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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – January 1979 (Volume 10, Number 8

Ted Nugent returned to the cover for the January 1979 issue of Creem, pointing a blurred-out handgun toward the photographer. Ted laid on his usual feral rock ‘n’ roll routine which included homophobia, excessive belching, proclaiming his need for “fresh blood,” dancing on car hoods (or discussion of same), and a tour of his home that included animal taxidermy and caribou steaks. One must admire, if nothing else, his dedication to his gimmick.  

A droll Rick Nielsen photo was used to introduce “Boy Howdy’s Guide to Electric Guitars.” I haven’t highlighted these types of articles in my reviews, but the magazine did dedicate a significant number of pages to rock band equipment. If you were looking for information on “Passive vs. Active Equalization,” author Allen Hester had you covered. 

The death of Nancy Spungen and the resulting interest in the Sid Vicious single “My Way” was reported in “The Beat Goes On.” 

Features: 

“Steve Gibbons: A Portrait in Black and Blue,” by Mike Flood Page 

“Kihn-Esthetic Responses,” by Mitch Cohen 

“Peroxide in Crises! Rod Stewart & Friends Unite Against the Enemy: Split Ends,” by John Pidgeon 

“Ted Nugent: The Night They Drove Old Gonzo Down,” by Kat Gisi 

“No Stones in ’77 & No Sex Pistols in ’78! Jagger & Richard for the Defense!,” by Roy Carr 

Mike Flood Page penned an appreciation for English guitarist Steve Gibbons, applauding his work as a rock ‘n’ roll traditionalist (his biggest U.K. hit was a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Tulane”). Mitch Cohen got a good interview out of Greg Kihn, who talked about how the history of music in the Bay Area shaped his band. Kihn clearly had a strong work ethic and desire for success. 

John Pidgeon interviewed a rather subdued Rod Stewart, as well as several members of his band. His bandmates noted they had to put their egos aside and do what was best for the unit. Rod seemed much happier having the defined leader role versus his days in the Faces.  

In the second part of the Keith Richards interview, it was reported that Richards was found guilty of possession of heroin in Canada, resulting in one year’s probation and a required charity concert for the deaf. Really, a concert for the deaf. Grand idea. As for the interview, Richards discussed the Sex Pistols, Gram Parsons (“one of my closest friends”), and meeting “extra-horny black chicks.” Jagger entered in the back half of the interview and discussed the band’s blues influence, the disco edge on “Miss You,” and his…um…satisfaction with the “Some Girls” album. This piece was much more interesting than Part I in the previous issue. 

Quotable Quotes:   

Robert Christgau on Blondie, “As unlikely as it seemed three years ago, these locals have actually achieved their synthesis of the Crystals and the Electric Prunes.” 

Robert Christgau on Devo, “If this isn’t Kiss for college kids, then it’s Meat Loaf for college kids who are too sophisticated to like Meat Loaf. Aside from music per se, the Kiss connection is in their cartoonishness – Devo’s robot moves create distance, a margin of safety, the way Kiss’s makeup does. But the Meat Loaf connection is deeper, because this is real midnight-movie stuff – the anti-humanist sci-fi silliness, the reveling in decay, the thrill of being in a cult that could attract millions and still seem like a cult.” 

Rick Johnson on taking proper care of your records, “After years of careful research on this problem, I’ve found the only permanent solution to warped records is to avoid purchasing anything associated with Kim Fowley.” 

Mike Flood Page on Seve Gibbons, “He was following onto the stage a die-hard punk roster climaxing with the amazonian Slits, and he stole the show. No problem.” 

Greg Kihn on Bay Area feminists, “To this day, we’ve never written any lyric or sang any song that was in any way demeaning of women, ‘cause I don’t wat to piss these people off.” 

Rod Stewart, “I find it hard to sing other people’s songs because I’m so into writing my own stuff now.” 

Rod Stewart on his band from that era, “Anybody who compares them to the Faces or the people I used to work with on old albums, if they don’t think they’re ten times better than that lot ever were, they should see the record sales. And that’s the name of the game.” 

Ted Nugent, “I’ve got an album in the old pocket here, left hand pocket, mind you, that is nothing short of DISGUSTING. I mean, this is absolutely a totally merciless tape that I have no right whatsoever to release upon the world, but I’m going to anyway.” 

Keith Richards, “The trouble with Pete (Townshend) is that he thinks too much.” 

Patti Smith on Jim Morrison, “A member of the rude order of celestial screamers, one who would slaughter his brother to waggle tongues with his father, the absolute kiss and caress of death, the artist embraces his creator. Ultimate incest.” 

Summary: I have no deep interest in Steve Gibbons or Greg Kihn, but every feature is so well written in this issue that there’s no reason to skip any of them.  

Grade: A- 

Latest price on eBay: $11.95 to “Buy It Now.” 

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