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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1985 (Volume 17, Number 1)

The de-evolution of Creem covers continued with the June 1985 issue, that contrasted W.A.S.P. against John Fogerty. The Bangles, under the headline “Rock Mamas Gone Bad!,” also were deemed worthy of a cover pic. If you tossed every 1980’s heavy metal cliché into a blender and added some bargain basement Alice Cooper blood and gore theatrics, the end result would be W.A.S.P. (various theories about the acronym included “We Are Sexual Perverts” and “We Are Satan’s People”). The band never received any significant airplay and their best-selling albums peaked at about #50 on the U.S. album charts. Even if a metal obsessed teenager bought the magazine because W.A.S.P. was in the primary focal point of the cover, they wouldn’t have been pleased with the corresponding article. Creem, at this point, seemed to be looking for new feeding hands to bite.

Features:

“Julian Lennon Comes of Age,” by Liz Derringer
“Bangles for Sale,” by Iman Lababedi


“Ridin’ the Wild Stampede! John Fogerty Returns,” by Ken Settle
“W.A.S.P.: Lawful or Awful?,” by John Kordosh
“Foreigner: Feels Like the Fifth Time!,” by Sylvie Simmons

Liz Derringer interviewed Julian Lennon who spoke about his “Valotte” album with the same passion that most people exhibit when choosing a rental car.

Iman Lababedi penned an enthusiastic piece on the Bangles during their “All over the Place” era. They weren’t famous yet, but Iman noted they had all the parts, from songwriting to being a good live act, and having an undiscovered major star in Susannah Hoffs. Smart guy, that Iman Lababedi.

John Fogerty was enjoying his biggest success as a solo artist in 1985; his multi-platinum album “Centerfold” went to #1 on the “Billboard” charts and he had a Top Ten single with “The Old Man Down the Road.” Fogerty talked about being out of the music game for almost a decade due to legal issues with Fantasy Records and called “Zanz Kant Danz” “a song about a pig.” (That reference to label executive Saul Zaentz landed Fogerty in more legal hot water). Ken Settle did a good interview with Fogerty, balancing the bitterness he had toward the music business with the excitement he had for his new music.

John Kordosh spoke with Blackie Lawless (nee Stephen Duren) of W.A.S.P. who said his stage act was simply a gimmick and gave a possibly apocryphal story about meeting Elvis when he was five years old. Also, he noted that his material had “Lennon/McCartney written all over it,” a comparison that critics seldom used.

Sylvie Simmons interview with Mick Jones of Foreigner is exactly as interesting as you would predict it to be.

Quotable Quotes:

Julian Lennon on advice he might have received from his father on becoming a musician, “He’d probably have said, ‘Go ahead and do it, but don’t blame it on me.’”

Susanna Hoffs, “We’re rhythmically based with real melody. We DID love bands like the Ramones and Blondie.”

Michael Steele on the Runaways, “Kim Fowley dumped me because of an unresolved sexual congress.”

Iman Lababedi, “Susannah Hoff’s a study in suppressed stardom. Prince thinks so as well.”

John Fogerty, “There’s this place where rock ‘n’ roll has to come from and it is kind of a young place. You don’t know about bills and power plays and all that kind of stuff. You write from this place, and you sing from this place that is kind of an isolated, naïve little spot.”

Mick Jones of Foreigner, “I’m quite proud of writing music that is popular, as opposed to ‘pop music.’”

Gregg Turner, “Maybe on fundamental reality of life on Earth ca. nowadays allows for recognition of the Velvet Underground as the indivisible and enduring prime-number of rock for which it deserved acclaim a long, long time ago.”

Summary: There are good pieces on the Bangles and John Fogerty in an otherwise pretty mediocre issue.

Grade: B

Latest price on eBay: $10.00 to “Buy It Now.”

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