Creem Magazine Returns Publishing First New Issues In 33 Years

Creem Magazine Returns

Photo: Dave Marsh, Barry Kramer, Lester Bangs, at 3729 Cass – Photo by Charlie Auringer.jpg – Used with permission. © Creem Magazine

Teenage rock and roll fans in the 1970s celebrated and learned all about rock and roll in very different ways than the youth of the 21st century have. We lived rock and roll through the albums we purchased in record stores, concert tickets we paid about five to ten bucks for, and the FM radio stations that played deep album tracks. If we wanted to learn more about the bands we loved like The Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Elton John, and so on, rock magazines delivered the news and reviews on just released albums and all the rest of the stuff that was more important to us than any school lesson could ever be. These magazines were really the only place to dive deeper into the stories of rock and roll stars. While there were plenty of choices to choose from on the newsstands, a few of them always stood out. As a rock fan that could never get enough, I always purchased the monthly issues of Rolling Stone, Circus and Cream magazines.

Circus magazine has been gone since 2006, Rolling Stone has never stopped publishing, and of course, there’s Creem. To the joy of many old-time rock fans, Creem Magazine has recently just escaped its banishment to rock and roll heaven (or maybe hell) and come back to once again celebrate its original take on rock and roll journalism and culture.

Creem Magazine was published over the course of a twenty year run from 1969 to 1989. While Rolling Stone published articles based on a mix of politics, music and culture written in an almost New York Times style of writing, Circus Magazine pretty much just focused on music while being extremely successful with writers like Kurt Loder and David Fricke. It was Creem Magazine that utilized sarcasm with a punk sensibility. Of course, the magazine’s heyday was fueled very heavily by the prose of Lester Bangs. This was a journalist who wrote stuff like Steven Tyler’s lyrics sucked, and that the band Aerosmith was just too safe when compared to the Stones or The Ramones ( October 1976).

Creem Magazine never held back, they wrote what they wanted and didn’t care who they offended in the industry. They also celebrated the artists they loved while keeping a keen sense of humor and their style of lampooning above everything else. It was about as far away from Rolling Stone style journalism as you could get, and rock fans loved them for it. Of course, the mindset of a sixteen year old rock fan could easily be entertained by a magazine celebrating rock music with great photos, enticing headlines, uncensored photos (I always had to hide my Creem magazines from my mom) and stories and commentary that prompted bad behavior and rock gluttony.

Their standard features like Star’s Cars, Creem Profiles, Christagu Consumer Guide, rock n roll news and many more made for highly entertaining reads with every issue. Of course, one could not mention the history of Creem without mentioning its mascot Boy Howdy. A beer can that they loved to place in the hands of the rock stars they interviewed and photographed. It was interesting that the magazine itself was celebrating its popularity in the hands of those it was writing about. Just who was promoting who? It probably left some rock stars scratching their heads wondering what just hit them. That is rock and roll.

Creem Magazine Returns

Creem’s return from the dead was announced in 2022 with their first issue being released in September. The magazine has returned in both print and digital formats. The magazine plans on publishing four big quarterly issues a year. Creem’s second issue is scheduled to be released on December 15th. What we found most exciting about the return of Creem was the access that one can gain to all of the magazine’s back issues through Creem’s subscription offer. Creem has scanned every single issue that they ever released. Subscribers can flip through the magazine scans of each article or read a pdf of the articles. We subscribed to the magazine and it cost us around seventy five dollars with taxes and delivery charges included for one year. Is it worth the price? Of course, that’s up to every individual to decide, but having the ability to read through any issue of Creem ever released is well worth the cost to us. While I still have many of my old Creem Magazines, many of them have been cut up as I used to cut the photos out and hang them on my wall. Come on, I know you did too.

The People Behind The Return Of Creem

While Creem Magazine had retained some of the features of its legendary past success like Star’s Cars, there is definitely a modern day feel to the magazine. The magazine is being run by Chairman JJ Kramer who is the son of original Creem Magazine co-founder Barry Kramer who is featured in the photo at the top of the page sitting in between legendary journalists Dave Marsh and Lester Bangs. Sitting in the CEO chair is former VICE publisher John Martin. Any publication needs a great editor-in-chief and Creem has one of the best in Jaan Uhelszki who was one of the founders of the original Creem Magazine. Having her on board is a major part of the return because she was an essential part of Creem magazine’s past success.

One can tell from the first two issues that the magazine is focused on new artists as well as stories from the past. The magazine now has more of a Bob Guccione Jr’s Spin Magazine feel to it while still simmering with that old Creem vibe. Of course, it’s been only two issues so we will have to see what they have stirring up in that Boy Howdy brewery. However, judging from their just-published piece on David Berman, the magazine is delivering some pretty serious rock journalism.

Below is a link to their David Berman feature.

https://www.creem.com/fresh-creem/david-berman-purple-mountains-final-days-feature

For this wishing to subscribe to Creem, click on the link below.

https://www.creem.com/subscribe

Creem Magazine Star's Cars

Photo: Alice Cooper CREEM Stars Cars 1978.jpeg – Used With Permission

Creem Magazine Returns Publishing First New Issues In 33 Years article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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