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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1979 (Volume 11, Number 1) 

Debbie Harry, photographed by Chris Stein, was the cover girl for the June 1979 issue of Creem with the promise of “an intimate interview.” Harry was gracious with Nick Tosches, who asked her questions about her age, drug use, and birth control of choice. Harry on understanding her band’s niche, “We’re a pop group. We feel that we’re part of the new wave, but when it comes down to musical definitions, we’re definitely a pop group. We always tried to be a pop group.” 

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News” it was reported that the experiment that was the Runaways had ended and that Elvis Costello was caught screaming obscenities about Elvis Presley and Ray Charles at an Ohio bar. The fact that Elvis used ugly racial slurs during this outburst was not helpful to his career goals. 

A fair haired, suit clad Robin Zander looked dapper posing in front of a Mazda RX7 in his “Stars Cars” turn. 

Features: 

“The Non-Trendiness of Dire Straits: A Music Biz Yarn,” by Gary Kenton 

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

“Outlaws D’Amour: The Police Raid Airwave Syndicate,” by John Pidgeon 

“Desolation Angels Have Gastric Juices, Too: Bad Company Fleeing from Reality,” by Penny Valentine 

“Blondie Plucks Her Legs!,” by Nick Tosches 

Gary Kenton’s feature on Dire Straits served as a good introduction to the band and Kenton’s knowledge of the innerworkings of the music business added interest to the piece. 

Robot A. Hull took what was commonly referred to as “garage rock” and rechristened it as “punk,” for his piece on “The First Punk Era.” Acts covered include the Kingsmen, the Raiders, the Bobby Fuller Four, Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, and many others. This is the type of piece that Mr. Hull was born to write. 

John Pidgeon raved about the Police while catching them on a club tour, while drummer Stewart Copeland worried about business operations as much as he did music. 

Quotable Quotes:   

Gary Kenton on Dire Straits debut album, “It is also ironic, in view of the tremendous time and money invested in the campaigns for such highly touted acts as Elvis Costello, the Boomtown Rats, and, to a lesser extent, the Clash, to see Dire Straits slip in, virtually unannounced, and outsell them all.” 

Robot A. Hull on The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie,” “Punk music incarnate, a drunken brawl with bodies and cymbals crashing. The record is so sloppy that, after the guitar break, the vocalist interrupts too early, nearly throwing everybody off the beat into a tumbling heap. In that the informality of chance supersedes the dictates of professionalism, this careless moment defines punk rock.” 

John Pidgeon, “The Police are the best rock ‘n’ roll band I’ve seen in years. I kid you not.”

 

Andy Summers on joining the Police, “I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, this is what I’ve been looking for for ages.’” 

Debbie Harry, “American culture has no definition because TV has no awareness.” 

Summary: It’s always interesting to read about acts that we’ve now known for decades, such as the Police and Dire Straits, when they were first breaking through.   

Grade: A- 

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