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This mag was a breath of fresh air for a smalltown kid stuck out in nowheresville, because you could buy it in grocery stores. Did you read it? Did you like it? Should somebody get it going again?

Andy, Wednesday, 6 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

i was too young to be interested, but now i love going back and finding old creem articles and reviews on the net.

chaki, Wednesday, 6 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

It is going again. Or at least the plans are there.

Andy K, Wednesday, 6 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I read it. I loved it. Creem and Rock Scene couldn't be beat in America in the mid-Seventies. See my comments on the Music Writers Who Influenced You thread.

I remember buying my first issue in the Summer of '74 at a newstand in Vermont when my family was on vacation. It was their drug issue--they had a picture of a gumball machine full of pills on the cover.

I stopped reading it in the mid-80s. Too many issues with the Police on the cover. I wonder if I missed anything?

Arthur, Wednesday, 6 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Creem was the best mag anywhere in the 70s and early 80s.

Your thread should bring out all the "anti-rockist" prejudice I stirred up on the Simon Reynolds thread, unless they're still too busy licking Mr. Reynolds wounds, that is.

It would be a terrible mistake to revive Creem. They already tried that in the late 80s, or was it early 90s? Didn't last long and it was easy to see why. The moment is long passed.

J Sutcliffe, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Oh.. c'mon. Creem was a rock mag, but nevah a rockist one. Besides the social preconditions for recognizing & diagnosing "rockism" as such didn't even exist until the mid-late 70s. The discourse would have been meaningless then.

Sterling Clover, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link


I was being facetious. The entire "rockist" fixation at ILM is ludicrous in the extreme. The term is tossed around here with such indiscriminate zeal, much like McCarthyites screaming for "communist" blood. It's a false issue, a product of disconnected English music paper discourse - which in turn inspired an equally reactionary anti- British bias in the US underground. Seems to me that anyone concerned with what is "rockist" or not is someone neurotically obsessed with knowing what the "proper rules" are. Screw that nonsense.

J Sutcliffe, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

"rockist" is a shorthand in ILM-speak for something significantly different than the brit-press usage. When, for example, I used the term in the Alicia Keys thread (largely in jest, I would add) I meant that I thought Maura was falsely asserting that Keys' actual piano ability and lyrical depth were the factors by which we should judge her. I just used the term, because I thought it was worth pointing out what criteria were being established but I didn't want a big debate over these criteria because we have those at least once a month and I find them boring by now.

I don't think ILX is particularly "rockist" obsessed so much as the word gets used fairly frequently, just as one would use other critical terms which reside in active vocabulary.

Sterling Clover, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Also, the real problem is dealing with people saying 'if it doesn't have electric guitars, it is not good.' Grew up hearing this stance, and it annoys me greatly. Ergo, down with rockists -- but don't replace it with a stance saying 'if it *has* electric guitars, it is not good.'

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

CREEM totally shaped (warped?) my 13-year old mind. The writing, the bands they covered... it was like Van Halen, AC/DC stuff (which was ok, really), but also loads of punk and new wave. I first read about everything here... very, very important to me and my view of music and beyond. I still have a stack of them put away somewhere.

Sean, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

nickn, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Shit, why can I never do this???

Go here.

nickn, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

i think i use the word "rockist" most prolly: i'm not going to stop just because j.sutcliffe has zero sense of humour and is unhappy in his work — which NO WONDER btw, he is self-confessedly so terrible a teacher that his pupils prefer SIMON REYNOLDS!! How vewwy degwading my deah!!

creem in the 70s was very extremely anti- rockist obv, except maybe possibly for dave marsh and — apparently — half its readers (j*m derog*tis please quit now) (actually i have an inexplicable soft spot for d.marsh doubtless and quite rightly unshared by anyone on the boards...)

mark s, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

"Zero sense of humor" ...

Gte this. Maybe 10 students out of several hundreds over the course of the past four or five semesters ever heard of S Reynolds (still 10 too many). And they all encountered him through a lit crit seminar in merrie olde English dept., shepherded by a transplanted limey grad student. Apparently frustrated over his inability to attain his boyhood dream of editing either Select or Uncut or Smash Hits, the young man instead attempted to ply his alleged English exoticism in foreign parts, hoping to pick up lit crit credentials and perhaps a few large-breasted blonde Texan girls. Said Anglo-grad student soon lost his job (and scholarship) over trifling sexual harrassment laws, alas discovering too late that in-class arse-grabbing attempts don't fly with the powers that be (not to mention enlightened Texan girls). Where is he now? Either posting on ILM or getting his face slapped in Manchester pubs, I suppose.

And you say I got no sense of humor.

Let this be the last word I ever have to say about poor old Simon Reynolds.

J Sutcliffe, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

ie this reynolds-tricking guy got what he deserved for behaving like r.meltzer in a creem-free zone!!

mark s, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Now THAT is funny!

J Sutcliffe, Thursday, 7 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Sinkah -- I share the affection for Marsh because I appreciate unswerving devotion to Springsteen.

Sterling Clover, Friday, 8 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

unswerving AND paid for hurrah!!

mark s, Friday, 8 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Anyone who thinks that "rockism" is a false issue is someone (possibly neurotically) obsessed with knowing what the "real issues" are. Screw that nonsense.

Tim, Friday, 8 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

"Rockism" is useful for flushing defensive types out on both 'sides'. McCarthyism was hipsterism in reverse anyway - the people with the actual power at the time saying "OK elitists lets see how you like it".

J Sutcliffe seems to find it hard to grasp that lots of us here like Reynolds because there's not many journos writing sympathetically and in detail about some of our favourite music: he doesn't give a shit about UK garage, rave etc. So he just sees the philosophy stuff, whereas what Tim and Gareth and me are getting is the dance equivalent of someone like Lenny Kaye - mostly good taste and a skill for spotting key tracks as they happen.

Tom, Friday, 8 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

a brief sketch of my dad focusing on his political attitudes: claims utter nonbelief in "wing" politics, finds that concept flawed, outdated, laughably meaningless, detests the "fixation" with it of everyone around him (though no one brings it all up quite so much as him). yet, curiously, only ever attacks the left, and always votes right. jay sutcliffe reminds me of my dad in a frightening number of ways.

marek, Sunday, 10 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

eighteen years pass...

Myonga posted a trailer for the documentary on Facebook today:

Going to guess that some of it's great and some of it--like the second Chad Smith clip (who I thought was Flea at first, and that Chad Smith was his real name...)--will make me want to hide my eyes. I don't know how puzzling it will all look today.

clemenza, Wednesday, 17 June 2020 21:06 (two years ago) link

I saw some of this in the middle of the night on Public Tv--guess it was this doc; there's only one, right?---and found it infotaining, with some stuff I didn't know, though I know some of the early 70s-to=late 80s writers and have most of the back issues, going back to a few in the late-'60s large tabloid format. The part I saw seemed pretty Lestercentric at times, but understanably so.
Main things that ever bothered me about the mag, aside from some early treatment of workers that may or may not have been mentioned in the part I didn't see: that at least one person I know never did get paid for everything written and published, far as I know (will have to check back: this was several years in the 80s). And that Holdship and Kordosh could get poblicly righteous during this same no-pay period---which was prob beyond their control----but for instance H, denounced foreign writers for not praying in the direction of Graceland sufficiently===after which Mr. Frith stopped contributing to Letter From England---and especially, that they showered so much (no doubt commercially needed) attention on the likes of Aerosmith and Kiss, while disapproving of Prince---he got some attention and covers too, but not in a good way. Also Kordosh blamed Lennon for getting shot like 15 years after saying "We're probably bigger than Jesus, " while commenting on how secular England was, among other Creem comments. Although I admit to enjoying his bust of Asimov for evidence of senility re the book that combined Robots with Foundation.

dow, Wednesday, 17 June 2020 21:59 (two years ago) link

"disapproving of Prince": not so much a matter of taste in music, but intimating that there was something distasteful about him, his past, present, probably future, that he was prowling and advancing on the shady side of the street---at the same or about the same time that they were all over AeroKiss.

dow, Wednesday, 17 June 2020 22:04 (two years ago) link

There may have been a shorter, earlier one, I'm not sure. This one is dated 2019, so it's probably the one you saw--maybe it's about to get a wider release. (Pretend there's no pandemic...or a wider release in the fall, or winter, or whenever.)

I know there was lots and lots and lots of internal squabbling about who gets to tell this story, just like there was lots of squabbling about other matters before that. The one thing about so much rock criticism (and believe me, I include my own from 35 years ago) is that it's just not the amazing thing you might remember it as years later. (I assume the person owed money is Chuck?)

clemenza, Wednesday, 17 June 2020 22:25 (two years ago) link

xpost Oh well, those annoyances (not incl. stiffing writers) may have been for just a few issues. I liked Marsh's writing and editorial direction a lot in early 70s; it was either there or (I think) Rolling Stone where his reviews got me to check out Bryan Ferry's These Foolish Things and Bette Midler's The Divine Miss M: he was right, yay! Ditto early Springsteen, because operatic and Spaghetti Western tendencies if not core.
(Much later, in late 80s or early 90s,a collector wrote a Letter To The Editor of Goldmine, pointing out some obvious errors of fact in one of Marsh's recent slabs, and the author responded, asking that the letter write let him know when said plebe had written a Marsh number of books, that had sold Marsh copies, and had a career of Marsh. And that seemed entirely in character by them, though hopefully not.)

dow, Wednesday, 17 June 2020 22:26 (two years ago) link

A wider release on TV and/or streaming would be good, maybe better commercially than trying to fill remaining art houses for such a doc, although anecdotal evidence suggests it's possible.
Not gonna say who was owed without asking them if it's okay to do so, and also if this was ever resolved to their satisfaction. But was def a thing, more than several other outlets whose writers I know (also at other outlets for which these same Creem contributors also wrote---and got paid in a timely fashion[timely-enough, more or less].

dow, Wednesday, 17 June 2020 22:35 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Appealing coverage---Mike Rubin in the Times, good for Mike!

dow, Monday, 3 August 2020 19:39 (two years ago) link

Just saw that.

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 17:42 (two years ago) link

Trying to remember the last time I ran into Mike Rubin.

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 17:42 (two years ago) link

was it that time you had lunch at the place down by the airport ?

budo jeru, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 19:36 (two years ago) link

For a variety of reasons, didn't care for the documentary. I'd need to explain this more, but trying to be Creem is just doomed in 2020; I'd rather they just tell the story, which I realize is probably all but impossible with a finite amount of old footage.

clemenza, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 02:31 (two years ago) link

You said it, clemenza.

Lol, budo jeru, don’t think so.

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 02:37 (two years ago) link

I did like the early footage of Marsh they had, from '70 or so. He's become caricatured over the years, but he seemed really interesting in those days.

Felt bad for Rick Johnson, who I know wrote funny stuff. They felt it necessary to quote his review of the first Runaways album--because it inspired a famous letter from Joan Jett--some which just doesn't hold up at all. Take the time to search out writing of his that does.

clemenza, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 03:05 (two years ago) link

Yeah, I still need to get The Best of Rick Johnson, thanks for the reminder. The part of the doc I saw in that late night PBS etc. seemed pretty straightforward; they were all too old to YEEHAWW RAWKNROLL and they knew it. But I only saw maybe the last 30 minutes.

dow, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 03:08 (two years ago) link

I liked his "The Vocabulary of Rock": "Riff: the sound made by a very thin dog."

dow, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 03:10 (two years ago) link

Who is on that poster for the doc? I recognize Lester Bangs, Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, maybe Joan Jett?, Bebe Beull?, Chad Smith or Flea?, someone that looks like Jonny Greenwood?

henry s, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 12:47 (two years ago) link

most of them are listed on the bottom !

budo jeru, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 13:02 (two years ago) link

Well, OK, so Wayne Kramer is bottom left, but who is Leisure Suit Guy? Jonny Greenwood Guy?

henry s, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 13:08 (two years ago) link

chad smith is in the baseball cap next to dave marsh. wayne kramer shredding on the bottom and i think the dude between paul stanley and lester bangs is supposed to be young cameron crowe. joan jett on the left, susan whitall is downing a beer top right, and the woman in the center is laura levine:

budo jeru, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 13:15 (two years ago) link

I think that might be Marsh between Stanley and Bangs. The guy next to Chad Smith seems to be too sideburny and chest hairy.

henry s, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 13:26 (two years ago) link

oh yeah you're totally right

budo jeru, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 13:29 (two years ago) link

i think it must be barry kramer

budo jeru, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 13:43 (two years ago) link

Yep, looks like it.

henry s, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 13:49 (two years ago) link

his widow is one of the executive producers, and the key in his pocket must allude to his role as "founder"

budo jeru, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 13:50 (two years ago) link

When Creem folded (not sure if it was after the first or second time), I know there was a nasty and prolonged legal battle over who owned the name and its legacy or whatever. It seems that Kramer's son ended up with all that eventually--the film is his project.

So one of the film's biggest weaknesses for me was how much of it was devoted to Barry Kramer. Obviously, as co-founder and publisher of the magazine, he was important--but I wonder how important he was to readers. I didn't read Creem till 1980, but there were still a lot of good and really funny writers in there: Rick Johnson, J. Kordosh, Richard Riegel, Richard C. Walls (they were very Rick-heavy), Robot A. Hull, etc. Other than Johnson, I don't think even one of them is mentioned. They were why I started reading the magazine; it wasn't Barry Kramer, whose name I may or may not have glanced at on the masthead.

clemenza, Thursday, 6 August 2020 03:59 (two years ago) link

Uh-oh---my TV is from the early 90s, and it can do bad things to captions and credits---but could have sworn I saw "Richard Riegel" in there somewhere---was looking for it because he's a friend---but maybe there was a re-edit for this release??

dow, Thursday, 6 August 2020 05:42 (two years ago) link

I may have missed him. I've met Richard once, sometime in the mid-'90s; obviously he would have looked different 15-20 years earlier. In any event, there's a lot of time spent on Barry Kramer--more even than Bangs or Marsh, probably.

clemenza, Thursday, 6 August 2020 06:22 (two years ago) link

My first office job was in a suburb of Detroit in the mid-80's, right across the street from Creem HQ. I had not read the magazine for several years at that point, but I still harbored a fantasy of seeing various rockers coming and going, if not Alice Cooper or Patti Smith then at least Bob Seger or Rick Nielsen. Never saw anybody. I did see Barbie Benton in the art supply place next door! I don't think she was in town on Creem business.

henry s, Thursday, 6 August 2020 13:35 (two years ago) link

I haven't seen the doc yet. Do they get into the latter incarnation of the magazine based out of NYC that some consider Creem in name only but was a great place for fledgling aspiring music journos, at least until they went out of business owing said fledgling aspiring music journos several thousand dollars?

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Thursday, 6 August 2020 13:41 (two years ago) link

I watched the doc last night. Focus is on Michigan years and the differences and fights between Lester Bangs and Dave Marsh, plus the owner Kramer with rest of staff. It acknowledges sexism issues, and the dislike that some had for Lester Bangs. Greil Marcus talks a lot in it. A handful of Creem writers do talk as well, though various ones are left out. Lots about Kramer, his wife, and his son who inherited the magazine at age 4 when his dad killed himself. I would also have liked if it had touched on some journalism business stuff like the circulation over the years, and how the ad sales department functioned while crazy madness was going on with the contributors.

curmudgeon, Monday, 10 August 2020 18:39 (two years ago) link

Clemenza is right that it should have had more Creem writers in it.

curmudgeon, Monday, 10 August 2020 18:43 (two years ago) link

1973: The one where the great Rick Johnson reviewed the reviewers in CREEM magazine via the letters section!

Including... C+hristgau - R. Meltzer - Lester Bangs - Patti Smith - Nick Tosches - Robot Hull - Greg Shaw - Ed Ward - and a bunch of other biggies!

— Darren Viola (@RRepoz) August 2, 2020

curmudgeon, Monday, 10 August 2020 18:54 (two years ago) link

That's great--led me to ordering a copy of the Rick Johnson book, which I'd forgotten about (I'm guessing it was a little expensive when it first came out).

clemenza, Tuesday, 11 August 2020 14:03 (two years ago) link

"the bob seger of rock writing" :D

mark s, Sunday, 16 August 2020 10:52 (two years ago) link

i enjoyed it, it's written by jaan uhelszki (who was there and is a good thing): it softballs a lot of things probably and definitely doesn't talk abt the actual writing on the page enough -- i've never made a documentary so i don't know how hard it is to do this well, i've watched a ton of arts crappy documentaries about novelists so i'm guessing it's quite hard

it also blurs the timeline a little, when i think the changes in ethos and practical approach are a real thing to be grappled with: this was the magazine that defined what "rock'n'roll" was by acting it out on the page blah blah, so it needs to confront the fact that ppl were responding just to the words "rock'n'roll" very differently in 1970 (when it was assumed to include e.g. sun ra and pharoah sanders) and 1980 (when it was in some quarters simply bad and hated bcz of what it was shutting out)

the magazine as it mutated after barry kramer died and control was lost is touched on but not enthused about. they shd definitely have interviewed frith…

mark s, Sunday, 16 August 2020 11:18 (two years ago) link

Totally forgot Frith's "Letter from Britain"...That was for Creem and nowhere else, right?

clemenza, Sunday, 16 August 2020 14:52 (two years ago) link

some time later he wrote a monthly (?) mini-column for the voice: i'm not sure it had that title but that is basically the burden of its contents

(after frith quit cynthia rose also wrote a "letter from britain" kind of thing for creem iirc) (i have never held a single live copy of this magazine in my hand so my memories are extremely distanced)

a nice little serendipity is that in frith's piece for MY book, on the invaluable backstage-work of editing, he singles out susan whitall at creem, and she is alive and well and pleasingly evident in this documentary :)

tho she is not quizzed abt the tribulations of editing the gonzo boys into useable shape, which i wd definitely have asked her lol

mark s, Sunday, 16 August 2020 15:00 (two years ago) link

also someone shd ask ppl abt bangs purely as an editor, as it feels somewhat distinct from the derogatis lens on his work!

"line by line, bangs worked yr copy like xgau on broken-open asthma-inhaler cylinders" — robot a. hull

mark s, Sunday, 16 August 2020 15:03 (two years ago) link

mark s slipping in ref to his book shocka---as well he might: that's A Hidden Landscape Once a Week: The Unruly Curiosity of the UK Music Press in the 1960s-80s, in the words of those who were there, folks, got its own thread and British as Dickens but readily available for 17 bucks and change in God Bless The USA.
Now to promote my previosu posts upthread: Yean Frith's Letter From Britain dispatches were great, then Holdship editorially denounced all writers, especially foreign, who got too far from roots and didn't pray sufficient number of times a day in the direction of Graceland, and then, coincidentally or not, Frith quit, but they did get some more LFB contorbutors like yeah Cynthia Rose, also Penny Valentine, Ian MacDonald (and Frith got tortured by xgau's version of the line-edit while writing his visibly depressive Voice column, as told in mark's book.)
Seems like Creem did try to keep covering different kinds of music, more succesfully in the reviews section, incl. those tiny valuable rock-a-ramas, but then Spin came along, with more money and space and easier to find, even down in the boondocks, let me tell yall. Also, as mentioned in the doc, MTV, which Robbie Krieger jumped to at some point, but Spin was ahead for a while, back when indie rock could be really really indie. (ALso MTV at one point specifically said, had a guy say it on camera, that they knew about SST and shit but weren't having it.)

dow, Sunday, 16 August 2020 15:51 (two years ago) link

robbie krueger strangely difficult to look up under any spelling tbh -- even roberta gets hijacked by some professor of french medieval romance, but the doors guy jumps in way before that -- and also not listed on the wikipedia page, which seems rude

mark s, Sunday, 16 August 2020 16:55 (two years ago) link

Sorry for the name of the Doors guitarist, duhhh----she prob got that more than once----here she is: Clippings file no longer there, but all the links I checked on the right side of the page still work---don't go back to Creem times though. Looks like she's still got a good sense of humor and inquiring mind.

dow, Sunday, 16 August 2020 17:47 (two years ago) link

"a journalist for more than 15 years"

i mean true but ??

(and thx for link, i too was googling her with a k)

mark s, Sunday, 16 August 2020 17:54 (two years ago) link

right, that's odd---think she was mainly editor at Creem, but I recall some bylines on reviews---maybe making distinction between those activities and reportage, which seems to be her main thing for this century, judging by links (written wearing covid gloves, no typos! Maybe should always wear them for typing.)

dow, Sunday, 16 August 2020 18:11 (two years ago) link

ah ok maybe that's a distinction she's making: "journalist for 15 years! before that? rock journalist for 30 years!"

mark s, Sunday, 16 August 2020 18:16 (two years ago) link

Yeah---and reminds me of a cartoon in Columbus Journalism Review: a Test Your Strength set-up with mallet and weights, like at old county fairs: the lowest, wimpiest classification was for Rock Writer. An attitude some of us picked up on over here, so maybe she doesn't want to be thought of that way, for professional reasons (ditto not wanting to be thought of as old enough to be a Creem pioneer). Think her job at early MTV, mentioned in the doc, was more to do with commercials and press releases.

dow, Sunday, 16 August 2020 19:34 (two years ago) link

the film spends more time highlighting the snarky humor of the magazine’s captions, headlines, and photos than focussing on the ambition and ideas of writers such as Nick Tosches, Richard Meltzer, Richard Riegel, Richard C. Walls, Robert Duncan, Bill Holdship, J. Kordosh, and Rick Johnson.

From Jim DeRogatis in New Yorker

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 18 August 2020 03:07 (two years ago) link

Amplifying Kramer’s contributions seems to be a goal shared by Crawford and J.J., but, although the film praises him for giving his writers the freedom to make a mess on the page, it misses the opportunity to follow his transformation from an idealistic sixties hippie to an eighties capitalist.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 18 August 2020 03:15 (two years ago) link

It's a good doc-u-scrapbook, but about two-thirds of the way through I realized I'd find it more interesting to flip through old issues of Creem rather than learn about Kramer family drama. I wish Greg Shaw was still alive because he always had an uncanny talent for distilling much of the magazine stuff down into some historical context.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 18 August 2020 07:07 (two years ago) link

time it spends highlighting captions, headlines, and photos except as a backdrop too fast to read: maybe two lines? it's true that this is more than it spends on tosches, meltzer, riegel et al, or writing and ideas in general

kramer declares himself as a merchant early on (after reay is kicked to the kerb), crappy staff pay is raised as a routine point of friction, and as for 80s capitalist, well, he died of nitrous oxide OD in 1981 lol: the immediate exemplar of the yuppieness is apparently that the building housing the 80s creem also housed a dentist (!) and a hair salon (oh no!), plus lester's usual ornate beef abt how the world did him wrong…

it absolutely misses historical context and muddles the mid-80s (post-all-kramers) feel with the early 70s sensibility but is jim d of all ppl the man to sort this out clearheadedly? he too skips right over the ideas of tosches, meltzer, riegel et al

mark s, Tuesday, 18 August 2020 09:23 (two years ago) link

eight months pass...

I had signed up for this but messed up the start time; it's on YouTube anyway.

Jaan Uhelszki and Susan Whitall are excellent. I almost wish the whole Creem documentary had been just them in conversation--they're able to talk about those years in a way that doesn't sound dated at all. (Because they don't dwell on the party; they don't ignore that part of the story, but it's not front and center.) Chuck's good too--at times it felt like he was deferential to the two women, being someone who came to the magazine much later.

The one time Whitall does sound dated to me is her contention that if you want music writing to again mean what it mean then*, people need to stop writing for free. Agree totally with Chuck's resignation: it wouldn't matter at all, they'd (whoever "they" is) just move onto the next person. You either put your thoughts out there for free--here, on Facebook, on a blog, on a year-end ballot, wherever--or you keep them to yourself. I realize some people make some money, and maybe a handful of people make more than that, but basically that ship has sailed.

*Someone will tell me I'm old and that there's music writing now that means just as much to some readers as anything written 40 or 50 years ago. I don't believe that, but it's not a view I have the energy or interest to defend.

clemenza, Saturday, 1 May 2021 21:33 (one year ago) link

I also thought Marsh himself was part of these panels--not the two I've seen, and that's disappointing.

clemenza, Saturday, 1 May 2021 21:34 (one year ago) link

Okay, the link doesn't work, you have to watch it right on YouTube.

clemenza, Saturday, 1 May 2021 21:34 (one year ago) link

Just watched the Detroit panel, which was fascinating (and John Sinclair’s cranky crustiness/crusty crankyness was on full display). These panels are meant as a tribute to Marsh, hence his non-participation thus far, but I believe he’ll be part of a later panel or two.

Also, everyone on the Detroit panel — writer-activist Marsha Music, Sinclair, Wayne Kramer, writer Peter Werbe — agreed that Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels were one of the greatest bands to come out of that city (which is to say, the US), and are sadly and criminally underrated.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 1 May 2021 22:34 (one year ago) link

I'll definitely watch some of that once it gets posted.

clemenza, Saturday, 1 May 2021 22:35 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

JJ Kramer's current top tiers:

dow, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 02:00 (five months ago) link

Trying to make sense of that--what they actually plan to do--would require a much more careful read than I gave it.

"Future plans for the brand will be announced soon."

The only thing worse than them not getting something off the ground would be them getting something off the ground.

clemenza, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 02:34 (five months ago) link

I got my first issue of Creem when I was probably 11 years old, around 1976. I remember Mick and Keith were on the cover. It would be hard for me to count the number of bands I learned about through that magazine--sometimes more than I wanted to know. "Backstage" was always a little weird. And Lester Bangs was incomparable.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 16:57 (five months ago) link

Just to clarify...Old Creem was sometimes great and, if you go back today, sometimes dated in ways you would expect. But it was 100% of its moment. The idea of trying to relaunch it today, in any kind of guise, is preposterous.

clemenza, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 17:20 (five months ago) link

Yeah, it was lightning in a bottle. Impossible to recapture.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 17:22 (five months ago) link

the xpost ideas of Bangs, Meltzer, Tosches preserved in their collections, although in the context of Creem, their writing was most notable for the savory details of reviewing, stirring the music---Bangs the most inclined to test tags and formulations (is early 70s James Taylor a punk? Is Helen Reddy?) and givens, including his own: "But still the jade in the marrow must bob up and snarl." Could be a stunt, to an extent: he approvingly quoted his friend Ivan Julian's take on the long-running love-feud (somewhat one-sided) with Lou Reed as "wrestling scripts," but then he finally moved to New York and made it his soapbox bitch and so on (I was so glad when he took it to the stage, hoped he'd keep it there)
What I saw of the Creem doc tended to the Lestercentric, not too terribly much, but I'd really like to see is the camera slowly patrolling, savoring the pages of Creem, up and down, like in the Crumb[ doc, we get some of the pages of his comics and sketchbooks like that. Also, of course, close-ups of the captions, of lucky stars photographed while (presumably) savoring their Boy Howdy! beers.

dow, Thursday, 5 May 2022 06:02 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

They've just announced (to their mailing list & online fanclub) an online archive with every issue.


Whiney G. Weingarten, Wednesday, 25 May 2022 21:00 (four months ago) link

cool i've never seen those early newspaper style issues.

Thus Sang Freud, Wednesday, 25 May 2022 21:03 (four months ago) link

would buy

thinkmanship (sleeve), Wednesday, 25 May 2022 21:24 (four months ago) link

Certainly much more sensible than trying to relaunch it.

clemenza, Wednesday, 25 May 2022 21:33 (four months ago) link

I wonder if they will have the NYC-incarnation of the mag that I wrote for in the early-mid '90s.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Thursday, 26 May 2022 16:58 (four months ago) link

I haven't dug into the archives yet (though the publicist for the relaunch has offered me access) but this seems like a mag that would have aged about as well as Gerard Cosloy's or Steve Albini's old zines. And why exactly is it coming back?

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 26 May 2022 17:18 (four months ago) link

Whiney G. Weingarten, Thursday, 26 May 2022 17:22 (four months ago) link

(xpost) I came to the magazine late, around 1980, so I don't know the early years beyond the occasional reprint. My guess is it's a mix of the typically dated and some stuff that holds up just fine. There was lots of good writing in those early '80s issues from Richard Riegel, Robot A. Hull, J. Kordosh, etc.

clemenza, Thursday, 26 May 2022 17:49 (four months ago) link

three months pass...

Anyone seen the first new print issue?

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 15 September 2022 15:33 (two weeks ago) link

it's.....not embarassing? they haven't really found their voice, the yuks aren't really there, but only a couple of the pieces read like they could have been written by publicists and the level of writing is decent for what seems like a bunch of newcomers. only one writer tried the bangs schtick. bandwidth is pretty wide. don't love the oversized format. gutsy move, though, introducing a rock mag in this day and age. i basically subscribed for access to the archives, so the print publication is a nice extra.

Thus Sang Freud, Sunday, 18 September 2022 20:47 (two weeks ago) link

plus where were the record reviews? i guess they figure that they wouldn't be timely enough in a quarterly? what's creem without record reviews?

Thus Sang Freud, Sunday, 18 September 2022 22:33 (two weeks ago) link

I've seen reviews on the website. Most of them are capsule length and get updated weekly.

jbn, Monday, 19 September 2022 15:59 (two weeks ago) link

ok yeah i should take a look there. the bowie supplement they sent along with the first issue is interesting. it prints their legacy reviews of the successive bowie lps. the first one to get a fullthroated thumbs up is "pin ups," from lester bangs. i haven't read the "trixie a. balm" ones yet (aka lauren agnelli of nervous rex / washington squares fame). plus the casual denigration of groupies and that fellow with the hispanic accent in cameron crowe's piece! the rules for hipster discourse have sure changed.

Thus Sang Freud, Monday, 19 September 2022 16:08 (two weeks ago) link

I've been totally geeking out on the archive. They did a great job digitizing (though the interface is a little bit painful).

three of the doctor's valuable bats are now dead (broom air), Tuesday, 20 September 2022 14:35 (two weeks ago) link

The archive is fantastic. I’ve been reading 1972 month by month, along with the old PDFs I have of Rolling Stone for the same period, and it’s fun to see the contrast.

I watched the documentary yesterday as well. An enjoyable overview, but… gah. The older I get, the less tolerance I have for the “charm” of assholes, especially when the success of a project it attributed to their toxic behavior, under the guise of how "rebellious” or whatever they are—like CREEM wouldn’t have worked if it had a respectful workplace. It’s similar to how trashing hotels was once badass rock star behavior, but now I just think of the poorly paid maids who had to clean it all up. Or all those countercultural ’70s films where we’re meant to read the protagonist's shitty behavior as righteous, but when I watch now, they just seem like massive pricks.

blatherskite, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 21:42 (two weeks ago) link

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