“No title on the door, but my boss, Steve Allen, says I am his ‘vice president of left fielders,’ ” Mr. Hopkins wrote in The Los Angeles Free Press in 1966, referring to the oddball people he booked for the show. He recalled that one of them, the future rock star Frank Zappa, pitched his talent to him by saying, “I play musical bicycle” and “I want to teach Steve how to blow bicycle.” For a segment in 1963, Mr. Zappa played the bike.
In 1966, Mr. Hopkins and a partner opened Headquarters, a shop that sold drug paraphernalia, in the Westwood section of Los Angeles. He was also writing freelance articles for various publications, and in 1967 he responded to an ad in an early issue of Rolling Stone asking for submissions of music reviews. He sent in his review of a Doors performance at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, and the magazine ran it. Full-time work there soon followed, and in 1972 he became the magazine’s London correspondent.
In his roughly 20 years at Rolling Stone, he wrote about Presley in Las Vegas, apartheid in South Africa and Dr. Arthur Janov’s primal scream therapy. His interview subjects included Keith Moon, the notoriously hard-living drummer of the Who, who recalled destroying a Holiday Inn room in Saskatchewan: “I took out me hatchet and chopped the hotel room to bits. The television. The chairs. The dresser. The cupboard doors. The bed. The lot of it.”
Jann Wenner, the co-founder of Rolling Stone, said in a telephone interview: “Jerry was part of the founding generation, he’s one of the founding fathers, and he loved that. He was like a utility infielder — he could do anything.”
Mr. Hopkins moved to Hawaii in 1976 and to Thailand in 1993. In his later years he explored Asian life and culture.
In Honolulu, he met and fell in love with a transgender prostitute who had not had yet had sexual reassignment surgery. In his book about their relationship, “The Ultimate Fish” (2014), Mr. Hopkins wrote that his obsession with rock music had been replaced by a different one.
“I believe the transgendered are the most interesting, and the most courageous, people I’ve ever met and tried to understand,” he said.
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