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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue –September 1982 (Volume 14, Number 4)

Van Halen became everyone’s favorite hard rock cover band in 1982, returning to the Top 40, after an extended absence, with their versions of “(Oh) Pretty Woman” and “Dancing in the Street.” Ironically, Diamond Dave was slamming Sammy Hagar back in 1982 (“Sammy definitely has a social problem. I believe it’s based on lack of education”). He also talked about Eddie Van Halen’s relationship with Valerie Bertinelli, discussed all the tracks on the “Diver Down” album, and explained the positive aspects of shoes known as PRFCs – “Puerto Rican Fence Climbers.” Dave was in fine comedic form here, he knew how to make good copy, and it’s an interview where you both laugh and wince.  

The death of Pretenders guitarist James Honeyman-Scott was reported in “Rock ‘n’ Roll News.” 

This issue also includes Richard Meltzer’s legendary dismissal of the Clash album “Combat Rock” – “the merest mere ever perpetrated by a group of louts who weren’t purveyors of mere to begin with.” Every person who writes about music, or wants to write about music, should read this piece for an education on history, passion, and intellectual honesty. 


“No Bright Ones Tonight: Richard Thompson Shoots Out the Lights,” by Michael Goldberg 

“Marshall Crenshaw’s True Pop Ways,” by Iman Lababedi 

“Dave Edmunds, Rock Fan: From Small Things, Mama, Big Things One Day Come!,” by Bill Holdship 

“John Cougar and the Fooling of America,” by John Kordosh 

“Iron Maiden: Pussy-Footing in the Heart of the Beast,” by John Neilson 

Richard Thompson discussed his guitar playing, Fairport Convention, his love of 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll, and marital issues (“It’s always been hard to balance domestic and career”) in a lengthy, good interview.


Iman Lababedi (whatever happened to that guy?) was an enthusiastic Marshall Crenshaw fan and interviewed him about his influences, working in “Beatlemania” (“more money than I’m making now”), and starting out in an oldies group (“I didn’t want to get into a bar band situation covering Uriah Heep and Deep Purple”).  

Dave Edmunds discussed his professional differences with Nick Lowe regarding production techniques and his enthusiasm about his current band in an interview with Bill Holdship. The article ends with a wonderful story about Edmunds leaving mechanic skill, being laughed at by the foreman for his dreams about being a musician, and coming back later to the same garage to buy a Jaguar with cash.  

John Kordosh interviewed John Cougar right as he was becoming a major star with the “American Fool” album. Cougar recalled his several bad decisions with managers and record labels. Also, if the question is could a white musician still drop the “n” word in conversation in 1982, the answer is yes. 

The Iron Maiden piece by John Neilson somewhat represents why Creem would have an offshoot magazine titled Creem Metal later in the decade. The band really did not fit into the magazine’s aesthetic.  

Quotable Quotes:   

Robert Christgau on Cheap Trick’s “If You Want My Love,” “The most eloquently eclectic Beatle tribute ever recorded.” 

John Cougar on the “Hurt So Good” video being removed from MTV for S&M vibes, “When you play it backwards it’s a CHRISTIAN song.” 

Mark Fox of Haircut One Hundred, “In England if you haven’t got any talent, but you have a very big mouth and you’re very, very pushy and you don’t want to work in the market selling stolen property, you get involved in the music business.” 

Michael Goldberg, “On a bad night, Richard Thompson can walk all over everyone from Eric Clapton to Eddie Van Halen. He is a purely intuitive player who sounds like he’s letting a drop of his soul out with every note he fires from his Fender Strat.” 

Richard Thompson, “I thought the Sex Pistols were the outstanding band of the 70’s.” 

Iman Lababedi, “Marshall Crenshaw’s songs are perfect unto themselves.” 

Marshall Crenshaw, “Early 70’s music like post-Woodstock, I hated it. I hated every minute of it so I really dropped out from ’68 to ’78, I didn’t listen to anything modern. I’d listen to Al Green or Todd Rundgren, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes or the O’Jays, but as far as 70’s rock is concerned, it’s all one song to me.” 

Marshall Crenshaw, “Girls like me more than guys do, there’s no macho posturing in my work.” 

Penny Valentine, “Now and at some time in the future, ABC’s ‘Poison Arrow’ will remind someone of an early summer romance with a person they thought they’d already forgotten. After all, pop records are like cameras.” 

David Lee Roth, “I represent the Zen council portion of Van Halen; not so much because I am a student of Zen but basically because I am the only one who can spell it.” 

David Lee Roth, “Your filthy little imagination is always going to be better than anything I could put up on a screen for you.” 

Sylvie Simmons on David Lee Roth, “This man could talk the loincloth off Ted Nugent.” 

Bill Holdship, “Dave Edmunds is the epitome of the rock fan turned rock star.” 

John Kordosh, “I met Mr. Mellencamp (Coog’s actual surname) at a swank suburban hotel at – get this – 9:30 in the morning. Jesus, I didn’t even know we HAD two 9:30’s up until then. You learn a lot of out-of-the-way facts in this business.” 

John Cougar, “My first contract – I like to call it the Cocaine Contract, ‘cause I know where the money went.” 

Rick Johnson on Kansas, “They’ve released 1974’s Album of the Year six or seven times now and they’ve got it down to a skit. Heavy guitars and bulging bass riffing together. Keyboards splashing colors like a radium map of the Pentagon’s underground watering system. A drummer who sounds like he’s typing on tinfoil and power-volleyball vocal harmonies.” 

Richard Riegel on Deep Purple, “”Highway Star’ is forever.” 

Summary:  Diamond Dave loved being interviewed like Donald Trump loves orange makeup.  

Grade: A 

Latest price on eBay: $32.00 to “Buy It Now.” 

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