PORTLAND — Rolling Stone magazine founder and editor-in-chief Jann Wenner doesn’t like New York investigative journalist Joe Hagan’s 2017 biography of him. Wenner has dismissed the University of Maine graduate’s unflinching, revealing 2017 portrait of him as “deeply flawed and tawdry.”
Hagan, whose biography “Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine” (Alfred A. Knopf) has been highly praised by critics ranging from The New York Times’ Janet Maslin to The Atlantic magazine.
Hagan will return to Maine, where he will be interviewed by the Portland Press Herald’s music writer Aimsel Ponti at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Print: A Bookstore at 273 Congress St. in Portland. The Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance is co-hosting the event.
“You need not have the slightest interest in Wenner, his magazine or even the music it celebrated to find this a terrifically astute work of pop-cultural history,” Maslin wrote. “Hagan chronicles the 50-year arc of longhairs turned climbers turned power brokers, and he does it with insight and flair. A great read, mixing wall-to-wall dish with long-view acuity.”
Hagan, who interned at Rolling Stone early in his career, is a contributing editor at New York magazine. He was a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where he was part of the team that covered the Valerie Plame CIA-leak case. He spent the preceding years as a columnist for The New York Observer, working under legendary editor Peter W. Kaplan.
Hagan has profiled public figures such as Henry Kissinger, Karl Rove, Bill Maher, Dan Rather, Tom Freston and Katie Couric.