Gave the boys what they deserve
But with the girls he lost his nerve
Sticky Fingers may sell on the basis of its ample and sometimes ridiculous rock-world lore—Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney eagerly avail themselves for score-settling—but this is all incidental to the book’s grander purposes. Hagan’s most enviable feat is that he makes this harsh history readable not by portraying Wenner as a redeemable figure (there’s no goblin with a heart of gold here), but instead by centralizing the very ambitious women who made Wenner’s path-blazing possible. Wenner’s ballast throughout the founding and rise of Rolling Stone—and his absolute recklessness with it all—is his ex-wife Jane. (I found myself willing to read about Jann’s tawdry tantrums just for more Jane. Decades on, she is still the real draw.) (…)
As the Majesty of Jane becomes the quiet through line of Rolling Stone’s first two decades, the question looms: When do we get a Jane Wenner book? When will we see the lives of rock’s founding women without having them lensed through the lives of the men around them? Early RS editor Harriet Fier’s experience merits its own book. And we need at least a biopic on the five female RS staffers who in the early ’70s regularly held secret meetings to console and support one another—a group of women who, as Hagan reveals, were the de facto editors of Rolling Stone, putting the magazine together while Joe Eszterhas was at the bar.