Tag Archives: Rolling Stone

Stephen King On His New Horror Novel, The ‘Nightmare’ of Trump, And Stranger Things

Donald Trump was still months away from being elected president when Stephen King began writing his new novel. But The Institute — out September 10th and centered on a 12-year-old boy stolen from his parents in the night and locked up in a mysterious facility — is likely to remind readers of certain immigration policies. “I can’t help but see similarity between what’s going on in The Institute and those pictures of kids in cages,” says King. “Sometimes fiction outpaces fact.”

This isn’t the first time a King book predicted the political future: His 1979 book The Dead Zone was about a Trump-like aspiring president threatening global apocalypse if he took office. “Fiction has foreseen Trump before,” says King, “always as a nightmare. Now, the nightmare is here. But I don’t want to force my worldview on people. I’m not George Orwell, and this book isn’t 1984. It wasn’t meant to be an allegory.”

King is calling in from his house in Maine, just a couple of weeks after traveling to Foxborough, Massachusetts, to see his first-ever Rolling Stones concert. (“Keith looked a little tentative and just putting in the time at first, but then he caught fire.”) He’s still reveling in the surge of interest in his work that followed 2017’s It, now the highest-grossing horror movie ever. “I think a lot of kids watched the [1990] It miniseries with Tim Curry, and it scared the living shit right out of them,” King says. “They couldn’t wait to go back and see it again.”

Like IT, The Institute is about a group of children who band together to battle an unspeakably evil force. The twist this time is that they all have telekinetic or psychic powers and the adults who run the facility force them to undergo medical experiments. “I wanted to write a book like Tom Brown’s School Days,” King says, referencing the 1857 Thomas Hughes children’s classic about a British boarding school. “But in hell.”

A book about ­clairvoyant kids battling a shadow organization will surely draw comparisons to Stranger Things. Which was, of course, heavily inspired by Stephen King books. “I like [Stranger Things] a lot, but it does owe something to It,” the ­author says. “That’s another book about kids who are weak and helpless by themselves — but together can make something that is very strong.” 

Long before Stranger Things and even It, children with supernatural powers were at the center of King books like Carrie, The Shining, and Firestarter. “Like a pitcher that has a great fastball or slider, you go back to what worked for you before,” says King. “I do think that kids are sort of magic. When I was a young man, I could draw [inspiration] from my own kids. Now that I’m so much older, I am drawing from my grandchildren and what I see them doing and how I see them interacting.”

The Institute could be the next King project to be ­adapted by Hollywood, joining The Stand (CBS All Access), The Outsider (HBO), and Lisey’s Story (Apple TV+) — plus the seven movies he has in development. King has script ­approval on all of them. “The scripts have to work,” he says. “They can’t have 19 pages of flashbacks to when the characters were kids. I want the pedal to the metal as much of the time as possible.”

The film adaptation of King’s 2013 The Shining sequel, Dr. Sleep, comes out November 8th and features Ewan McGregor playing an adult Danny Torrance. Though King has always hated Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of his book for changing so much of the story, he allowed the Dr. Sleep filmmakers to use elements of Kubrick’s version. “My problem with Kubrick’s film was that it’s so cold,” King says. “The reason I didn’t have any problem with this script is they took some of Kubrick’s material and warmed it up.”

King’s next book, If It Bleeds, is due out sometime in 2020. It’s a continuation of his ongoing Holly Gibney detective series. “I have to do a polish on that,” he says. “But it’s basically done.” He’s already jamming away on the one after that (though he’s not ready to divulge any details) and the sudden surge of interest in his work has been a great motivator to keep going. “I’m 71 years old,” he says, “and a lot of people my age are forgotten and I’ve had this late season burst of success. It’s very gratifying.”

Naturally, retirement remains the last thing on his mind. “That’s God’s decision, not mine,” he says. But I’ll know when it’s time. I’ll either collapse at my desk or the ideas will run out — the thing you don’t want to do is embarrass yourself. As long as I feel like I’m still doing good work, I can’t see myself stopping.”

Reprinted from Rolling Stone

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Rolling Stone Cover Story: The Softer Side of Howard Stern

After years of psy­cho­therapy, the King of All Media looks back, repents, and rescues a few kittens…

Howard stern hasn’t released a book in 24 years. Back in those days, he was a guy who didn’t think twice about calling Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig”; using a giant, rotting fish as a mallet to spank a naked woman on the air; or viciously mocking a member of his “Wack Pack” with Down syndrome he’d dubbed “Gary the Retard.” On the cover of the book Miss America, he dressed as a drag queen, and inside he offered detailed accounts of his private cybersex sessions with fans.

The Howard Stern of 2019 — who spends his free time fostering rescue cats or painting watercolors — can only shudder when that book and its 1993 predecessor, Private Parts, comes up. “If I read them, I’d want to jump out a window,” he says. “I haven’t picked them up in years. They are snapshots of who I was back then, and I want to take that guy and shake him. I was a selfish prick. I can just see that quote in Rolling Stone, ‘I was a selfish prick.’ But it’s true.”

It’s before 8 a.m. on a Thursday in mid-April, and Stern is usually at his Hamptons home or Palm Beach estate by now, since he broadcasts Mondays through Wednesdays only. But he’s come into his SiriusXM studio in New York for a rare extended interview timed to the release of his new book, Howard Stern Comes Again, a compendium of his best interviews with the likes of Lady Gaga, Stephen Colbert, Gwyneth Paltrow and other A-listers.

Stern is now friends with ex-antagonists like O’Donnell. Gary is almost never seen; when he is, Stern lovingly calls him “Gary the Conquerer.” “Retard” has vanished from Stern’s vocabulary, along with bits that demean women or minorities. He vacations with friends like Jimmy Kimmel and Jennifer Aniston, and goes to parties with Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin and others he used to torment.

To Stern die-hards, this is blasphemy — the equivalent of Johnny Rotten singing Pat Boone songs. Superfans gather each day on the Howard Stern subreddit to blast their former hero, calling him “Hollywood Howie” or “PC Howie” and arguing over when they stopped listening. (Oddly enough, they all seem tuned in to current show developments.) But as Stern settles onto the studio couch usually reserved for show guests, he says he doesn’t care about the Reddit crew. As he reveals in his new book, he recently had two cancer scares. First, he almost underwent chemotherapy when his white-blood-cell count was off the charts, but discovered at the last moment that he was suffering from mercury poisoning from eating too much fish. Then, in a hypochondriac’s nightmare scenario, he got a full-body scan and doctors saw a spot on his kidney. They said there was a 95 percent chance it was cancer, and he had major surgery, only to wake up and learn it was a cyst that had burst.

In the book, he also says that after many years of psychotherapy he has come to terms with his narcissism. He says he no longer has any desire to humiliate or insult guests to score ratings. In an era when former heavyweights like Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer have been pushed out of the industry due to their treatment of women, it’s no small irony that Stern’s couch is now where some of the biggest names in the industry go for in-depth interviews. It’s the sort of third-act surprise that few people would have ever predicted for the guy formerly known as Fartman.

Read the full Rolling Stone interview HERE.

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Billy Joel On Turning 70, Donald Trump & Why He Writes Music Just For Himself Now

Billy Joel hasn’t released an album of new pop songs since 1993, but that hasn’t stopped him from selling out Madison Square Garden every month for the past five years and packing baseball stadiums across the country each summer. “I’ve gone onstage and said, ‘I don’t have anything new for you, so we’re just going to play the old shit,’ ” Joel says on the phone from his house in Palm Beach, Florida. “And the audience goes, ‘Yeah!’ I’ll be sitting in the stadium looking out at 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 people, thinking, ‘What the hell are they all doing here? Why now?’ I guess, in a way, I’m an anachronism. There aren’t that many of me left. There’s a rarity to it, which gives it value.”

Read more from Billy’s interview with Rolling Stone.

Listen to Billy’s new playlist, “Live Through The Years,” and stream rare live performances for the first time ever!

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Zoë Kravitz Recreates Lisa Bonet’s Iconic Rolling Stone Cover

Zoë Kravitz’s new Rolling Stone cover has a heartwarming backstory. The 29-year-old actress recreated a shoot that her mom, actress Lisa Bonet, did for the magazine while two months pregnant with Kravitz. 

30 years after mother Lisa’s iconic Rolling Stone cover, where she wore a white shirt and nothing else, Kravitz recreated the pose for the magazine’s November “Hot” issue.

Read the cover story HERE.

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ELO’s Jeff Lynne: My Life In 15 Songs

Even during the height of Electric Light Orchestra’s hit-making days in the late 1970s, only the most devoted rock fans knew the name Jeff Lynne. “I never pushed myself forward,” he says on the phone from his home in Los Angeles. “I could have gotten a big head, but it just wasn’t in my nature. All I wanted was studio time and more studio time and even more studio time.”

When a shifting musical climate in the 1980s made ELO seem like dinosaurs, Lynne became a producer and within the course of less than two years crafted comeback albums for George Harrison, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison before pulling all of them together, along with Bob Dylan, into the short-lived supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. “It was a marvelous time,” says Lynne. “I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I should have been doing this years ago.’”

But after 30 years of working almost exclusively behind the scenes, Lynne accepted an offer to revive Electric Light Orchestra for a massive show in London’s Hyde Park in the summer of 2014. He was a jumble of nerves when he walked onto the stage and faced 50,000 fans. “I felt such relief that all these people were there, screaming and clapping to every song,” he says. “It made me feel really good. I had so much fun doing it, I decided to come back and do a new album.”

Read more HERE.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Rolling Stone Cover Story 

Rolling Stone’s latest issue reveals untold secrets of the next chapter in the Luke Skywalker saga, including some facts fans probably didn’t see coming.

As director Rian Johnson put it, “I shook the box up a little bit.”

The cast and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi discuss the story’s secrets, a disaffected Skywalker and a death in the family. Read more HERE.

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The Last Word: Billy Joel on Self-Doubt, Trump & Finally Becoming Cool

When Billy Joel wrote “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)” in the mid-Seventies, he had no idea he’d still be playing stadiums the year that song was set. But despite releasing no new music since 1993, he has been seeing bigger crowds every year since he returned to the road in 2013 after a long break to recover from hip surgery.

“There’s a whole new thing going on,” says Joel, who this summer has sold out stadiums in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia for the fourth year in a row. “There’s offers coming in from everywhere. It’s like, ‘Is everybody else quitting?'”

Joel shares what he’s learned throughout his 50-year career – including why he encourages musical mistakes and why he’s not as depressed as everyone thinks.

Read the Rolling Stone interview HERE.

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The 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time

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There’s never been a creative boom for TV like the one we are living through right now. Ever since The Sopranos changed the game at the turn of the century, we’ve been in a gold rush that gives no signs of slowing down. What better moment to look back and celebrate the greatest shows in the history of the art form?

So Rolling Stone Magazine undertook a major poll – actors, writers, producers, critics, showrunners. Legends like Carl Reiner and Garry Marshall, who sent us his ballot shortly before his death this summer. All shows from all eras were eligible; anybody could vote for whatever they felt passionate about, from the black-and-white rabbit-ears years to the binge-watching peak-TV era. The ratings didn’t matter – only quality. The voters have spoken – and, damn, did they have some fierce opinions. On this list you’ll find vintage classics and new favorites, ambitious psychodramas and stoner comedies, underrated cult gems ripe for rediscovery, cops and cartoons and vampire slayers. You’ll find the groundbreaking creations of yesteryear as well as today’s innovators. (There was nothing like Transparent or Orange Is the New Black or Game of Thrones a few years ago, but who could imagine this list without them?) The list is guaranteed to start plenty of loud arguments – but the beauty of TV is how it keeps giving us so much to argue about.

Check out the list HERE.

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The Last Word: Stephen King

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Stephen King’s newest novel End of Watch (which arrived in bookstores earlier this month) is the concluding chapter in his Mr. Mercedes trilogy, centered around a demented killer and the retired police officer obsessed with tracking him down.

The author spoke to Rolling Stone about his new book, his views on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the inspiration behind his next work and his favorite Dr. Seuss book.

Read the interview HERE.

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Stephen King Discusses The Dark Tower Movie With Rolling Stone

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“I think that it’s more likely than not that Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey will be in it,” says the author about long-awaited adaptation

Rumors of a big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower saga have circulated for years, with everyone from Javier Bardem to Russell Crowe attached to the ambitious project. Most recently, Idris Elba has been said to be in the running for the lead role of Gunslinger Roland Deschain, with Matthew McConaughey as the mysterious Man In Black. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, King says there there might actually be real progress on the project. “It looks to me like it’s more likely than not it’ll happen at this point,” he says. “Let’s put it that way.”

Even better: The latest casting rumors appear to be correct. “I think that it’s more likely than not that Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey will be in it,” King says. “But I can’t say with any certainty. I know that they’re trying to make deals with these actors [and] with Sony, and that’s the extent of my knowledge.” In the past, plans for The Dark Tower have included a series of movies connected by a televised mini series, though its unclear if they’re still going with that approach.

Read more HERE.

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