mandated 5 star review of “Goddess In the Doorway”.   The only revealing thing about this book are the lack of revelations.

Iain Taylor


Yes Bob . You’re right.
I felt obligated to read his book. Rolling Stone was my bible growing up.
I felt ripped off when I finished the book.  He seems like a spoiled brat. It’s that simple.
At the same time I’m forever grateful he started Rolling Stone.    Humans, you can’t live with them & you can’t live without them.   Hahahaha

Alan Childs


Should  have been titled “Lucky F…y Me” I Audio booked it the only good thing I got my was my basement cleaned. I had hoped for admittance  to people and bands that there  wrongly maligned through the years.

Lori Baldassi


most bizarre take away is JW thinks the revelation of Yoko needing a wheelchair will be interpreted as a dig?  The woman is 89 years old. She turns 90 in February.

Deb Wilker


Re: The Wenner autobiography. Most people don’t realize that book writing is way different from writing an article, even a long one. A book needs a “controlling idea” that serves as its backbone. And even if a story ladders back to that OK, it still has to pass the “Who cares?” test. This is especially important in memoir because it helps you decide what can (and should) be left out. Otherwise you get, “What I did on my summer vacation” or to your point, a diary, which is what this reads like. BTW, I poked around and the three other books he wrote have other people associated either as authors or “with” someone and they seem better. In the old days, a developmental editor came with the book contract but no more. Now people have to hire someone like me to advocate for the reader and help save the book from wandering off into the desert. —

Helena Bouchez


I’m trying to murk  through it as well. It’s very tough to get in half a chapter at a time.

Jon Scott


You probably heard the Jann Wenner interview on Howard. To a nobody like me, Wenner came off uber-pretentious. Skiing with Springsteen and Sting, being serenaded by Mick Jagger at a bonfire with other musical intelligentsia – who gives a f….. Were they just “hanging out” with Jann because a publicist said a positive RS article would sell another 50,000 copies of their latest album?

FC Thornton
Philly, PA


Bob, I heard him on Howard and had to struggle to stay tuned.  Even Howard couldn’t make this guy interesting and truly he had no ,none, personal insight. Too bad

Cathy Davis


When I heard Jann Wenner was going to be on Howard Stern a couple of weeks ago, I was really looking forward to it.   Howard is generally a solid interviewer and Jann has lived quite an interesting life.  It has to be good, right?  Well, it wasn’t.  It was boring as hell.

Despite the interview, I thought that I might buy the book and give it a chance.  After reading your review, I will take a pass.  Sounds like much of the same drivel he spit out during the interview with Howard.

Thanks, Bob!   You just saved me $20 and (even more importantly) a ton of time.

Bill Waliewski


I heard Jann interviewed on both Marc Maron’s and Joe Rogan’s podcasts. He was able to handle himself ok with Maron, but in talking with Rogan, he appeared small and narrow minded. He was dismissive about any ideas that weren’t his own and just not very impressive at all. I thought he was a lot more intelligent than he is – the mystique he always maintained was a lot more impressive than the real person!

It’s like what they say about meeting your heroes – prepare to be disappointed and I was.

Patrick Whitaker


Hi Bob! I didn’t see it the same way at all. I, too, read RS in my younger days when it was good. I loved the retelling of his life from his POV, the good and the bad. Loved the gossip, the bits about famous people.

Honestly, you sound a bit jealous.

Young people won’t read this, I don’t know why they would want to. There is no trip down memory lane for them. I listened to it on Audible and thoroughly enjoyed stopping and listening to a referenced song on Spotify or Googling a cover to jog my memory.

I hope to read YOUR memoir when it comes out.

Thanks for listening.

Kristine Waldenburg


Wow, that’s the harshest review I’ve read since…

The one of “Led Zeppelin I” in Rolling Stone,” lol!

Mark B. Spiegel

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