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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – August 1974 (Volume 6, Number 3)  

In the August 1974 issue of Creem, we encounter two long time contributors for the first time in this series. Richard Riegel, who caught the attention of Lester Bangs by sending him dead on parodies of the writing styles of various staff members, appeared in the Records Review section, praising Aerosmith’s “Get Your Wings” album. Riegel went on to pen a slew of colorful features and reviews for the magazine until it folded. Buried deep in the Mail section is an entry from Jeffrey Morgan. Morgan supplied feisty album reviews for years and published an anthology of his work in 2021 titled “Rock Critic Confidential.”  

Alice Cooper made his third appearance on the cover of Creem and would make his final appearance as the featured cover story in 1975. There was a definite synergy between the style of Creem and Alice Cooper’s wit, outrageousness, and willingness to push the boundaries of what was acceptable in pop culture. That boring rock mag from California could extol the virtues of Eric Clapton and Jackson Browne.  

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” we are reminded again that performing rock music could be a dangerous occupation in the 1970s. The members of the Troggs were attacked by the Hell’s Angels after a gig in a U.K. college town. Guitarist Richard Moore was stabbed in the lung, resulting in a sabbatical for the “Wild Thing” rockers. The Creem Dreem celebrated Fanny, the all-female band whose trailblazing work seems to have been overshadowed by the Go-Go’s, who had the benefit of being MTV era hit makers

“I Am the World’s Greatest Guitarist, Says Ted Nugent,” by Lester Bangs & Jaan Uhelszki  

“The Maggie Bell Roadshow,” by Lisa Robinson  

“Alice Cooper’s Guide to Hollywood”  

“Elements of Style: I Was Afraid They’d All Be California Girls,” by Dave Marsh  

“My Night with the J. Geils Band: Well, There’s a Little Bit of Groupie in All Of Us,” by Lester Bangs  

“Deep Lip: The Mick Jagger Interview, Part Two,” by Roy Carr  

Ted Nugent retroactively proved he’s no asshole come lately in his interview with Bangs and Uhelszki (see quote below on James Williamson). The Alice Cooper feature is a fun little piece with Alice hanging out in various spots in Los Angeles (the Walk of Fame, grabbing a chili dog, posing in front of a strip club). Lester Bangs basked in the glory of being a temporary rock star, typing onstage while the J. Geils Band performed an encore at Cobo Hall.  

Quotable Quotes:     

Ted Nugent on James Williamson of the Stooges, “He’s probably one of the worst guitarists I’ve ever heard…He can’t stay in tune, he has no taste, no cohesiveness, no continuity, no extremes, no speed, no dexterity. I don’t think he knows more than three or four chords and even those he plays wrong.”  

Lester Bangs on “performing” with J. Geils, “I went and told second-liners Brownsville Station what I was going to do, and they laughed at me! Well, bite the bag, peons! I was in the majors now!”  

J. Geils, “Lester, did anyone ever tell you you look like Rob Reiner?” Bangs, “Bullshit! Don’t tell me that! I do not!” Peter Wolf, “So that’s what it takes to get him to react.”  

Mick Jagger, “The thing that bugs me is that I get treated like the Grandfather of Pop…I’m only three years older than David Bowie. Or is it two?”  

Jagger on the New York Dolls, “I don’t think they’re very good. They’re alright if you want a good laugh, but they’re so camp and silly.”  

Creem editor Ben Edmonds on his fashion sense (he was described as “Yummmmmmy” by “Eleganza” columnist Lisa Robison), “I got tired of seeing what was left over from the sixties lying in the gutter.”  

Ed Ward, “The trouble with the Rolling Stones, as I see it, is that they, probably more than any other group, took the roll out of rock.”  

Lester Bangs on Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” album, “I’m getting a bit tired of his broken-larynxed vocals that’re so queasily sincere they reek of some horrible burlesque, some sterilely distasteful artifice.”  

Summary: By this point, Creem had become so densely packed with articles, columns, sidebar pieces and photos, that even if a few pieces don’t strike your fancy, something else will jump out at you on the following page.  

Grade: A  

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