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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – April 1986 (Volume 17, Number 8)

The editorial change of Creem in 1986 under new ownership is vividly displayed on the cover of the April issue. Jim Kerr of Simple Minds is in the cover spot with a small inset picture of Motley Crue. In the previous year, those roles would have definitely been switched. Previously unheard of Creem contributor Tim deLisle conducted a Q and A with Jim Kerr. Kerr lauded his band’s “glorious noise” that “really, really uplifts.” Kerr also thought that Simple Minds could become an arena rock band and distanced himself from the #1 single “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” stating, “It’s not on the album because it’s not good enough.” (The single was not penned by anyone in the band). Kerr of the film “The Breakfast Club,” “We saw the movie, and although we didn’t exactly think it was ‘The Godfather,’ we felt that it pointed in the right direction.” Kerr did not lack the ego needed to front a band.

In the Mail Department, journalist Timothy White was perturbed by a negative review of his “Rock Stars” book yet congratulated the magazine on its “resurrection.” I love this little bit of preemptive tut-tutting, “In the interests of journalist fair play, I request that you run this letter in its entirety.”

The deaths of Rick Nelson, Phil Lynott, Ian Stewart, and D. Boon (of the Minutemen) were reported in “Rock ‘n’ Roll News.” In the “New Beats” section, I feel obligated to note that there are small articles on Dr. Demento and Sonic Youth, since I’ve enjoyed the work of both entities.

“Creem’s Profiles” returned with elder statesmen Frank Zappa whose profession was “Doting Mother (he’s only in it for the money).”


“Something About the Waterboys,” by Dave DiMartino

“Nothing in Here but Alarm Clocks,” by Karen Schlosberg

“Forward into the Past: Pete Townshend Conquers His Demons in the White City,” by Toby Goldstein
“A Little from the Big Man (Clarence Clemons),” by Joanne Carnegie
“INXS…In Hell?,” by L.E. Agnelli
“Psychic Gruel and Motley Crue,” by John Kordosh
“Asia: Continental Drift?,” by Sylvie Simmons

Mike Scott of the Waterboys discussed his fascination with the CBGB’s scene and his admiration of Van Morrison and Bob Dylan. Scott on his own material, “It’s about time I wrote a bunch of real great songs. The songs I’ve been writing are GOOD, but they’re not great.”

Mike Peters of the Alarm shrugged off bad press by stating the band “we’re too honest” and not calculating enough for their own good. Peters also seemed to have the same starting points as Mike Scott of the Waterboys, stating that “The music that happened in ’76, ’77 is probably the most important thing that’s happened to our generation.”

Pete Townshend explained to Toby Goldstein that young bands have better material because, “You look at a band 15 or 20 years later, all these guys have seen is airports, hotels, and the wrong end of straw.” Townshend was pushing his solo album “White City: A Novel,” which had a minor hit single in “Face to Face,” that sounded like a poor man’s Men Without Hats.

Clarence Clemons did a short interview to promote his album “Rescue.” Best quote, “The saxophone is an extension of myself, I’ve been playing for 35 years. When I was playing for Aretha in that video (‘Freeway of Love’), I kept thinking, ‘Wow, this is where King Curtis stood,,’ and he is THE idol for me.”

John Kordosh interviewed Motley Crue, a band whose material he described as being “undistinguished.” Kordosh wrote about travelling with the band in their limo to the show, “When the long ride ended – FINALLY – dozens of fans were grouped at the back of the arena, the place where the limos slide in, carrying the stars. The fans, standing in a torrential, frigid downpour, recognized Tommy Lee, who was sitting at the left rear window. Lee rolled down the window and yelled, ‘Yeahhh – sex!,” thrusting his arm in the air. The fans went berserk. Lee rolled up the window and looked at Nikke Sixx. ‘Cunts,’ he said, in an unmistakably harsh tone. A weird ride, like I said before.”

In his interview with Sylvie Simmons, John Wetton of Asia discussed having been previously removed from the band, supposedly at the insistence of their record label. Wetton, “It’s something that since I came back to the band I haven’t really felt inclined to talk about with the band.” Don’t label him Curious John.

Quotable Quotes:

Mike Peters, “I believe in God, and coming to America really confused me, because I came face to face with about 5,000 religions all professing the same belief in the same God and I saw massive hypocrisy across the whole lot of them.”

Mike Peters, “To look like a punk rocker in North Wales was like committing suicide.”

Jim Kerr, “I think we had a nice kind of arrogance; we felt our music should be played.”

Jim Kerr, “Like ourselves, U2 is a phenomenon.”

Pete Townshend, “I suddenly feel like I’m fed up with sex.”

Richard Riegel on the “This is Big Audio Dynamite” album, “Each of the eight cuts is more or less a variation on the same theme, that of Mick Jones randomly running down the shopping mart Armageddon with his singsong rhymes, while the band get it on will all sorts of bright reggae, pop, scratch, etc. tuneweavery. Jones doesn’t possess Bob Dylan’s kinky-haired brain, so he’s not making with an Old Testament laundry list here. It’s more like he’s putting today’s problem through the second-rinse cycle.”
John Mendelssohn, “On any Friday or Saturday night, on any stretch of American road where teenagers cruise, three of five cars contain girls who are singing along with the radio or cassette deck better than Stevie Nicks has ever sung in a multi-million-dollar recording studio or in front of a basketball stadium full of adoring fans who’ve brought stuffed animals to toss at her platform booted tootsies.”

Motley Crue manager Doc McGhee on Dokken, “If Elektra put a million bucks behind my album, I’d go gold, too.”

Summary: Lots of solid writing and I love that quotable quote from Richard Riegel.

Grade: B+

Latest price on eBay: $12.00 to “Buy It Now.”

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