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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – March 1988 (Volume 19, Number 7)

David Lee Roth, looking like a man who had a bright future in the Las Vegas entertainment industry, returned to the cover of the March 1988 issue of Creem. Diamond Dave had just released the Top Ten album “Skyscraper,” which included the Top Ten single “Just Like Paradise.” Despite that success, Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan left Roth’s band due to unhappiness with the change in direction from a traditional hard rock sound. Roth, however, always loved the attention of being interviewed, so he plugged his new album, discussed rock climbing (“climbing is the perfect metaphor for rock ‘n’ roll – it’s either straight up or straight down”), and took shots…I mean, ANALYZED, the output of several other acts. A fun piece.

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” it was reported that a fake version of the Standells were arrested onstage in Austin.

Pesty Arkansas punk Steve Crawford was writing letters again.

Features:

“Megadeth: When Fusion Comes to Call,” by Don Kaye

“Bubblegum Never Died! It’s Just Nobody Ever Writes About It,” by Chuck Eddy

“David Lee Roth: Climbs Big Rock! Lives, Tells All, Eventually Tours,” by John Kordosh

“Sting Has No Answers,” by Sylvie Simmons

“Pere Ubu: Ring in the New Year Zero,” by John Gatta

“Wake Up! It’s the Alarm,” by Harold DeMuir

“The Jesus and Mary Chain: Darklands Visible,” by Iman Lababedi

“George Michael: Trapped in the Body of an Adult,” by Judy Wieder

Author Don Kaye raved about Megadeth’s “So Far, So Good…So What?” record (“one of the most innovative albums that you’ll hear this year…The music swoops, soars, lunges, retreats, breaths and throbs like a living thing”). Dave Mustaine talked about band drama and doing a Sex Pistols cover.

Chuck Eddy contributed the type of article I absolutely love – a Top 40 of ‘70s and ‘80s bubblegum songs. How can you not like a Top Ten that includes ABBA, Kiss, the Bay City Rollers, Cheap Trick, the Ramones, Shaun Cassidy, Sweet (twice), the Vibrators, and Nick Lowe. My favorite summary review: Sweet, “Ballroom Blintz,” “The most deliberately effeminate intro ever, into a rattlefuzz stomp where you dream a party-girl wants to ‘ball you.’ Only it says ‘tell you’ on the lyric sheet.” I could happily read an entire book by Chuck on this concept.

In an interview with Sylvie Simmons, Sting talked about being inspired by Chilean dancers and Jimi Hendrix. He was also not a fan of television evangelists (big target there, hotshot). Honestly, I couldn’t stomach reading this entire piece, because no rock star deserved to be slapped in the face with a fish more than Sting.

Pere Ubu was experiencing a critical renaissance in the mid to late 1980s. John Gatta penned a short overview of the band’s history and mentioned the as yet unreleased “The Tenement Year” album.

Harold DeMuir interviewed Mike Peters of the Alarm, who admitted he had diminished commercial expectations for the band.

Iman Lababedi interviewed William and Jim Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain and the author explained how the “Darklands” album helped him cope with the realities of an unrequited love. The brothers, as always, sounded defensive and arrogant at the same time.

George Michael talked about Wham! (in pretty significant depth) and how personally involved he was in all aspects of his career. Michael on his learning curve, “When you actually accept that you don’t know anything, it opens so many doors. Gone is that cynicism that comes with thinking that you know it all.”

Quotable Quotes:  

Iman Lababedi, “The Jam mattered, not because their music was so great (I still think they never improved on their third LP, the brilliant ‘All Mod Cons’), but because it was so English. Much more English than the Kinks or Squeeze; English to the exclusion of all other cultures.”

Dave Mustaine on fired drummer Gar Samuelson, “I introduced a song during the show and he didn’t pick up his cue. I was so incensed that he embarrassed the band by doing that, that after the show I put my guitar into his bass drum. I put it through the front so nothing was damaged, but he just reached over the kit, picked up my guitar, threw it, and broke it. So I broke a tequila bottle and chased after him with it, but the crew trapped me in a room and would not let me out, because they knew I wanted to kill him.”

Dave Mustaine on Steve Jones contributing to their cover of “Anarchy,” “He came riding in on his Harley with his Les Paul and arm in a cast, and all he wanted was $100 and a blowjob. But I figured with AIDS and all that shit, I was not gonna be responsible for a Pistol losing his pistol. So we gave him a thousand bucks and said find your own.”

Bill Holdship on George Harrison’s “Cloud Nine” album, “The best record from a former Beatle in at least seven years.”

Jeffrey Morgan on Sting’s “…Nothing Like the Sun” album, “It’s 100 percent dyed-in-the-acrylic filler for a new generation of soporifics.”

John Kordosh on David Lee Roth, “He’s on a first name basis with the world.”

David Lee Roth, “ U2’s got a message. (Pause). But it’s an awfully long one.”

Sting, “I’d rather be Frank Sinatra than Ozzy Osbourne.”

David Thomas of Pere Ubu, “The things that drew us to Cleveland were the realities of the things, not the images…We knew we were unique in that we were one of the best bands in the world, we had a bonding that went on with Cleveland in the Flats.”

Jim Reid of the J&M Chain, “’Psychocandy’ is a brilliant LP, probably it’ll wind up being a masterpiece.”

Summary: Once you get past the cover feature and the bubblegum, the rest is pretty blah, blah, blah.

Grade: B

Latest price on eBay: $6.50 or “Best Offer.”

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