In the interview, David Marchese of The Times asked Mr. Wenner, 77, why the book included no women or people of color.
Regarding women, Mr. Wenner said, “Just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level,” and remarked that Joni Mitchell “was not a philosopher of rock ’n’ roll.”
His answer about artists of color was less direct. “Of Black artists — you know, Stevie Wonder, genius, right?” he said. “I suppose when you use a word as broad as ‘masters,’ the fault is using that word. Maybe Marvin Gaye, or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just didn’t articulate at that level.”
Mr. Wenner’s comments drew an immediate reaction, with his quotes mocked on social media and past criticisms unearthed of Rolling Stone’s coverage of female artists under Mr. Wenner. Joe Hagan, who in 2017 wrote a harshly critical biography of Mr. Wenner, “Sticky Fingers,” cited a comment by the feminist critic Ellen Willis, who in 1970 called the magazine “viciously anti-woman.”
Mr. Wenner did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday evening.
Mr. Wenner founded Rolling Stone in 1967 with the music critic Ralph J. Gleason and made it the pre-eminent music magazine of its time, with deep coverage of rock music as well as politics and current events. Much of it was written by stars of the “new journalism” movement of the 1960s and ’70s like Hunter S. Thompson. Mr. Gleason died in 1975.