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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – September 1979 (Volume 11, Number 4) 

The Who, with John Entwistle displaying one of the larger foreheads in rock ‘n’ roll history, were back on the cover of the September 1979 issue of Creem. Pete Townshend (“It’s a painful loss”) and Roger Daltrey (Among other things, he showed us how to live…really!”) reflected on the passing of Keith Moon. On the other hand, John Entwistle noted how difficult he was to play with (“I always had to watch when he went out of tempo”). Music journalist Roy Carr always penned good stories on the major U.K. rock acts and this one, is no exception. Townshend, for his part, makes Townshend-like pronouncements such as “Rock should have its Godfathers” and “it sounds totally ridiculous for us to still be playing (‘My Generation’).” Pete was very funny, in his own special way. 

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” it was reported that Reverend Clarence Franklin, the father of Aretha Franklin, had been shot in an attempted robbery. Sadly, Mr. Franklin remained in a coma following the shooting for five years and passed away in 1984. In less tragic news, Fleetwood Mac had spent over $400,000 on the double album that would be known as “Tusk,” prior to completing mixing and overdubs.  

A wigged-out Bun E. Carlos had his glam rock moment as “The Creem Dreem.”

 

Features: 

“The Babys’ Playground Politics,” by Toby Goldstein 

“Doc Rock’s Commencement Address to the Class of 1979, Lenny Kaye Speaks His Mind,” by Billy Altman 

“Graham Parker Sees Protection,” by Susan Whitall  

“High Speed Blow-Out: Rubber Dinosaurs, Worms on a String, and the Cars,” by Jeffrey Morgan 

“The Who: Last Stand At the I’m Ok/You’re Ok Corral,” by Roy Carr 

The article on the Babys focused on their new rockin’ members, future Journey keyboardist/married-to-a-wacko Jonathan Cain and future Styx bassist Ricky Phillips. John Waite came off as a bit defensive in his interview with Toby Goldstein (“There’s no apologies offered for who we are”), explaining his wardrobe choices and vocal comparisons to Paul Rodgers. At the time of this article, the Babys unknowingly had their peak with the hit singles “Isn’t It Time?” and “Everytime I Think of You,” neither of which pushed their corresponding albums to gold status and neither of which were penned by anyone in the band.  

In his interview with Billy Altmant, Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye seemed way too articulate and grounded to be a rock ‘n’ roll guitarist. He always came across as a guy you’d love to meet and chat with about the history of rock music.  

The intensity of “Squeezing Out Sparks” era Graham Parker jumped off the page as an interview subject, just like his music sandblasted your psyche during that era.  

Jeffrey Morgan came off as way too cool for the room on his “interview” with the Cars. He made the piece much more about himself than the band. 

Quotable Quotes:   

John Belushi on critical backlash to the Blues Brothers, “I think there is a certain amount of jealousy because I’ve been on television, I’ve had a number one hit record and a movie hit.” 

Elvis Costello after seeing a Bruce Springsteen concert, “Good songs…but they’re too long, way too long.”

Costello on his brouhaha with Stephen Stills and company, “It was one of those ridiculous barroom fights where you’re too pissed to know what’s going on. It was more like slapstick than anything. I only remembered that it the thing had even taken place when I returned to my hotel room and discovered that my arm hurt somewhat.” 

John Waite, “If I were still in England I’d probably be stealing cars, or selling matchboxes.” 

Lenny Kaye, “(Patti Smith) is involved in a feeling of transition and she herself doesn’t know where it’s going to lead. I haven’t got that forward vision that she does, which is why what you’ll hear from me is everything up to our present. Patti’s like the arrow at our head and where she points, the rest of the shaft follows.” 

Graham Parker on opening for Journey, “The Journey audience – dumb kids who think they are at Woodstock.” 

Roger Daltrey, “When Pete dies, I’ll immediately be around there with a shovel diggin’ him up.” 

Pete Townshend, commenting without irony, “Rock’s not meant to be analyzed.”   

Rick Johnson on Peter Frampton, “If ever there’s a cartoon character based on amniotic fluid, Peter will be asked to do the voice. “ 

Summary: If anyone else had written the piece on the Cars, we’d be looking at an A. However… 

Grade: A- 

Latest price on eBay: $9.00 or “Best Offer.”

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