Rock Chronicle Inspires Battle Over Its Legacy, by James C. McKinley Jr., NYT.
For five years, Mr. Matheu said, he struggled to get Creem off the ground again. He started an online edition, hired freelance writers and assembled an archive of back issues. But the enterprise never made a profit. “We were doing all of it without any advertising support,” Mr. Matheu said. “I continued to do it because I wanted to keep the brand alive.”
I keep going back to the same question, though: why? And who cares? I don’t mean that rhetorically or snidely — I sincerely am asking, “Who cares about seeing a newsstand replica of something which was great 35 years ago?” (And the tenor of which is over-covered currently on something called the internet.) I know it must sound crazy, maybe, what I’m saying here, suggesting that the world doesn’t need another music magazine, especially given just how few there currently are to choose from out there, but — yes, that is what I’m saying. Truth is, I’m as excited about Nu-Creem as I was about the Stooges reunion that happened several years ago, i.e., not at all (though at least with the latter, the right people were involved and presumably getting paid for their efforts; I don’t at all begrudge Iggy and his cohorts from reaping in the rewards denied them in their heyday, I just don’t personally find it that interesting). On the other hand, all this Nu-Creem talk is content for me to cover here; it gives me something to harp on about every couple weeks. I’m not unaware of that contradiction, trust me.
5 thoughts on “More on Nu-Creem”
I totally agree Scott. Who cares at this point?
“He laid out plans not only to revitalize the magazine’s moribund online edition but also to start a record label, organize a concert series, begin a satellite radio station and produce television shows. His business plan also includes retail outlets and coffee bars, merchandising and cellphone apps.”
I can’t think of anything more un-Creem like.
Well said, both Scott and Steven. The longer these attempted resuscitations of Creem drag on, the more the “You can’t step in the same river twice” aphorism registers in my mind. Beyond all the legal, financial, turf war etc. hassles bedeviling a rebirth of Creem, the biggest obstacle of all (to my thinking) is the absence of the CONTEXT in which the original magazine was published: i.e., a time that was both post-hippie AND pre-Reaganomic. They don’t seem to make decades like that anymore.
The NY Times article you’ve linked is the best I’ve seen yet in trying to sort out what’s going on at my former Way Of Life. But I winced at the Times’s photo caption calling Lester Bangs “the first editor of Creem” — not so. The very first to hold that post was Englishman Tony Reay, who (legend has it) followed Jann Wenner’s practice, by changing one letter of his fave band’s name to christen his new mag. Dave Marsh was the next ed. Lester didn’t even come aboard until 1971, and then as record reviews editor — Marsh kept the top spot for a couple more years. Of course, Lester’s the only Creem editor to be featured in a Hollywood movie thus far, so I guess that counts more on the media profile scale these days, even at The Paper of Record.
Thanks for the clarification(s), Richard. And excellent timing: not five minutes ago, before seeing your post, I noticed Christgau made the same point (at NAJP) about Bangs not being the first editor (though Christgau himself incorrectly says it was Marsh).
Way back when, Tony Reay had a few things to say about Creem’s history, too: http://rockcriticsarchives.com/features/creem/tonyreay_creem.html
IF a new CREEM does rise from thr stagnant ooze we find ourselves in, I can only hope that is as intelligent, irreverent and funny as the old one was at its peak, with the right mix of old and new blood to make the art of music writing matter more than ever. This, I pray.
Made a mistake in the first message. meant to say “that it is as intelligent, irreverent and funny as the old one was at its peak”. Damn those typos.