Alternative music / politics magazine 1969-71

After the establishment of their new teen-oriented fanzine Gas, in late 1968, the next major addition to the Go-Set micro-empire was the creation of a third magazine intended to satisfy founding editor Phillip Frazer's need to create a more politically-oriented publication, informed by overseas developments like Oz, IT and particularly Jann Wenner's Rolling Stone.

Revolution was a radical underground paper modeled on overseas publications like Rolling Stone, International Times and the LA Free Press. It also covered 'alternative' and underground music that was considered to be outside the range of interests of the average Go-Set reader. It was edited by Frazer and closely represented his own views on what such a paper should be.

Revolution at first incorporated an 'Australian' edition of Rolling Stone as a magazine supplement under licence from the American parent publication. That changed in late 1970 after Jann Wenner, editor and publisher of American Rolling Stone, published his legendary interview with ex-Beatle John Lennon, who with his wife Yoko Ono was then trying get residency in the US.

A turning point in rock journalism, the Lennon Rolling Stone interview is arguably the most famous, important and controversial "star" interview of the twentieth century. Lennon spoke with unparalleled candour, intent on bursting the bubble of myth that had surrounded The Beatles. He talked frankly about his tragic family background, his troubled youth, his turbulent relationships with women, with the other Beatles and with manager Brian Epstein, and his wild experiences on the road -- the booze, the groupies and the drugs.

The Lennon interview was eventually published in Go-Set over a five-week period in January and February 1971. One interesting feature of the interview was its length. Prior to its publication, Go-Set articles were rarely more than one page in length but after the Lennon Interview Go-Set started printing articles of two to three pages. In 1972 Revolution mutated into Australian Rolling Stone. Go-Set continued its transition from teen-pop magazine to serious rock music journal.


Go-Set: Life and Death of an Australian Pop Magazine
David M. Kent