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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1975 (Volume 7, Number 5)

The cover of the October 1975 issue of Creem features a young woman (I believe one of the members of the magazine’s staff) pouring booze down her throat, as well as on her “Boy Howdy!” cheerleader costume. Jumping off the page in red and yellow colors are the headline “SPECIAL REPORT: THE BOOZE REVOLUTION!” It’s a fun, trashy cover. More importantly, Susan Whitall has joined the Cream team as “Special Projects Editor.” Eventually, she became the editor of the magazine for several years and her 2011 book “Fever: Little Willie John, A Fast Life, Mysterious Death and the Birth of Soul” belongs on the shelf of every serious fan of popular music.  

Features:  

Letter Egypt from Asbury Park by David Marsh (Bruce Springsteen piece)  

Sin City Social ’75: The Juicing of America by Rick Johnson  

Willie Nelson: Rednecks, Thai Sticks and Lone Star Beer by Ed Ward  

Jaggernaut: Wild Horse on a Plastic Phallus by Charles Bukowski (an article on the Stones)  

Todd Rundgren: Veg-O-Matic Into the Void by Robert Duncan  

Reflections in a Cyclops Eye or Alice Off the Road by Bruno Stein  

The Punk as Godfather II by Roy Carr (Second part of a Pete Townshend interview)  

Dave Marsh interviewed Springsteen before the “Born to Run” album was released and predicted he would become a major star, which happened, but almost a decade later.  Rick Johnson wrote about a beer festival in Virginia, Illinois, with the theme that alcohol had become more popular among young people than psychedelic drugs. Ranger Rick still hadn’t quite found his voice at this stage.  

Extending the alcohol theme, there is a four-page spread asking rock stars about their favorite drinks and worst experiences with alcohol. My favorite reply comes from Suzi Quatro, “Since I am such a clean-cut girl with a wholesome reputation, I would rather not divulge some of the things that happened to me because after all, what would my parents think?”  

Two solid features: Ed Ward attended Willie Nelson’s 1975 Fourth of July Picnic, which drew 50,000 fans. Robert Duncan interviewed Todd Rundgren, the wizard of technology, who was focused on his spiritual ideas and growing his garden.  

Quotable Quotes:    

Britt Ekland on dating Rod Stewart, “I’m so happy! It’s so nice to go with a man whose clothes you can wear!”  

Bruce Springsteen on Elvis, “There have been contenders. There have been pretenders. But there is still one king.” (To place the quote in the context of its time, many people though that Elvis deserved more derision than praise as an artist during the mid-1970s).  

Ed Ward on Willie Nelson, “The favorite type of music around (Austin) was ‘progressive country,’ and Willie, in both his music and lifestyle, sort of epitomizes what that term is all about.”  

Todd Rundgren, “I’m not making records like ‘Hey, baby, I love you,’ stuff like that. How many songs like that can you listen to? I know people love ‘em, but there are billions and billions of them and they all say the same thing a hundred different ways.”

 

Alice Cooper, “I really believe in Hollywood stuff. And, you can’ have the Hollywood attitude halfway. In other words, if you’re gonna live the Hollywood life and live the Hollywood attitude, that means you’ve gotta go all the way – the show’s gotta go on. If it hurts, you still go on.”

 

Pete Townshend, “(Jeff) Beck may feel deeply enough that he invented feedback – but for Chrissakes who gives a shit?”  

Georgia Christgau, “Buying a Jefferson Starship album is like buying Hamburger Helper. The REAL basic stuff is available in the same store.”  

Summary: I enjoyed Townshend’s ramblings in this issue. He sounds like an egocentric televangelist who wandered into a rock ‘n’ roll band.  On the other end of the spectrum, the Bukowski piece on the Stones is a complete waste of time.  

Grade: B+  

Latest price on eBay: $19.99 to “buy it now.”  

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