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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – September 1980 (Volume 12, Number 4) 

Local boy turned mega star Bob Seger made the cover of the September 1980 issue of Creem. In fact, he was so helpful, he walked into the magazine’s office in Birmingham, Michigan for the interview. Seger was clearly enjoying his long sought-after success (his “Against the Wind” album had reached #1) and he openly discussed his back catalogue, how important sequencing his records was to him, and his fandom of Bruce Springsteen. As always, Seger seemed like a genuinely nice guy who just happened to sell out arenas throughout the country.  

In “Unsung Heroes of Rock ‘N’ Roll,” Nick Tosches interviewed colorful rockabilly pianist Roy Hall, who penned “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” with Dave “Curlee” Williams and drank a lot of alcohol. 

As “The Creem Dreem,” Martha Davis looked like a woman who could have been turned into a goth icon, with just a few fashion tweaks.  

Features: 

“The Power of Positive Pinball: Lou Reed Tilts the Machine,” by Dave DiMartino 

“Camp, Revamped, and On Tap: Hall and Oates Take on the 80’s,” by Rob Patterson 

“The Southside Johnny Phenomenon: Relevant Aspects,” by Gregg Turner 

“Like the Last of the Good Old Choo-Choo Trains: Kinks Kulture Then and Now,” by John Kordosh 

Lou Reed had an amiable chat with Dave DiMartino, discussing his love of jazz music, his appreciation for Stevie Wonder, and recording techniques. The discussion was completely different from his verbal fistfights with Lester Bangs in the mid-1970s.

 

The timing of Rob Patterson’s interview with Daryl Hall and John Oates was interesting – it was years after the success of “She’s Gone”/“Sarah Smile” and right before the platinum success of the “Voices” album. While Hall sounded somewhat absurd in describing the duo as an “80’s band,” he turned out to be absolutely correct.  

John Kordosh wrote summary reviews of every album in the Kinks catalogue. For fans of the author and the band (and I love both), this piece is an absolute treat. 

Quotable Quotes:   

Eric Carmen, “I’ve made enough money as a writer so that I don’t HAVE to do anything else.” 

Dave DiMartino, “Personally, I think Lou Reed has created a more substantial, durable, and above all RELEVANT body of work than anybody else that has recorded rock music.” 

Lou Reed, “I’ve ALWAYS had really good musicians. I’ve got great taste. Because I really love this stuff; it’s like some people like wine, I like rock ‘n’ roll.” 

Lou Reed, “I don’t write rock ‘n’ roll lyrics like other people do. Mine DESERVE a lyric sheet.” 

Daryl Hall, “It’s real easy to be idealistic when you’re not doing very well or just starting out. But when you’re at the point where you actually have a choice – take the money or do what you believe in – that takes a little more self-discipline.” 

Daryl Hall, “I hated the 70’s…I hated music in the 70’s. We had a couple aberrations that turned out to be hits. I think we were always more of an 80’s band.” 

Southside Johnny, “I never really wanted to be a singer, to be a musician. All I wanted to do was have a good time, meet chicks.” 

John Kordosh, “Ray (Davies) turns his inability to sing ‘Too Much Monkey Business’ into an asset, limping through a laff-a-minute lame vocal that will stand unchallenged until he tries to sing ‘Dancing in the Street’ or Chrissie Hynde tries to sing ‘Stop You Sobbing.’” 

John Kordosh on Dave Davies 1980 solo album, “Dave Davies’ singing vice makes ‘Heart of Glass’ sound like ‘Boris the Spider.’ I mean, only your dog can hear some of the notes he hits on this LP.” 

John Kordosh on “The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society” album, “It’s not arguably the best album the Kinks ever made, it’s arguably the best album anyone’s ever made.” 

Jeffrey Morgan on Alice Cooper’s “Flush the Fashion” album, “After years of scamming us with a tightrope walk between rock ‘n’ roll and bleeding-women bull, Alice has finally dug down, come up, and put his money where his meat is.” 

Summary: It’s a real testament to his talent that Dave DiMartino became a major voice for Creem within a matter of months after taking an Editorial Assistant position. This issue includes excellent work by him and future editor John Kordosh. 

Grade: A 

Latest price on eBay: $9.00 to “Buy It Now.” 

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