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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1986 (Volume 18, Number 2)

Just a few months after Creem conducted an interview with David Lee Roth on his departure from Van Halen, Mr. Jive and Spandex was back on the cover on the October 1986 issue, this time to promote his “Eat ‘Em and Smile” album. Roth proclaimed, “I was responsible for a great deal of Van Halen’s sound” and dropped lines like, “Sammy’s angry because he knows I’m better than he is.” As always, Dave was a tremendously entertaining carnival barker, applauding his own “humor and sexiness.” Few rock stars ever enjoyed being interviewed more than David Lee Roth.

In addition to the regular features, a group of Creem contributors and a few musicians voted on the “The Greatest Albums Ever at Presstime!” The biggest vote getters were Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” and “Highway 61 Revisited” followed by Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and the Sex Pistols’ “Never Mind the Bollocks.” My favorite comment was from Laura Fissinger who voted Prince’s “Dirty Mind” as her best LP, with the justification that it, “Makes me want to vigorously participate in the procreation process.”


“Joan Jett Unchained,” by Karen Schlosberg
“David Lee Roth’s Revenge,” by Roy Trakin

“I Confronted Metallica on Their Own Terms,” by Sylvie Simmons
“I Spoke to Let’s Active While in the Deep South,” by Richard Grabel

“A Match, A Flame, A Banshee Howls,” by Toby Goldstein
“Be Lucky, Be Lovely, Belinda,” by John Kordosh
“Emerson, Lake & Powell: Rockin’ Dudes or Art-Rock Mofos?,” by Dave DiMartino

The Karen Schlosberg piece on Joan Jett reminds us of that time when Joan was the onscreen sister of 1980’s mega star Michael J. Fox in the film “Light of Day.” As often was the case, Jett manager Kenny Laguna did most of the talking in the piece, describing his frustrations with Irving Azoff and MCA Records. Jett on the music business, “I’ve never been an endorsement kind of person. I’m not a billboard. But I will admit the pressure to do it is tremendous…To me it’s like being a prostitute.” Jett was such an old pro in the industry at this point, at the ripe old age of 26.

Lars Ulrich noted that Metallica was “playing the music we want to play, writing the songs we want to write, approaching the whole business in our own way” in the band’s interview with Sylvie Simmons. Ulrich opined, “There had never been anything like we were doing in America. The closest was we had obvious ties to Motorhead back then, with the energy and sort of the obnoxiousness, but we were playing fast, I think, in a DIFFERENT way.”

Siouxsie Sioux sounded like a surprising careerist in her interview with Toby Goldstein, commenting that the band never wanted, “To pigeonhole ourselves in ‘punk music,’ ‘rock music,’ jazz or funk or psychobilly or psychedelia…I think the people who did go along with the media labeling have lost it. They limited themselves to being too specific and too, I suppose, desperate to be famous for their first five minutes.”

John Kordosh interviewed Belinda Carlisle who described the breakup of the Go-Go’s and starting over as a solo artist. Carlisle, “I don’t really want to sing about cars, getting laid and all that crap.”

Quotable Quotes:

Joan Jett, “I still want to go to Russia, that’s one of the places I really want to play in my lifetime.”

Cynthia Rose, “The Ramones have remained my number one argument for the central importance of rock to life – as spiritual uplift, as sheer visceral thrill, as tearjerking romantic catharsis, and as PROOF ABSOLUTE that good does defeat evil.”

Richard Riegel, “Thelonious Monster sound like if those ’66 punkers Shadows of Knight had gone fully atavistic & had referred back to the jump jazz that inspired the Stones rather than to the Stones themselves. White grunt punk Jazzy (saxy) trash & blues, sloppydelic too, plus prophetically mewling vocals from Bob Forrest & tiddy-ae-boom drums by Pete Weiss.”

David Lee Roth, “Who wants to hear about the hard work, the slaving in the studio and the political problems you have to go through? You can read about that in every other interview in this magazine.”

Sylvie Simmons, “Metallica’s ‘Maters of Puppets’ doesn’t sound like Rush. Neither does it sound like your standard demon-possessed-foodmixer-making-nuts-and-bolts-and-small-animals-milkshake thrash.”

Summary: Too much of a good thing? Diamond Dave was certainly getting more than his fair share of press at this time.

Grade: B

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