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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1978 (Volume 9, Number 12) 

A lean Ted Nugent, perhaps he was a closet vegan, graced the cover of the May 1978 issue of Creem. The cover story coincided with the release of his “Double Live Gonzo!” album, which has since been certified triple platinum, perhaps not based on the strength of the single “Yank Me, Crank Me.” Preacher Ted held court on his determination, his image, hunting, etc.  The usual things, as Marshall Crenshaw might say.  

Here’s an interesting exchange: Billy Altman, “Is it possible, I ask him, that it may be getting to the point where the image and hype is getting overdone? Like Ted Nugent in ‘People’ magazine? ‘Yeah, that’s one thing I cringe at – that some middle-of-the-road Go American mongrel is gonna rave about me sometime. That nauseates me.’” 

Features: 

“Mick Taylor: In His Own Write,” by Barbara Cherone 

“Can Elvis Costello Cure Acne?,” by Patrick Goldstein 

“Boston: More Than a Feeling, Less Than an Album?,” by Rob Patterson 

“The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler Stalks Keith Emerson,” by Ross “Baby” Del Ruth (Patrick Goldstein) 

“Nashville Babylon, Loud Covenants III: Land of a Thousand Dances – The Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” by Nick Tosches 

Mick Taylor talked about his solo album (“I’m not just a fuckin’ guitarist”), which wouldn’t be released until the summer of 1979. The buying public, however, acted as though it hadn’t been released at all. 

The Elvis Costello feature begins with his crew beating up a photographer. Afterwards, he  clearly tried to insult his interviewer in every possible way. He must have had some informal media training from the Sex Pistols. 

Rob Patterson interviewed Brad Delp of Boston regarding delays in their sophomore studio effort. The “Don’t Look Back” album was released in August of 1978 and sold over a million copies before it was two weeks old. In the corresponding band picture to the article, Boston looked like a group of hashish dealers who had just outsmarted the police.  

The third excerpt from the Nick Tosches book “Country: The Biggest Music in America” covered the origins of phrases such as “honkytonk” and “rock-and-roll,” then moved onto the early recording career of Bill Haley and how that intertwined with Sun Records and the R&B music of its era. In the days when the history of this music was so difficult to capture, Tosches was an invaluable resource as well as a tremendous stylist.  

ELO was the subject of the “Creem’s Profiles” and they proved with their hairstyles that they could have donned western gear and been mistaken for the Outlaws. 

Quotable Quotes:   

Ted Nugent, “I can’t wait to write another ‘Stranglehold,’ or ‘Motor City Madhouse,’ but I’m not gonna try. It’s got to FLOW out of you.” 

Sammy Hagar, “I’m ready to be the next Elvis Presley. The English thing – it’s over.” 

Patti Smith on “Because the Night,” “It was so infectious and so perfect for my voice because Bruce (Springsteen) really understands that element of it. It’s strong, and there’s a lot of intelligent animal sexuality in it.” 

Patrick Goldstein on Elvis Costello, “His gruff, evocative vocals fit the mood of today like brass knuckles unleashing vulnerability and rage.” 

Elvis Costello, “You know there aren’t any good American rock bands. You’ve never contributed one good band to the world.” 

Brad Delp of Boston, “I’m still driving my ’72 Capri.” 

Summary:  There’s an interesting cross section of music covered in this issue from roots of rock ‘n’ roll (the Tosches piece), mainstream rock (Boston), singer/songwriter punk (Elvis Costello), and prog rock (Keith Emerson).  

Grade: B+ 

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