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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – January 1981 (Volume 12, Number 8) 

With the release of “The River” album and a lengthy corresponding tour, Bruce Springsteen was cover material for the January 1981 issue of Creem. Springsteen discussed his commitment to his work by stating, “I don’t believe in tomorrows…You make your record like it’s the last record you’ll ever make.” On describing the different moods on “The River,” Springsteen commented, “I tried to accept the fact that, you know, the world is a paradox, and that’s the way it is. And the only thing you can do with a paradox is live with it.” It’s an excellent piece that describes Springsteen’s dedication to his music and his fans with no traces of cynicism or hero worship. On the other fist, Billy Altman trashed the album in the “Records Review” section. 

In the mail section, singer/producer Genya Ravan was spitting mad about a Ronnie Spector album review (in the “those were different times” reminder, Raven stated that author Terri A. Huggins referenced the Village People because she fantasized about being “gang-banged by a bunch of fags”). Also, the magazine seemed to have had the entire population of Canada, a frequent target of insults, in a frothing tizzy.

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” we learned that Donnie Osmond had been making appearances in support of Ronald Reagan and that the Roches were dismissed from a Smothers Brothers TV special because they weren’t ‘good-looking enough for TV.’”  

Siouxsie Sioux appeared as “The Creem Dreem,” accompanied by text that the easily offended, or Canadians, should ignore. 

Features: 

“The Pyschedelic Furs Shed,” by Mark Norton 

“Ronnie Redux,” by Terri A. Huggins 

“Match Wits with Gary Numan,” by Jeffrey Morgan 

“Sitting on a Bus with the English Beat and Liking It,” by John Kordosh 

“The Sound and Vision of Psychedelia,” by Robot A. Hull 

“Nice Girl from Baltimore Wears Leopard Dresses and Makes Big Bucks: Pat Benatar’s Sweet Ride,” by Rob Patterson 

Mark Norton interviewed an amiable Richard Butler, who batted away criticisms like an old pro and seemed to prefer the U.S. music scene to his U.K. homeland (“In England you get more things happening quickly, but it’s all trends.”) 

Terri A. Huggins, the subject of Genya Ravan’s ire in the “Mail” section, conducted an interview with Ronnie Spector, who was happy to be back in the music industry and, based upon her photos, was quite proud of her cleavage.  

In an interview with Jeffrey Morgan, Gary Numan noted that he was on his “last tour.” His long-term planning skills may have been slightly off, since he still toured in 2022.  

John Kordosh interviewed an incredibly bitter David Steel and a terminally nice Ranking Roger of the English Beat. Since this was written by Kordosh, it’s much more entertaining than it has any right to be.  

Robot A. Hull penned a history of psychedelic rock, rightfully naming  Texas acts the 13th Floor Elevators and Red Crayola as pioneers in the genre.  

Rob Patterson enjoyed interviewing Pat Benatar and her crew, but literally feel asleep during their live show. Benatar discussed her long road to success and was the cheerful, likable person she always seems to be.  

Quotable Quotes:   

Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs, “We’re into the heavy side of psychedelic music, the side with the really heavy beat.” 

Ronnie Spector commenting on the mansion she lived in with husband Phil Spector, “It wasn’t me. It was too dark. It was like a Dracula’s castle.” 

Jeffrey Morgan, “What does flying have that rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t?” Gary Numan, “It doesn’t have people telling you that you’re shit.” 

Bruce Springsteen, “I have being called ‘Boss.’ I just do. Always did. From the beginning. I HATE bosses. I hate bein’ called a boss. Everybody says ‘Hey Boss,’ and I say, ‘No, Bruce, BRUCE!” 

David Steel, “You’re about ten years behind in America. The majority of people turn on the radio and they hear rubbish. How can you possibly understand what’s going on (in Britain)?” 

John Kordosh on being treated with courtesy by Ranking Roger of the English Beat, “I get the feeling I’ve walked into somebody else’s life by mistake. I mean, musicians use my face to open doors.” 

Penny Valentine, “(Elvis) Costello may be mean-spirited but his bitter vision has an edge. At the end of 1980 only he and the Clash seem really unbowed.” 

Pat Benatar on being a singing waitress, “I sang every horrible Top 40 song you can name. I even sang a CHER song – that’s how bad it was.” 

Billy Altman reviewing Springsteen’s “The River” album, “I really can’t think of any other major star in the whole history of pop music whose range of thought and whose expression of those thoughts has been as limited as Bruce Springsteen’s.” 

Mitchell Cohen on Talking Heads’ “Remain in Light” album, “Not since Love’s Arthur Lee has mulatto-rock sounded like it was constructed on a Bunsen burner.” 

Summary: It took zero seconds for Dave DiMartino and John Kordosh to be completely comfortable with and a significant part of the Creem aesthetic.  

Grade: A 

Latest price on eBay: $15.00 or “Best Offer.” 

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