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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1981 (Volume 13, Number 6) 

1980’s rock icon Pat Benatar, the tiny woman with the big voice, was the cover girl for the November 1981 issue of Creem. (There was also a cover inset photo of a shirtless Mick Jagger, looking like he wanted a grudge match with Iggy Pop.) Author Richard Riegel was an unapologetic fan of Pat Benatar and her band, stating, “They still play with headlong, garage band dynamics, revva-revva-room-let-me-know-when-three-minutes-are-up rhythms, and solos?-what’s-that?’ aesthetic drive.” For her part, Benatar seemed completely bereft of the prima donna gene, however, that did not make her an especially engaging interview subject. 

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” it was reported that Denny Laine had left Wings, which ultimately resulted in the end of that band and that CBS Records was suing Cheap Trick to prevent them from signing with another label.  

Features: 

“They Think They’re Go-Go: Makeup Secrets of Five Wild and Crazy Girls,” by Toby Goldstein 

“Was (Not Was) Is (Not Is) Good! (Not Good!),” by John Neilson 

“The ABC’s of ZZ Top,” by John Kordosh 

“Hot L Baltimore’s (Not Just) for Children: Nice Girl Finishes First & Demands Recount,” by Richard Riegel 

“The Second Annual Creem’s Dubious Achievement Awards,” by Rick Johnson 

“Ozzy’s Blizzard, Motorhead Roars Etc.,” by Gregg Turner 

“Rock Critics Get Spanked: The Pretenders vs The Dreaded Second Album Syndrome…,” by Chris Saleswicz 

The Go-Go’s, who managed to look both punkish and feminine, impressed Toby Goldstein with their business sense, songwriting skills, and harmonies. For their part, the Go-Go’s had the expected enthusiasm of the band on the verge of stardom.  

John Neilson penned a short piece on Was (Not Was), a duo creating absurdist funk in Detroit who would break into the mainstream many years later.  

ZZ Top were always masters of getting good press and they came across as their unpretentious, good-natures selves in their interview with John Kordosh.  

Rick Johnson lassoed some memorable news items and quotes from the past year for his Dubious Achievement Awards, like this one from film critic Edouard Dauphin, “’The Big Red One’ is not the story of some American Indian’s pecker.” 

Gregg Turner interviewed Ozzy who said he was dismissed from Black Sabbath and that “Ronnie Dio looks like a fucking garden gnome.” Opening act Motorhead was completely ignored by the Ozzy crowd in 1981. Ozzy mainly wanted to rant about Tony Iommi, “(He) took it upon himself to be the fucking big producer and he couldn’t produce a Christmas card.” 

Chrissie Hynde seemed to be struggling with fame (“I just really didn’t go out for a year”) and the stress of following up a successful album in her interview with Chris Salewicz. The generally unfiltered Hynde also said she hated and was embarrassed by “Brass in Pocket.” 

Quotable Quotes:   

Rick Springfield on his dual careers as rocker and actor, “I knew if I stayed in long enough one would take off and it would pull the other career with it.” 

Jane Wiedlin, “We’d love to be in the ‘National Enquirer’ or the ‘Globe.’ I love trash.” 

Kathy Valentine, “We worship sickness in all forms.” 

Frank Beard of ZZ Top, “I’ve always said I don’t know but three beats: the shuffle, the cut shuffle, and the monkeybeat.” Dusty Hill, “He’s got ‘em down.” 

Billy Gibbons, “I happen to look like Rod Stewart. Underneath all this.” 

John Kordosh, “The kid who drove me from the airport to the arena told me that only two or three guys in Kansas are ACTUALLY FROM KANSAS. I was so shaken that I made him pull over to get some Coors.” 

Tommy Shaw, “The other night in Cleveland, we couldn’t have got laid in a women’s prison with a handful of pardons.” 

Gregg Turner, “Motorhead’s brand of unrestrained, hell-bent chaotic white-noise suggests a closer similarity with local punk rock malevolence.” 

Ozzy, “Tony Iommi’s a very competent guitarist, a really good rock ‘n’ roll guitar player – when he’s not looking for the lost chord.” Gregg Turner, “The last chord?” Ozzy, “The one he’s forgotten.” 

Chrissie Hynde, “Malcolm McLaren put it out that if a band hated each other, then it gave you some sort of force to work off.” 

Hydne, “To think the Kinks were doing a song because we’d done it – orgasm after orgasm on THAT particular issue.” 

Nick Tosches on the Stones, “I like these guys. Always did, always will. They make me feel clean.” 

Summary:  Nice pieces on three future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame female (or female lead) acts – Pat Benatar, the Go-Go’s, and the Pretenders. 

Grade: A- 

Latest price on eBay: $11.99 to “Buy It Now.” 

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