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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1983 (Volume 15, Number 6)

The Police, three peroxide blondes with attitude, were the cover boys for the November 1983 issue of Creem. All three members of the band had been involved in outside projects (books, movie soundtracks, acting roles, etc.), balanced between being one of the biggest rock acts of their era. Sting, “If you do go outside and do something else, it refreshes you, if anything. Otherwise a band can become a kind of prison, a sort of feudal system you can’t get out of.” The group was also very tired of rumors that they were going to break up, something that wouldn’t happen for another whole three years. This is a solid, in-depth look at the band, including lengthy individual interviews with each band member.

The death of Motown bass legend James Jamerson was reported in “Rock ‘n’ Roll News.” The item also noted that he passed with a minimum of fanfare and “he was not a very rich man.”

Billy Idol looked like a surly punk, posed with a “White Wedding” cake in the “Creem’s Profiles.” Also, in the “Mail” section, we got Creem’s opinion on Jello Pudding Pops.


“’Not Serious’ Sez Joan A.,” by Laura Fissinger

“Hear! Hear! The Hollies 20 Years On: Unfinished Business,” by Jeff Nesin

“Poised on the Brink of Infinity: The Police Have ‘It’ All,” by Dave DiMartino

“If You Can’t Stand the Heavy Metal Heat, Get the Hell Out of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Kitchen: The Gospel According to Krokus,” by Jeffrey Morgan

“You Can See ‘Em But You Can’t Dance to ‘Em, Creem Hangs the ‘Other’ Rock Mags Out to Dry!,” by Rick Johnson

Laura Fissinger interviewed Joan Armatrading, who seemed as excited about her work as a musician as most people get when they fill out government forms.

Jeff Nesin’s piece on the Hollies was an enthusiastic look at the band’s history, covering why Graham Nash originally left the band and why he came back during this timeframe. Vocalist Allan Clarke seemed to be particularly pleased with the reunion (“It’s been 15 years…I’ve been waiting for it…deep in my heart, waiting for it to happen and it has”). The band’s 1983 album “What Goes Around…” wasn’t nearly as anticipated by the general public as it was by Clarke. The Hollies didn’t release another album until 2006 and neither Nash or Clarke were around for that effort.

This issue was the second time that Krokus had been featured in the magazine. It would be hard for any publiciation to avoid celebrating an act that released successive singles titled “Smelly Nelly,” “Bad Boys Rag Dolls,” and “Long Stick Goes Boom.”

Rick Johnson aimed his bazookas at the various rock magazines competing with Creem during this era. There are some good one-liners, of course, but this piece doesn’t hold up today unless you are very familiar with the content and tone of the different publications during that timeframe (everything from “Trouser Press” to “16,”).

Rick Johnson, “I missed most of 1950 itself due to my being a fetus at the time. Hell, I even went to California that year, but saw little due to the inexcusable lack of peepholes in mommies.”

Quotable Quotes:

Thomas Dolby, “Every time I go out the door, I’m treated like an invalid. I think fame is overrated.”

Andy Summers, “All groups have their problems because it’s like a sort of marriage, and it has its attendant difficulties.”

Summers, “I like all the attention and the trappings and all that, right? And I think I deserve it and can handle it. And I think Sting and Stewart can.”

Sting, “I find it a real irony to go from Bookie’s (author’s note – the legendary Detroit area “punk” club) to doing two nights at the Joe Louis Arena. I mean, it’s FUNNY – we’re just the same group.”

Sting on the band’s future, “I don’t want to do the same show in Detroit in five years time, or anything remotely like it.”

Chris Von Rohr of Krokus on playing “behind the Iron Curtain,” “You get paid in vodka and goulash. You have no idea how lucky you are to be born in a different place.”

Rick Johnson, “Creem receives hate mail so ornery, we can find it in the dark!”

Rick Johnson on Dave Marsh, “The only reason you didn’t get pushed around (in high school) was ‘cause your center of gravity is already so close to the ground, it’d be like pushing around a mudpie.”

Summary: This may be the only magazine issue ever with features on Jan Armatrading and Krokus.

Grade: B+

Latest price on eBay: $10.00 to “Buy It Now.”

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