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 Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – February 1981 (Volume 12, Number 9) 

Perennial rock ‘n’ roll underdogs Rockpile, who had recently released their “Seconds of Pleasure” album, were featured on the cover of the February 1981 of Creem. Dave DiMartino interviewed the entire band, who appeared to enjoy day drinking a bit too much. Dave Edmunds revealed that he really disliked “Teacher Teacher,” the lead track and pushed single from the album. Edmunds opined, “That song could be sung by a couple of 17-year-old kids who’d just got together to make their first record…It’s too deliberate an attempt to get a hit.” The album received mixed reviews from critics, spawned no Top 40 singles, and the group disbanded later in 1981.

The “Mail” section includes a condescending letter from Ontario resident Simon Dingley, who I assume is the same Simon Dingley who later became a reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). If I am mistaken, I’m a bit taken back to be living in a world with two Simon Dingleys.

In the serious denial department, Rita Marley proclaimed to England’s “NME” that Bob Marley was not suffering from cancer. Bob Marley died of cancer approximately three months after this magazine was published. It was also reported that famed moralist Don Henley had been arrested in Los Angeles after supplying cocaine to two girls (who were 15 and 16 at the time). One of the girls was reportedly a prostitute.

As “The Creem Dreem,” Wendy O. Williams displayed an abnormal affinity for shaving cream.

Also, in an “Exclusive Exposé,” the magazine published an old picture of Kiss sans makeup, which “disguised four of the ugliest mugs in The Biz.”

Features:

“Rubber City Rebels Motor Thru Midwest Without a Spare: Prophylactic Climacteric,” by Richard Riegel

“Seconds of Pleasure, Years of Drinking: Rockpile Wakes Up Early,” by Dave DiMartino

“I Knew Kim Fowley and Lived: Confessions of a High Flying Jett,” by Billy Altman

“Cruel for Rats: The Stranglers’ Sociopathic Sound Service,” by Toby Goldstein

“Too Young to Rust, Too Old to Die,” by Robert A. Hull

“Nine or Ten Unbelievably Interesting Facts about Dire Straits, Plus the Usual Unsubstantiated Opinions, Speculations, and Outright Lies,” by John Kordosh

Richard Riegel was impressed by the energy at a poorly attended Rubber City Rebels live show and Billy Altman conducted a good interview with Joan Jett, who discussed the breakup of the Runaways, her first solo album, and working as a producer. Robert A. Hull (no longer “Robot”) penned a serious and thoughtful appreciation of Neil Young’s body of work. John Kordosh snuck in a short interview with an affable Pick Withers of Dire Straits, despite being told the band had a policy of no interviews on the road by a “dreaded ‘Promo Girl.’”

Quotable Quotes:

Richard Riegel, “When Rod (Firestone of the Rubber City Rebels) reels off his favorite bands on the early 70’s – the Stooges, MC5, Roxy Music, Mott the Hoople, Brownsville Station, even early Aerosmith – the list is so early-70’s-CREEM-partyline-perfect that I can almost visualize the polemic figure of Lester Bangs hulking over and advising Rod as he stacked up the LPs on his cheap portable stereo, in his $98 Chez Mothersbaugh flat.”

Dave DiMartino on interviewing Rockpile, “What it’s like, basically, is this: get three of your oldest friends in a room together, drink as much beer as you can, and start calling each other names until you don’t make sense anymore.”

Dave Edmunds, “I just think there’s nothing wrong with blatantly displaying your influences.”

Joan Jett, “In Japan, boy…woman are like second class citizens, and we were their saviors. They’d give us new brushes to brush our hair with, so they’d get pieces of our hair.”

Penny Valentine, “(Bruce Springsteen’s) lyrics of suffering and loss cannot be classed – ever – as truly impotent because he places them over a music that by its form represents an energy level as much as an escape.”

Hugh Cornwell, “Throughout our career, we’ve always had the nuttiest people being attracted to us, we always get the nutters, the completely abnormal types, the sociopaths.”

Robert A. Hull, “No other popular artist – not Springsteen, not Lydon, certainly not Dylan – has defined, even outlined, the past decade better than Neil Young.”

Pick Withers of Dire Straits, “They wouldn’t play ‘Sultans of Swing’ in England until after it made the top 20 in America. They said there were too many words in the song!”

Summary: The cover feature was very interesting. Rockpile were a high-spirited group of lads, who alternately verbally applauded and punched each other.

Grade: A-

Latest price on eBay: $12.99 or “Best Offer.”

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