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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – December 1979 (Volume 11, Number 7) 

In conjunction with the release of the “Dream Police” album, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen returned to the cover for the December 1979 issue of Creem. The Rockford, Illinois based band had four Top Forty singles in 1979 (“I Want You to Want Me,” “Ain’t That a Shame,” “Dream Police,” and “Voices) and were often hyped as “The Band of the 80’s.” They didn’t reach the Top 40 again until “The Flame,” a song not written by the band and somewhat forced upon them by their record label, went to #1 in 1988. Richard Riegel penned the cover piece, focusing on the “Dream Police” album, stating it was “conceived by a still overwhelmingly ASPIRING band, but also by a band with enough TASTE of success to confidently experiment with some new styles, and to polish them off thoroughly.” 

I loved this “Rock ‘n’ Roll News Item”: “Jerry Lee Lewis is getting rid of excess baggage, namely his fourth wife Jaren.” 

In “Unsung Heroes of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Nick Tosches interviewed Roy Brown of “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” who paid his bills not by singing, but by selling encyclopedias door to door.  


“Rash Clash Mash in Motor City Bash,” by Dave DiMartino 

“An Evening of Platter-Chatter with the Records,” by Jeffrey Morgan 

“Keys to the Kinkdom: Your Reporter’s Just a Cutpurse Parson in Low Budget Land,” by Richard Riegel  

“The B-52’s: Climate Control in the Land of 16 Dances,” by Mitch Cohen 

Dave DiMartino’s first feature in Creem was quite memorable. Joe Strummer got so upset about questions regarding the band’s contract that he smashed Dave’s tape recorder. Who said it was all peace/love/understanding with the punk crowd? 

In less dramatic news, longtime Kinks fan Richard Riegel enjoyed the band’s live set in Cincinnati, a more professional outing than previous Kinks tours with Ray being the consummate showman. Mitch Cohen documented how quickly, as in two years, the B-52’s went from being an Athens, Georgia club act to hitting the New York scene to releasing a major label album. Ricky Wilson on the band’s first gig at Max’s Kansas City, “We got $17 for that show.” 

Quotable Quotes:   

Mick Jones, “Guy Stevens is probably the best English producer of the last two decades.” 

Dave DiMartino, “Joe Strummer is still back at the bar, talking about business, while a nearby cocktail pianist plays Barry Manilow’s ‘Daybreak.’ It’s an interesting scene.” 

Joe Strummer, “I’m in a situation where I couldn’t even go into a drugstore and get myself a hamburger. So I’m not in any situation I can get myself out of.” 


Will Burch of the Records, “Elvis Presley completely symbolized American inasmuch as he came from a working class background; he was a truck driver and he got a break – in other words, this is the land of opportunity – he got a break and he made it on his talent and by being a rebel. And when his time came to serve in the Army, He very patriotically said, ‘Yes, sir, I will do it,’ and he symbolized America in THAT respect. And, in the end, he symbolized America by eating himself to death.” 

Rick Nielsen, “People still ask me why I wear these sweaters, and if they’d just look at my wardrobe, they’d see that that’s all I’ve got to wear.” 

Richard C. Walls on Van Morrison’s “Into the Music” album, “Unfortunately, the impression that he’s been singing the same song for ten years isn’t diminished by this album. Fortunately, it’s still a hell of a song.” 

Summary: We should all take a moment and mourn the death of Dave DiMartino’s tape recorder. It died so rock ‘n’ roll could live.  

Grade: A- 

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