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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – September 1988 (Volume 19, Number 11)

Rod Stewart returned to the cover of Creem for the first time since November of 1977 for the September 1988 issue. Deb Sprague interviewed Stewart regarding his “Out of Order” album. Rod stated that his songwriting was more sophisticated than in the earlier stages of his career, an interesting opinion. Rod also talked about playing “semi-pro” soccer, how challenging it was to write lyrics, and his desire to work with Ron Wood again. Regarding his vocals, Stewart commented that he could sing higher notes in 1988 than he could in 1971. Rod was an old pro at the interview game and this is an interesting Q and A.  

The ownership of Creem had changed hands again prior to this issue, with Arnold Levitt selling the property to a New York based business entity. Daniel Lezak was given the title of “Publisher,” but I have on good authority that Mr. Lezak had no legitimate role in the magazine. The Headquarters was moved from Los Angeles to New York. As of this issue, Deb Sprague became the Editor, supported by Vicki Arkoff as “Senior Editor” and Steve Peters as “Associate Editor.” John Kordosh had left the magazine with no fanfare after serving on the editorial staff since January of 1985 and having been a key contributor for many years before that.  

Features: 

“The Pontiac Brothers: Suppertime Blues,” by Ara Corbett 

“Georgia Satellites: Ain’t Just Whistlin’ Dixie,” by Michael Lipton 

“Lynyrd Skynyrd: The Quality Goes In Before the Name Goes On,” by Tom Nordlie 

“Iggy Pop: Animal Instincts,” by Vicki Arkoff 

“Thelonious Monster: Hollywood Babblin’,” by Steve Appleford 

“Bob Goldwait: May Be Hazardous to Your Health,” by Steve Peters 

“Byker Chic (Gay Bykers on Acid),” by Vicki Arkoff 

Dan Baird of the Georgia Satellites was focused on money in his interview with Michael Lipton, commenting on his recording contract, “It’s like a real business, except they don’t pay interest on the money they hold and you don’t pay them interest on the money you borrow. Like REAL good friends doing business with one another.” He came across as a smart guy under significant personal pressure to follow up a successful debut album.  

Tom Nordlie caught the Lynyrd Skynyrd “Tribute Tour,” which the band was treating like an occasional side gig at the time, instead of something that nature could never kill. Band members dodged questions about releasing new material.   

At the age of 42, Iggy Pop felt he had the best understanding of the music he wanted to perform in his entire career, or so he said in his interview with Vicki Arkoff. He also discussed Elton John wanting “to have a go at James Williamson’s behind,” among other things. This is a very fun read.  

Quotable Quotes:   

Dan Baird on “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” “It’s just a fun song I wrote years ago. People are going to say, ‘A fun song, what a horrible thing to have done – why couldn’t he be more like Morrisey.” 

Iggy Pop, “I live easily with adulation. I’m very comfortable with it.” 

Iggy, “Let’s look at 1972. I recorded (the) ‘Raw Power’ (album) and Elton John recorded ‘Rocket Man.’ He got the hit, he got the money, he got the push and I got dirt.” 

Rod Stewart, “The day before I left California, I saw Steve Jones walking down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills with a suntan, hair down the middle of his back, and looking extremely fat. He was walking a small, frilly dog. I thought, ‘God, how times have changed?’” 

Rod Stewart, “I’ve gone off the rails a little bit since ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy,’ but I think I’m pretty well back on track now.” 

Summary: There’s a reason why Creem had an Iggy Pop feature every year. He was one hell of an entertaining interview subject. Also, this issue has good pieces on Rod and the Satellites.  

Grade: B+ 

Latest price on eBay: $18.77 or “Best Offer.” 

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