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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – September 1977 (Volume 9, Number 4)

Ted Nugent, as always brimming with piss and vinegar, living a life replete with exclamation marks, was the subject of the cover story in the September 1977 issue of Creem. It is a reminder that (a) he was always politically incorrect and (b) he could actually be funny before he devolved into being a complete deplorable. He did give one insight into his future, “Thinking is the beginning of deterioration of rock ‘n’ roll!” 

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” it was reported that Johnny Rotten and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols had been attacked “in separate incidents of reactionary violence in London.” It was believed that the violence was a reaction to the single “God Save the Queen” (who, you know wasn’t “a human bein’”). 

In the “Creem’s Profiles,” the members of ZZ Top look remarkably normal, not yet sporting their Rip Van Winkle beards. 


“Ray Manzarek’s Nite City: The Dark Side of L.A.,” by Patrick Goldstein 

“What Makes Heart Beat?,” by Air-Wreck Genheimer 

“Frankie Miller’s High Life & Times (No Deposit, No Return),” by Susan Whitall 

“Dancing with Mr. D (-O-G), The Flesh-Eating, Guitar-Gouging, Talking Walking Wolfman (Ted Nugent to You),” by Susan Whitall 

“Fun Fun Fun Fun with Iggy!,” by Billy Altman 

“Fleetwood Mac Come Back/The Small Faces Never Went Away,” by Simon Frith 

“$teve Miller Lays the Golden Egg (Plop!),” by Steve Clarke 

The feature on Ray Manzarek’s short-lived rock band Nite City basically reinforced the reality that he would never escape Jim Morrison’s shadow. In the feature on Heart, both Ann and Nancy seemed quite level-headed, equal to the task of managing their newfound fame. Author/Creem editor Susan Whitall was delighted by Frankie Miller’s boozy live show and his uninhabited demeanor.  

Steve Miller seemed like a grumpy old man in his feature, a guy raking in millions of dollars (you know, back when a million was real money) who was complaining about business executives and the touring lifestyle. 

Quotable Quotes:   

Jeff Beck on learning that Cher came to one of his shows, “Maybe she likes ex-junkie guitar players.” 

The Ramones on their first European tour – Tommy, “The only thing wrong with Europe was the plumbing.” Dee Dee, “They don’t speak much English over there either.” 

James Brown, “My only real competition is Elvis and Sinatra.” 

Ray Manzarek on his early gigs with Van Morrison’s Them, “Van was a lunatic then – a real crazy, drunken Irishmen. He was the first person I ever saw sing with the mike upside down. He’d destroy anything on the stage.” 

Nancy and Ann Wilson on Mushroom Records – Nancy, “Just a lot of little things added up to a big thing.” Ann, “Like not paying us for two and half million albums until the court ruled that they had to.”  

Ann Wilson on the rumor that she and her sister were lesbians, “That’s one of the reasons we left Mushroom. That implication kept being made and it’s totally untrue.” 

Scottish singer Frankie Miller on Detroit, “The drugs, man! These chicks gave us some synthetic heroin! We said, hey, let’s stick around here for a while.” 

Simon Frith on a Ramones gig in Birmingham, England, “The Ramones were just another Tuesday night, like the Clash a few weeks before and the Jam a few weeks later…The band comes on, everybody shouts, and the band goes off again.” (Yeah, that sounds like some tedious Tuesday nights). 

Ted Nugent, “Only thing I haven’t eaten is a rat. I don’t WANT to eat a rat.” 

Nugent on Keith Richards, “I don’t listen to the needle goin’ into his arm, I listen to his music!” 

Iggy Pop, “I’ve always been so determined to fail and I’m so glad that I was because it’s HARD to be a failure and for awhile I thought I’d failed at being a failure and now I’m starting to succeed at it.” 

Iggy Pop, “I do think I’ve had a part in changing the face of things over the last few years, which is odd because I’ve never sold out a big hall or sold an incredible amount of records.” 

Simon Frith, “I would never have put money on Christine (McVie) for superstar, that’s for sure, but then I got a lot of potential wrong in the 1960s.” 

Steve Miller on his relationship with his label, “I’m the greatest guy in the world, until I stop selling records.” 

Steve Miller, “On (the) ‘Fly Like An Eagle’ (album), I was more interested in using a synthesizer than a guitar.” 

Suzie Quatro, who penned a piece on the PBS musical drama “Rock Follies,” “Many days we had nothing more than a hamburger; at times not even that. We had to camp out and save dough, sneak into supermarkets and nick a tin of something.” 

Billy Altman on the Ramones’ 45 “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker,” “Buy it, and help change the course of history.” 

Summary:  Consistently engaging features and I’ve become a big fan of Simon Frith’s relentless condescending cynicism.  

Grade: A- 

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