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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1979 (Volume 11, Number

Cheap Trick had been surging in popularity in Creem magazine in 1978 and early 1979. There had been features on the band, the expected record reviews, and frequent photos, highlighting the band’s visual appeal. With the release of the “At Budokan” album and the subsequent Top 40 success of the single “I Want You to Want Me,” the “Budokan Beatles!” made their first appearance on the cover of Creem in July of 1979.  

Rick Nielsen dodged image-oriented questions from Richard Riegel and instead focused on the band’s work ethic and his musical background (“both my parents were professional opera singers”). It’s a good snapshot of the band right before they became a legitimate arena rock attraction.  

A fun item from “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” “Bob Dylan has reportedly fired his band, hired Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler and Pick Withers to play on his next album, found Jesus and subsequently was baptized in Pat Boone’s back yard (whew!).” 

The Ramones posed as pinball wizards in their “Creem’s Profiles” pic. 

Features: 

“Dream Sequence, Take 2: A Conversation with Bryan Ferry, Frog Prince of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” by Robert Duncan 

“Eyes Right! Joe Jackson, Chart Topping and Girl Watching,” by Charles Shaar Murray 

“That’s Cool, That’s Trash: A History of the First Punk Era, Part II,” by Robot A. Hull 

“The Basher Tapes: Nick Lowe Achieves Verbal Dominance of the Free World,” by Susan Whitall 

In a very solid interview, Bryan Ferry reflected upon his solo work and his career with Roxy Music. Both journalist Robert Duncan and Ferry agreed that sometimes the audience didn’t understand the sense of humor displayed in the Roxy Music image making.  

Charles Shaar Murray was deeply impressed by Joe Jackson’s “Look Sharp!’ album, calling it “1979’s first great album.” Jackson reflected on his musical interests, the new wave movement, and managed not to discuss his son named Michael.  

Robot A. Hull continued his series on “punk rock” with overviews on The Standells, The Seeds, and The Leaves, among others. He also included a selected discography for singles and albums. Mr. A. Hull could have written a fine book on this concept.  

Nick Lowe discussed several topics including recording techniques, the state of pop music, and the differences between the U.S. and the U.K. in his conversational interview with Susan Whitall. 

Quotable Quotes:   

Elvis Costello on his racist outburst in an Ohio bar, “It became necessary for me to outrage these people with about the most obnoxious and offensive remarks that I could muster, to bring the argument to a swift conclusion, and rid myself of their presence. It worked pretty good.” (The people he needed to outrage were Stephen Stills and his crew. Sometimes, it’s just not possible to love the ones you’re with.)  

Bryan Ferry, “If you try to do too much, people will tend to find fault with something, and I think that’s one of the things we’ve been accused of, trying to do too much.” 

Joe Jackson, “I was really into classical music, as it happens. I was a slightly odd teenager.” 

Robot A. Hull, “The Seeds were the Rolling Stones of punk with Sky Saxon playing Jagger. Their sound was basically one riff transported by Daryl Hooper’s phantom-like piano and organ melodica, creating an ethereal spookiness that qualified as the missing link between the mysterious organ of Texas punk and the Freudian keyboards of the Doors.” 

Nick Lowe, “Van (Morrison) is such a MISERABLE old fucker…there were some times…when they started playing ‘Moon Dance’ I thought Mike Douglas was gonna come out and start singing.” 

Richard Riegel, “To live outside the law of the beautiful people, as Cheap Trick have graphically demonstrated, you must be zany.” 

Rick Nielsen, “Now people are saying I’m a great guitarist; I don’t think I’m that hot technically. I’d like some recognition as a writer.” 

Nick Tosches, “In the last years of his life, the only thing that separated Elvis Presley from Mel Torme and Jerry Vale was his refusal to appear on ‘The Merv Griffin Show.’” 

Richard C. Walls on Pere Ubu’s “Dub Housing” album, “This record is a mess. It’s energetic and bent, a mess of new ideas flung down with punk heat. It’s also hilarious.” 

Summary: Everything works if you let it. 

Grade: A 

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

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