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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – December 1982 (Volume 14, Number 7)

Creem looked to bridge the generational gap with the December 1982 issue of Creem, featuring both the Who and the Go-Go’s on the cover. Thankfully, the feature on the Who was simply a “Photo Album” and not another interview with Pete “Let Me Pontificate on The Spiritual Qualities of This Coffee Mug for Thirty Minutes” Townshend. Susan Whitall interviewed the Go-Go’s, who observed, “They have a healthy group personality. They make fun of each other, they have an enjoyably flippant attitude towards any over-serious regard of pop music – theirs or anybody’s – and they cheerfully predict that they’ll go-go no more when the hits stop coming.” Charlette Caffey, on Whitall’s conversational interview style, “It’s great, you’re just kind of laid back. You don’t have a long list of questions or anything, like the GUYS who interview us.”

In the “Records” section, Gregg Turner’s dismissal of The Who’s “It’s Hard” album is one for the ages. Turner, “Middle age has hit the Who like a ton of bricks. There’s nothing particularly FUN or ELECTRIC or DANGEROUS about any of the songs on this record and Glyn Johns’ wormy production only helps to make this more painfully obvious. The conspicuous absence of these fundamental WHO bldg. blocks is replaced on ‘It’s Hard’ with the listless sobriety of ADULTHOOD. Me, I’d rather listen to Tony Bennett.”

Features:

“David Johansen: Position of a Vagabond Missionary,” by Mitchell Cohen

“Life in the Age of Wireless: Thomas Dolby’s State-of-the-Artwork,” by Toby Goldstein

“The Go-Go’s of Your Dreams: Pineapple Princesses Get Down, Get Funky,” by Susan Whitall

“August Darnell Gets Even with Everybody (For Forcing Him to Make Race Music & Other Sins),” by Iman Lababedi

“Billy Squier Is Articulate About the Perfect Rock Formula, And What About the Supermarket Disaster?,” by John Kordosh

David Johansen was enjoying the most airplay of his career, prior to becoming Buster Poindexter, with a live Animals medley. Like most critics, Mitchell Cohen was a fan, stating, “It’s about a commitment so open-hearted that it can’t understand how it can be denied reciprocation. Beneath Johansen’s delinquent exuberance is a belief in the emotionalism that can be expressed through classic rock ‘n’ roll.” Cohen did a fine job balancing the piece between Johansen’s time with the New York Dolls and his solo career. He did complain about paying, oh my goodness, two dollars for a beer. Time machine, anyone?

Toby Goldstein interviewed Thomas Dolby, who sounded very much like the educator that he would later become.

August Darnell was interviewed by Iman Lababedi, a huge fan of his work. Darnell spent most of the article complaining about race issues related to music and band conflicts. Despite having three Top Ten U.K. singles in 1982, Darnell summed up his current state by saying, “When I wake up, everyday, I have to fight another war.”

In discussing his career with John Kordosh, Billy Squier sounded more calculated than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Quotable Quotes:

Ted Nugent, “You don’t need a face to rock ‘n’ roll.”

Sarah Dallin of Bananarama, “All three of us would love to have a television show like ‘The Monkees’ or do a musical like ‘Grease.’ But for now, we take life as it comes.”

David Johansen, “Getting out there with Pat Benatar did a lot of good to show people that we were really hard working and deliver a good show.”

Johansen on the New York Dolls, “We were New York street kids, scaring the hell out of the homophobics, and it was a ball, going around the country sticking their faces in it, making people just fall apart and realize how weak their whole ego structure was.”

Thomas Dolby, “How far you can reach (commercially, to me, is very important to how satisfying and complete the creation is.”

Jane Weidlin, “We used to have a social life on the road, UNLIKE ANY MALE BAND EVER HAD, I think…”.

August Darnell, “If you’re black you have to play a certain type of music, that’s why it too, us two years longer to succeed in England than it should have, and that’s why it’ll take us five years longer than it should in the States.”

Billy Squier, “If people say I sing like Robert Plant, well, Robert Plant’s a pretty good singer. I kind of miss Led Zeppelin, but I don’t miss the competition.”

Summary: It would be difficult to find two more distinctly different personalities with the same goals than Thomas Dolby and August Darnell.

Grade: A-

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