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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – December 1984 (Volume 16, Number 7)

Billy Squier, flanked by smaller pics of Huey Lewis and Dee Snider, graced the cover of the December 1984 issue of Creem. Former Boy Howdy! editorial assistant Mark Norton returned to interview Squier, who talked about being inspired by the Rolling Stones and called Robert Plant “a brilliant lyricist and brilliant guitarist.” Squier again shied away from the heavy metal tag, referring to his music as “articulate rock,” which sounds like a description of the Incredible Hulk delivering a soliloquy. I’m surprised Squier never joined Kraftwerk, he always sounds like a robot in his interviews.

In the tradition of receiving negative letters from Pete Townshend, Todd Rundgren, and Joan Jett, Boy George submitted a sarcastic note about loving the “British Invasion” “piece,” which was actually a special edition of the magazine. He is pictured holding said magazine like he is about to tear it apart.

Greg Linder, who penned the September 1984 cover story on Prince, sent in a correction to the magazine. Perhaps more interestingly, he also noted he was still waiting to be paid for his work. John Mendelssohn would also comment on issues with getting paid for his work in a later issue of the magazine.

In the times they are a-changing department, Husker Du and the Meat Puppets got some ink in “The Beat Goes On.” In the back to the future department, Blue Cheer got some ink in “The Beat Goes On.”


“Twisted Sister: Still Hungry?,” by Steve Gett

“A Lita Bit Closer to the Top,” by Laura Fissinger

“The Life and Sighs of Billy Squier,” by Mark J. Norton

“Nobody But Us Humans in Here!,” By Richard Grabel

“Huey Lewis and All the News That Fits,” by John Kordosh

Dee Snider noted that largely being an MTV phenomenon did create some tension with their live performances , “The first thing out of my mouth after the opening number is ‘Alright you sick motherfuckers, if you’re ready to kick some ass, we are Twisted-fuckin’-Sister!’ You see some horrified faces and rude awakenings that we’re not the Duran Duran of the heavy metal set.”

Lita Ford talked about the Runaways and her musical influences (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple) in promoting her “Dancin’ on the Edge” album. Best caption of the issue, a pic of Lita rocking out, theoretically singing, “My girdle is killing mee-eee!”

Phil Oakley and Joanne Catherall of the Human League seemed to be relieved that their career had slowed down to the point that they were no longer British tabloid fodder. Still, Oakley seemed a bit jealous of Duran Duran who “will do things that we frankly we’re too proud to do. They’ll do any TV show, they’ll do record shop appearances.” Criticizing about pop band for promoting their records seems somewhat like criticizing a politician for pandering to get votes.

Huey Lewis seemed like a man who was perfectly comfortable with himself and with his success in his interview with John Kordosh. He seemed to feel like his success was more in spite of than due to the machinery of the music business.

Quotable Quotes:

Nikki Sixx, “Just because I like a romp in the back of a car with some 18 year old honey doesn’t mean that I don’t hold doors open for the lady or buy her a drink.”

Dee Snider on trying to get a label deal, “We were almost ready to send our next demo tape out under a different name, with no publicity photo, just to see if we could get a bite.”

Phil Oakley, “When we started, we were THE image band in Britain, our image was way beyond everyone else’s. But since then, everybody’s emerged that does it better.”

John Kordosh, “If you can’t make a case for Springsteen and Mellencamp being mildly derivative, then you’re mildly slow.”

Huey Lewis, “I’ll go into a recording studio and I’ll see a sign saying: ‘Wanted guitar player. Must have own gear, professional attitude, geared for success.’ This thing looks like an IBM resume. And on top is a picture of some kids that look like Motley Crue and they’re called Rock Dog or something. Now, there’s something crazy there, you know what I mean?”

Summary: This issue consists of finely written pieces on artists who weren’t terribly interesting. However, it did leave me wondering, who wore better makeup – Boy George, Dee Snider, or Lita Ford?

Grade: B

Latest price on eBay: $12.00 to “Buy It Now.”

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