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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue –August 1982 (Volume 14, Number 3) 

Debbie Harry, looking swooningly VA VA VA VOOM!, graced the cover of the August 1982 issue of Creem. Harry, once again, pretty much blew off the formal interview, leaving most of the discussion to Chris Stein, Nigel Harrison, and Clem Burke. Burke discussed his many side projects and concluded, “I guess that’s the luxury of being a drummer, especially if you’re a very damned good drummer.” He also chatted about giving Zak Starkey drum lessons. Chris Stein was in a feisty mood, still complaining about the Lester Bangs book on Blondie that was published in 1980 and defending charges of exploiting black music. Stein, “90% of all pop music in the world comes out of black music, so no matter what you’re doing, you’re playing black music.” There was very little discussion of their latest album, “The Hunter,” which bombed commercially, contributing to the breakup of the band later that year.

Cameron “Almost Famous” Crowe sent in a letter about his mentor Lester Bangs. Crowe, “His articles in Creem on Lou Reed and the Rolling Stones, and his piece in the ‘Village Voice’ on Elvis’s death remain some of the finest music journalism put to paper…I’ll always remember what he said about sticking to a point of view, how to find girls in Lansing on a Tuesday night, and how to survive growing up in San Diego. I hope you guys are doing fine in Birmingham. Me, I’m putting on an MC5 record.”

In the we’ve-always-been-stupid department, it was reported in “Rock ‘n’ Roll News” that a California Assembly committee was investigating “backwards masking,” worried that it was an attempt to “brainwash America’s youth into Satanism.”

Features:

“Dwight Twilley: Salvation Through Water Sports,” by Toby Goldstein

“Asia Major or Asia Minor? Just a Coupla White Guys Sittin’ Around, Makin’ Money, etc.,” by Dave DiMartino

“I Call on Rosanne Cash,” by Jeff Nesin

“Blondie: Hunters in an Urban Jungle,” by Toby Goldstein

“Nashville Cats: Creem Looks at Country Music, a Guide to Artists & Instruments,” by Allen Hester

In his interview with Toby Goldstein, Dwight Twilley discussed his financial woes (“what is frustrating is the legal torture I’ve been through”) and working with John and Susan Cowsill (“in fact I live with her” – lucky dude!).

Dave DiMartino worked his way through the progressive rock pedigrees of the members of Asia. Carl Palmer was a particularly interesting interview subject, stating that Emerson, Lake, and Palmer disbanded because one member (“I can’t tell you who”) couldn’t stomach the constant negative press.

Rosanne Cash discussed her insecurities as a vocalist, her angst about the music business, and the age old discussions of what exactly was country music in an in-depth piece by Jeff Nesin.

For equipment nerds, Allen Hester did a deep dive into the history of country music and instrumentation, pedal effects, influences on rock music, etc.

Quotable Quotes:

Dwight Twilley, “I hired a manager who stole all my equipment.”

Carl Palmer, “I like to think of myself as an entertainer as well as a drummer, you know? Because that’s what I AM.”

Carl Palmer, “I don’t believe what anybody writes about me. I know how good I am.”

Rosanne Cash, “I didn’t plan to be a singer. Dad said he was going to take me and Rosey, my stepsister, on the road and so he could write us off for taxes we had to do something. We ended up being laundresses, washing his pants out in the bathtub.”

Rosanne Cash, “If I’m going to be a touring whore and go out for 200 days a year my kids are going to suffer and I’m not going to allow that.”

Jim Farber on the Richard and Linda Thompson “Shoot Out the Lights” album, “To the Thompsons, living may be a hard, often ugly proposition. But once realized as such and transformed through art, it can become something else again. And on this album it’s become something absolutely astonishing.”

Summary: Decades before the Americana craze, Creem was interviewing Rosanne Cash and doing deep dives on the impact of the Fender Telecaster on country music.

Grade: B+

Latest price on eBay: $55.64 to “Buy It Now.”

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