The day I discovered Iggy & The Stooges: As a high school stoner/misfit in the early/mid 70s, I would often ditch class and read magazines in the school library, which for whatever reason stocked rock 'n' roll magazines back then. Flipping through Creem, I stumbled across an article by the then-defunct Stooges: a group of folks clearly as deeply disenfranchised as I. Just as I read a quote from Iggy relating how he felt like a young alien in the suburbs, discontent with his personal status quo in a word of squares, I glanced up to notice a group of preppie type teens, boys and girls, kind of derisively pointing and laughing at me in the corner, stoned, reading my beloved Creem. As they sneered and made rude comments, I glanced back and forth between words and images of The Stooges in the pages of Creem Magazine and the group of totally sanitary Stepford teens having a laugh at the misfit kid. The path I would take in my own life became crystal clear at that moment: rock rules and fuck the squares - forever.
My story as a kid and aspiring guitarist/music lover and photographer.... Getting CREEM Mag was the highlight of my childhood... Learning to play the guitar, aspiring photographer as a kid.. CREEM was the magazine for me... Seeing my guitar heroes and the GREAT pics taken by legend photogs such as Ken Settle.. I was hooked... Flash forward 30+ years, I too am a concert photog... Thanks to the inspiration of CREEM and great photos/articles...
I was likely your only Creem subscriber in the Compton area, but that's what being a rebel is all about! Boy Howdy, did I love that magazine, especially the brilliant covers featuring Queen, David Bowie and Cheap Trick and any articles on Mott The Hoople, Sparks, The Cars, The Clash and The Tom Robinson Band, among so many others. Back in the 1970s, Creem was THE place to read about amazing, engaging music and to be warned about the bad stuff. (I still use that famous Lester Bangs review of Lou Reed's 'magnum opus' consisting of 100 'NOs')! Thanks, Creem, for being the only rock magazine that mattered; I've modeled my life on your teachings. (Look out, world)!
CREEM Magazine was my rock 'n roll school; the articles were my curriculum, the photos my visual aids, and my teachers were Lester Bangs, Billy Altman, and Ed Ward. I was born in 1957, the first of five kids in my family, so I had no older brothers or sisters to guide me towards the good stuff. As a curious 8th grader in 1971, I bought records with my paper route money, but I only knew about the rock and roll on the radio or TV - CREEM introduced me to Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, and eventually other groups that I never would have heard of otherwise, like The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, and the MC5. CREEM was much more than a magazine - it was my textbook, my encyclopedia, and my bible, all in one. I learned that if it wasn't in CREEM, it probably wasn't any good, and if John Mendelsohn didn't like it, I probably wouldn't either. CREEM made me what I am today - an older dude who teaches 12th grade English wearing Patti Smith T-shirts while discussing the connections between V for Vendetta and "Anarchy in the UK." You know, cool.
Growing up in the mid to late 70s in a Virginia small town, CREEM was my touchstone to all that 'dangerous' rock music that didn't make it to the local radio station. The Ramones, Iggy Pop, Television, Patti Smith...photos of these artists on stage, raw and powerful, filled my head with the notion that real rock music wasn't always found in the Top 40.
My favorite memories of Creem were going to the office and hanging out with all of the staff. Seeing some big stars when I was there sometimes. I was a kid, and my mom worked there. They used to have two cookie jars. One was for my brothers and me; the other jar was "special cookies". Us kids were not allowed to have those. I can't believe they are making a movie about Creem. My mom has the worlds only collection of all of the Creem documents and probably the largest collection of magazines. There was once a lady who was writing a book about Creem, and she stayed at our house for a while to do all of her research because we had the only copies of all the office documents. We still have posters, coffee mugs, records, jackets and t-shirts from Creem. We even have collectibles from Vidiot. (A new concept from Creem that never took off)
I was a huge Creem fan and read every issue. I live in metro Detroit, and one day I got an opportunity to interview for a intern position there. I remember Susan Whitall was an interviewer, but forgot who the other two guys were (it was nearly 40 years ago!). Being a total fanboy, I was a blubbering nervous wreck and blew the interview. Ahh the road not taken...
As a kid in mid-70s suburban Detroit, I grew up on a steady diet of Motown, AM gold, KISS & CREEM magazine.
CREEM filled my young head with all kinds of ideas – good, bad & ugly.
The wickedly hilarious photo captions still bear an indelible influence on my sense of humor.
The articles crackled with barbaric wit. The insanely comprehensive CREEM readers’ poll was one of the highlights of my year.
It was in the pages of CREEM that I read about so many bands that the radio never played.
CREEM, to me, was the first indication that there was a universe beyond the one that was readily available to me.
CREEM influenced the way I play, write, write about & listen to music, and the way I interact with the world around me.
It basically was one of the few things that kept me sane growing up in small town hell - if for no other reason than the many ways it routinely and hilariously mocked pop culture. That was pure validation for me.
Fun fact: When my sister got married and moved out, she left her rock magazine collection behind, which included many issues of Creem - which were confiscated by my mom except for one, and that was only because the cover was missing and she didn't realize what it was. I don't know what she thought she was trying to protect me from, but let's just say her little plan backfired immensely and leave it at that.
I was a die-hard KISS fan when I was younger and the article from the August 1975 issue ( which I still have btw- it sits on my desk as a reminder of sorts... ) " I Dreamed I Was On Stage With KISS In My Maidenform Bra" by CREEM co-founder Jaan Uhelszki was mindblowing to my 12 year old self, and, I think that was when I decided that no matter what I did in life, music would have to be involved because it was proven to me that it didn't matter if you were a girl, you could go and kick ass with the best of them. Yes, Jaan and CREEM were a major influence on me. I have worked in both radio and print and a few years ago co-founded an online regional rock magazine called "ZRock'R". If you read my bio on the site ( https://zrockr.com/author/slee/) you will see that I give a nod to both Jaan and CREEM. When we first launched, I sent a link to Jaan and thanked her for her influence on me and all of us who were young women with rock n roll journalistic dreams. She shared out the link and said we kicked ass- I think I cried happy tears when I saw that- my/ our work was validated and called kick ass by the person who influenced me as a kid, the First Lady of Rock Journalism herself! When I get frustrated or bummed out that things are rocky ( and yes, there is still that " oh you're a chick" stigma among some rock n roll folks til ya prove you have balls as big as the next guy ) I look at that August 75 issue or the CREEM August '77 cover ( always like that KISS Godzilla influenced pic) I have framed hanging above my desk and, boy howdy, we push forward! Thank you Jaan and CREEM for your influence over the years- you were my go to as a kid in a small midwestern town who loved music more than anything and you remain a big influence and inspiration even today.
In the mid to late 70s I used to Creem magazine for pics and articles on KISS. As punk rock was starting out I would always see pics of Patti Smith and Debbie Harrie and bands like the Sex Pistols and the Dead Boys and they were scary as well as extremely interesting. I bought the Ramones 1st album and the Sex Pistols album and had my life changed forever. Almost immediately lost interest in KISS and devoted my life to punk rock. I was aware of bands like The NY Dolls because my friends older sister was into them. So I was on the right track at a very young age but those articles and pics about punk in Creem made all the difference. Later on a friend of mine actually interviewed Lester Bangs.
CREEM was my guide as a new world opened up to me at the age of about 12, when I saw the TV broadcast of "Midsummer Rock", a document of the Cincinnati Pop Festival which was my introduction to this new strain of loud, ugly, American rock such as Grand Funk, Alice Cooper, and the Stooges; music for the kids who were too young for Woodstock, which wasn't on the radio, and certainly not on TV, which was so subversive and underground and yet played to a stadium full of fans. When I discovered CREEM a little later, these were the artists they were writing about along with Black Sabbath, MC5, and some gods who had walked the earth as the Velvet Underground. And that was it. From Roxy Music, to The New York Dolls, and on to punk, I was in sync with CREEM.
I grew up in a small town in Arkansas and first read "Rolling Stone" as a teenager. I discovered Creem through my love of Cheap Trick and it became my monthly bible. I would almost literally memorize every article and review. It opened up a new world to me, the combination of intelligence and humor and irreverence would significantly impact my world view. Creem was simultaneously thought provoking and hysterical. During the 1980s, I started corresponding with John Mendelssohn and Richard Riegel. They were not only top notch rock critics/observers of popular culture, but they became good friends.
Due to the magic of the internet, I have corresponded frequently with former Creem editors and freelance contributors. I currently write for Iman Lababedi's Rock NYC Live and Recorded website. John Mendelssohn has designed covers for my self published books.
Creem became a part of my DNA at a young age and has never left me. My life is infinitely richer due to the no holds barred critical perspective of the magazine. It was a place to simultaneously learn that nothing was sacred in pop music but, the glory of love, as Lou Reed might say, could enrich us all.
It is impossible to overstate the influence Creem has had on me. With articles as insightful as they were hilarious, letters to the editor with Lester Bangs responses, the photos, and photo captions themselves, Creem had more snark, humor, and rock and roll attitude than any other publication. Discovering its existence was like finding my tribe. While reading a Jaan Uhelszki piece on Led Zeppelin at age 14, I had an epiphany: this is what I want to do with my life. I want to write with all of the irreverence, wit, and shrewdness of the Creem staff. To this day, I try to incorporate their attitude into most everything I do. Without an adolescence filled with Creem, I would be a very different (and boring) person.
I was asked by Barry Kramer to design a new logo for Creem when it was still a tabloid. I did several designs and Barry said "too much like Rolling Stone. Do something that's the opposite of Rolling Stone. " so I did and that logo was adopted for the first magazine format issue (with Mick Jagger) and ever since. I still have the original artwork for the logo. Oh yeah, I also did the color for the Dreamwhip issue. Ask Charlie.