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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – August 1975 (Volume 7, Number 3)  

We’ve stumbled into a new era of Creem, this is the first issue with an actual masthead that lists job responsibilities!  Farewell to the theoretical we’re-all-equals/hippy ethos. Surprisingly, Wayne Robins is listed as “Editor,” while Lester Bangs and Jaan Uhelszki are both “Senior Editors.” Charles Auringer is the “Art and Photo Director,” while Robert Duncan served in the “News Editor” slot.  And Richard Siegel, often to be confused with Richard Riegel, was the “Production Manager.” While this might seem like minutiae to the casual reader, these defined roles will help us track significant changes throughout this ongoing history project.  

This issue also includes one of the most famous features in the magazine’s history, Jaan Uhelzski’s “I Dreamed I Was Onstage With Kiss in My Maidenform Bra.” This piece has been included in many of the Creem retrospective magazines and was discussed in the 2019 Creem documentary. At the time the article was written, Kiss was on the verge of becoming a mainstream act via “Rock and Roll All Nite” and they would spend the next few years capturing the imaginations of millions of teen and pre-teen fans. The theme of the article, a made-up Jaan U. appearing onstage during a live Kiss set, was smart in that it made that band look more accessible, as well as media/fan friendly. And, heck, who wouldn’t want to appear onstage with Kiss? Especially if you could get a restraining order on Gene Simmons.

There is a piece in “The Beat Goes On” about Black Oak Arkansas suing Harrison, Arkansas preacher J.D. Tedder. The preacher man described his Natural State counterparts as “a mongrel group of satanic origins that is promoting drugs, sex, and revolution.” BOA later won a slander case and were awarded the grand sum of one dollar for their efforts.  

Features:  

Kinks Ordinaire: Ray Davies’ Assuming Bouquet by Tom Smucker  

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Not Even A Boogie Band Is As Simple As It Seems by Robert Christgau

 

Ian Hunter: Through the Glasses Darkly by John Ingham  

Mick Ronson: From Rats to Riches by John Ingham  

Jerry Garcia: Up from the Dead by Arthur Levy  

Mick Jagger: “I Can Get Up, But I Can’t Get Down,” by David Marsh  

Bad Company Adjust by Bruno Stein  

Jeff Beck: Convalescence (Or Growing Up?) by Gordon Fletcher  

Tom Smucker admired Ray Davies’ flamboyant stage presence during the Kinks “Soap Opera” period, while Robert Christgau wrestled with the duality of the Southern thing while pondering Skynyrd. The excellent John Ingham piece on Ian Hunter includes a significant history section on Mott the Hoople. The cover feature on the Stones is an interview with Mick Jagger about an upcoming U.S. tour that breaks no new ground. (Boy, there were a LOT of features in the Stones in this era).  

Quotable Quotes:    

Robert Christgau, “I love Lynyrd Skynyrd, a band that makes music so unpretentious it tempts me to give up subordinate clauses.”  

Ian Hunter, “I saw Jerry Lee Lewis at the Palladium. He’s like the king. All that arrogance. I love arrogance.”  

Ian Hunter, “I didn’t know if I was going to become a musician, because I couldn’t sing very good. In those days you had to be a good singer. I didn’t know I had a chance until Dylan came along.”  

Jerry Garcia, “My friend Robert Hunter, the guy I write with, we were going back…and he said, ‘Yeah, back in the old days there were only a handful of us around, then Owsley went out and made it so that anybody could see God!’ Now everybody’s seen God and so, big deal, it ain’t even cool anymore.”  

Mick Jagger, “If I did fifty shows I’d get the money from one of them if I lived in England. Which might sound fair or unfair, but that’s the situation.”  

Mick Ralphs, “I had a lot of material that wasn’t getting used, and I needed an outlet for that. I was beginning to feel my role in Mott was insignificant. It was just like the guitar player. Anybody could have done what I was doing.”  

Lisa Robinson, “It’s hard to know where to begin and just how to control myself about John Cale…He’s the one that matters most to me, MY vision of rock and roll future.”  

Nick Tosches on Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stranger” album, “On every level, this album is a great one. It’s both sheer jukebox ecstasy and thousand-layered dream subtlety.”  

Joe Fernbacher on Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic” album, “The slickest thing they’ve ever attempted and will no doubt take a deserved place in the Rock Hall of Fame – it’s an invocation to all our demon brothers.”  

Summary: Solid issue with a lot to like, but not enough to love.  

Grade: B+  

Latest price on eBay: “Current bid” is only $7.00, a potential steal!  

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