A Conversation with Jann Wenner
Chris Boskin Deans’ Speaker Series
On January 24, at the University of California at Berkeley, at the ziggurat-like Haas School of Business, for an event co-sponsored by the School of Journalism, I took part in a conversation with Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone. We first met at Cal in early 1964, about six months before the Free Speech Movement turned everyone's life upside down. Here's a video of our talk. The best of it comes during the Q&A at the end. Outside of Jarett Kobek's novel I Hate the Internet, more reasoned or vehement denunciation of the internet and the rule of law you won't have heard.
I picked up the conservative vibe in the Hagan book and, to be honest, kind of assumed it reflected the political drift of Wenner over the years/decades as the stature of RS got bigger and more mainstream. Glad to learn I was largely mistaken and Wenner is still waving the '60s freak flag.
Very enjoyable and enlightening presentation. Nice to see that you've bounced back and are able to do what you want to do. I really liked your anecdote about your cousin who "just wanted to go to business school". It was funny and really made the situation/time personal and real and relatable. I felt bad for him...his more mundane/pragmatic aspirations were being thwarted at every turn, and I guess people should be able to be pursue those, as well as the loftier, more philosophical interests. It made me think of the "plastics" scene from the Graduate. Your story about the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" 1978 remake was fun too, and again, just nailed the attitude and feel of the time. For me, those were the two highlights of the event. Very good work and thanks for making it available. Thanks, Peter