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Covers of the Rolling Stone @ Pine Rivers Heritage Museum

Home > Brisbane > Music | Photography | Museums | Free | Exhibitions
by Chrystal Byrne (subscribe)
Freelance writer living on Brisbane's north side. Studied creative industries - currently studying library and information services.
Event: -
Iconic Rolling Stone covers from 1972 - 2010
The Rolling Stone has a certain music heritage, a royalty that bands and musicians alike strive to become a part of. To grace the pages of the Rolling Stone means you've been noticed, something about you or your music is worth preserving. To make the cover of the Rolling Stone, well then you've made it. Madonna, Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Manson, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Nirvana; if they're big in music then they've been on the cover of the Rolling Stone.

On Friday the 7th of September, four decades of music and entertainment history as seen on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine debuted at the Pine Rivers Heritage Museum. Running until November 18, the Pine Rivers Heritage Museum is presenting a collection of 150 iconic front covers of Rolling Stone magazine. The covers, from 1972 – 2010, are sure to take any muso on a trip down memory lane.

Moreton Bay Regional Council's Lifestyle and Amenities spokesperson and Division Four Councillor, Julie Greer, said, "It's a tribute to the influence of Rolling Stone and its unrivalled recording of and contribution to pop, rock and alternative music and entertainment culture spanning beyond the MTV generation, the MP3 and digital downloads" (Moreton Bay Regional Council).

Covers of the Rolling Stone @ Pine Rivers Heritage Museum
Covers of the Rolling Stone @ Pine Rivers Heritage Museum

Rolling Stone magazine was first launched in 1967 (in San Francisco, America) by young entrepreneurial Jann Wenner. The Rolling Stone has always been a cutting-edge magazine dedicated to music, politics and popular culture and many of its covers have come to define an era, not just in terms of the cover stars, but through brilliant design, photography, illustration and typography.

Rolling Stones' covers and content have always generated controversy and discussion. On November the 23rd, 1968, the 22nd issue of the magazine featured a naked John Lennon and Yoko Ono on its cover. Although this cover is possibly one of the Rolling Stones' most iconic (it is credited as being the pioneer of cover-nudity), it was so controversial at the time that many companies refused to distribute it and one vender was arrested for doing so. It is interesting to note that this edition of the magazine was also the first to sell out.

The inspiration for the magazine's title differs depending on the source. "Some claim it was taken from the Muddy Waters song, 'Rollin' Stones (Catfish Blues)' released in 1950, others say it was from Bob Dylan's famous song 'Like a Rolling Stone' of 1965, and another version has it drawn from the band the Rolling Stones (who themselves were named after the Muddy Waters song)" (Rolling Stone the Covers 1972 – 2010).

That iconic Rolling Stone cover.
That iconic Rolling Stone cover. Issue 22, published November 23, 1968. John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

The exhibit, Rolling Stones: the covers 1972 – 2010, at the Pine Rivers Heritage Museum, is an Artisan travelling exhibition curated by Kirsten Fitzpatrick. It's a one-roomed wall-to-wall display much like that of an art gallery, telling the story of the Rolling Stone from start to finish in a clock-wise motion. With the likes of Midnight Oil's 1987 hit, 'Beds are Burning' and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' 2000 single, 'Californication' playing on a projector, viewers will move circularly around the room to observe the magazine's narrative and 150 covers presented, from the 1970s to the 2000s.

Here's a list of some of the covers being presented in the exhibit:

The 70s:
The Sex Pistols
Mick Jagger
Elvis Presley
Robin Williams
Janis Joplin
Star Wars: A New Hope
• Patti Smith

The 80s:
• Boy George
• E.T.
• Madonna
• Darth Vader
• John Lennon and Yoko Ono
• David Bowie
• Jim Morrison

The 90s:
• Nirvana
• Smashing Pumpkins
• Silverchair
• Marilyn Manson
• Garbage
• Oasis

The 2000s:
• Kurt Cobain
• Ali G
• Bart Simpson
• Lady Gaga
• Katy Perry
• Miranda Kerr
• Jimi Hendrix

Rolling Stone covers
Lady Gaga, Nirvana and Marilyn Manson on the Rolling Stone

The key premise for me, as I worked my way around the room, was the direct correlation between the figures on the covers of the Rolling Stone and the era/s that they appeared in. Personally I think that the most obvious example of this is in viewing the covers from the 1990s. Nirvana, Courtney Love, the Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, No Doubt, the Red Hot Chili Peppers; these covers epitomise the music and sub-cultures of the 90s: Grunge and Alternative. The 1980s cover featuring E.T. from the 1982 Steven Spielberg film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (often referred to simply as E.T.), demonstrates the movie's importance within that particular era, and indeed, E.T. became the highest-grossing film of all time, a record it held for ten years.

Rolling Stone: the covers 1972 – 2010 is an exhibit worth visiting. Immerse yourself in the history of one of the world's most influential magazines and observe key figures in the eras gone by.

The Pine Rivers Heritage Museum can be found within Old Petrie Town, Whiteside, on Dayboro Road. Opening times are:
• Wednesday to Friday: 10.00am - 3.00pm
• Saturdays: 10.00am - 2.00pm
• Sundays (October to March): 9.00am - 2.00pm
• Sundays (April to September): 10.00am - 3.00pm
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Why? Because you want to check out some music history.
When: Check daily opening and closing times.
Phone: (07) 3285 7213
Where: Pine Rivers Heritage Museum, Old Petrie Town, Dayboro Road, Whiteside, QLD.
Cost: Free.
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