Unless we prove in the next days that Paul McCartney actually died in 1967 and was replaced by a doppelganger, Rolling Stone's most memorable story will be Michael Hastings' stunning profile of General Stanley McChrystal. Before the piece even hit stands Obama called McChrystal back to America and fired him for his inflammatory comments in the piece. Rarely has a magazine article ever had such an immediate and dramatic effect on world affairs.
It wasn't our only scoop in 2010, though. During the last 12 months we unearthed John Lennnon's final print interview, examined the true motives of the Tea Party, chatted with Lady Gaga about her new album and visited Conan O'Brien has he prepared his new TBS talk show. Here's a look back at 10 great Rolling Stone stories from 2010.
1. The Runaway General
Re-reading the story six months later it's hard to pick out a favorite detail. The unnamed top advisor called Vice President Biden "Bite Me" generated lots of press, as did the fact that a "member of the general's team" grumbled when he got an e-mail from the late Richard Holbrooke. "Not another e-mail from Holbrooke," he groans. "I don't want to open it." Responds another aide, "Make sure you you don't get any of that [e-mail] on your leg." In the end the most memorable details are the little things, like the fact that McChrystal's favorite drink is Bud Light Lime and his favorite movie is Talladega Nights.
2. Billy Corgan
When Billy Corgan sat down with Rolling Stone earlier this year he had a lot on his mind. While the press cared about little beyond his supposed relationship with Jessica Simpson, he was eager to assert his place as an overlooked musical genius and settle old scores. "Do I belong in the conversation about the best artists in the world? My answer is yes, I do," he said. "I've been too productive for too long, and despite what anybody wants to strip away from me, I am influential. I am. You can hear echoes of my music right now. So all the Pitchforks in the world can try to strip me of every ounce of dignity, but I belong." He also described former bandmates James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin and D'Arcy Wretzky as "two drug addicts and one guy who hated me, and I hated him."
3. Exile on Main Street
When The Rolling Stones released Exile On Main St. in 1972 it was seen as a disappointing follow-up to the hit-packed Sticky Fingers. In the four decades since it's become widely acknowledged as their finest work. To commemorate its recent re-release as part of a massive box set David Gates sat down with the bands to relive their wild days on exile in the South of France. "It was a strange atmosphere," Keith Richards recalls about recording the album in the basement of a mansion. "It was very, very murky — and dusty. It wasn't a great environment for, like, breathing. Mick Taylor and I would just peer through the murk at each other and say, 'OK, what key is it in?' It was very Hitleresque — the last days of Berlin sort of thing."
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