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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – September 1975 (Volume 7, Number 4)  

The most interesting article in the September 1975 issue of Creem is Lester Bang’s interview/think piece on Kraftwerk. You would think Lester would rip this band apart, since their music and vision were diametrically opposed to Lester’s protopunk rock aesthetic. Instead, Bangs stood back and looked at the big picture. Pondering the impact of technology, Bangs wrote, “In the music of Kraftwerk, and bands like the present and to come, we see at last the fitting culmination of this revolution, as the machines not merely overpower and play the human beings but ABSORB them, until the scientist and his technology, having developed a higher consciousness of its own, are one and the same.”

Sadly, a very well written and interesting piece is significantly invalidated by the decision to use Nazi imagery in the accompanying artwork. Clearly, the intent wasn’t based on anti-Semitism. Publisher Barry Kramer was Jewish, as were several staff members. As we all know, from the standpoint of what was socially acceptable, the 1970s were very different times. Still, my heart sank when seeing the illustrations in 2022.

Features:

Bunny Sigler: UFO Spotted over Philly by Ed Ward and Michael Goodwin

Kraftwerk or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Balm by Lester Bangs

Cat Stevens’ Snow Job by Paul Henri Goulet

Pink Floyd: Nova Express or Exploded Stars by Michael Bloom

Pete Townshend: The Punk as Godfather, If the Glove Fits…by Roy Carr

Aerosmith: No Fear of Flying by Wayne Robins

Little Feat: Beyond the Valley of the Punks by John Morthland

Beach Boys: In Which Mike Love Hangs 8.5 by David Tipmore

Jefferson Starship: Take Me To Your Leader by Jim Esposito

The cover story/interview with Pete Townshend included his usual eccentric ramblings, such as declaring that Mick Jagger will soon become a self-parody and that he didn’t respect Jeff Beck or Jimmy Page, because they weren’t “writers.” The Shnozzy One feared becoming a nostalgia act and seemed to have trouble coming to grips with the popularity of the Bay City Rollers.

Wayne Robins caught Aerosmith before they became national stars. Joe Perry came across as humble and thoughtful and Steven Tyler came across like Steven Tyler. Author David Tipmore had a pretty superficial take on The Beach Boys, but it’s interesting to read an interview with Mike Love before he was one of the most hated people in the music industry.

Most humorous letter – a request from a Vice President of Johnson & Johnson to use the proper, trademarked name when referencing BAND-AIDS. Also, the members of Queen looked like a pack of Sheepdogs, posing without shirts for their Creem Dreem moment.

Quotable Quotes:

Patti Smith on meeting Bob Dylan, “We circled each other, shuffling our feet like two pet dogs, and then we suckled each other for awhile. And you know what – he really does have laser eyes.”

Faron Young on the Beatles, “It’s like this nude picture of this kid, this Nip, this Jap, whatever she was, with him on the front of a record cover with him…Well, there you have four guys who could have led American and the world’s youth in a damn straight line, to have helped them. But instead they’ve CAUSED dissent where it was unnecessary.”

Cat Stevens, “My motivation is not money but love.”

Pete Townshend, “When I’m standing up there on stage playing rock ‘n’ roll, I often feel that I’m too old for it.”

Steven Tyler, “Our music does not fit white suits. Our music is rock ‘n’ roll.”

Lowell George, “People can line up in droves and tell us we’re fucking up because of the way we dress and the way we put a show on, and what we say in our songs and what our songs do. And you know what? I don’t care about any of that.”

Wayne Robins on Neil Young’s “Tonight’s the Night” album, “’Tonight’s the Night’ is so dark, so personal, so filled with needles that go bump in the night, that one can only wonder how long Neil Young could survive if he didn’t have a time warp to give his natural life a little distance from the real blade that he insists on teasing against his own throat.”

Lester Bangs, “Frank Zappa is incapable of writing a solid, memorable, hummable pop/rock melody…he contents himself with writing essentially the same jerky scales and squiggles over and over, the kind of jello-brain music that sounds like tinkertoys running amok.”

Summary: It’s hard to look pass associating a German rock band with a swastika.

Grade: C

Latest price on eBay: $23.77 or “best offer.”

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