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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – February 1982 (Volume 13, Number 9) 

Following the Mick Jagger cover story/interview in January, Keith Richards was featured on the cover of February 1982 issue of Creem (with Mick in the background). This is one of the better interviews that Keith did with the magazine, covering a wide range of subjects in a conversational style. Noting the Stones place in the universe, he opined, “I don’t think anybody would consider us to be part of ‘the establishment.’ We’ve established ourselves within an anti-establishment field.” 

However, the best piece in the issue is, oddly enough a book review. Bill Holdship took apart, brick by brick/piece by piece, the narrative in the Albert Goldman book “Elvis.” Goldman basically used the book as an opportunity to insult Elvis in every possible way – his intelligence, his singing, even calling him “a latent or active homosexual.” After pointing out Goldman’s anti-rock music biases, Holdship noted, “On top of all this, I KNOW that Goldman’s account of a Presley Vegas show that turned into a ‘complete fiasco’ when scenes from the Civil War were projected on a screen is a gross fabrication. I know because I was there. It was my 18th birthday – August 6, 1973, and it just didn’t happen the way he describes it.” See more in the “Quotable Quotes” section. This is one of my favorite pieces in the history of the magazine.  

In “The Beat Goes On,” Toby Goldstein interviewed an enthusiastic Georgie Fame, who had three #1 U.K. singles in the 1960’s, most notably 1964’s “Yeh, Yeh.” Fame probably needed that enthusiasm later in life, when he worked extensively on tour and in recording sessions with Van Morrison. In another “BGO” piece, Iman Lababedi interviewed Billy “Eyes Without a Face” Idol, who shared management with Kiss and assured the world that he wouldn’t sell out for pop stardom.  

Devo looked appropriately quizzical while examining a can of Boy Howdy! in the “Creem’s Profile.” 

Features: 

“Ses Liaisons Dangereuses: Marianne Faithfull,” by Mitchell Cohen 

“Robert Fripp’s Chocolate Cake Discipline: In the Court of the Crimson King, Phase II,” by Richard Grabel 

“George Thorogood Cuts Through the U.S.A.,” by Dave Zimmer 

“Sharona Gets a Round Trip Ticket: The Knack Attack is (Almost) Back,” by Michael Goldberg 

Mitchell Cohen conducted a good interview with Marianne Faithfull, who discussed her issues with drugs, her acquaintances with the Beatles (“John (Lennon)? I was always rather frightened of him. Paul…was the type of person you could go around and see and talk to”), and her latest albums.  

Author Richard Grabel felt that Robert Fripp had the air of a European professor. Fripp managed to be intellectually pretentious without coming across as a complete bore.  

Dave Zimmer caught George Thorogood when he was doing a concert on consecutive nights in each state (the “50/50” tour). Thorogood chatting about opening for the Rolling Stones, recording obscure blues numbers, and wanting to write his own material (“I’d just like to be able to write some songs that make people get up and dance”).  

Michael Goldberg interviewed the Knack. A few years after the massive success of “My Sharona,” the band was playing a half-filled 600 audience capacity club. The band seemed to have managed their huge popularity and subsequent commercial downfall by keeping their sense of humor and sense of hope intact. For his part, Michael Goldberg noted, “I feel like I’ve witnessed the Dave Clark 5 whipping through ‘Glad All Over’ during the mid-60’s (well…at least the Knickerbockers running through ‘Lies’”). 

Quotable Quotes:   

Bill Holdship, “Goldman understands that when Elvis was bad, he was horrible. What he fails to understand is the when Elvis was good, he was the greatest of all, and if you don’t believe me, just read what everyone from Phil Spector to Jim Morrison to David Bowie to Bruce Springsteen had to say about it. On a personal level, I can’t begin to explain what Elvis Presley mean to a fat, unhappy little kid growing up in a small Michigan town. All I can is I’m forever grateful, and I’m truly sorry that Goldman had the misfortune of missing what an entire generation saw in those swiveling hips and that cocksure sneer.” 

Georgie Fame, “Bands like the Specials are great. They sound a little like my band, the Blue Flames, did in 1962.” 

Billy Idol, “I can see why people want to believe the worst. They want to believe I want to sell out, they want to believe I want to be a heavy pop star.” 

Gary Numan, “I think it’s about time that people admitted that they do things for money, ‘cause that’s the only reason you go to work.” 

Marianne Faithfull, “How does a little white girl from England get soul? That’s what I wanted.” 

Richard Grabel on Robert Fripp, “He asks me how many words I need for my article, mentally calculates how much talking he will have to do to provide them, and stops at that point.” 

Robert Fripp, “When I first heard punk I thought, I’ve been waiting six years for this.” 

George Thorogood, “When I first heard the Stones I thought they were it. They had that read hard, gravelly sound. After hearing that, I had to get a guitar.” 

Doug Fieger on the band’s debut album, “It went platinum faster than any debut album in the history of the record business. You can’t hype that. There’s no way to hype five million sales.” 

Keith Richards, “I was always in front of my mirror doing my Elvis Presley act.” 

Keith Richards, “Mick has a million roles that he works, plays and uses very well.” 

Keith Richards, “I’ve got everything great that (Chuck Berry’s) ever done. I carry it with me.” 

Keith Richards, “The last time I saw (Chuck), he gave me a black eye.” 

Rick Johnson on The Knack, “There’s just no getting around the fact that these guys are the most hated band in America. It’s not right either. They should only be the SECOND most hated, right after Pablo Cruise.” 

Summary:  Bill Holdship was busy proving that passion is no ordinary word in this “Elvis” book review. 

Grade: A 

Latest price on eBay: $14.97 to “Buy It Now.” 

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