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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1976 (Volume 8, Number 1)

The cover story for the June 1976 issue of Creem is a rather sensationalistic drug piece on “green,” a street version of Ketamine. While use of this hallucinogen never became widespread in the U.S., it is still used on the dance club/rave circuit. Fee Waybill of the Tubes opined, “Taking green is kind of like snorting a crushed up Mastercharge.” Damn, that’s the high I’ve always been chasing! 

Elsewhere, there is a small article on the Sex Pistols, reprinted from the NME. This piece was published well over a year before their debut album “Never Mind the Bollocks…” was released. Author Neil Spencer (the editor of the NME from 1978-1985) describing the band, “A quartet of spiky misfits from the wrong end of various London roads, playing 60’s style white punk rock as unself-consciously as it’s possible to play it these days i.e., self-consciously.” 

In the “Mail” Section, Gabriel Shalom from Winnipeg, Canada displayed significant outrage over Lester Bangs’ recent feature on Bob Dylan. Some of the feedback – “verbal diarrhea,” “literary seizures,” “fascism,” “cowardly,” “audacity,” “buttock-padded pseudo-intellectual pomposity,” and “fartless pipsqueak.” I believe it was Rick Johnson who once stated that Creem received hate mail “that glowed in the dark.” 

In the personnel department, Eric (“Air-Wreck”) Genheimer had been promoted to “Associate Editor” for the magazine. On Eric’s current LinkedIn page, he gives the following title for his years at Creem – “Garbage Man.” 

Features: 

“Present at the Creation: An Exclusive Interview with Ian Stewart,” by Lisa Robinson 

“Innocents in Babylon: A Search for Jamaica with Bob Marley,” by Lester Bangs 

“Ted Nugent Shoots Up!,” by Ted Owensby 

“Roxy Music: Laissez Faire of Every Man for Himself?,” by Kathy Miller 

“Bad Company: A Bunch of Sissies?,” by Nick Kent 

In a rare interview, Rolling Stones co-founder and tour manager Ian Stewart came across as self-effacing and candid. He seemed very grounded about his life, displaying a hint of bitterness about being removed officially from the band, but also noting that nobody really cared about who played piano behind Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.  

Lester Bangs report on mid-1970’s Jamaican culture is fascinating. The island was clearly not the middle-class tourist destination that it is today. Lester approached Jamaican society with a mixture of intrigue and white boy fear. Bangs wrote so much about his trip to Jamaica that the piece was published in two parts. A must read.


The Ted Nugent interview was the same egomaniacal spiel he has been spewing for decades. Kathy Miller interviewed Phil Manzanera and Andy MacKay of Roxy Music, who seemingly were in a shotgun marriage with a band that they didn’t want to leave, yet they were frustrated that they hadn’t become a headlining act in America (also known as the “Mott the Hoople” problem).  

In the “Creem’s Profiles,” Keith Moon looked quite pleased to be posing with a can of Boy Howdy! His age according to the magazine, “Fixated infantilism incarnate.” 

Quotable Quotes:   

Ian Stewart, “There certainly is something lacking in the sort of American breeding or education. I mean they breed some very noisy, rude people.” 

Stewart, “Keith (Richards) is the best rock and roll guitar player there is. Yet people don’t realize that because he doesn’t do a lot of solos.” 

Lester Bangs, “The Rastafarians may yet prove to be the first people in history to collaborate in their own exploitation by the music industry.” 

Ted Nugent, “As far as fucking goes, I’ll fuck anything this side of a nun.” 

Phil Manzanera, “It is annoying when you spend three months in the studio, contributing ideas to an album, and not even get your name mentioned in a review. Everybody has their egos.” 

Rick Johnson on Bill Wyman, “It isn’t easy being a minor character in your own dreams.” 

Summary: Two first rate pieces, including the only interview I’ve ever read with Ian Stewart. 

Grade: A- 

Latest price on eBay: $15.00 to “Buy It Now.” 

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