Skip to content

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – December 1983 (Volume 15, Number 7)

Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats was featured on the cover of the December 1983 issue of Creem, looking much more sophisticated than Loverboy who got a bottom inset pic. Setzer raved about producer Dave Edmunds (“the only cat who knows what we sound like”) and the band hyped their “Rant n’ Rave with the Stray Cats.” As to how quickly tides turn in popular music, the single “(She’s) Sexy + 17” was in the Top Ten when this story was written. Setzer left the band the following year, stating, “I had five good years with that, but then I got bored.” Critics were not wrong to question whether the rockabilly revival was a fad. Richard Riegel nailed the band’s major problem in his album review in this issue, “It’s so lively that you don’t notice at first that the Stray Cats had advanced maybe an inch, at best, from the rockabilly revivalism that got them launched in 1980.” 

Mick Jones departure from the Clash was reported in “Rock ‘n’ Roll News.” 


“Robert Palmer’s Pride & Prejudice,” by Laura Fissinger 

“Loverboy: Because They’re There,” by Rick Johnson and Kim Green 

“Grillin’ at the Roadside with NRBQ,” by Mitchell Cohen 

“Stray Cats: Out of the Litter Box and Into the Fire,” by Karen Schlosberg 

“Ian Hunter: Some of the Good Ones Are Still Kicking,” by Iman Lababedi 

“Ridin’ on the Jubilee Train: The Blasters Ain’t No Cats,” by Bill Holdship 

“The Fastway Method,” by Sylvie Simmons 

“The Motorhead Mode,” by John Mendelssohn 

Rick Johnson begins the Loverboy piece by noting how nervous he is doing a band interview, something he hasn’t done in almost a decade. Johnson had tested his recorder in his office with the phrases, “Test, test, test…testing…1-2-3-4 test…testes, testes…hog balls!” According to Rick, when he punched on his recorder at the restaurant with Loverboy, “’HOG BALLS!’ hollers a recorded voice loud enough to rattle the silverware in the kitchen.” The entire piece, with a recurring and ever-changing tale of a farm kid who lost two limbs in a farm machine accident, is funnier than I could ever explain. Especially considering the loss of limbs. Mysterious, short term Editorial Assistant Kim Green participated in the interview, but had been “deposed” from her position at Creem by the time this article was published. 

Mitchell Cohen wrote a lengthy piece on NRBQ, interspersing the band’s history with an interview that focused largely on the commercial frustrations of Terry Adams. This was a band that knew it deserved a bigger audience and after more than a decade of recording and touring, also probably knew that breakthrough wasn’t going to happen.  

Ian Hunter talked about his Hoople days, his solo career, his thoughts on England (he wasn’t a fan of his home country), and his discussions with Lester Bangs in a very solid piece by Iman Lababedi. 

Dave Alvin gave a fantastic interview concerning American roots music and the role the Blasters played in an ongoing tradition.  

Fast Eddie (Clarke) of Fastway used his interview with Sylvie Simmons as an opportunity to air his grievances with Lemmy Kilmister.  

While it’s difficult to imagine two individuals with more different personalities than John Mendelssohn and Lemmy Kilmister, the two gents had tremendous chemistry in their interview. It seems that both parties tried to be more delightfully candid than the other.  Who else would ask, “What are those unsightly round things on your face?” and who else would respond to a question with a slew of anti-Semitic smears, while they were clearly enjoying each other’s company. 

Quotable Quotes:   

Dave Sharp of the Alarm, “There’s some Welsh bands but a lot of them got too hung up on trying to further the Welsh language instead of just respecting it for what it is. It’s not a very beautiful language, it’s all CLLGGH and NGGHHH and all sorts of sounds like that. It’s not a very good vocabulary to sing in.” 

Paul Dean of Loverboy, “You guys at Creem ain’t exactly polite.” 

Terry Adams of NRBQ, “There was never any hype on us. Nobody said we were the next anything. There was no money put into this band by Columbia Records.” 

Adams, “We’re the best musicians in the country, we can out-play any band on the planet, and they’re calling us a bar band. I could go out there without the band, I could sit down at the piano and play a concert at Carnegie Hall right now.” 

Ian Hunter on Mott the Hoople, “Our idea was to get some fun into music again – flash it up, flash clothes. It was frowned upon at first, the glasses and stuff like that. The glasses were considered flash!” 

Dave Alvin, “The thing is, times are bad for some people ALL THE TIME. When the economy got bad, it didn’t become all that publicized until white people lost their jobs.” 

Alvin, “I just want to continue to write songs that explore the whole mythos and what it is and what’s it’s like to live in America.” 

Fast Eddie (Clarke), “When I joined Motorhead, we were the worst band in the world.” 

Lemmy, “I think journalists and chopped liver may have more in common that either realizes.” 

Summary: Two pieces for the ages by Rick Johnson and John Mendelssohn. 

Grade: A 

Latest price on eBay: $10.00 to “Buy It Now.” 

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

Going Steady: New Singles 3-24-23 – 3-30-23 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | March 26, 2023 |

essence of a certain American masculinity

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – February 1986 (Volume 17, Number 6)

By Steve Crawford | March 26, 2023 |

the perceived threat to authority is more class-based than generational

L. A. Burning, West Coast Concert Picks March 27th To April 2nd

By Alyson Camus | March 26, 2023 |

Depeche Mode are at the Kia Forum

Sneak Peaks: Upcoming Album Releases 3-31-23 – 4-6-23

By Iman Lababedi | March 26, 2023 |

he left Griselda so he has a lot to prove…

UK Top 10 Singles 3-24-23 – 3-30-23

By Iman Lababedi | March 25, 2023 |

the longest running at the top this decade with ten weeks

UK Top 10 Albums 3-24-23 – 3-30-23

By Iman Lababedi | March 25, 2023 |

the worst greatest hits ever

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1985 (Volume 17, Number 5)

By Steve Crawford | March 25, 2023 |

accidental historical relevance

Creem Close-Up, Metal Rock ‘n’ Roll, October 1985

By Steve Crawford | March 24, 2023 |

Backstage Pass: when Vince Neil hurls a groupie to Nikki Sixx

The Early Bird: Top New Releases 3-24-22 – 3-30-23 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | March 24, 2023 |

A slow, smooth heartbreaker

Fleet Foxes With Special Guest Joanna Newsom At The Belasco, Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

By Alyson Camus | March 24, 2023 |

There was an internet rumor

Scroll To Top