The Bink Generation: Dave DiMartino in Conversation, Part I


March 2, 2008 by A.C. Rhodes

It could be said that Dave DiMartino has the life many may wish they had – Cameron Crowe included – both in and out of the music business. He was born in an ideal boomer year (1953), in a great locale (New York before moving to Miami), and raised in a music-friendly household that provided the springboard for his creative and career pursuits.While attending Michigan State University, he worked at the school radio station, interviewing the likes of Big Star and Captain Beefheart.

Soon after he landed squarely at Creem Magazine and almost as swiftly into an editor’s position. He wrote many of the stories about bands, festivals and popular phenomena that linked musical eras; garage and punk to new wave and brit pop of the ‘80s. Since then, DiMartino’s been the most visible guy you’ve never seen.

Departing just before the office relocated to Los Angeles, he became West Coast bureau chief at Billboard for five years. He then spent the next two as a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly and spent six months as acting West Coast editor for Musician while Bill Flanagan was off writing his U2 book. During that time he wrote Singer-Songwriters: Pop Music’s Performer-Composers from A to Zevon. Dave DiMartino has written liner notes for The Best of Love. To balance the hipness factor, he also did so for Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Go ahead, ask him about the Doors. He witnessed their notorious performance in Miami in 1969, he was consultant editor for Chuck Crisafulli’s Moonlight Drive: The Story Behind Every Doors Song, 1967-78 and penned the notes for the band’s The Complete Studio Recordings box set. He was U.S. editor of the 3-volume Music in The 20th Century encyclopedia (M.E. Sharpe, 1998).]

His job of the past 13 years as executive editor for Yahoo!Music (formerly has taken him to music conferences and studio stages for soundcasts and interviews. In the latter months of 2006 he took time to interview by phone, instant message, and e-mail to share his accounts of growing up with and working for Creem and beyond.

A.C. Rhodes

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

AR: What was your first experience at Creem?

DD: I was in grad school – I had a B.S. in psychology, but since I was making money writing, I decided to go for a masters in journalism. I did all my course work, so all I had to do was write a thesis, and I had five years to finish it. I got the subject approved, which was a big deal – to compare and contrast artists profiled in Downbeat, the jazz magazine, since its inception, and its coverage of black artists to white versus their historical and sales standing, to see if it was biased, that sort of thing. I was the music writer at the Michigan State paper from ’73 to ’76, but graduated in ’75, so I wrote for another year until someone said, “Why is this guy who doesn’t go to school here anymore writing for us?” I was back the next two years for grad school and was the entertainment editor from ’78 to ’79. I was pretty poor. Then the A&M campus rep told me Creem magazine was looking for an editorial assistant, which I was very happy to hear. I liked Creem and had been reading it since the first nationally distributed issue– the Jackson Five cover in ’71 – so I thought that would be great. I went down to interview with Sue Whitall and Linda Barber. The editorial assistant, Therese Oyler, had taken time off and then quit – and they needed a third hand. So I was happy to get on board.

AR: And it wasn’t that you were abandoning the idea of grad school since you had some years to finish during the Creem stint.

DD: I was so happy to possibly work there that I never really spent any time asking simple questions like “How much money do I get?” So I was kind of stunned when I got my first check, because it was so horribly low. But it was okay. It wasn’t that big a deal. My brother-in-law recently told me his father was stunned beyond belief back then. He was a Republican businessman and thought, “Oh, my God – what an idiot my daughter’s boyfriend is.”

AR: So you were an editor for your first issue.

DD: Editorial assistant at first. Briefly. Yeah, August of ’79. I was living in East Lansing, by Michigan State. A good friend, the CBS college rep, lived in Detroit and let me stay at his place for a month until I found an apartment in glorious Pontiac – the same complex Bill Holdship would eventually move to.

AR: And Barry Kramer was still publisher at that point.

DD: Yeah. One of my favorite, most pleasant memories: We were at some movie screening – Pretty in Pink or Ferris Beuller or something dopey – I was walking in with my girlfriend and Barry walked up with his wife Connie, who would later be publisher. So I said, “Hi, this is my girlfriend, Janet,” and he said, “Hi, this is my wife Connie. She gave Keith Moon a blowjob.”

AR: Mind-blowing. Thank you for the gratuitous sex portion of the interview. By when were you an associate editor?

DD: Well, it was kind of weird, first I was editorial assistant, then when people left, others shifted and I became associate editor. I worked with Sue Whitall, Linda Barber and Cathy Gisi for a while, then Linda quit to have a baby. So Mark J. Norton came in. We’re good friends to this day, still. He lives out in Colorado. We all worked together for over a year, and when Mark left we needed someone to replace him, so I recommended Bill – who I knew from college – and after Sue left I became editor-in-chief.

AR: For one of your first issues, December ’79, you interviewed two bands, the Clash and the Only Ones. A pretty good fit since you take an interest in politics.

DD: Yeah, and I also handled some captions and the letters page in the early days. That Clash interview was an odd one, kind of infamous. It was the interview where I got Joe Strummer really pissed and he smashed my tape recorder.

AR: Yoo-hoo!

DD: Joe was a pretty warm-hearted guy – he was talking about how messed up working with CBS Records was, so I was pressing him about it and I guess he just thought I was being too intrusive. He got sputtering mad – I was kind of sloppy and kept smoking cigarettes and he said, “You’re sitting there blowing smoke in my face, asking me all these questions, well I don’t have all the…” and then – SMASH. The reason I thought it was interesting is that later in various accounts of Clash bios it’s been referred to as a “tactical blunder” by the Clash for being rude to Creem at that stage in their career, which I’d take with a grain of salt. I actually just thought it was pretty funny. I look for color in stories and that made it a colorful story.

{Excerpt from Return of the Last Gang in Town, by Marcus Gray}

AR: Kind of like when Dave Davies, post-show wasted, called John Kordosh a “fucking disease” – it didn’t faze him. So, what were your early days like, how was the working environment?

DD: I would get there at 11 in the morning and stay until 7 or 8 at night. I was single at the time and had an apartment. So it was Sue, Linda, and me and I think at one point Cathy Gisi, who had taken time off, came back, then left again. So at one point there were three women and myself.

AR: That’s pretty amazing for that time.

DD: Yeah, Sue made a point of it elsewhere, as she should, that the role of women in rock journalism back then has been underplayed and shouldn’t have been. They were there first, before a lot of them, and Creem had showcased Lisa Robinson prior to that. So Creem was pretty on top of it, from a hiring-of-females perspective.

AR: Otherwise one may have looked at it as a boys club back then.

DD: The weirdest thing back then was the shadow of what Creem used to be. Lester Bangs’ legacy was a big deal.

AR: But he was still writing for Creem then.

DD: No. The last thing he wrote for Creem was a Jefferson Starship story, and I think the reason he stopped is that he had some financial argument with Barry. But most of the same people who were writing during his time were still there. So it just came down to a lot of things happening at once. Punk and new wave were shifting into full gear – but the more heavy metal and hard rock clowns on the magazine cover, the better the newsstand sales. Creem was very much a newsstand publication. So part of me was happy to be working at Creem, but the elitist in me wanted to see more punk and alternative stuff there.

AR: But there was coverage on the inside.

DD: Yeah, there actually was. We were laboring under this impossible-to-push-aside-legacy that Lester had left. But I continue to be surprised, as many people are, when I look back at the issues that came afterward. How they were pretty consistent, in terms of overall coverage of what was happening.

AR: It seemed to start after Bowie and Reed with the Stooges. Then as many pop stars that were on the cover, there were more underground ones inside the issue. The Creem nostalgia seemed to happen more after Lester died, rather than when he left.

DD: People seem to forget he was actually around several years after he left Creem. He did some of his best stuff for the NME and the Voice.

AR: He had moved by then, right? So you never saw him around.

DD: No, I never did. I’m pretty sure I got his desk. Because I found some old papers and memos in it that he and Barry had sent each other. That was kind of spooky in itself, but only later. Because he was still alive and kicking then in New York. So it wasn’t like a “long lost genius of Lester Bangs” thing – it was like the guy who used to work here who had a spat with the publisher.

AR: Right. It’s still cool, though.

DD: Oh, yeah.

AR: What were the office machinations like?

DD: There were a lot of interesting personalities at work all the time. It’s really kind of a heavy story, I suppose. But various people got along more with certain others.

AR: How did Billy Altman work there, living out of town?

DD: He would assign writers record reviews, they would send in their typewritten copy, he would edit and assemble them together in an express mail envelope. I would go to the post office once a month on a Saturday and we would have to spend time copyediting and proofreading before typesetting it. It was a big extended process, compared to now where people can e-mail overnight and it rarely goes to paper. Toward the end we had a machine that would scan typed copy, which was a big deal. We had monthly deadlines where we would stay there really late, like until 1 or 2am, proofreading until everything was typeset and ready to ship off a final time. We had a pretty good time, we’d have drinks and goof off, play phone pranks.

AR: With each other?

DD: There was a sales gimmick porn magazines used to have where they would include flexi-discs of women talking to you, like, “Hi there, I’m Velva Feeley,” that sort of thing. We had a few, and we also had this phone system with five lines where you could conference people together, which we often did, without speaking ourselves. We’d just dial both numbers at the same time, conference them together, then listen. Once we did this to Ron Ashton of the Stooges and on the other line, Mitch Ryder. It’s pretty late at night, we’re all pretty looped, we had one person with the phone by the stereo speaker, one dialing Ron, one dialing Mitch at the same time. Then their lines would ring, one would pick up, then the other, and both would say “Hello.” ‘Who is this?” “What do you want?” “You called me!” “No, you called me!” Then we’d play the recording of the woman saying hot stuff and listen to their reaction. It was so moronic. We’d be howling while they were trying to figure it out.

AR: Especially for Mitch, considering that he was of a different persuasion. So where did you do most of your writing?

DD: I did most of my writing at home at night. The only things I wrote at the office were captions and headlines, mostly.

AR: So you could save yourself from writing while you were punchy at night, by fixing it during the day?

DD: What I tended to do, which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone, is drink too much and write something, then in the morning edit out a third so it read well. It was just the way I tended to write back then – pretty juvenile, but it loosened me up. Part of it was my own temperament and personality; there were some tensions in the office that I probably was escaping from, so it worked fairly well. I can’t stand to read that stuff now – it feels weird to read what I wrote back then, but what can I say? That was the means by which I wrote.

AR: Because sometimes what seems brilliant at night doesn’t the next day.

DD: Probably the weirder thing about it was that – and I spent a lot of time theorizing about this – I really enjoyed writing captions. That was the most fun of all. And after they were written, and I had the brand new issue in my hands, I would take it home and try to get in a state where it would be like I was experiencing reading them for the first time, receiving the humor as it was intended. That was the big pay-off.

AR: That’s generally what’s encouraged; to read your publication and learn something.

DD: I think everyone was proud of what we did. We had a good time and a pretty good relationship with the artists. There’s a big legacy Creem had – and I think John [Kordosh] touched on this – of the occasional struggles we had with certain parts of the company that suggested we stop writing captions because the photographers were getting flack from some of the artists they were shooting pictures of. But we didn’t think it was inappropriate. That was a part of the personality of the magazine we couldn’t let go away.

AR: Right, of course not.

DD: In fact the captions got even weirder as time went by. I don’t know if John said this, but there was one issue that we got so much grief over from one sales guy to make the captions not funny that we deliberately put together an issue with the stupidest captions imaginable. But then it ended up being the funniest issue ever. John wrote a lot of the great ones, like, “The Hooters, seen standing here.”

AR: Musicians seem to remember that a lot, especially. They’ll bring them up at appropriate moments and break up laughing.

DD: Cover headlines never got talked about as much, but my favorite was “INSIDE MADONNA” with “In A Manner Of Speaking” attached as a subhead.

AR: What about outside of the office? I know there were some shows or interviews where Bill took John along. What were the after-hours of Creem like?

DD: Well, back then we would just basically go to shows a lot. There were a few good clubs in Detroit that we could go to, and we were courted to see any band we wanted. John had three small children, Bill [Holdship] was single, and I got married in 1982, but before that I’d gone out almost every night. It’s weird for me now – because I’m in a business where I could be going to a million shows if I wanted to, but the social aspect is gone for me, in a sense. I see certain friends at shows, but when you get older it’s strange. Back then it would have been unthinkable to miss a performance by, say, Elvis Costello when he appeared at the Royal Oak Theatre. It was like a social event, this year’s Elvis Costello performance. These days that mid-level type artist I don’t see – unless it’s professionally, in our studio, or if we have a shoot somewhere. The artists I see now for my own enjoyment are really obscure bands that there’s no market for, usually from overseas. The flip side is the really huge shows – like Paul McCartney at the Forum – I’m curious just about the event, so it’s kind of fun to see. But it’s changed for me in the past few years, because my kids are old enough to be interested in music and are asking for tickets to System Of A Down and things like that. I’m kind of reliving that part of my band-seeing life all over again.

AR: Many with kids have said that.

DD: I mean, I sound like an old schmuck, and I don’t mean it like it’s going to sound, but I’m old enough to have seen Jimi Hendrix play three times and I’ve seen Cream three times, so that part of seeing historic stuff is covered for me. Now it has to be something I genuinely like and doubt I’ll be able to see anywhere else.

AR: What are some of the offbeat bands or clubs you like, now?

DD: I guess Spaceland is my favorite here. They just have the bands that I really love, like recently the Clientele and the Czars. When Arthur Lee came back he played there. The Knitting Factory, occasionally. Kevin Ayers, Gong, Kevin Coyne, when he was alive, bands which are just passing through that I would be really upset with myself if I missed. I was just telling someone the other day, I’m a big fan of the German band, Can.

AR: A lot of my prog-rock pals are into them.

DD: I’ve been into them for a long time and actually had Holger Czukay in our studio a few years ago, which was very cool. Anyway, about eight years ago I was in the garage at the computer, smoking, and I had a copy of the LA Weekly. It was like 10 at night, everyone in the house was asleep, and I saw that at midnight the guitarist from Can was going to play with the band’s first lead singer, Malcolm Mooney, at Spaceland. That’s like a billing beyond belief for me – or it would have been in the past – and I really wanted to go, but decided it’s 10 at night, I haven’t given this any thought, I don’t have anyone to go with, I don’t have the energy, I guess I’ll pass. Then the guitarist died a few years ago later, so I lost the opportunity to ever see him. That was a turning point for me, where I missed something incredible I’d never dream of missing a few years earlier. One of the good things about what I do now at Yahoo is that there are more opportunities to bring in bands and artists that I really like for segments of what we do. We’ve had some interesting people in our studio that I never thought we would, artists who come in to perform and be interviewed, like Peter Green, say, or the Go Betweens. They’re one of my favorite bands.

AR: What about your times in Detroit?

DD: It was kind of a strange scenario. There was all this baggage that came with working with Creem, what Creem meant to artists. I was enjoying the access to artists that Creem provided. Back then there weren’t as many places where artists could have a forum – know what they told us was going to be printed by people who really cared about what they said. This was the means by which people who really cared about music could find out about it. It was at a peak moment – right before MTV came around and every newspaper had a professional rock critic and pop stars were overexposed on the cover of US Weekly. The process was interesting to watch.

AR: How did you approach that?

DD: So we sort of shifted gears by focusing on the more humorous aspects of things like the news, for example. Back then most labels were thrilled when their artists were covered in Creem. These days labels have so many press demands for their important artists, things would be different, I think. Given the choice between showcasing their artist in a publication that could end up making fun of them, one not one-hundred percent label-receptive – say Creem in its prime – they probably would opt to skip the mag in favor of something else more label-and-publicist friendly.

AR: When did that start to happen?

DD: It never really did while I was there, but I’m sure it would’ve happened soon enough. Creem still had a strong national reputation – so artists expected that when they became famous, or relatively famous, that they’d be showcased in various big rock publications; Rolling Stone, Musician, Creem, and a few others. That was the era where someone like Bright Eyes wouldn’t have been on the front page calendar section of the LA Times.

AR: A lot of the artists took the knocks pretty well.

DD: Absolutely. Most of them had a good sense of humor and realized that everyone was getting knocked, themselves included. And actually most times there was a fine line where you had to be careful – because if you felt an artist was important enough to feature, you couldn’t blatantly insult the readers’ taste or intelligence, that wouldn’t bode well for any publication. So we would offer things from a peculiar, skewed perspective. When Creem came back in its very last edition out of New York, they made an effort to focus on Creem’s early days and talked to various people who worked there from the start, like Richard C. Walls – who was one of my all-time favorites there. And Richard wrote something really good about the peculiar state of Creem when we were there – a bunch of guys in their early thirties who were stunned they were making a living writing about Bon Jovi. Our take on it was a lot different than just fannish stuff, it surfaced in interesting ways. I always thought that the magazine was a good read no matter what. From an editorial standpoint, when I assigned stories, my strategy was: We had writers who were great and extremely colorful, and others who were, shall we way, “workmanlike” in a sense. So when we had an artist with a vivid presence, those artists could be covered by the latter group because there still would be a colorful story emerging due to the overriding personality of the subject. And the moronic artists who were dopey – but needed to be covered regardless – we would assign to the great writers because they would make a great story about – I don’t want to knock Billy Squier per se, but if you look at the stories we had and saw that John wrote it, you would have to read the story. I thought that was a really good balance.

AR: That answered another question about who you assigned stories to.

DD: Some of it was who was in the right place at the right time. One of the things I thought was good about Creem that’s hard to find these days anywhere – or at least in the days before the Internet kicked in – was that most of the really good writers did something else for a living besides write about music. Richard Riegel, for example, worked for the city of Cincinnati, he was a clerk. Those were the types we liked the most, generally. I tended to shy away from writers who wrote everywhere as professional rock critics. Our guys weren’t hacks in the bad sense – they actually liked music and they didn’t have to write about it for a living, so they didn’t have to please certain people, labels or artists – just the editors. Their bylines weren’t seen in a million other publications, and they had an interesting personality and spin we would encourage. And it was a contentious point, because you had a whole school of people, not at Creem, but rock critics who attempted to emulate Lester Bangs – the inclusion of first-person to the point of excess.

AR: That’s been a problem throughout the years.

DD: What was terrible about that was that some of those writers were good at conveying their innermost thoughts and who they were as people – but unfortunately they weren’t very interesting people, and the story they told was terrible. I wouldn’t want to meet them, see them or be in the same room as them. So, the writers I feel the most warmth toward were the individuals who had character and wrote for us because they liked what Creem represented. What happened back then in the rock critic/hack world was that labels set up encounters with journalists and rock stars that took place in New York or LA…

AR: Like junkets?

DD: Not really, that’s different, but one-on-one encounters, often at restaurants. And you’d have a boatload of stories with lines like, “so-and-so said the record is really great, spearing a piece of lettuce with his fork.”

AR: Oh, right..

DD: Yeah, those stories just made me want to puke. Then there were other encounters where artists were wheeled into an office for their fourth press encounter of the day, so they’d have their spiel completely down. And all the stories ended up reading the same, because there’d be a script that writers would unwittingly follow all the time, asking the same questions. Then afterward they would think, “How do I put some juice into this story?” And there was no color in the story to provide it, so they’d inject their own life into the piece – and if they had a crummy life, it was a boring story that didn’t serve anyone well, except the publicist who got press exposure for their artist.

AR: Which is the norm now.

DD: One of the first times we had U2 in the magazine, the label was pushing for us to put them on the cover, but we also had Robert Plant or something relating to Led Zeppelin in that issue – an exclusive we were the first to get. So I told the publicist that we wanted to put U2 on the cover because they were really great, but we had this other exclusive and we would already promised it out. She apparently relayed the message to the U2 camp, and they got in a huff, saying they would “never want to be in a magazine that would put Led Zeppelin on the cover, anyway” – which was pretty funny.

AR: I wonder why they felt that way, because of the gross arena rock aspect or because Jimmy Page was such a degenerate?

DD: Probably the arena rock aspect. You know, it’s all right, I don’t even mind any of that in retrospect, I think it’s kind of funny. It was a weird time to try to be Creem. Part of what I was trying to deal with was that in the early ‘80s, people were really getting into rock criticism and rock writing as a “career.” There would be certain writers whose work would end up appearing in four or five different publications and I tried to shy away from them, because I didn’t want Creem to read the same way. They all tended to write the same stylistically in every publication, and it was bland.

AR: Some of the really good ones, like you mentioned, would know how to inject themselves in where it drew the reader in as if they were there, rather than a writer trying to be Lester Bangs or Hunter Thompson.

DD: Oh, totally. I mean, Richard Walls is a great example of a really good writer who is an interesting guy. I always wanted to know what he thought about stuff. Those kind of writers had their own viewpoint; they weren’t deliberately being contrary, and absolutely weren’t following any sort of critical party line. I think that may be the best part of Creem for me while I was there. And I think it was unique to its time.

AR: Unlike other publications?

DD: The writers were injecting just the right amount of themselves and their take on the music without bringing in what everyone else was thinking at the same time, which gave it special value. The best Creem writers were people like Richard Walls, Richard Riegel and others who had jobs and didn’t really want to write for anyone else – but they had such interesting personal lives, and stories, and character, it made Creem that much more unique.

AR: Nick Tosches was still doing his ‘Unsung Heroes’ column then?

DD: Yeah, he was doing it while I was there. The whole series was great, and it came from Creem’s pages.

Stay tuned for part 2…

14 thoughts on “The Bink Generation: Dave DiMartino in Conversation, Part I

  1. Steve Crawford says:

    As a teen/young adult, I loved Creem magazine. I stupidly got rid of my collection of magazines in the early 90s, but I’ve recently enriched a number of ebay sellers and bought almost all issues from 1975 through 1988. After reading the magazines again, after a twenty year break, one of the pleasant surprises is how talented DiMartino was/is as a writer. I know John Kordosh has commented on how underappreciated Dave D. is and I agree.
    Memories have made Creem seem better in many ways than it really was (there was a lot of writing about insubstantial artists and much of the writing favored attitude over ideas), but Dave’s work (along with the Richards trio – Johnson, Riegel, and C. Walls) from that era is still very enjoyable.

  2. s woods says:

    Ha, I never noticed that before, Steve – just how Richard-heavy Creem really was. If you’re willing to mix ‘n’ match different eras, you could also throw in Meltzer, Cromelin, and Grabel.

  3. Bob says:

    and Richard Pinkston from the early days. The magazine had a clear “Richard” bias, one that served it well. Perhaps Arthur Magazine would’ve been more successful had it been named Richard instead. Maybe it’s not too late. Maybe Virgin dude Sir Richard will launch Richard Magazine. If so, I will change my name in honor (and to get decent work).

  4. Richard Riegel says:

    . . . not to mention Lisa’s spouse, Richard Robinson, who wrote an electronics column for Creem for a number of years. Obviously I’d noticed early on how my given name showed up in so many other Creem bylines, and I attributed that to the extraordinary popularity of the name “Richard” for us sons of the late-1940s baby boom, who in turn came of age just in time for the dawn of rock criticism in the late ’60s. Demographic bulge and all that. I guess we ubiquitous Richards must have had zeitgeist-impressionable mothers when it came to them selecting baby names. My late & sainted mom wouldn’t have thought of “Greil” as my handle in a million years, an Everyman/Richard probably suited her New Deal politics just fine.

  5. Toby Mamis says:

    Nice to see Richard Pinkston remembered, but any reference to women writers or editors for Creem has to start with Jaan Uhelzski, don’t you think? Meaning no disrespect of any kind to Lisa or Sue. Or any women named Richard…

  6. Fred Mills says:

    Wow, that’s one of the best interviews I’ve read in ages. And this sure hits home:

    “Most of the really good writers did something else for a living besides write about music. Richard Riegel, for example, worked for the city of Cincinnati, he was a clerk. Those were the types we liked the most, generally. I tended to shy away from writers who wrote everywhere as professional rock critics. Our guys weren’t hacks in the bad sense – they actually liked music and they didn’t have to write about it for a living, so they didn’t have to please certain people, labels or artists – just the editors.”

    Fucking aye to that.

    Speaking as someone who spent 10 years selling men’s loafers and brogans and another 10 in a record store while I was trying to “find my voice,” so to speak. That rings true. When I get a resume from someone who describes her- or himself along lines of “a professional writer who’s been published extensively blah blah blah” (translation: sucks the knobs of publicists day and night) or someone who went to journalism school and wants to be a music writer (translation: wants an easy ride), I almost reflexively chuck it or delete the email. Gimme someone who’s a pipe fitter but listening to and thinking about music all day long, or someone who graduated with a Soc or Psych degree and knows how to put some cogent analysis together, and I’ll show you a couple of good aspiring rock scribes.

  7. Jason Gross says:

    Excellent interview and a great subject too. Dave was an important part of Creem, not just as an editor but also as a writer. I have fond memories of first reading the magazine in the late 70’s when DD was there. It was still a great publication and he had a lot to do with that. Everyone can praise Bangs all they want but DD is a hero too.

  8. Ida Langsam says:

    As a music industry publicist who deals with countless rock writers on a daily basis, Dave gets my vote any time as one of the most talented, honest and pleasant journalist out there. He tells it like it is – always has – and is the consumate music fan as well as critic. Plus, he’s one of the nicest guys in the biz, bar none. Dave, you deserve the accolades and then some!

  9. Great to read what went on behind the scenes. For many of us music fans now “of a certain age” Creem was as much a buffet of writing styles as a bible of bop. That second era of Creem — post LB/Tosches/Meltzer — adapted to the times and holds up well. And this email age is a seismic shift from the allnighters us fanzine schmucks weathered.

  10. RA Pinkston IV says:

    Nice to be remembered; even if it is just as one of many “Dick’s” in the Creem organization (by the way, Meltzer mentioned in the posts) – might be able to tell you I have long since dropped the name “Pinkston” and use “Rick” (by which name I was always known at home – I thought “Richard” would look better in print and give me a little gravitas; the jury is still out) and my middle name, Allen.
    We definitely had to write more for love than for money. But the difficulty of getting a check out of Barry was also a major factor. There are some stock shares he promised me that I’m still waiting on. Most of us had to do other work although my fellow “Boy Wonder” Toby Mamis and I were also busy finishing high school.
    Love to hear from you Toby.

  11. RA Pinkston IV says:

    Should read “didn’t see another Richard, Meltzer, mentioned”

  12. Truckin says:

    Is this the Richard Pinkston that played the village in NYC in the 70’s???

  13. The same Richard Pinkston (RAP IV), yes.

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