Courses and Workshops

Brand New Beat: Rolling Stone Magazine and the San Francisco Counterculture, 1967-77

Peter Richardson
Tuesday, Jun. 4, 2024, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM (PT)
Repeats every Tuesday until Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2024
Price: $155.00
15 slots available

covers of old Rolling Stone magazines

As unlikely as it seemed in 1967, Rolling Stone magazine was recently described as “the journalistic voice of its generation.” How did an undercapitalized West Coast rock publication, edited by a 21-year-old college dropout, become one of the most important magazines of the 1970s? Rolling Stone served up a generous portion of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll to one of the most prominent demographics in recent American history, but the magazine had no monopoly on those topics, and they don’t explain its extraordinary success. What else distinguished the San Francisco upstart from its competitors in a crowded media marketplace?

Guest speakers include Rolling Stone legends:

  • Greil Marcus — considered one of the greatest rock critics of all time and author of many bestselling books
  • Ben Fong-Torres — conducted many of the publication's famous rock star interviews, from Bob Dylan to Paul McCartney
  • David Weir — investigative journalist who co-wrote the award-winning Patty Hearst story; co-founder of the Center for Investigative Reporting

Faculty Bio

Peter Richardson has written critically acclaimed books about Hunter S. Thompson, the Grateful Dead, Ramparts magazine, and radical author/editor Carey McWilliams. A longtime lecturer at San Francisco State University, Richardson has also written for The Nation, The New Republic, Los Angeles Times Book Review, and San Francisco Chronicle.


This is an In-Person, Livestreamed + Recorded Course

  • Classes meet in person at the Golden Bear Center, Suite 202/204, at 1995 University Ave., Berkeley
  • Classes will also stream live simultaneously, and be video recorded
  • You must be a current OLLI @Berkeley member to register. Learn about membership, including our fee assistance program

Schedule Highlights

  • Course starts on Tuesday, June 4, and ends on Tuesday, June 25
  • Classes meet for 4 weeks, 2 hours per session (1–3 PM)
  • Videos will post on Fridays in Member Dashboards
  • All course materials, including videos, will remain available to view and enjoy through Aug. 31

Faculty Q&A