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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1977 (Volume 9, Number 6) 

Rod Stewart returned as the cover boy for the November 1977 issue of Creem, where he dissed the Faces again, praised “I Was Only Joking” (“It just sums up my whole character. It’s an incredible set of lyrics”) and declared his love for the Hollywood lifestyle.

However, the most interesting article is the interview with the soon to be dead Ronnie Van Zant, who seemed to be entering the reflective/nostalgia stage of his good ole, bad boy days (“I’m the only one that stays at home. The other boys are wild and drunk”). Eerily, the interview ends with the journalist riding along with a band on a plane flight. Van Zant, “You know, I can fly this plane. Ask (band manager) Peter Rudge. He’s scared of flying as it is, but once when I staggered into the cockpit and had the pilot dip the plane a little bit, you couldn’t have torn his hands away from the seat belt to save his life.”

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” it was reported that Cherie Currie had left the Runaways. Her current gig is working a chainsaw wielding wood carving artist, so she’s kept a rock ‘n’ roll vibe. Suzi Quatro had started her acting career, taping a two-part episode of “Happy Days.”

The death of Elvis was acknowledged by a simple one page photo black and white photo spread.

Features:

“Shuffling Down to Lido with Boz Scaggs,” by Patrick Goldstein

“New York Lights Up with Soggy Matches! A Consumer Guide to Rock’s Last Drag,” by Robert Duncan

“A Day in the Studio, A Night on the Town: Quaffing a Few with Rod Stewart,” by Richard Comelin

“Steve Winwood: Don’t Call Him Stevie!,” by Penny Valentine

“Tiptoeing Through the Juleps: Mint & Mayhem on the Road with Lynyrd Skynyrd,” by Patrick Goldstein

Patrick Goldstein penned a fine piece on Boz Scaggs, covering his Texas roots and his then current fame. As a follow-up to the October piece on the U.K. punk scene, Robert Duncan wrote about the New York punk scene, almost accidentally predicting mainstream success for the Talking Heads (“Their content and their intent is much broader to the point of, god forbid, universality”) and Blondie. He was no fan of the Ramones (“The only funny thing about the Ramones is everybody taking them seriously) or the Dead Boys (Stiv Bator…sings and acts like Iggy Pop who himself was always just a Mick Jagger imitator. Second rate, third generation”).

Quotable Quotes:

Boz Scaggs, “About five years ago, it dawned on me that the most innovative music was coming from the Gamble & Huff/Thom Bell Philly studios…Primarily, I’m dealing with an audience that thinks ‘Silk Degrees’ is my first album.”

Robert Duncan, “There is no coherence to the New York punk scene…there is no monolithic force driving the young to rebel.”

Robert Duncan, “Blondie is punk for the mainstream, a coffee table item for the young banker on the make.”

Robert Duncan, “Willy DeVille knows how to coax and coddle a song and how to blow it through the roof unlike very few singers in rock ‘n’ roll.”

Rod Stewart, “We never had a good bass player in the Faces.”

Rod Stewart, “I love Hollywood, I love it. Bollocks, I don’t care what they say.”

Simon Frith on Elvis Costello’s debut album, “The greatest since, hmmmm, either the other Elvis’ first or Graham Parker’s last, depending how you read it, and it’s certainly a well-wrought set of songs of anxiety and humiliation, more obviously appealing than the noise of all those cocksure young punks and very much loved by all my friends (me too!).”

Steve Winwood, “I never wanted to be a great star. I wanted only to go on stage and be a great musician.”

Patrick Goldstein on Skynyrd, “They are like a wet, sputtering stick of dynamite with a short fuse – there’s no telling when their self-destructive sound and fury will next erupt.”

Ronnie Van Zant, “I like looking for trouble. I mean, I always dug Neil Young and we’ve been friends ever since the song came out. It was just there to provoke a little excitement. You gotta catch the audience off guard to keep ‘em listening.”

Rick Johnson on AC/DC, “Australians are the Good Old Boys of the Southern Hemisphere. After a hard day at the billy club factory, your avg. Aussie guzzles a couple garbage cans of beer and heads down to the beach (it’s either that or the desert) where they all sit around comparing leg hair, telling aborigine jokes and hitting each other over the head with surf boards…These olfactory infants just donkey the old bambam to death with all the inspiration of a pajama flame-retardant…Stay tuned for their live-in-N.Y. album, tentatively titled ‘Wallaby of Broadway.’”

Summary: Rick Johnson was hitting his stride in this era. Here’s a few lines from his “Prairie Sun” review of Peter Frampton’s “I’m in You” album, “His voice whines like an overheated egg. His guitar playing is whiny as well. In fact, when he trades off his vocals with his guitar, he sounds like two extremely tired waitresses discussing a particularly obnoxious customer.”

Grade: A-

Latest price on eBay: $9.99 to “Buy It Now.”

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