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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – August 1985 (Volume 17, Number 3)

Established 1980’s icon Madonna shared the cover of the August 1985 issue of Creem with future 1980’s icon Jon Bon Jovi. Rick Johnson returned to write the cover piece on Madonna. Regarding her birth he wrote, “It is not recorded what dance step she was rehearsing at the time, but knowing her, she was probably squirming around on her back like she’d just received a double dose of injectable pig wormer. ‘Shee-it!’ said the attending physician. ‘Will ya lookit the size of that mole under her snout? Looks like some homesteaders tried to build a sod hogan on her lip!” Johnson completes the piece with comically altered quotes to fit a variety of sexual narratives. Ranger Rick on the possibility of getting feedback on a prior piece, “I’d rather submit to big, rusty railroad spikes being pounded into all my bodily orifices or even DEATH BY JANE FONDA movies.”

“Rock ‘n’ Roll News” reported that Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” had become Columbia’s biggest selling LP of all time on the label. That sounds impressive until you hear that Bruce beat out Journey and Billy Joel for the top slot.


“Let’s Active Easter Parade,” by Karen Schlosberg

“Jason and the Scorchers: Hot Crackers to Go!,” by Jon Young
“Autograph: The Writing’s on the Wall,” by Roy Trakin

“A Slab of Life with Bon Jovi,” by John Neilson
“How Greek Was My Sex Goddess: The Many Myths of Madonna!,” by Rick Johnson

“Eurthymics: This is 1985, OK?,” by Barbare Pepe

Mitch Easter of Let’s Active was probably better known for producing R.E.M. than he was for fronting his own band. He seemed a bit wistful that writing contemporary hit records wasn’t his strong suit.

The members of Jason and the Scorchers sounded like a band on the verge of major success when talking about their 1985 “Lost and Found” album. It’s too bad they never found that success because Jason Ringenberg is one heck of a good guy.

In other features, Roy Trakin only interviewed Autograph in hopes of getting assigned a Husker Du piece, John Neilson watched Bon Jovi film a spot for Japanese television, and the Eurythmics discussed their soundtrack to the film “1984.”

Quotable Quotes:

Mitch Easter, “It’s a lot easier for me to write something that would have been on a Syd Barrett record than to write something that’d be on the new Foreigner record.”

Mitch Easter, “I don’t think that when you get over 21 you should start writing about, you know, ‘relationships’ in some sort of pop psychology way, ‘cause that’s really gross. ‘Hound Dog’ is a million times better.”

Jason Ringenberg, “We never thought of ourselves as musicians. We’ve always just considered ourselves the raw, aggressive, new kids on the block, so when we heard ourselves getting good, it was very exciting.”

Jon Bon Jovi, “I better be a millionaire some day for all of this.”

Rick Johnson, “Let me tell you a few things about people from Detroit. If you ask them where in Michigan they’re originally from, they’ll hold up their hand, point at the base of their thumb, and say ‘here,’ and expect you to know what they hell they’re talking about.”

Gregg Turner reviewing the Bon Jovi album, “This one’s straight from the heartland of IQ’s low-rent district…This is the sort of stuff that sprouts from the psyches of truly dull, untalented fame-mongers with absolutely zero to offer above and beyond the look of the status quo.”

Summary: Whether intentional or not, the magazine seemed to be alternating between pieces by Rick Johnson and John Mendelssohn to provide the Creem flavor during this era. I’m not sure why someone as gifted as Richard Riegel was generally watching from the sidelines.

Grade: B

Latest price on eBay: $36.00 to “Buy It Now.”

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