Even music fans who never had a chance to get their hands on a (hard) copy of Creem have at least heard the name of this iconic rock magazine that ran from 1969 to 1989. It was the writing and musing location for such rock critic luminaries as Lester Bangs, Dave Marsh, and the magazine’s founder, Barry Kramer.
As a number of outlets like the Brooklyn Vegan report, the life of the magazine has become the theme of a new documentary titled CREEM: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, which will premiere in August 2020.
The documentary is directed by Scott Crawford (Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington DC, 1980-90). The film will include interviews with Alice Cooper, Cameron Crowe, Joan Jett, Michael Stipe, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Kirk Hammett, Thurston Moore, Peter Wolf, and more.” It was produced by Barry Kramer’s son, JJ Kramer, and CREEM alum Jaan Uhelszki, and features music by MC5’s Wayne Kramer (who is also interviewed for the film).”
The press release says that “capturing the messy upheaval of the ’70s just as the rock was re-inventing itself, the film explores CREEM Magazine’s humble beginnings in post-riot Detroit, follows its upward trajectory from underground paper to a national powerhouse, then bears witness to its imminent demise following the tragic and untimely deaths of its visionary publisher, Barry Kramer, and its most famous alum and genius clown prince, Lester Bangs, a year later. Fifty years after publishing its first issue, ‘America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine’ remains a seditious spirit in music and culture.”