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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1984 (Volume 15, Number 12)

Van Halen was having their biggest commercial success to date with the “Jump” single and “1984” album, landing David Lee Roth back on the cover of Creem. In the cover feature, Eddie Van Halen talked about doing much of the recording for the 1984 album by himself and Alex Van Halen volunteered that David Lee Roth would be getting a sex change in an attempt to win Creem’s “Most Pathetic of the Year” award again. As for Diamond Dave, “I view the whole thing as primal therapy. I tend to think if I was in the audience at a Van Halen concert, I’d feel like one of the monkeys pawing at the obelisk at the beginning of ‘2001.’” Roth predicted that Van Halen would stick around for another decade and there’s no hint of strained relationships in the band in this piece. However, the lead singer did conclude, “I know the world doesn’t revolve around Dave. But I like to think so.” 

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” Elton John’s marriage to Renate Blauel was reported. I’m not sure why the marriage didn’t last but the word “beard” is dying to get into this sentence. 

Famed photographer Lynn Goldsmith sent in a letter hyping the album “Dancing for Mental Health,” released under the name of her alter ego “Will Powers.” According to Wikipedia, it’s a “self help comedy music album.” Listen at your own risk.  


“Adam Ant: Sex-Person Without a Cause!,” by John Mendelssohn


“Shoot-Out at Sesame Street, Jonathan Richman Talks!,” by Bill Holdship 

“Monkeys Pawed My Obelisk,” by Edouard Dauphin (Van Halen cover story) 

“The Lords of the New Church’s Air Conditioned Nightmare,” by Mark Norton 

“Staying After Girlschool,” by Richard Riegel 

“Up Up & Away, In My Beautiful Spandau Ballet!,” by Annene Kaye G. 

John Mendelssohn found Adam Ant insufferably boring as a conversationalist. Our friend Adam did seem a big long-winded and he really did enjoy talking about himself.  

Jonathan Richman was one of Bill Holdship’s heroes and the author captured Richman’s search for innocence/wonderment, his love of 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll, and some of his history in the Modern Lovers. Richman may have been too eccentric to ever reach his goal of being on “The Muppet Show,” but you get a fine sense of his warmhearted spirit in this piece. 

Richard Riegel bonded with Girlschool over their love of American junk food and Slade. He was also relieved that they had avoided the curse of English teeth.  

Quotable Quotes:   

Andy Gill on the breakup of Gang of Four, “We were often too clever for our own good.” 

Cyndi Lauper, “Serious and silly on top of each other, that’s how I am.” 

John Mendelssohn on Adam Ant, “He was far from moronic, after all,  and his cheekbones really are amazing to look at. But if a fellow had no inkling as to when to put the proverbial lid on it, Ad’s the lad.” 

Adam Ant, “I can’t separate the sexual side from the rock ‘n’ roll idol.” 

Adam Ant, “I don’t feel guilty about success. I don’t feel guilty about having money.” 

Jonathan Richman, “’Roadrunner’ was a lonely thing. I never thought anyone would like it.” 

Richman, “I want to be on ‘The Muppet Show’ and ‘Sesame Street’ and stuff like that. I want to play for all ages. I want to put on family matinees.” 

Eddie Van Halen, “I don’t get inspired by listening to anything, except maybe Debussy.” 

David Lee Roth, “I have no particular taste in music whatsoever. Symphonic, r&b, disco, hard rock, heavy metal. It’s always a song or two you like the best and then the rest you toss.” 

Kim McAuliffe of Girlschool on reporters, “Oh, they’ll always ask, ‘What’s it like being in an all-girl band?’ and ‘Do you have groupies?’, and YOU haven’t asked either of those questions. We didn’t get to use the smart responses we had ready for those questions.” 

John Mendelssohn on the film “Spinal Tap,” A couple of hysterical moments notwithstanding, it’s a self-indulgent bore, a maddening exercise in squandered opportunities.” 

Billy Altman on the Replacements’ “Hootenanny” album, “Some of the heartland’s finest inspirationally reckless and abandoned rock ‘n’ roll.” 

Summary: Van Halen understood the Creem aesthetic. And, vice versa. 

Grade: B+ 

Latest price on eBay: $20.00 to “Buy It Now.” 

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