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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1984 (Volume 16, Number 12)

After featuring Boy George on the cover of the June 1984 issue of Creem, Rob Halford was back on the cover for the July 1984 issue. This back-to-back pairing was more ironic than most people knew at the time. In any event, Judas Priest was in the business of promoting their 1984 “Defenders of the Faith” album, which peaked in the Top Twenty on the U.S. album chart and was eventually certified platinum. The band had a healthy attitude toward their success with Halford observing, “As we’ve grown and become more successful, our egos haven’t grown with our bank balances.” Glenn Tipton on mainstream success, “Van Halen, and I’m sure they’d by the first to admit it, aren’t a heavy metal band. They’re a pop-rock band, and there’s nothing wrong with that; I think they’re great. But we are heavy metal and there’s no way we’d stray away from those margins.” Rob Halford and Glenn Tipton sounded like very intelligent men who were making exactly the music they wanted to make and having tremendous success doing so.   

Jeff Nesin eulogized Marvin Gaye, “He was the Muhammed Ali of soul music – the prettiest, the smartest, the tenderest, the most unpredictable…the greatest.” 

It was reported in “Rock ‘n’ Roll News” that the magazines Trouser Press and New New Yorker had gone belly up. Also, the impending breakup of Status Quo was noted. It took exactly one year before that band reunited and they still tour in the U.K. and Europe.  

Los Lobos, who released one of 1984’s best albums with “How Will the Wolf Survive?,” were interviewed in “The Beat Goes On” by future Chicago Reader journalist Renaldo Migaldi. Cesar Rosas on the promotion efforts of Slash Records, “They’re basically panicked about it, because we are so different from anything else. It’s like a sink-or-swim situation.” 


“Was (Not Was): I Love This Band, I Hate This Band,” by John Kordosh 

“Eurythmics: Separate Bottles on the Same Shelf,” by Iman Lababedi & Rick Johnson 

“Judas Priest Eaten Alive: The Gunpoint Confessions,” by Toby Goldstein 

“The Case for Thomas Dolby,” by David Keeps 

“Rory Gallager in Ireland: The Flannel Banshee Breaks Out!,” by Bill Holdship 

“Turn on the Alarm (Or At Least Give It a Haircut),” by Sylvie Simmons 

John Kordosh interviewed David Weiss and Don Fagenson of Was (Not Was). The studio wizards discussed their “Born to Laugh at Tornadoes” album, probably still the only record to include cameos by Mel Torme and Ozzy Osbourne.  

Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart discussed their image and their relationship (Dave Stewart, “It’s like we’ve been living in separate bottles on the same shelf”) in an interview with Iman Lababedi.  

Bill Holdship went to Ireland to interview Rory Gallagher during the timeframe when the Irish Republican Army were still planting bombs throughout the country. He was impressed both by Gallagher’s live shows, which drove the Irish male audiences into a frenzy, and with the man’s unpretentious demeanor. Rory was an excellent interview subject, discussing the art of the guitar solo, the trap of being a “political” artist and providing in-depth comments on the Clash and U2. Whether or not you are a fan of Rory Gallagher, this is an article that’s worth going out of your way to read.  

Here’s what Dave Sharp said in the Alarm’s interview with Sylvie Simmons. It may be the dopiest thing I’ve ever read, “If I want to court a girl named Honesty in the future and Destiny and Hope and Faith, then I’ve got to give her compassion and truth and understanding, and hope that a relationship will grow, because that’s the only way it will grow. And eventually I might be able to put my arms around her and give her a big hug and say ‘hello.’” God, I hope this guy was on LSD.   

Quotable Quotes:   

Robert Christgau on Run-D.M.C.’s debut album, “Easily the canniest and most formally sustained rap album ever, this is a minimalist tour de force which I trust will be studied (and of course ripped off) by all manner of creative downtowners and racially enlightened Englishmen.” 

Annie Lennon on her image, “I tried to present myself in a way that had nothing to do with the various cults and fashions England invariably perpetuates.” 

Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, “Rather than having a set image – like the Kinks or Duran Duran – we have songs or albums or videos.” 

Rob Halford, “We were thinking of putting a backwards message on this album, and what it was really going to say was, ‘Drink a lot of milk.’” 

Glenn Tipton, “Subtlety has never been a trademark of this band.” 

Thomas Dolby, “I don’t have ‘roots’ in music that I have to stay true to. I’m not Madness who grew up in the East End of London, or Eddy Grant for that matter.” 

Bill Holdship, “With Clapton transformed into J.J. Cale, Beck off into his jazz tangents and Page in semi-retirement – Rory Gallagher is probably the last of the great British blues guitarists still going strong.” 

Rory Gallagher, “I’m terrified of becoming a heavy metal act.” 

Rory Gallager, “I don’t mean you should go back and be like the Stray Cats, sort of wallowing in the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll. I like the Stray Cats, but I don’t see myself like that. I try to move ahead always.” 

John Mendelssohn, “You might already have learned this in civics, but it bears repeating. It isn’t a straight line, but a circle, that best represents the spectrum of political leanings. Hence, in rock ‘n’ roll fashion, as in politics, the extreme left wing, as represented in the former by punk, actually has much more to do with the extreme right wing, as represented by heavy metal, than either has to do with anything in the middle.” 

Summary: Excellent features on Judas Priest and Rory Gallagher.

Grade: A- 

Latest price on eBay: $12.00 to “Buy It Now.” 

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