Watch the New Trailer for ‘Boy Howdy! The Story of Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine’
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Back in the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, the concept of “rock journalism” basically meant asking groups what kind of food or girls they liked. In 1966, Crawdaddy became the first magazine to focus more seriously on the music. By decade’s end, an upstart mag would change the rules once again.
And now there’s a new movie in the works about it. You can watch a teaser trailer for Boy Howdy! The Story of Creem Magazine above.
Creem, started by Barry Kramer in 1969, was popular music’s first serious publication. “We are a rock ‘n’ roll magazine, with all that that implies,” states the first issue. Creem tried to capture the true spirit of the music in print and was among the first to expose the world to the likes of Alice Cooper, MC5, the Stooges and the New York Dolls. Its writers — including Dave Marsh, Greil Marcus, Robert Christgau, Richard Meltzer, Nick Tosches, Cameron Crowe and the legendary Lester Bangs — became the cornerstone of rock journalism in the ’70s. (The magazine folded in 1989.)
“We finally got an album out,” recalls Cooper in a scene from the documentary. “Lester Bangs reviewed it as a ‘tragic waste of plastic.’ That’s a great review!” “We didn’t put artists on pedestals,” adds editor Jaan Uhelski. “if anything, Creem was dragging artists off of pedestals. At heart, we were just a band of misfits”
Based in Detroit, Creem, which called itself “America’s only rock ‘n’ roll magazine,” was irreverent from the start, and its reputation grew over the years. The film chronicles the spirit of the magazine and era. “Were they serious about this?” asks photographer Bob Gruen. “No, they were never serious about anything. Rock ‘n’ roll’s not supposed to be serious. It’s supposed to be fun.”
The filmmakers have just launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $100,000 to complete the movie, which features interviews with an impressive list of musicians, writers, former staffers and others, including Iggy Pop, Lenny Kaye, Paul Stanley and Wayne Kramer.
“This is a story that I’ve wanted to tell my entire life,” producer J.J. Kramer, son of the magazine’s founder, says in a press release. “Creem is more than a magazine. It’s a living reminder of my father. This film is the perfect way to preserve the legacy that he and the community Creem created.”
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