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America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – April 1979 (Volume 10, Number 11) 

The Blues Brothers, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi, made the cover of the April 1979 issue of Creem. Below their picture were splashed the lines “Crime of the Century Exposed!” and “Platinum Ripoff.” Perhaps not completely convinced that the Blues Brothers would appeal to their demographic, Peter Wolf, Gene Simmons, and Debbie Harry (listed as “Blondie) were included as photo inserts on the cover. The cover story on the Blues Brothers is a lengthy, satirical piece on the imagined backgrounds of Jake and Elwood. For my personal taste, it doesn’t work particularly well.

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” the death of Sid Vicious was reported, along with a photo captioned, “He did it his way…”. Soul singer Donnie Hathaway’s death, from a fall from a hotel window, was also noted. (One wonders if Vladimir Putin read this and thought, “Ah, a fall from a window. Perfect!”). Also, it was revealed that Mick Jagger, long infatuated with black women, acknowledged being the father of a bi-racial daughter.

Cheap Trick had their turn in the “Creem’s Profiles” slot. Bun E. Carlos looked especially comfortable holding a can of “Boy Howdy!” beer.

Features:

“Captain Beefheart Knows He’s a Man,” by Billy Altman

“Sex & Drugs & Broken Bones: J. Geils,” by I.C. Lotz (John Peck, a.k.a. “The Mad Peck”)

“KI$$’ Gene Simmons: Bat Lizard Rocks the Boat,” by Susan Whitall

Billy Altman’s piece on Captain Beefheart primarily recapped the artist’s 1970’s albums with a strong plug for 1978’s well received “Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) LP. John Peck was awed by a J. Geils band live set and underwhelmed by their latest studio work.

Susan Whitall chatted with Gene Simmons about his favorite sci-fi movies and his thoughts on Devo (“Nobody in America is ready for SUBTLE rock ‘n’ roll”). Simmons’ general point throughout the interview is that intellectual simplicity was the key to mass success in America. He’s probably more correct than most people would want to admit with that argument.

Quotable Quotes:

Andy Partridge of XTC, “I wish I hadn’t come up with this name…Puns only last a few minutes at best and this one’s been going on for ages and ages.”

Captain Beefheart, “You know they’ve found a use for cockroaches and it’s pretty good. What is is is that they predict earthquakes by their behavior. Is that hip? I knew they were worth it. They are beautiful things.”

John Peck on seeing J. Geils live, “I’d lost my voice, my hearing and most of my wits.”

Gene Simmons on his sex life, “If anyone has a proposition, they can knock on my door and offer me one. I’m open to suggestions.”

Robot A. Hull on Big Star’s “Third,” “A haphazard masterpiece.”

Summary: Gene Simmons was a good interview in that he was candid and entertaining. However, overall, this is one of the weaker issues of Creem from this era.

Grade: B-

Latest price on eBay: $14.00 to “Buy It Now.”

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