Readers of the Michigan-based Creem magazine were devotees of raunch rock and enemies of prissy, fussified baroque rock — metal, early punk, Lou Reed, MC5, the Ramomes, the Boxtops, the Stooges, “96 Tears”, Joan Jett, Grand Funk Railroad, etc.
But (and I realize this will sound like an appalling opinion to some) rock music of the ’60s and ’70s encompassed richer, greater realms than were dreamt of by Creem philosophers. I dearly loved Phillip Seymour Hoffman‘s Almost Famous portrayal of legendary Creem critic Lester Bangs, but Bangs was more of a bully instructor than a critic who channelled, felt and explored. I respected Creem and its writers, but I never bought a single issue. Not out of antagonism or disdain — I just didn’t care enough.
Scott Crawford‘s Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine (Greenwich, 8.7) played at SXSW ’19 under a different title — Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM Magazine.
From 3.10.29 Glide review by James Roberts: “In a way, the story of Creem is the story of late 20th century America. The magazine was as much a response to the culture as it was an impetus of culture. While the interviews tell the tale of wild debauchery and astounding feats of journalistic courage, they also hold up a mirror on the state of the culture at the time.
“It’s impossible to think of a single publication doing as much as Creem did for a particular scene in today’s culture. Today, even thumbing your nose feels like a marketing decision. Today, we build brands and conventions. It’s hard to imagine a publication where rock stars like Alice Cooper or Iggy Pop would go just to hang out. It’s hard to imagine a publication that would, in 40 years, inspire the likes of Kirk Hammett, Chad Smith, Keith Morris, Joan Jett and Michael Stipe to talk about it in a movie.”