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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1980 (Volume 12, Number 5) 

Rob Halford, dressed in black and covered with studded accessories, as well as sporting handcuffs and holding a police baton, was featured on the cover of the October 1980 issue of Creem. The corresponding headline was “Back from the Dead, Heavy Metal, Here Come the Goons.” In the feature article, Rick Johnson penned short paragraphs on over thirty heavy metal acts. I don’t think I’ll ever read a better phrase about this era of hard rock than “imitates sound of cinderblock hurricane striking local petting zoo at lunchtime.”

Buried in a book review is Dave DiMartino’s first person account of seeing Jim Morrison whip out his procreative appendage in Miami, “We saw Jim Morrison stumble onstage, ask ‘Do you wanna see my COCK? And then show it to us anyway, even though not many of us had screamed ‘YEAH!!’ in the first place.”

A photo of Pat Benatar demonstrated that filters were available to professional photographers long before amateurs obtained them with iPhones. Nina Hagen was featured as “The Creem Dreem” and a young Boy George may have found inspirational make-up tips in her appearance.


“Feels Like a Foreigner on Five Quid a Day: Party Gaming with the Jags,” by Richard Riegel

“Bebe Buell Stops Fooling Around and Makes a Record,” by Patrick Goldstein

“The Rockets: No Runs, One Hit, No Ballads,” by John Kordosh

“Paul Jones Sixties Retrouve: The Blues Band Sings the Whites,” by Toby Goldstein

Richard Riegel penned a sharp piece on the Jags, a short-lived English act who did not want to be compared to Elvis Costello. Bebe Buell talked about her many relationships, including Elvis Costello, in a fun interview with Patrick Goldstein.

John Kordosh interviewed the Rockets, the Detroit hard rock band who seemed to be on the cusp of major success after their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” hit the Top Forty in 1979. Sadly, they never got off that cusp.

Quotable Quotes:

Dave Davies on the guitar solo on “You Really Got Me,” “It’s so BAD, that maybe I SHOULD start saying that Jimmy Page did it.”

Peter Case, “At its best, rock is illiterate.”

Bebe Buell,” I haven’t had sex with half the guys I’ve been out with – I believe in courtship. It takes a long time to get into my pants.”

Jim McCarty on The Rockets selling out Pine Knob in Detroit, “I think that was the highlight for the band and for our lives after being together for eight years.”

Paul Jones, “I think records like ‘God Save the Queen’ are absolute classics.”

Rick Johnson, “If you were to take the active ingredient out of sleeping on a garage floor and set it to music, the result would be Triumph.”

Rick Johnson on the Scorpions, “One of post-war Germany’s biggest mistakes.”

Jim Farber on X, “X are perhaps the first band from L.A. ever to come close to really exploring the end-of-the-continent consequences of the new wild west – the ultimate garbage dump for disposable income.”

Summary: A lot of high-quality writing on some less than fascinating subjects, such as The Jags and The Blues Band.

Grade: B+

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