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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1979 (Volume 11, Number 6)

In conjunction with the release of the “In Through the Out Door” album, Jimmy Page returned to the cover of Creem for its November 1979 issue. Journalist Chris Salewicz pondered the retroactively somewhat silly question of where Led Zeppelin fit into a punk rock world. Page reflected on several issues including travel to Cairo, his thoughts on the Catholic church, his support of the U.K. conservative party, and being in the music business (“to them you’re only a matrix number”). As always, one gets the sense that Page did interviews out of a sense of obligation, more than out of interest. 

Major addition! With this issue, the legendary Dave DiMartino had joined the staff, as an “Editorial Assistant.” Get prepped to learn about interview techniques. 

Funny man Joe Walsh of the Eagles submitted a letter bemoaning “I was last seen in your crummy mag the August ’77 issue drinking Boy Howdy!…Just thought I’d write you a note so you’d know I was okay.” Life’s tough when you aren’t one of the cool kids.

Bebe Buell, wearing a cropped Cheap Trick shirt, looked quite fetching as “The Creem Dreem.” 

Features: 

“The World According to Pere Ubu,” by Robot A. Hull 

“Dr. Iggy & Mr. Pop,” by Nick Kent 

“The Complete, Unexpurgated, Fully Illustrated Dave Edmunds Story From A to Z,” by Robert Duncan 

“Led Zeppelin Redux; A Few Words From Jimmy Page on the Occasion of Knebworth,” by Chris Salewicz 

Robot Hull penned an excellent article on Pere Ubu and verbally more than held his own with the frequently dismissive David Thomas.  

Iggy Pop conducted a lengthy interview with Nick Kent, telling crazy stories about Nico and his techniques for manipulating record executives. Kent provided background on Iggy’s work with the Stooges and time spent in a mental hospital. Give Nick Kent any halfway decent subject, and Iggy was always more than that, and the result would always be an outstanding article.  

 Robert Duncan conducted a fine Q and A with Dave Edmunds, while Nick Tosches celebrated the career of Amos Milburn and his “Chicken Shack Boogie” in “Unsung Heroes of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” 

Quotable Quotes:   

Robert Christgau on “The Clash” album, “Cut for cut, this might be the greatest rock and roll album (plus bonus single) ever manufactured in the U.S.” 

Richard Riegel, summarizing his interview with Paul Revere (Paul Revere Dick of Paul Revere and the Raiders), “Revere seems to have retained his original ideal of rock ‘n’ roll music as entertainment, show business, fun, PERIOD, a limitation that says a lot about both the strengths and weaknesses of the Raiders’ music over the years.” 

Robot A. Hull, “Pere Ubu, possibly America’s greatest LIVING rock band, is practically ignored by record consumers and unpromoted by its own label.” 

David Thomas of Pere Ubu, “In Europe we KNOW that we’re appreciated. We are now living on the money we make in Europe, not on the money we make in America.”

Scott Krauss of Pere Ubu describing the band’s living conditions in Cleveland, “We live downtown a block from the war zone. Our street hasn’t had any lights for a year. It’s the main hooker street. Gun fights on the street. Right next door is a plasma donor center.” 

Penny Valentine, “Bob Geldof is a classic new case of having settled firmly in the ‘If this what it takes to be a household name I’ll do it’ syndrome.” 

Iggy Pop, “I’m becoming a very good entrepreneur.” 

Dave Edmunds, “The rock ‘n’ roll America invented is what I’m a big fan of. And which America promptly forgot. I don’t think anyone knows who Eddie Cochran was over here these days.” 

Amos Milburn, “I was a heavy drinker. I loved that Scotch. And the devil kept tellin’ me: Go on, Amos, drink all you want to, it’ll never hurt you none. I drank myself into two strokes.” 

Jimmy Page, “I’ve read about many records which are supposed to have turned me on to play rock ‘n’ roll, but it was ‘Baby, Let’s Play House’ by Presley…I heard the acoustic guitar, slap bass and electric guitar – three instruments and a voice – and they generated so much energy I had to be part of it.” 

Summary: Another very solid issue, although the Jimmy Page interview did make me rub my eyes a bit. 

Grade: A- 

Latest price on eBay: $12.00 or “Best Offer.” 

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