Peter Frampton returned for his second cover story of the year in the October 1977 issue of Creem. Fittingly the cover photo was taken by Richard CREAMER. In the interview conducted by Penny Valentine, Frampton seemed to inherently know that it would be impossible to replicate the success of “Frampton Comes Alive.” He also had no firm idea on what level of success he would continue to have. Somewhat tellingly, his manager/cheerleader Dee Anthony takes as much of the spotlight as Frampton does in the article.
“Climax Blues Band Gets It Right!,” by Linda Barber
“Mink DeVille: Slick Fur Fury,” by Howard Klein (penned while taking a break from his role as Director of Arts for the Rockefeller Foundation)
“Eat My Dust: Marshall Tucker Gets It Up, Gets It On, and Kicks It Out,” by Tom Dupree
“London’s Burning! Rock’s Next Generation?,” by Mike Flood Page (the author would later serve as Media Arts Director at London University)
“The Rise and Rise of Peter Frampton,” by Penny Valentine
“Pink Floyd’s Heart of Darkness: A Crash Course in Pig Latin,” by Ira Robbins
“At the Zoo with the J. Geils Band,” by Susan Whitall
In the features, Mink DeVille seemed to have an abnormally fiery personality. He sure didn’t want to be lumped in with the CBGB’s punk acts. The good ol’ boys of the Marshall Tucker Band seemed completely comfortable in their own skin, talking about drag racing (not a discussion of the band sprinting in dresses) and touring Europe. Mike Flood Page covered the English punk scene with overviews on the Sex Pistols (“They are the best, because they are the worst”), The Clash, The Damned, The Stranglers, and The Jam.
“Trouser Press” publisher Ira Robbins contributed a summary of Pink Floyd’s history, heavily tilted toward the influence of Syd Barrett. In the last feature, a hyper, flirtatious Peter Wolf described how the J. Geils Band had a new life after taking a break from the road. Wolf was preaching the blues more than a Baptist deacon after being caught with a mistress.
In the “Eleganza” column, Debbie Harry looked as punk as she possibly could in a torn Creem t-shirt.
Robert Christgau on Peter Frampton’s “I’m in You” album, “Frampton is a medium-snazzy guitarist taking no chances on an absurdly salable formula.”
Grace Slick on Anita Bryant, “There’s no way to correct that except by new DNA codes.”
Colin Cooper of the Climax Blues Band on their offstage hobbies, “(Drummer) John (Cuffey) last year grew the most powerful…uh, the best GARDEN on the planet.”
Mink DeVille remembering an unpleasant exchange with the Ramones, “What a bunch of fuckin’ pussies, man. You know – PUNK rockers, and WE’RE antagonistic. We don’t want no lip from these…Another word for punk is lame.”
Tom Dupree on the Marshall Tucker Band, “(Vocalist) Doug Gray told me I could make up anything I’d like and put it in quotes under his name.”
Mike Flood Page on punk rock, “The music itself is the Who crossed with the Chain Saw Massacre, the lyrics are by Samuel Beckett crossed with a street urchin. Principal influences, apart from Pete Townshend, are Bowie’s New York predecessors: the Velvet Underground, the New York Dolls, Iggy and the Stooges. It has little to do with the American garage bands of a decade or more ago, which is why ‘punk’ is a misnomer, but it does share with them a conviction that anyone could and should get up and do it.”
Peter Frampton, “As much as you can plan anything, we had ‘a plan’ and it worked very well, but then we had to make another plan – to cope with what happened.”
Ira Robbins on Pink Floyd, “Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’ve always loved miserable-rock, and these days, the Floyd are about as miserable as any band I’ve ever heard.”
Peter Wolf, “Let me tell you about the Geils band and CREEM. It’s like when someone you looove hurts you BAD – they can really hurt you more than anyone! And we love CREEM and you HURT us!”
Rick Johnson in “How to Be a Rock Critic (In One E-Z Lesson),” “The Record Review: The greatest reviews contain the same three elements as the greatest songs – sex, violence, and uncalled-for insults. Example: Stevie Nicks voice makes your undies feel like they’ve been in a waffle iron (sex). I barely got through the second cut on ‘Agents of Fortune’ before I had to go firebomb an orphanage (violence). Helen Reddy’s latest sounds like cyanide dripping slowly into the Los Angeles water supply).” Rick also explained the terms “Riff: What a thin dog says” and “Editor: A tinny voice on the phone that tells rotten jokes you have to laugh at or else.”
Summary: A slew of well written features that work as perfect snapshots of the times and the acts covered.
Latest price on eBay: $8.95 to “Buy It Now.”
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