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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – January 1978 (Volume 9, Number 8) 

Creem mainstay Mick Jagger was back on the cover for the magazine’s January 1978 issue. Jagger held court on the press (“The media are very easy to manipulate, especially in England”), Margaret Trudeau (“It’s just boring that people keep bringing her up all the time”), and possibly touring without Keith Richards (“If Keith went to jail for a long, LONG time, for ages and ages, then yeah, I’d go on the road ‘cause I don’t particularly want to retire”). It’s a good, lengthy, conversational interview. 

In the “Mail” section, John Holstrom of “Punk Magazine” expressed his outrage concerning Robert Duncan’s take on the New York punk scene, calling the article a “biased, uninformed piece of shit.” This letter proves you don’t need to be an old man to stumble into a “get off of my lawn” routine.

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” the deaths of Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines were reported. Meanwhile Lester Bangs was recording songs in New York. 

Features: 

“The Commodores: Come Funk with Us! (But Bring Your Led Zep Records),” by Howard Klein 

“In Paris They Gob on Main Street: Or, French Punk: Does It Exist, And Why?,” by Norbert Sparrow 

“Blue Oyster Cult is God!,” by Robert Duncan 

“Jagger Jaw Session: Mannish Boy Gets What He…Needs,” by Barbara Cherone 

“Creem’s Irreverent Guide to the Music Business: Part II,” by Richard Robinson 

“Elvin Bishop: Fighting the Drought with Budweiser,” by Ed Ward 

Howard Klein caught the Commodores when they were evolving from a dance-oriented funk group into Lionel Richie’s MOR pop machine. The group had a long-term plan to “become an institution, like the Stones.” I guess attaining that goal wasn’t as easy as Sunday morning. Blue Oyster Cult were calmly coping with the attempted follow-up success to “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” Unfortunately, “Godzilla” was never played by Casey Kasem.  

Elvin Bishop made chili for Ed Ward and gave his loquacious thoughts on punk rock (see quote below). 

Iggy Pop was almost unrecognizable, sporting a clean cut tourist by the shore vibe in his “Creem’s Profiles” pic, while Linda Ronstadt was representing the Cub Scouts as “The Creem Dreem.” 

Quotable Quotes:   

Alto Reed from Bob Seger’s band in the “Mail” section, “We dun blow da sox off a da Limeys! Whew!” 

John Lennon, “I basically became a musician because of Elvis Presley.” 

Dolly Parton, “I know you’re all curious to find out whether they’re as big as everyone claims they are. My wigs, that is.” 

Mick Jagger on Patti Smith, “She’s a poseur of the worst kind, intellectual bullshit, trying to be a street girl when she doesn’t seem to be.” 

Lionel Richie, “In r ‘n’ b you’re dealing with a ‘Clean Sound’ – nothing heavy. So we walk in and start talking about FEEDBACk and ‘gimme some echo and some FUZZ and some garbage can sounds.’ These are professional people who are into cutting CLEAN tracks. So it took right up to this album here just to get them to UNDERSTAND.” 

Lionel Richie, “’Easy’ was an experiment. Programmers had said our stuff was too r ‘n’ b to be number one on the pop stations. I said, ‘OK, I’m gonna give these people a song that has no r ‘n’ b anything to it. There’s your pop song. Pop, pop, pop.” 

Robert Duncan on “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” “It was a punkish heavy metal easy listening love song.” 

Albert Bouchard, “The public is not ready for the sound of buzzing insects, the sound of insects being tortured to death.” 

Mick Jagger, “If I was a girl, I’d wear pink. I’d wear pink anywhere.” 

Elvin Bishop, “I’m beginning to think there is such a thing as punk rock. A lot of frustrated, bored kids that is one of the first generations coming out from complete plastic moms and dads, you know, and they’re all bored and restless and don’t know what the hell’s goin’ on, and it’ll be a long time before they find out and they just feel like doing something aggressive, no matter how little sense it makes.” 

Steve Martin, “The person I play onstage is oblivious to newspapers. He’s full of opinions about nothing.” 

Kevin Doyle on Queen, “I can see the day – not too far off – when this package’s single, ‘We Are the Champions,’ played in the grand style of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody/Somebody to Love’ is featured by the organist at Yankee Stadium. Nothing is too good for these boys.” 

Billy Altman on the Ramones’ “Rocket to Russia” album, “The production on this record is dynamite – more crunch to the guitars, more presence to the drums, more boom to the bass, great percussion (love those sleigh bells), and everything about it is just superb. This is the best album the Ramones have done and that’s sayin’ a lot.” 

Summary:  Very solid issue and I love the eclecticism in this string of record reviews – The Dead Boys, the Carpenters, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Queen, Black Oak, Joan Armatrading, and the Dwight Twilley Band. 

Grade: A- 

Latest price on eBay: $19.77 or “Best Offer.” 

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