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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – September 1983 (Volume 15, Number 4)

David Lee Roth returned to the cover of the September 1983 issue of Creem, as part of the coverage on the US Festival, a largely attended event, yet still a financial bloodbath, organized by Apple Computer bigwig Steve Wozniak. Diamond Dave was flanked on the cover by pics of David Bowie, Men at Work, and the Clash. Author Toby Goldstein had a thoroughly terrible time at the festival – the press passes gave almost no access to viewing the shows or interviews. She had a short interview with David Lee Roth, who joked in platitudes, between calling her “honey,” “darlin’,” and “sugar.” She noted the highlight of the event was “a brilliantly physical and charismatic set by Ireland’s U2.” Goldstein did not leave the event a fan of Steve Wozniak, noting, “Don’t be surprised if this man – who seems so ready to buy recognition with cash – runs for office someday.”

It was reported in “Rock ‘n’ Roll News” that “Colonel Parker has severed his connection with the estate of Elvis Presley in an out-of-court settlement.” Before the settlement, which included paying Parker a cool $2 million, the shy manager was receiving 50% of the estate’s income.


“Divinyls: How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Lip Farm?,” by Laura Fissinger

“Mitch Ryder: Naked & Ugly, But Certainly Not Sleeping,” by John Kordosh

“Attack of the Techno Tribes: How I (Sort of) Survived the US Festival,” by Toby Goldstein

“If All Men Wer Brudders…After-School Sessions 15 Years After School,” by Cynthia Rose

“U2 In America: Pop Morality vs. The Irish Way,” by Kevin Knapp

“Whopping & Bopping with ZZ Top,” by Jeff Nesin

Laura Fissinger was unimpressed by Christina Amphlett of the Divinyls, stating that her songs came from the attitude of a 13-year-old, but that “she seemed about four” when performing onstage.

In conjunction with the John Cougar produced album “Never Kick a Sleeping Dog,” Detroit legend Mitch Ryder was deemed feature material. He talked about his career like someone who actively enjoyed offending the people (such as label representatives and television producers) that could have helped his career the most.

Cynthia Rose interviewed the Ramones who discussed the Clash moving away from their punk rock roots and Johnny noted the issues with jogging as an easily identified rocker (“Everybody RECOGNIZES ya every time ya go outta the house”). Also, Joey seemed to be feeling confined by the Ramones sound, announcing a possible EP and commenting on his “extreme musical tastes.”

In the magazine’s first feature on U2, Bono namechecked Van Morrison, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, the Beatles, the Pete Townshend, and the Stones. I’m sure he was actually too humble to compare himself to those acts, so those were just, you know, examples of musicians he admired.

Jeff Nesin was thoroughly charmed by ZZ Top, who were in the mood to drink and laugh. They also provided a listing of some of their favorite food stops in the U.S. and France.

Quotable Quotes:

Peter Buck on filming a video for “Radio Free Europe,” “It’s not gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll type video. There’s gonna be no lip-synching, no half-naked women, no mud wrestling, no dwarves or smokebombs.”

Mitch Ryder, “There’s this thing with CREEM. Like ‘Sixteen’ magazine, I ran into the same thing when I was a big star in the ‘60s. They wouldn’t put me on the cover because I was too UG-LY.”

Mitch Ryder, “I’m doing whatever has to be done to sell a big commercial record.”

Cynthia Rose, “The brothers Ramone constitute America’s greatest white gift to rock history during the past 10 years.”

Bono, “If you can break out of Dublin, you can break out of anywhere.”

Frank Beard on MTV, “The first time I saw it, it was late at night and Debbie and I were in bed. We saw a band come on and play a song and then another band and then another band and we thought it was a new show we’d never seen before. We must have stayed up five hours thinking, Jesus, this is a long show. When is it gonna be over? We figured we had to stay up because we never got to see anything like it.”

Richard Riegel on the Human League, “Don’t fight the slick funk, as electrolux bands like the Human League will become more & more prominent as the long-cherished myth of the singular-performance rock ‘concert’ breaks down, and fans are increasingly satisfied to get over with prerecorded, undeviatingly swift & sure riffs like these.”

Summary: Can’t complain when you get features on the Ramones and ZZ Top.

Grade: B+

Latest price on eBay: $89.00 (Ha!) or “Best Offer.”

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