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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue, Creem Close-Up: 15th Anniversary Issue, December 1984

In December of 1984, Creem published an anniversary “Best of Creem” edition, celebrating the first fifteen years of the magazine.

Dave Marsh returned to pen an intro titled “Seeds of a Revolution”. Marsh described the original staff collected by Barry Kramer as “friends, college chums and waifs off the street,” Marsh’s conclusion, “Most of all, what CREEM has stood for, all the way through its history, is a leap beyond the possible or very likely into the realm of what’s most desirable or fearsome or simply nastily imaginable…Preposterous as it may sound, you hold in your hands evidence of how Boy Howdy and his minions have changed the world.”

In addition to compiling a group of excellent features, this issue’s “Creem of the Crop! Boy Howdy Hall of Fame!” includes wonderful quotable quotes on significant artists who didn’t get the feature treatment (everyone from the Beatles to Duran Duran). This issue includes some of Creem’s most famous/infamous letters, with contributions from John Waite, Patti Smith, and Joan Jett, among others. Also, old school features by Lester Bangs and Dave Marsh were balanced by outstanding 1980’s pieces by Rick Johnson and Dave DiMartino.


“Dead Lie the Velvet Underground, R.I.P., Long Live Lou Reed,” by Lester Bangs (May 1971)

“MC5: Back on Shakin’ Street,” by Dave Marsh (October 1971)

“Rolling Stones: Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” by Robert Christgau (January 1973)

“The Led Zeppelin Circus is Back,” by Lisa Robinson (September 1973)

“Jungle Music: The All-Time All-Star 1950’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Movie,” by Greil Marcus (July 1975)

“Journey As a Way of Life,” by Dave DiMartino (September 1981)
“Creem of the Crop: Boy Howdy’s Hall of Fame,” by Bill Holdship

“Jukebox Cruci-Fix,” by Patti Smith (June 1975)

“The Secret History of Queen,” by Rick Johnson (August 1981)

“Bruce Springsteen: Walk Tall…Or Don’t Walk at All,” by Dave Marsh (October 1974)

“Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung,” by Lester Bangs (June 1971)

Summary: This is the best Creem anthology that exists (and is much better than the hard cover 2007 Creem book, which didn’t really seem to understand the magazine’s aesthetic).

Grade: A+

Latest price on eBay: $10.50 to “Buy It Now.”

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