Coming to select theatres in August from filmmaker Scott Crawford is Creem: America's Only Rock 'N' Roll Magazine. The primarily crowd-funded doc, which has been blowing minds across the indie film festival circuit, features such notables as Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ted Nugent, Michael Stipe, Iggy Pop, MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, Mountain's Leslie West, Marshall Crenshaw, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, the Dictators' Andy Shernoff and “Handsome Dick” Manitoba, the Runaways' Cherie Currie, and the Sex Pistols' John Lyndon.
The doc tells the brutal early history of the Detroit magazine as it came into its own in the late-1960's and early-'70s, featuring such brilliant, era defining rock writers as Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Greil Marcus, Susan Whitall, Ben Edmonds, Jaan Uhelszki, Patti Smith, Cameron Crowe, Richard Meltzer, and Dave Marsh — who back in 1971 was the first to coin the term “punk rock.”
Alice Cooper recalled the moment when Creem's Lester Bangs made his initial comment on the band: “We finally got an album out. Lester Bangs reviewed it as a 'tragic waste of plastic.' (Laughs) That's a great review.”
Lester Bangs, the world famous heart and soul of Creem, spoke about rock like no one had before him: “Let's take Emerson, Lake, & Palmer. Here is, like, musical sterility at its pinnacle. A band that has absolutely no soul, has nothing — there's no feeling in the music.”
Photographer Bob Gruen, who'll always be remembered for his incredible shots of John Lennon, Kiss, the Clash, Led Zeppelin, the New York Dolls, Blondie, the Sex Pistols — and so many more, explained the difference between Creem and other rock papers at the time: “Were they serous about this? No, they were never serious about anything. Rolling Stone liked to be the authoritative, serious, definitive voice — like, The New York Times. Rock n' roll is not supposed to be serious, it's supposed to be fun.”