He Got His Picture on the Cover of the Rolling Stone


Dr. Hook, take a seat. In yet another surprise endorsement, Jann Wenner's fanzine has decided to pull the lever for John Kerry.

Why? For reasons that are debateable (right up to the point where Kerry is invoked in positive terms), but mostly, I suspect, because it provides a golden opportunity to reference the Who and feign disappointment not simply in Bush but in what that man has done to the very sanctity of the office he occupies like some conquering Army somewhere:

How often do we have to be fooled to say, "We won't get fooled again"? A so-called renewal of Head Start ends up draining its funding. The "Healthy Forests Initiative" opens up Western lands and forests for more clear-cutting and mining. "No Child Left Behind" turns out to be severely underfunded. The "Clear Skies" policy is, in fact, a back door for more air pollution. The "middle-class tax cut" is primarily for the top two percent. Medicare reform bans drugs imported from Canada and bulk purchasing to lower drug prices while putting billions into the pockets of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

It's like WMD. Haven't we been hoodwinked enough? Haven't we learned our lesson? It is hard to accept the idea that our president has misled us. It is against everything that we have been taught about the presidency and against what we most dearly want to believe. But the facts leave us no other conclusion.

Yeah, what really hurts is the way Bush is, coff, coff, betraying the faith that Rolling Stone really, really, really wanted to have in him and the presidency more generally.

Whole thing here.

The latest ish of RS also boasts a cover interview with JFK Jr., too. (This time around, for the cover shot, Wenner has wisely eschewed the sort of full body shot [complete with rock star package] that made Al Gore look like the Plaster Casters' dreamboat pol.) The Q&A with Kerry–not as odious as the recent one with Bruce Springsteen–is unenlightening in a way that is totally unsurprising: Kerry, unlike Bush, wants Americans to have jobs, a decent education, clean water, the respect of the world, ad nauseaum.

The big revelation comes, as it always does in RS interviews, in the Beatles vs. Stones call-and-response:

Who are your favorite rock & roll artists?

Oh, gosh. I'm, you know, a huge Rolling Stones fan; Beatles fan. One of the most cherished photographs in my life is a picture of me with John Lennon — who I met back in 1971 at an anti-war rally. But I love a lot of different performers.

Do you have a favorite Beatles song — or Stones song?

I love "Satisfaction" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Brown Sugar." I love "Imagine" and "Yesterday."

You're a greatest-hits kind of guy.

My favorite album is Abbey Road. I love "Hey Jude." I also like folk music. I like some classical. I love guitar. Oh, God. I mean, you know — Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Buffett . . .

That subtle but effective putdown–"you're a greatest hits kind of guy"–is the only moment of critical engagement in the interview. But where's the follow up: Who's your favorite Beatle? You say you dig John, but then you mention two songs by Paul–what's up with that? Was George too mystical for you? And why can't you love Ringo?

One hopes that somewhere an unedited version of the transcript, in which Kerry explicates "Mean Mr. Mustard," sings a chorus of "Octopus's Garden," and expounds on whether the Abbey Road cover signifies that Paul Is Dead (here's hoping), will come to light some time during the second Kerry administration.

Whole thing here.