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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1985 (Volume 17, Number 2)

The Artist Who Was Then Known As Prince returned to the cover slot for Creem’s July 1985 issue. Having been somewhat overexposed via the “Purple Rain” movie, radio airplay/MTV, as well as exhibiting an aloof public persona, created a bit of Prince fatigue during this time. Bill Holdship was experiencing that fatigue, having attended an uninspired live show, and noting, “He’s a master manipulator, actor, illusionist, and image maker. His most influential historical predecessor would probably be, not David Bowie, but Ziggy Stardust.” My favorite lines in the piece, “People say he’s a musical genius, and who am I to argue with that? After all, the man plays 27 instruments. Then again, one of my all-time favorite records is ‘California Sun’ by the Rivieras, and those guys could hardly play one instrument, let alone 27. So what do I know?” Prince’s legacy would grow over his lifetime, but as an actor, he was a fantastic songwriter.

Future big deals the Judds, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), and Billy Bragg all popped up in “The Beat Goes On.”

My wife on George Thorogood’s “Creem’s Profiles” picture, “George Thorogood is the type of guy who would wear a snakeskin jacket.”


“REO Speedwagon: Do’Wanna B’Wannas!,” by Kevin Knapp

“Iron Maiden: What’s It All About, Eddie?,” by Karen Schlosberg
“Being of General Public Interest,” by Richard Grabel
“P.T. Barnum, Won’t You Please Come Home? The Wit and Wisdom of Prince Rogers Nelson,” by Bill Holdship

REO were on the comeback trail after their 1982 album “Good Trouble” only went platinum. By the time this issue was published, Kevin Cronin was ruining our lives (again), this time with “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” another one of his patented ballads that sounds like Barry Manilow fronting Journey.

Karen Schlosberg summed up heavy metal pretty well on her piece on Iron Maiden, “Heavy Metal is like Goth novels for adolescents, full of melodrama, excitement, adventure, passion, impossibly heroic situations and plenty of vicarious thrills supposedly good for the catharsis of the troubled soul.”

Quotable Quotes:

Bill Holdship, “The Beatles were bigger than Jesus Christ, but Prince may prove to be bigger than Howard Hughes.”

Gary Richrath of REO Speedwagon on an injured hand, “I got mad and punched a light last night. It was a tough fight – I had to hit it three times.”

Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick on performing for military audiences, “It’s not all fun and games. My guitar went out of tune one night and they made me peel potatoes for a week!”

Mitchell Cohen on Tom Petty, “The first line of this album, ‘Honey don’t walk out, I’m too drunk to follow’ is worthy of Randy Newman.”

Summary: Bill Holdship’s piece on Prince is excellent. Not too much else in this issue to recommend it.

Grade: B

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

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