I loved CREEM and subscribed up until the bitter end which I think was late ’80. To give you an idea: I STILL have my back issues and I don’t save things. The end was long and drawn out and bitter. A late issue here. A skipped issue there. An extended hiatus only to reappear, swearing stability and coaxing another check out of me for another year, (sucka!) before finally disappearing seemingly for good. Later I remember it being remade into something resembling Interview and a neon fuzzed-up photo of Billy Idol on the cover. I ran screaming from the newsstand but still felt the burning sense of rip off as the magazine owed me numerous issues.
I don’t understand why the whole world didn’t love this magazine. It was endlessly scathing and hilarious. They published two of my letters to the editor and between this fine publishing coup and the reviews (described below) I thought I was well on my way to fulfilling my dreams as a rock n’roll writer. I could have been Almost Famous.
I subscribed to CREEM Metal (remember this was the ’80’s, Poison was on top) which no doubt would have been Alterna-Creem in the 90’s and CREEM Word Up today. Metal must have been a last ditch attempt to get a cash infusion because they folded shortly thereafter. Folded owing me many, many magazines which I mention again, even though of course I’m totally over it.
There were other signs that they were cutting corners. They started something called the Reader Review. They encouraged readers to send in reviews for possible publication and $25. They published 2 of mine which apparently I don’t have in electronic format so I’ll have to show them to you later. It goes without saying that they still owe me $50. I say cutting corners, they might have argued that this was the ultimate in reader interactivity — but I don’t think so.
More later. The family is here for Thanksgiving and we’re off to do some museum-y type things.