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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1983 (Volume 15, Number 5)

Long time Boy Howdy! fave Robert Plant returned to the cover of the October 1983 issue of Creem. Editor Dave Dimartino wrote positively about Plant’s solo career and Led Zeppelin’s “spectacular production work.” Plant had positive things to say about new acts including the English Beat, the Human League, and Yaz. DiMartino concluded, “There’s a respect that Robert Plant has for the music – all forms of music – that maybe a lot of people wouldn’t think he’d still have. Maybe that a lot of people have even forgotten about, these days.” This is definitely a “feel good” piece, respecting Plant and his past.

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” it was reported that Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger had left the English Beat to form their new band, the tenderness needing General Public. The breakups of Supertramp and Bad Company were noted, although, as we all know, it’s hard to hold a profitable touring band down for long.


“Sparks Will Fly, I Predict,” by John Kordosh

“A System to Live By: Modern Electronics Get Funky,” by Iman Lababedi

“From Hot Dog to Big Log: Robert Plant Hits the Road,” by Dave DiMartino

“Better Eddie Than Dead: Iron Maiden Tattoo America,” by Sylvie Simmons

“Dave Edmunds: Gimmie Information Please!,” by Karen Schlosberg

“A Flock of Seagulls: Hair Apparent,” by John Mendelssohn

John Kordosh interviewed Russell and Ron Mael of Sparks, who were on an extended tour with Rick Springfield, trying to bring their quirky pop vision to mainstream America. “Cool Places,” a collaboration with Jane Wiedlin, peaked at #49 on the U.S. pop charts, the Sparks high-water mark for a single in their homeland.

Iman Lababedi interviewed the System, a bi-racial funk duo who would have their breakthrough hit in 1987 with “Don’t Disturb This Groove.” If you weren’t aware that David Frank of the System later co-wrote Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle,” you probably spend less time on Wikipedia than I do.

Bruce Dickinson discussed being inspired by Deep Purple, the similarities between country and heavy metal audiences, and being targeted by the Moral Majority in his interview with Sylvie Simmons. Bruce had a lot of opinions.

Dave Edmunds went in a very non-Rockpile direction in 1983, having Jeff Lynne produce his “Information” album. Much of this piece by Karen Schlosberg details Edmunds’s experiments with new technology, including synthesizers and using backing tapes in his live performance. In the bills-need-to-be-paid department, Edmunds also volunteered that he had recently provided music for a Miller Beer commercial.

Mike Score discussed being a hairdresser, and his success with the opposite sex, in his interview with John Mendelssohn, who considered A Flock of Seagulls “incontestably feeble – feeble singers, feeble players, feeble songwriters.”

Quotable Quotes:

Roland Orzabel, “We started Tears for Fears so we could get money to go into therapy.”

Ron Mael, “We want to make an attempt to break out of that cult thing.”

Dave DiMartino, “Zep – and obviously Robert Plant – maintain a dignity and pride that very few of their contemporaries can still decently claim. They have yet to compromise their name.”

Robert Plant commenting on Led Zeppelin, “They were a brilliant band – and I mean, why not BRAG when you are surrounded by mediocrity.”

Bruce Dickinson, “We haven’t changed our style to fit American radio; American radio has come to us and said, we feel we’ve GOT to play, because when we open the phones for requests, all we get is abuse because we’re not playing Iron Maiden.”

Karen Schlosberg, “While most musicians seek to polish an image of themselves through the songs they sing, Dave Edmunds’s songs polish the image of rock ‘n’ roll.”

John Mendelssohn on A Flock of Seagulls, “If you’re anything but a RABID Flock of Seagulls fan, reading what follows is unlikely either to amuse, enlighten, or even divert you. While I’ve used all my standard tricks to try to make what follows entertaining – the thinly-veiled contempt for the subject, the tortuous syntax, the relentless New Journalism third-person self-references – I cannot, in good faith, urge even the most perfervid proponents of my prose to read further. I am very sorry.”

John Mendelssohn on Mike Score, “In all of rock ‘n’ roll, there is no stupider hairdo than Our Mike’s. The poor fellow can’t even enjoy a sip of Coca-Cola without, as he puts it himself, ‘lifting the drawbridge.’”

Richard C. Walls on the Police album “Synchronicity,” “Verdict: limp but catchy (as opposed to catchy but limp) and grossly overrated. Which, of course, is not their fault.”

Rick Johnson on Iron Maiden, “As another sex ‘n’ drugs scandal unfolds in Washington, D.C., a junior congressman proclaims the nation is ‘going to hell on a toboggan.’ What can I add, but MORE ICE! Besides, arguing about it at this late date is like demanding “Why?” at a swim meet…Speaking of lyrics, let’s all have a good laugh, shall we?!”

Summary: Creem’s appreciation of Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin continued to grow as the years passed by.

Grade: A-

Latest price on eBay: $9.00 to “Buy It Now.”

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