Ripping back the curtain on legendary rock rag CREEM Magazine’s wild and disruptive newsroom, populated by a dysfunctional band of unruly outsiders who weren’t all that different from the artists they covered. A Coda Cornerstone Collection.
Creem mirrors the chaos of the artists it covers and improbably defines an era
Lester Bangs, later depicted in “Almost Famous,” revolutionizes rock criticism
Pioneering female journalist Jaan Uhelszki performs with Kiss in full makeup
No one is quite sure when the lightbulb went off that inspired maverick impresario and freewheeling businessman Barry Kramer to start his own rock magazine. It wasn’t as if this slight, sharp-witted and sharper-tongued 26-year-old former pre-med student, with his expensive sculpted haircuts and fast motorcycles, had much time on his hands.
Despite the long list of brilliant writers published by the snarky but passionate rock rag from Deee-troit, for many who loved Creem during its two-decade run from 1969 to 1989, the magazine and its R. Crumb-drawn mascot have become synonymous with one above all others.
Just as I was approaching some semblance of slumber, there was a dull thud, a louder crash and suddenly the wall between my room and the next was lying in pieces on the floor. Needless to say, I was awake. Shit, I knew this was going to happen, I muttered to the intruder. “Yeah, but did you know it would be the Prince of Peace?” inquired Robert Plant gleefully.
As befits a magazine that saw no separation between artists and fans, several soon-to-become-legendary musicians appeared in prose in the pages of Creem.
An awful lot of kids cut school last November when it was announced that Jethro Tull would play two shows at Detroit's Cobo Arena. The lines, longer than Cobo management had ever seen before, started forming at 7 a.m. By the time the ticket office opened — three hours later — there were 4,000 kids milling around outside.
Well, it wasn’t exactly my idea of the perfect fantasy, but I was curious about life on the other side of the footlights. Armed with an abundance of determination and a tight pair of Danskins (Danskins aren’t only for dancing), I approached Larry Harris, the vice president of Casablanca Records with my plan: “How about if I join Kiss for a night?”