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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1979 (Volume 10, Number 11) 

Angry young man Elvis Costello landed on the cover of the May 1979 issue of Creem, flanked by pics of Alice Cooper, the Clash, and Gilda Radner. Costello and his management basically scheduled a non-interview with Nick Kent, their strategy at the time was to be as contentious as possible with the press or avoid them altogether. This, of course, didn’t keep Kent from writing a good piece on an interesting subject. Manager Jake Riviera provided the most interesting quote, “We either make it all the way with (the) ‘Armed Forces’ (album) or we don’t. If this album doesn’t break in America, then Columbia will still keep us but we’ll be considered pretty much a spent force.” And that’s pretty much what happened. 

Future Creem staff member Mark Norton appeared in the “Mail” section, praising a positive Clash album review.  


“Life with the Fabulous Poodles: Bestiality Can Be Fun,” by Toby Goldstein 

“Alice Doesn’t Flop Here Anymore,” by Patrick Goldstein 

“The Ramones: Hot Rod to Hollywood,” by Billy Altman 

“The Outlaws: Bringing It Back Comatose,” by j.m. bridgewater 

“The Clash on Tour,” by Stephen Demorest 

Alice Cooper talked about his treatment for alcoholism, a three-month recovery program, and his subsequent weight loss (“I lost all my booze flab”) in his interview with Patrick Goldstein. At that time, Cooper was adamant about moving away from ballads and putting on a more entertaining stage spectacle than Kiss. The most humorous part of the piece is the television loving Alice declaring who he had asked for help with his alcohol addiction. The answer? Dick Van Dyke, of course.  

Billy Altman spent a week on the set of the Ramones flick (via producer Roger Corman and director Allan Arkush) “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.” It’s a fun piece that captures the spirit of the film and it’s hard not to be jealous of Altman and Richard Meltzer who got work as extras while on set. 

Stephen Demorest spent a week on the road with the Clash. The band seemed to have the same conundrum that many artists have had. One, they completely distrusted the entire concept of the music business and, two, they wanted to be an important part of the music business. This is why after the latter goal was attained that the band fell apart. 

Quotable Quotes:   

Alice Cooper, when asked to respond to a compliment from Bob Dylan, “Yeah, that was nice, but it meant NOTHING to me in comparison to what Groucho Marx once said – ‘Alice Cooper is the last remaining hope for vaudeville. Once he quits, vaudeville is dead.’ Now THAT was an important statement.” 

Alice Cooper, “TV is the greatest drug of all. It’s the final equalizer.” 

Editorial staff on the death of Sid Vicious, “Sid was as junked out on Nancy as he was on smack, and to blame his death on either is to ignore the fact that he CHOSE to shoot up, even after being detoxed, and as bad as influence as Nancy was supposed to be on him, he was lost when she died.” 

Nick Kent on Elvis Costello, “The only comparisons even worth making are with the Beatles and Bowie and they scarcely scratch the surface.” 

Paul Simonon, “When I first met Mick (Jones) I couldn’t sing, I couldn’t do fuck-all – I was useless.” 

Richard Riegel, “’Cheap Trick at Budokan’ is a kind of greatest hits primer for rockfans who haven’t yet realized that songs like ‘Surrender’ and ‘Clock Strikes Ten’ and ‘Big Eye’s were monster HITS, whether or not the radio stations recognized them as such.” 

Summary: Very solid features on the Ramones, the Clash, Alice Cooper, and Elvis Costello. 

Grade: A- 

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