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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – February 1984 (Volume 15, Number 9)

One never had to twist the arm of a Creem editor to put Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger on the magazine’s cover. In conjunction with the release of the “Undercover” album, Mick was interviewed by Gary Graff. In a wide-ranging interview, Mick talked about being influenced by African music, blew off suggestions of sexism, de-emphasized “socially-conscious” lyrics, and reacted to a question about becoming a father again by stating, “It DOES affect the checkbook.” One good thing about Mick, he was always completely comfortable being rock ‘n’ roll royalty and that attitude comes across, in a positive way, in this piece.

In Rock ‘n’ Roll News, it was reported that the Animals reunion ended with Eric Burdon pounding Alan Price on the head a few times with a “large, heavy” book. Perhaps Eric did this on behalf of non-violent, non-wife beating scribe Richard Riegel.

Nick Tosches celebrated the work of Wanda Jackson, calling her, “simply and without contest, the greatest menstruating rock ‘n’ roll singer whom the world has ever known.” In a less offensive passage, Nick wrote, “Her voice, a wild-fluttering thing of sexy subtleties and sudden harshnesses, feral feline purrings and raving banshee shriekings, was a vulgar wonder to hear. She was a girl who could growl.” Regarding the vocals on “Fujiyama Mama,” Nick opined, “She sounded like she could fry eggs on her G-spot.”


“X Spot the Marks: Raw Chemicals with a Spoon,” by Richard Riegel

“Paul Rodgers: Got Juice if You Want It,” by Laura Fissinger

“Alan Vega: Life After Suicide,” by Roy Trakin

“The Eurthymics Would Be Lying If They Said They Didn’t Enjoy It,” by Rick Johnson and Iman Lababedi

“New Order: Dancing to an Eerie Beat,” by John Nielson

“New Cosmetic Heavy Metal Show: Motley Crue Calling,” by Sylvie Simmons

Richard Riegel’s feature on X was one of those “failure to commercially launch” stories. Billy Zoom mentioned that the band did have a video on MTV, “If you want to get up at 4 a.m. to see it.”

Paul Rodgers gave a short interview to Laura Fissinger to discuss his solo “Cut Loose” album. On the other side of the solo album spectrum, Alan Vega was hoping to sell 50,000 copies of his Ric Ocasek produced “Saturn Strip” album. He may have gotten there if he had named the album “Duran Duran.”

The Eurythmics piece is a co-write between Rick Johnson and Iman Lababedi, that does a pretty good job of explaining the chemistry between Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox, almost by accident. The story alternates between Johnson humor and deep dives into Annie’s personality in the interview section.

Motley Crue were as much the embodiment of every “sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” cliché you could imagine in their interviews, so at least they were consistent with their records in promoting their image.

Quotable Quotes:

Robert Christgau on John Anderson, “The best thing to hit country music since Gary Stewart if not Tom T. Hall if not Merle Haggard.”

Paul McCartney, “If I’d known John (Lennon) was going to die, I wouldn’t have been as standoffish as I was.”

Editor, “We have one-time Rockpiler Billy Bremmer to thank for this one: Q: What’s the definition of endless love? A: A tennis match between Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder.”

Richard Riegel, “Jon Doe’s handsome in an earnest rockin’-beatnik-on-a-‘50s-loading-dock way – plastered hair, plaid shirt, jeans, big engineer boots up on the bed – while Exene Cervenka’s pretty in a sort of plainfolks Appalachian-waif style. They’d be the perfect all-America couple to cast in a remake of ‘Bonnie and Clyde,’ but fortunately someone reinvented punk rock in the meantime.”

Paul Rodgers, “The Bad Company tour in support of ‘Desolation Angels’ in 1979 was a real blinder. It was the carrying the pieces of my mind in one of the suitcases. I was a zombie.”

Alan Vega, “Suicide is still ten years ahead of its time.”

Rick Johnson, “Iman Lababedi is quite a guy. He’s from Lebanon – hotbed of rock criticism – but he grew up in England. Although he looks like someone you can’t quite recall from your third least memorable luau, he sneaks up on you in his unmarked personality and POW! – you’re on ‘Labenese Camera.’”

Annie Lennox, “I didn’t work all this time to be a failure.”

Dave Stewart, “The video, the music, the production and the whole thing is my idea. Annie is the tour front person.”

Jagger, “I’m totally anti-nostalgia; I never listen to old Rolling Stones records. I’m not really interested in them.”

Jagger, “The Clash were a really big band with young kids last year. This year, the kids don’t even know who they ARE anymore.”

Rick Johnson, “If I was a girl, I’d probably spend all my time standing naked in front of a mirror and gaping, ‘Hey, where’s my Lady Schick?’”

Summary: One of the challenges that Creem had during this era was that band’s that they most wanted to celebrate, such as X and the Blasters, were doing nothing in terms of mainstream sales. However, at least they gave them some positive ink.

Grade: B+

Latest price on eBay: $11.96 to “Buy It Now.”

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