If that were the case it would have at least been distributed for free. By the second or thrid issue international record company advertising easily more than subsidized its publication.
"The Berkeley Tribe," "The East Village Other," "The Great Speckled Bird" (granted, sold to cover costs that the record companies weren't providing)and even the L.A. Free Press -hey, they had to pay Charles Bukowski- or Abbie's "Steal This Book" mighthave been examples of a countercultural bible in one sense or another.
"Rolling Stone"? From the outset it would be much more truthful to say that the magazine has been a commercially driven cultural guidepost, at its best.
Funny how time can distort perception, even without LSD.