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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – September 1978 (Volume 10, Number 4)

David Bowie graced the September 1978 issue of Creem, looking quite debonair in white gloves and a tuxedo. Journalist M. George Haddock caught up with Bowie while he was filming “Just a Gigolo,” a horrific box office bomb that Bowie later called “my 32 Elvis Presley movies rolled into one.” Bowie’s sales pitch in this interview was that he was no longer interested in being a rock star and wanted to leave “his legacy on film.” Bowie raved about working with Marlene Dietrich (“a walking dream”) and concluded the interview with his artistic vision, “I’ll always be diving deep down inside, dragging up new little people until I’ve colonized an entire world. And then I shall seek other worlds.” 

Features: 

“Generation X: Love Among the Ruins,” by Kat Gisi, accompanied by Susan Whitall 

“Tom Robinson Band: Out of the Closets and Into the Streets,” by Penny Valentine 

“Bowie: No Ziggy or Iggy…Just a Gigolo,” by M. George Haddad 

“Patti Smith: Straight, No Chaser,” by Nick Tosches 

“Boston Emerges from the Big Sleep: The Case of the Empty Eight-Track,” by Rob Patterson 

Billy Idol gave an energetic interview about the state of the music business and the fact that he was in a band was barely mentioned. He was either being groomed or grooming himself for a solo career. The hook of the Tom Robinson Band piece was the same as every other piece on Tom Robinson, that he was an openly gay musician.  Freddie Mercury, Elton John, and Barry Manilow could not be reached for comment on this piece. 

The Tosches/Patti Smith sounded more like old friends/admirers bantering in a friendly way than an actual interview. Many drinks were consumed in the process. Poor Rob Patterson had to write a second piece about the delayed Boston sophomore album, this time chatting with “the mad Dr.” Brad Scholz, who discussed that perfection was more important than a timeline.  

Foreigner appeared in the “Creem’s Profiles,” proving (a) they did have faces and (b) there was no reason to look at them.  

Quotable Quotes:   

Billy Idol, “I mean, what does ‘Stairway to Heaven’ have to say to me? Nothing!” 


Tom Robinson, “Freedom is indivisible. You can’t have it at the expense of someone else. Either there’s oppression or there isn’t.” 

David Bowie, “It’s not very profitable not very rewarding in terms of thanks, to be ahead of your time.” 

Patti Smith, “We need a new cosmology. New gods. New sacraments. Another drink.” 

Richard Riegel on The Rolling Stones album “Some Girls,” “Undoubtedly the best studio album the Stones have made since ‘Exile’…the Stones’ll always be smarter than the vast majority of their competition. Always.” 

Billy Altman on “The Cars” album, “This is a band which seems to be headed into fourth gear towards the future while cruising in reverse down memory lane at the same time. How they done did it, I don’t know. Course, like I said, I don’t drive. Great ride though.” 

Rick Johnson on The Stranglers, “Their melodies are about as exciting as good sleeping weather.” 

Summary: Creem continued to walk a smart line between mainstream acts (Bowie, Boston) and the ever growing punk scene (Generation X, Tom Robinson).  

Grade: B+ 

Latest price on eBay: $14.99 to “Buy It Now.” 

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