“On 5150, the new Van Halen gambles and wins”: An Issue of Rolling Stone Turns 21

Take our ink-stained hands and join us at the OldStand, where Jon McMillan goes to remind everyone what an honest-to-goodness music magazine is supposed to look like.

A recent weekend in Long Island turned up this now-legal issue of Rolling Stone that dates back to May 22nd, 1986, the spring of Chernobyl, Geraldo opening Al Capone’s vault, and Hands Across America. Of all the “hot” things in this issue — Laura Dern, Mike Tyson, Addams Family Values writer Paul Rudnick, the word “swell,” the Disney Co. — only James Cameron has stayed on top. OK, William Petersen, too, except he went away for a while before CSI turned TBS Spike TV into a one-show TiVO.

rolling stone cover from may 22nd 1986, the hot issue, with michael j fox on the cover

There’s a long interview with Paul Westerberg full of great stories we’ll transcribe if you want, but the most delicious tidbit, in terms of hindsight, is this one:

early news item about Run DMC and Aerosmith recording 'Walk This Way'

After the jump, the table of contents, silly ads, an appliance makes the hot list, and the best charts from May 22nd, 1986, when a plurality mistakenly thought Big Audio Dynamite was making better dance music than Bronski Beat.

table of contents for Rolling Stone issue #474

Wait, “hot appliance”? Yeah, in the original script, Doc Brown’s time machine was a humidifier:
this was the iPhone of 1986


they shot this at The Wiz!  i miss The Wiz.
ted danson and howie mandel- seriously, which one of these guys would you think would end up cashing checks in 2007?
doug flutie, we miss you


top singles and top dance tracks from may 22nd 1986
top videos, courtesy mtv
top 50 albums of may 22nd 1986