The Cover of Rolling Stone

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I first heard of Rolling Stone (the magazine) when I heard the song by Dr. Hook in India (who were on the cover in March 1973):

Well, we’re big rock singers
We got golden fingers
And we’re loved everywhere we go (that sounds like us)
We sing about beauty and we sing about truth
At ten-thousand dollars a show (right)
We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrills
But the thrill we’ve never known
Is the thrill that’ll gitcha when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

I arrived in the US in 1986 and so here is what was going on that year on the cover of RS.

January. RS 465. Michael Douglas. RS466. John Cougar Mellencamp.

February. RS 468. Bruce Springsteen.

March. RS 470. Bruce Willis.

April. RS 471. Stevie Wonder.

May. RS 473. Whoopi Goldberg. RS 474. Michael J. Fox.

June. RS 475. Madonna. RS 476. Tom Cruise.

July. RS 477. Van Halen. RS 479. Bob Dylan.

August. RS 480. Jack Nicholson.

September. RS 482. Paul McCartney.

October. RS 485. Tina Turner.

November. RS 486. Billy Joel. RS 487. Huey Lewis.

December. RS 489/490. 1986 Yearbook.

RIP Van Halen

“I never learned how to read music,” he told Rolling Stone in 1995. “I fooled my teacher for six years. He never knew. I’d watch his fingers, and I’d play it.”

His show stopping solo piece from the album, “Eruption,” showcased his finger-tapping technique, which set a new bar for guitar pyrotechnics.

He received patents for three guitar devices he had created. In 2012, Guitar World Magazine ranked him No. 1 on its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

Eleven of the band’s studio albums reached the Top Five, and four snagged the top spot on Billboard’s Top 200. Van Halen amassed eight Billboard Top 20 singles, including its cover of Roy Orbison’s “(Oh) Pretty Woman,” which reached No. 12 in 1982, and “Jump,” which seized the No. 1 spot in 1984 and held it for five weeks. In 2007, the band — including both Mr. Roth and Mr. Hagar — was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

In his 1979 interview, Mr. Van Halen clarified his guiding principle for the band. “All we’re trying to do is put excitement back into rock ’n’ roll,” he said. “A lot of people seem like they forgot what rock ’n’ roll is about. We’re very energetic. We get up there and blaze.”


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