The B-52’s somewhat surprisingly danced their way to the cover slot of the July 1982 issue of Creem. The band’s only release that year was the David Byrne produced EP “Mesopotamia,” which did not tear up the charts or include any hit singles. However, the trash culture prodigies were coming off a four-night stay at New York’s Roseland club, a lengthy celebration with 10,000 guests. In an interview with Toby Goldstein, Kate Piersen discussed the evolution of the stage/costume wigs for her and Cindy Wilson. She also cheerfully volunteered that the reason that the band was formed was due to lack of any other entertainment alternatives in Georgia at the time. She also discussed entertaining cows with their music. The article is a good reminder of how much fun the B-52’s have always been.
In this issue, the death of Lester Bangs was reported with a eulogy written by his friend Billy Altman. Bangs, of course, was more responsible than anyone for Creem’s feisty, high intellect meets street smart aesthetic. Altman, “He was, I would have to say, a true artist, someone who WAS their work, who was exactly the same both on and off the printed page. We all share equally then, in the loss of him, just as we’re all much better off for him having been among us for awhile.” Several decades later, journalist Roger Hitts reflected on being a 1970’s era, junior high musical zealot by concluding, “Life was simpler when Creem magazine told us what to do and Lester Bangs was our God.”
In “The Beat Goes On,” Iman Lababedi interviewed a thoughtful Pete Shelley, who was enjoying electronic music and no longer needed the Buzzcocks. By 1989, much to our collective benefit, Pete needed the Buzzcocks again. In the same section, Rob Patterson interviewed Eddie Schwartz, who had penned the Pat Benatar smash “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,’ and was trying to become a rock star in his own right. Using the name Eddie Schwartz.
“Not Just Another L.A. Send-Up: The Flying of Fear,” by John Kordosh
“A Girlschool for Headbangers!, by Chris Salewicz
“Bold as Love: Aldo,” by John Kordosh
“Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate: J. Geils Are Centerfold Stars!,” by Sylvie Simmons
“Do You Dig the B-52’s?,” by Toby Goldstein
John Kordosh interviewed members of the homophobic L.A. punk band Fear (“gays are great to poke fun at”), who discussed their relationship with mega-fan John Belushi. Kordosh, “From what I’ve read about Belushi, he was something of a frustrated musician, which brings us back to Fear. I don’t know if they’re frustrated, but they’re sure as shootin’ lousy musicians.”
Chris Salewicz interviewed the all-female, London-based metal group Girlschool, who reached the Top Ten of the U.K. album charts in 1981 with “Hit and Run,” despite the repetitive, repetitive, repetitive title track. Did you know that Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go’s was an original member of Girlschool? Did you know that Lemmy Kilminster helped the band get a contract? Ok, now you know everything interesting about Girlschool.
The ever-active John Kordosh also interviewed Aldo Nova who was smack in the middle of his one-hit wonder phase with the AOR meets Top 40 rocker “Fantasy.” (Aldo would later work with Celine Dion and Clay Aiken. Perhaps we should have made him a two or three hit wonder).
Creem had long championed the R&B, roots rock of the J. Geils Band and they were (somewhat) celebrating their biggest commercial success in 1982 with the pop hits “Centerfold” and “Freeze-Frame.” Keyboardist Seth Justman had pushed the group into a much more modern pop direction, one that Peter Wolf disliked so much that he left the following year. In his interview with Sylvie Simmons, Wolf talked about the band digging themselves out of serious debt issues, his love of 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll and jazz music, and the early days of the J. Geils Band. Peter Wolf could definitely fill up an interviewer’s cassette tape.
Robert Christgau on George Strait, “He’s so unassuming I’m afraid he’s destined to remain a minor pleasure – one more lonely tiller in the fields left fallow by Billy Sherrill and Eddie Rabbitt.”
Aldo Nova, showing great self-awareness, “I’m not even close to Hendrix.”
John Kordosh, “It turned out that Aldo was the one wearing the leopard-skin pill-box outfit, which intimidated me to some degree. I don’t like talking to people who consciously dress worse than aging whores; sue me.”
Peter Wolf, “Our past history is our credibility.”
Kate Pierson, “We’ll go play somewhere and there’ll be lots of people with those plastic lobster hats. I feel like we’ve spawned a Frankenstein lobster. They’ve got these big crustacean legs on ‘em. I see them chasing me in my sleep.”
Jeff Nesin, “Talking Heads is a very good band – that much is clear. But for me, at least, they’re like a terribly homely, awkward couple who are very much in love. I’m glad they found each other, but I’d just as soon they grope somewhere else.”
Rick Johnson on Haircut One Hundred, “I just don’t understand what the big deal is with all this credit card spanking, sax honk and dial-twaddle. Hell, you could dance to my sump pump every spring, but I don’t hear Clive baby tap, tap, tapping on my cellar door. And these groups adding horns just riots me to pieces. Didn’t we go through this once before? Do the words AL KOOPER mean anything to you?”
Summary: It’s pretty funny to read Peter Wolf’s sermons regarding how completely dedicated he was to the J. Geils Band, knowing he would leave the following year.
Latest price on eBay: $15.00 or “Best Offer.”
Miley makes it three at the top
better than you remember
it has been four years since her last long player
quickly get your music noticed
A fast rock & roll song performed with a retro punk vibe
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – April 1983 (Volume 14, Number 11)
the final issue edited by Susan Whitall
hard rock meets classic rock meets Americana
Chuck D is at the Grammy Museum
On The Red Carpet For The Screening Of “The Beast Inside” At The Angelica Cinema, Sunday, January 29th, 2023: pictures by Billy Hess
a powerhouse performance by Sadie Katz and SohoJohnny as you never thought you’d see him