Skip to content

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – April 1983 (Volume 14, Number 11)

In terms of the history of the magazine, this is the final issue edited by Susan Whitall, who left to work (for several decades) at the “Detroit News.” Susan was put in a difficult position in 1977, being promoted to magazine editor after the departures of Dave Marsh and Lester Bangs, at a time when she had only been working in rock journalism for less than two years.

In my opinion, she did an outstanding job. She brought sharp new voices into the magazine, including Patrick Goldstein and John Mendelssohn. She initiated Nick Tosches’ brilliant “Unsung Heroes of Rock ‘n’ Roll Column.” She continued Creem’s legacy of having strong female voices including Toby Goldstein, Sylvie Simmons, and Penny Valentine. She included extensive coverage of punk rock during a timeframe when most mainstream rock fans were completely nauseated by the genre. She expanded the roles of long-time contributors Rick Johnson, Robert Hull, and Richard Riegel, who produced some of their best work during this era. She also set the magazine up for future success by hiring Dave DiMartino and Bill Holdship into staff positions. Changing with the times, the features and reviews became more concise. The irreverent spirit continued to burn brightly. Susan’s six year stint at helming the ship deserves nothing but applause and celebration.

Tom Petty, a man whose stature in the rock ‘n’ roll pantheon seems to grow with each passing year, was the cover boy for the April 1983 issue of Creem. Ozzy Osbourne, with much shorter hair that usual, slid in for a cover insert pic. Tom Petty seemed completely at ease with his success, telling Sylvie Simmons he had no interest in being a “cult act.” He covered his love of Elvis, the Beatles, and the Stones, while dismissing the early 1980’s metal scene (“It’s usually such a boring macho trip”). Other personal favorites included future Wilbury Roy Orbison and, on the country side of the house, George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Petty talked in depth about balancing vices and responsibilities, sounding very much like a man in charge of a large rock ‘n’ roll operation.

In the “Mail” section, someone using the moniker “Dot Jagger” proclaimed that she (?) would be committing suicide on the day that Mick Jagger died. The editorial response, “Exactly what would it take to convince you Mick is dead?”

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” the breakup of Blondie was reported, less than three years after they had conquered all the airwaves in the world with “Call Me,” “Rapture,” and “The Tide is High.”


“Pure Mad People Live a This Place,” by Richard Grable (feature on Black Uhuru)

“Tom Petty – Long After Maturity,” by Sylvie Simmons

“Grace Jones Integrity Dance: Are You Ready for a Brand New (Disco) Beat,” by Iman Lababedi

“Clarabelle Talks Back: Ozzy Osbourne’s No Bozo on This Bus,” by Toby Goldstein

“The Lords of the New Church: I Just Wanna Testify,” by Richard Riegel

“Who Needs the Beatles,” by Rick Johnson and John Kordosh

Grace Jones was an interesting interview, she discussed her work as a model, her aggressive (“male act”) stage persona, and the world of pop culture advertising (“You’re dealing with selling BEER, really”). She also looked like she could beat up anyone in her audience.

Ozzy Osbourne was quite articulate in his interview with Toby Goldstein, discussing the differences between his stage persona and his actions in real life. He was also quite aware that his importance was directly proportional to how much money he brought into his record label. Regarding his tendency for acting outrageously, he noted, “A lot of people would love to do it, but their position in life doesn’t allow them to.”

Richard Riegel’s soft spot for The Dead Boys continued with the Stiv Bators fronted outfit The Lords of the New Church. I love this ending paragraph, which wrapped up a triumphant homecoming show in Cleveland, “Stiv Bators stands there in his leathers and his shades, between his Youngstown parents and his London wife, and he looks a bit sheepish, not with the meat in his mouth, but with the nuclear family we never suspected. What’s punk rock coming to these days?”

Rick Johson and John Kordosh attacked Fab Four fatigue with hunting knives on their combo think piece “Who Needs the Beatles.”

Quotable Quotes:

John Lydon responding to reports that Malcom McLaren wanted to reform the Sex Pistols, “The tosser’s been eating Buffalo chips and they’ve apparently destroyed whatever mind he has left. The man’s gone completely bonkers. What’s he going to do? Dig old Sid from the grave?”

Buck Dharma, “’Come Softly to Me’ was the first song I ever made out to…I tell ya, that’s a VERY important song for me.”

Tom Petty, “I love being called mainstream.”

Petty, “My voice has always bugged me because it sounded strange. But lately I’ve come to realize that if it wasn’t such a weird voice, I probably wouldn’t have been noticed as much.”

Ozzy, “Because I bite the heads off things, that doesn’t mean to say I don’t fall in love.”

Ozzy, “I’m sick to death of being hounded by these freaks who think I am some fucking devil worshipper.”

Rick Johnson on Paul McCartney, “He’s got more personalities than a barrel of Sybils.”

Summary: Both Petty and Ozzy were equally concerned about business as they were about their public images and music. However, Tom never tried bat protein.

Grade: A-

Latest price on eBay: $10.00 to “Buy It Now.”

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – March 1986 (Volume 17, Number 7)

By Steve Crawford | March 27, 2023 |

You can definitely see Creem’s change of direction

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 3-17-23 – 3-23-23

By Iman Lababedi | March 27, 2023 |

Morgan will be pulling off singles for at least the next year

Press Releases For March, Here Are The Artists

By Alyson Camus | March 27, 2023 |

A cold and nonchalant delivery for a song that rocks hard

Rocky Kramer’s Rock & Roll Tuesdays Presents “Riding the Storm” On March 28th, 2023, 7 PM PT on Twitch

By admin | March 26, 2023 |

now available worldwide

Going Steady: New Singles 3-24-23 – 3-30-23 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | March 26, 2023 |

essence of a certain American masculinity

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – February 1986 (Volume 17, Number 6)

By Steve Crawford | March 26, 2023 |

the perceived threat to authority is more class-based than generational

L. A. Burning, West Coast Concert Picks March 27th To April 2nd

By Alyson Camus | March 26, 2023 |

Depeche Mode are at the Kia Forum

Sneak Peaks: Upcoming Album Releases 3-31-23 – 4-6-23

By Iman Lababedi | March 26, 2023 |

he left Griselda so he has a lot to prove…

UK Top 10 Singles 3-24-23 – 3-30-23

By Iman Lababedi | March 25, 2023 |

the longest running at the top this decade with ten weeks

UK Top 10 Albums 3-24-23 – 3-30-23

By Iman Lababedi | March 25, 2023 |

the worst greatest hits ever

Scroll To Top