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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – September 1987 (Volume 19, Number 1)

Fleetwood Mac was featured on the cover of the September 1987 issue, but the editors let you know where their hearts were, by putting a Replacements feature in the front pages, which was the typical cover story slot during this timeframe. In any event, Lindsey Buckingham was of the opinion that Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 album “Tango in the Night” might have been their last, because “there’s other things to delve into and try.” Stevie Nicks had limited input into the album, perhaps enjoying her solo career more than working with Lindsey Buckingham. One gets the impression from reading the article that it would have taken three days and a group of lawyers for this band to agree on a sandwich platter.

Features:

“The Replacements: The Pleasure Is All Yours,” by Bill Holdship

“The Bryan Adams Barbeque,” by Liz Derringer

“Wire of the Tastiest Kind,” by Richard Grabel

“Fleetwood Mac Return without Leaving,” by John Kordosh

“Heart: Speaking Pelican? Like Hell They Can!,” by Sylvie Simmons

“Little Steven: Observations,” by Dave Sprague

“Squeeze Access All Areas,” by Iman Lababedi

Bill Holdship and the Replacements struggled with what the concept of rock ‘n’ roll meant in 1987 and whatever it may have been, Holdship concluded, “The Replacements are probably the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world right now.” The “interview” was basically a group of guys who liked each other cutting up and enjoying a healthy amount of alcohol. The story ends with Paul Westerberg and company sabotaging a radio interview and a chance to promote the “Pleased to Meet Me” album. No band ever enjoyed the art of antagonism more. A very fun piece.

Bryan Adams brought that same “please like me”/puppy dog energy to interviews that he did to his music career and I’m sure that consistency was a major concern in his approach to life.

Richard Grabel penned an overview on Wire’s history and interviewed Graham Lewis and Colin Newman, who were quite articulate and interesting blokes.

Ann Wilson of Heart complained that it was harder for older acts to get label support and opined, presumably with a straight face, that their 1987 album “Bad Animals” was “our best work so far.”

Iman Lababedi chronicled the artistic decline of Squeeze while interviewing Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford, and Jools Holland. Ironically, it was during this timeframe that Squeeze had their biggest U.S. hit with “Hourglass.”

Little Steven Van Zandt explained that it was impossible for him to separate social issues with music in his interview with David Sprague. Little Steve on the Boss, “I don’t think people can be friends for 20 years without sharing some common ground. That’s one reason I was so happy where I was – with Bruce for all those years. Not merely contributing to a sound, but being very proud of what he was doing.”

Quotable Quotes:  

Tommy Stinson, “We play rock ‘n’ roll. We AREN’T rock ‘n’ roll.” Paul Westerberg, “We are, too!” Tommy Stinson, “We don’t wear tight pants and we’re not on the radio…”. Westerberg, “But that ain’t rock ‘n’ roll. See, that’s the whole thing.”

Westerberg, “Actually, I’d rather spend two days in L.A. than, uh, than, uh, three.”

Westerberg on the song “Alex Chilton,” “We needed something to rhyme with ‘million,’ and ‘Chilton’ was the closest I could get.”

Chuck Eddy on the Redd Kross “Neurotica” album, “There’s a lot of clever Beatles references on the inner sleeve, and the record’s produced real nice by Tommy Ramone, and if it ain’t as neat as a free trip to Six Flags with Squeaky Fromme and Natasia Kinski as your tour guides, then I’m Tiffany-twisted with the Mercedes bends.”

Rick Johnson on Gene Clark’s post Byrds career, “Clark went on to devise all sorts of solo and group projects, including a brief, ill-advised country-glam look that went over about as big as the Velcro condom.”

Bryan Adams, “I do come from a military background and I think my father would have liked me to go into the army. But I think I proved I could be a success without going through the usual route of college and the army and relying on the government’s education system.”

Colin Newman of Wire on the music of the late 1970s, “Rock music died then. The corpse keeps crawling out and making lots of money, but there’s nothing new in it.”

Mick Fleetwood, “We finished the ‘Tusk’ album around Christmastime, or a little before Christmastime, and someone said that when they played ‘Tusk’ over at Warner’s all the people saw their Christmas bonuses flying out the window. I’ve always loved that connection.”

Lindsey Buckingham on touring, “The idea of playing ‘Rhiannon,’ quite honestly, doesn’t appeal to me right now.”

Ann Wilson, “There’s nothing wrong with sex in rock. I think basically rock is a sexy form.”

Ann Wilson, “The letters I like are the ones we get from guys in prison.”

Iman Lababedi, “Glenn Tilbrook once had an uncanny knack for melodies. He thinks he still does.”

Little Steven, “Nobody in America knows more about what’s going down in South Africa than me.”

Summary: The features on the Replacements and Fleetwood Mac are top notch.

Grade: A

Latest price on eBay: $19.99 or “Best Offer.”

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