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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – August 1981 (Volume 13, Number 3)

Rob Halford of Judas Priest, perched atop a motorcycle and clad in his usual leather uniform, was the cover subject of the August 1981 issue of Creem. John Kordosh was impressed by Priest’s live show and got along famously with the band, chatting with Glenn Tipton about the Beatles, and admiring the talents of guitarist Tipton and K.K. Downing. Kordosh, “I doubt if too many bands could even keep up with these guys onstage. Downing and Tipton do all sorts of synchromotions and they’re all running and jumping around all over the place. ‘We couldn’t do this if we were on drugs,’ Tipton told me. Listen, I couldn’t do it if I were on fire.” 

The death of Bob Marley was noted in “Rock ‘n’ Roll News” and Bun E. Carlos was off the market, having married “an old flame in the band’s hometown of Rockford, Illinois.” 

Richard Riegel raved about the Human Switchboard in “The Beat Goes On” and Robert Hull wrote about the Denton, Texas band Brave Combo, who decades later continue their journey of “subverting the polka tradition.”  

In his “Creem’s Profiles” pic, Jerry Lee Lewis looked like a man who was ready to down more than one can of beer.  

Features: 

“I Talked to Plimsouls!,” by John Kordosh 

“Spandau Ballet Want You to Dance: That’s All,” by Iman Lababedi 

“Bram Tchaikovsky in Funland: The Circus Begins Here,” by Toby Goldstein 

“The Academic in Peril: John Cale Addresses the Future,” by Dave DiMartino 

“The Secret History of Queen,” by Rick Johnson 

In an interview with John Kordosh, the Plimsouls pledged their allegiance to being a band, no matter what happened commercially. They broke up three years later.  

Iman Lababedi found Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet “(for want of a more libelous word) rather simple.” Lababedi’s conclusion on the spearhead act of the New Romantics movement, “I can’t take escapism that offers no possibility of fighting back except dressing up.”  

Toby Goldstein interviewed Bram Tchaikovsky for his SECOND feature in Creem. There would be no third, he left the music business later in 1981.  

Dave DiMartino conducted an informative interview with John Cale that covered his solo career, interest in classical music, his thoughts on Lamont Young, and comments on the Velvet Underground.  

Queen was the perfect band for Rick Johnson to shower with pipe bombs. The article begins, “1968 – Freddie Mercury meets Brian May and Roger Taylor (then members of the group Smile) in Art School. Brian first heard to say ‘Freddie! Not in front of COMPANY!” See more in “Quotable Quotes.” 

Quotable Quotes:   

Peter Case on being in the music industry, “It’s really a business just like anything else. It’s like the shoe business.” 

Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet, “You’re too much into rock…I’ve never been a lover of rock.” 

K.K. Downing, “The people who were working on acts like Judas Priest in the early days didn’t like heavy metal. And the result was very little got done, very little promotion. Because THEY preferred maybe the Sex Pistols or the Clash.” 

Bram Tschaikovsky after being told by Toby Goldstein that she had seen the Motors perform live, “You saw the worst band in the world.”  

Dave DiMartino, “The only thing John Cale is NOT very good at is selling his own records.” 

John Cale on the Velvet Underground, “The band seemed to be partially based on adversarial relationships. There was a sympathetic adversarial relationship: someone who had the same GOAL in mind, but a different means to go about it.” 

Rick Johnson, “1978 – (The Queen) ‘Jazz’ LP becomes most ignored effort by a major act since Tanya Tucker’s suicide attempt.” 

Rick Johnson, “’1980 – Another One Bites the Dust’ reaches ridiculous heights of fame for a song that sounds like Trigger counting to six.” 

Rick Johnson, “Two Reasons Why John Deacon Doesn’t Like the Press: 1. “The bass line on ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ is lifted straight out of Chic’s ‘Good Times’ as if the Sugarhill Gang never existed!” – CREEM ’80. 2. ‘We Will Rock You’ is a near-clone of Gary Glitter’s ‘Rock and Roll, Part 2,’ particularly the bass line – NME ’78.” 

Iman Lababedi on Romeo Void’s “It’s a Condition” album, “Easily on one of the best albums I’ve heard all year. It goes beyond art to some form of truth. It isn’t hedonistic hopelessness, it’s explanatory reality focus. This is the good stuff indeed, this is what we want.” 

Summary:  Very fine work from John Kordosh and Rick Johnson (with a side dish of Genotype Cointoss). 

Grade: A- 

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

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