MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL -- Fong-Torres, now 76, was already steeped in the counterculture and youth activism when he came to Rolling Stone in 1968 after a baptism of fire in journalism as an editor and reporter for the San Francisco State University newspaper, the Daily Gater. In the turbulence of the ’60s, the campus was roiled by anti-Vietnam War protests, civil rights marches, Black Panthers, clashes with police, dope-smoking hippies and lots of shows by visiting rock bands.
“It was a short bridge from one oasis to another,” he shares in a phone interview. “And that’s how we felt. We were on an island of freedom, able to write our own rules based on the tenets of journalism and role models that Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone’s co-founder and publisher) developed.”