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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – February 1975 (Volume 6, Number 9) 

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – February 1975 (Volume 6, Number 9)  

The February 1975 issue of Creem would be fairly lackluster if it weren’t for David Bowie going in neck deep on his praise for Adolf Hitler. Bowie, “His overall objective was very good, and he was a marvelous morale booster…he was a perfect figurehead. I don’t believe he was the dictatorial, omnipotent leader that he’s been taken for.” Hopefully, Bowie was on some pretty powerful drugs during that 2:00 a.m. discussion. 

We learn in “Rock ‘n’ Roll News” that Alice Cooper is preparing to release his first “solo” album – that is, his first album after the split of the original band. “Welcome to My Nightmare” was released in March of 1975 and included the hit ballad “Only Women Bleed,” which sounded nothing like his previous work. We also discovered how ahead of his time Sly Stone was. He got kicked out of New York theater for talking into his “portable telephone” in the mid-1970s!  He may have been texting all of us in 1979.  

This issue includes a feature and an album review (a thumbs up for Kiss’s “Hotter Than Hell) from Cynthia Dagnal, now known as Cynthia Dagnal Myron. She was later a colleague of Roger Ebert at the Chicago “Sun Times” and has described herself as the first black woman to become a rock critic for a “major metropolitan daily.”  

In “Letter from Britain,” Ian MacDonald tried out a new term for Queen, with a legacy through King Crimson and ELP, called “Flash Rock.” Thankfully, that phrase never caught on, although the band in question did record the “Flash Gordon” soundtrack in 1980. 

Features: 

ZZ Top: From the Texas Underbelly by Ben Ferguson 

J. Geils: Howlin’ at the Moon by John Morthland 

A Franco-American Chronologue Starring Les Varations by Lester Bangs 

Jimmy Page: Guitars I Have Known by Nick Kent 

Traffic: Coming or Going by Cynthia Dagnal 

Journey to the Center of the Wax: Rick Wakeman’s Split Level Dome by Jaan Uhelszki 

The Guess Who: Pounds Lighter and Tons Heavier by Gene Sculatti 

Chicago On Ice by Richard Kearns 

U.F.O.’s, Hitler, & David Bowie by Bruno Stein 

The ZZ Top piece captured That Lil Ol’ Band from Texas when they were working hard to ensure they wouldn’t be a regional act. (Spoiler alert – they succeeded). John Morthland loved a live J. Geils Band set in Detroit, but almost subliminally wondered if they would fail to meet their commercial goals. The Nick Kent interview with Jimmy Page is focused on equipment and Page’s development as a musician prior to Led Zeppelin. Jaan Uhelszki pried out of Rick Wakemen his frustrations with Yes and caught his self-affirming solo show. The Chicago and Guess Who…pieces…zzz…where’s my caffeine? 

Quotable Quotes:   

Leslie West on Paul Rodgers, “His voice is so much like an instrument that sometimes it’s really hard to believe it’s a voice.”  

ZZ Top manager Bill Hamm, “ZZ Top’s music comes from the seedy, raw underbelly of Texas. It’s driving down dust roads 100 mph, beer in hand, looking for the ever-elusive, good-time type of music.” 

Jimmy Page, “Slade is a terrible band. I’ve never seen anyone use so much equipment just to be loud.” 

John Morthland on the J. Geils Band, “I was knocked out to see a bona fide, red-blooded ROCK AND ROLL SHOW.” 

Nick Kent, “When (Jimmy Page) solos it’s like a cluster of tiny volcanoes all timed to go off one directly after the other.” 

Cynthia Dagnal on Traffic’s live show, “The best thing about (‘John Barleycorn Must Die’) was that it had a self sustaining sense of direction: a beginning, a middle and end. The others all had rousing starts and lingering deaths.” 

Rick Wakeman, “Twentieth century rock audiences are far more intelligent than half the audiences that go to classical concerts.” 

Burton Cummings on Randy Bachman, “I hate that guy. He was down on the rest of us ‘cause he thought we were all blowing it with dope and all this ridiculous shit. He was like some kind of Mormon or something.” 

Summary:  Too many features, albeit short ones, on uninspiring acts.  

Grade: B 

Latest price on eBay: $9.99 to “Buy It Now” – a real bargain! 

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