Wednesday, May 7, 2008

That long lost relic of my youth

Remember how in the movie Almost Famous where Patrick Fugit talks about writing for Creem magazine before Rolling Stone?

Well, Creem, the self-styled America's Only Rock 'N' Roll Magazine, was like seeing girls in bikinis for the first time. Creem was alternative before alternative became hip.

If Rolling Stone was Playboy, Creem was Hustler. The writing is something I've never seen anywhere since. It was just different. At times I wondered if the writers were all taking drugs just to be able to craft stories like they regularly churned out.

As an impressionable kid, I wondered if half of what I read was true. And even Rush's Geddy Lee agreed: "I don't believe anything I read in Creem; the writers say what they want to."

When I put up my first band in class while in grade seven, Creem was my idiot's-guide-to. And later on while in college, I told myself that I couldn't be a rock star coz I didn't have that Creem attitude. So I did away with those dreams for a life of corporate sterility (although anyone who knows me would say that my life in the corporate world is one for the soaps).

There were pictures of then rock godesses Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Grace Slick, Chrissie Hynde, and Pat Benatar that I would tear off and tape on my wall. I discovered the Clash, Iggy and the Stooges, the Damned, X, and other bands that opened my eyes, mind, and heart to a different culture.

In my mind, I wanted to be like Lester Bangs, Dave Marsh, and Richard Meltzer who seemed like to be the coolest people on earth next to the rock stars whose music I clandestinely listened to against my mother's wishes. I do recall seeing Cameron Crowe's stuff but he wasn't yet gifted with Kwan!

It wasn't always that I saw Creem on the racks and truth to tell, I purchased more back issues in the PX goods stores in Dau.

This coffeetable book brings back one of the last remaining links of my youth (the other would be DVDs of those old Herculoids, Gigantor, and Marvel Super Heroes cartoons). Reading it is like re-discovering a childhood friend.

Hey, something under the bed is drooling!

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