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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1976 (Volume 8, Number 6)

The cover of the November 1976 issue of Creem magazine is literally flashy – a young woman in a raincoat opens her apparel wide for the camera. Vinyl and album covers protect her biological hot spots. The Lester Bangs penned cover story is a visual journey on how the marketing of album covers had changed, from the wholesome 1950’s Frank Sinatra version of love to underwear clad tarts being the…um…faces of Roxy Music. If the purpose of this article is to make me want a copy of Betty Davis’ 1975 album “Nasty Gal,” well, let’s just say I admire a woman who is dedicated to her stretching routine.

In notable “Rock ‘N’ Roll News” items, it was reported that the band Sweet got prepared for their shows “by locking themselves in their dressing room and beating the hell out of each other.” No wonder they were fixated on oxygen. Also, Bruce Springsteen was in a legal battle with his then manager, Mike Appel.

Kiss appeared quite ready for world domination in their “Creem Dreem” photo.

Features:

“Thin Lizzy: Who Needs Springsteen When You’ve Got Johnny Cool?,” by Chris Salewicz

“Nobody Can Die Until the Who Have Finished Playing,” by Pam Brown

“Saturday Night’s All Right for Laughin’,” Billy Altman on “Saturday Night Live”

“Sex and the Art of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Q: Does Sex Sell Records?” by Lester Bangs

“E.C. Was Here: A Comeback or Swansong?,” Nigel Burnham on Eric Clapton

“Rory Gallagher: The Best Normal Guitar Player in the World,” by Peter Laughner

U.K. journalist caught a hyped up, somewhat paranoid Thin Lizzy who were having their breakthrough moment with the eternal “The Boys Are Back in Town.” The band was quite worried about the quality of the photographs that would accompany the article. Pam Brown raved about the Who’s live act and Roger Daltrey expressed his desire to set Lester Bangs on fire and “piss on him.” I hope this didn’t have any sexual connotations.

Billy Altman interviewed Gilda Radner, Laraine Newman, John Belushi, and Dan Aykroyd during the first year of “Saturday Night Live.” Belushi offered that he started his career as a serious actor and still hoped to be thought of in that way (“It’s harder to find people who can do comedy than ones to do soap operas”). Altman did a fine job capturing the freewheeling spirit of the show and I love the line, “Belushi doesn’t appear to be that anchored to the steamship of sanity.”

Quotable Quotes:

Phil Lynott, “I was a singer, right, and the ‘60s proved to me that melodies played in the rock idiom…That whole weird thing rock went through when the arrangements dominated – ELP and Jethro Tull and 10/4 time – was very harmful to rock because although there are a lot or good musicians, musicianship and melody don’t always have to be the same thing.”

Pam Brown, “(The Who) are the finest live band in the world.”

Billy Altman, “’Saturday Night’ is a show unlike most of what we’ve all grown up seeing. A lovely combination of the downright silly and the healthily sick, the show just marches on for an hour and half with little rhyme or reason except to be funny and entertaining.”

Lisa Robinson on the Runaways “A poseur is a poseur. The Runaways do near-perfect imitations of rockstars doing imitations.”

Billy Altman on the debut “Boston” album, “This record is as ridiculously good as it is ridiculously derivative.”

Lester Bangs on Brian Eno’s “Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy),” “Someday people are going to look back on this album as one of the sonic monuments, perhaps the most inspired and ONLY really avant-garde work of its era.”

Summary: Billy Altman carries the day with his “Saturday Night Live” feature.

Grade: B+

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

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