In early 1985, Creem began issuing a second monthly magazine, focused purely on heavy metal of its era in an attempt to compete with “Hit Parader” and “Circus” magazines. Unfortunately, the magazine wasn’t titled “Young Men in Make-Up and Spandex.”I did not purchase any of these issues when they were released, but I do have the October 1985 issue for comparison’s sake. Motley Crue and Ratt were featured on the cover, because the world needed a lengthy Q and A with Bobby Blotzer.
The format has similarities to Creem, starting with the “Mail” section, which is called “Chainmail” in this incarnation. The outrage factor still exists as a metal costume designer was appalled at the suggestion that Stephen Pearcy had a “secret pocket” added to the crouch of his pants. A libelous statement! In another missive, the wife of a member of the band Abattoir was irate that the magazine had questioned the sexuality of the highly skilled act.
There is a section named “Bullets” which is similar to “The Beat Goes On” in Creem proper. I was delighted to discover that there was a band from Scotland actually named Heavy Pettin’. I don’t think they were referencing a dog sitting side hustle.
“Uli Jon Roth: Too Hippie Or Not Too Hippie, That is the Question,” by Andy Hughes
“Motley Crue: Space Beings of Inestimable Power,” by Sharon Liveston
“Before the Riot Was Quiet, The Metal Was Glitter,” by Toby Goldstein
“Bobby Blotzer: Metal Q and A,” by Annene Kaye
“Suck Out the Venom,” by Andy Hughes
“The Left-Handed Dictionary of Heavy Metal,” by Rick Johnson
“The Phenomenom of Phenomena!,” by Sylvie Simmons
Sharon Liveton interviewed Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, who hyped the “Theatre of Pain” album and discussed his enjoyment of golfing.
The always dependable Toby Goldstein wrote a piece on 1970’s glam/glitter rock and its influence on the 1980’s metal scene. Everyone from Elton John to the Runaways are included in this piece.
Bobby Blotzer approached being interviewed by Creem as most tenderfoots would approach a garden snake.
Rick Johnson contributed a helpful heavy metal dictionary. For example, “Backstage Pass: when Vince Neil hurls a groupie to Nikki Sixx.”
Tommy Lee, “I listen to everything. Jazz. Tons of funk – because they always have the best, biggest, hugest drum sound.”
Toby Goldstein on Slade, “Lord knows, they weren’t pretty.”
Bobby Blotzer, “I’ve been reading CREEM since 1972. I’ve never liked CREEM, other than looking at the pictures. You get this person, whoever he or she is, saying this shit about bands that sell the magazine. I think it’s totally ridiculous and uncalled for. We don’t make fun of CREEM.”
Bobby Blotzer, “We’ve gotten fan mail written in crayon.”
Rick Johnson’s definition of “Grammy,” “Music industry award that’s about as big an honor as being tried as an adult.”
Rick Johnson on “Solo,” “Inept or amateurish. Example, Mick Mars guitar leads are SOLO, they could fit under an amoeba’s pantyhose.”
Summary: I’m assuming this is a representative sample of Creem’s “Metal Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which is a very photo happy publication. There are several pictures of bands otherwise not mentioned in the magazine. My favorite is one of Leslie West, who fits into this context like a vegan in a pig roasting competition. As someone who never knew the difference between Accept and Venom and Loudness, my main takeaway is how hard these bands worked to look exactly like each other. This is hardly an original observation, but It remains interesting that the most reportedly anti-authority genre of its time was also the most conformist.
Latest price on eBay: $16.00 to “Buy It Now.”
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