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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – December 1976 (Volume 8, Number 7) 

Lisa Robinson interviewed Steven Tyler and Joe Perry at the time Aerosmith was becoming a headline arena act. There was no great chemistry between the participants. Even Lisa noted that it would have been more fun to interview Elissa Perry, Joe’s then wife. 

An item in “Rock ‘N’ Roll News” asks this question – “Who is Johnny Cougar, and why is he leaving phone messages for Lester Bangs?” 

In the “Mail” section, there is a letter that states: “NOBODY gives a shit about Stevie Nicks and Don Henley.” This letter was in response to a previous published rumor that Henley was interested in Nicks romantically. The letter was signed by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley.  

Debbie Harry appeared as the “Creem Dreem,” photographed by Chris Stein. She is wearing “zebra jungleland garb.” In the new documentary “Nightclubbing: The Birth of Punk Rock in NYC,” Debbie is pictured in this outfit approximately 3,467 times. Unfortunately, she doesn’t say a word in the film.  

Features: 

“Aerosmith: Train Kept A-Rollin’,” by Lisa Robinson 

“Baby-Sitting with the Ramones: Will the Kids Be Alright?,” by Pam Brown 

“Elvin Bishop Grows Up (Finally),” by Tom Dupree 

“Oreos and Love Gone Wrong: A Heart to Heart with Linda Ronstadt,” by Carl Arrington 

“Blue Oyster Cult Takes on Three Critics,” by Lester Bangs, Air-Wreck Genheimer and Richard Meltzer 

Pam Brown penned the first major feature of the Ramones in Creem, capturing their blaring sound and offbeat appeal. Alternately, Elvin Bishop sounded way too sane and thoughtful to be a rock star. Maybe that’s why he didn’t remain one.  

The Linda Ronstadt interview is very interesting. Linda sounded equally intelligent, strong-willed, and guarded (“I’m tired of being victimized by people who are dedicated to a snappy phrase”). Reading between the lines, Linda was saying it was difficult being a woman in the music business (“movie people are pretty greasy”), without complaining about her lot in life. Also, she was so visually adorable in that era.

The testosterone was flying in the interview between Lester Bangs and Allen Lanier of Blue Oyster Cult. The interview inspired  Eric (“Air-Wreck) Genheimer to write about an imagined wrestling match between the parties.  

Quotable Quotes:   

Lou Reed on Jeff Beck, “If you can’t do rock good and you can’t do good jazz, combine the two bad things and you get one real piece of shit.” 

Lisa Robinson, “I like Aerosmith onstage; I don’t get bored. But apparently they sometimes do, especially during ‘Dream On.’ Joe (Perry) winces whenever he hears it on a jukebox, and Elissa (Perry) tells me, ‘This is my ‘bathroom song.’” 

Joe Perry, “I don’t have the same responsibilities as a lead singer does. I’m a guitarist and I could walk into any room with a band in it and pick out the lead singer…But I feel like I’m fronting my own band, this is the band I want.” 

Pam Brown, “Walking down the street with Joey Ramone is like having a pet giraffe and taking it to Gem Spa with you to buy the latest copy of ‘Zoo World.’” 

Elvin Bishop, “I hope this record sells because I’m definitely tired of slidin’ by on my good looks.” 

Linda Ronstadt, “Loneliness is the worst thing about the road because everyone feels alienated and aches with loneliness. It’s like traveling through towns in the Starship Enterprise.”

Ronstadt on Dolly Parton, “She is the most amazingly consistent person I have ever met.” 

Allen Lanier to Lester Bangs, “You’ve always had this conception that the world’s in chains, and that Sandy Pearlman is the man in charge of the chain department. It’s just a lotta shit.” 

Air-Wreck Genheimer on Blue Oyster Cult, “When they struck their opening chord, I was so moved that I stood up and did No. 1 all over the people sitting in front of me.” 

Richard Riegel, “For Lynyrd Skynyrd, the South (and therefore the world) is a vision of unrelieved bleakness, as untouched by the funky-balm Christian (or at least gospelized carnal) redemption of, say, Wet Willie, as it is by the trivialities of orthodox good-old-boyism.” 

Summary: After reading the uninspired features on Aerosmith and Elvin Bishop, you understand why the magazine tried to shoe-horn in a Rolling Stones piece every month. 

Grade: B+ 

Latest price on eBay: $19.99 to “Buy It Now.” 

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