A taste of the past
Just wanted to say that Bill Holdship's article "Sour Creem" (Metro Times, Jan. 16) was fantastic! His recollection of his first encounter with CREEM magazine and the high value he placed on it while growing up brought back many similar memories for myself while growing up.
CREEM remained cool and enjoyable to read throughout its whole existence, with witty writers and coverage of bands that would never get ink elsewhere. Long before band Web sites, music channels, MySpace blogs and 24-hour media information, it really was the only source for the latest info on your favorite band. Truly the gospel of rock 'n' roll for passionate music geeks growing up in the '70s and early '80s.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. —Andy Stefani, Birmingham
The women of CREEM
There's one really major factor about CREEM's heyday you overlooked. The rock press back then was solidly male. Jann Wenner was one of the worst chauvinists I'd ever encountered, and I was hardly the most enlightened guy back when I worked for him, but when he told me to stop doing something I was doing because "That's chick work," I admit to being shocked.
But CREEM didn't work that way. There were always women around, and, while some of them were girlfriends of some of the guys, they were also integral to the staff. Not just Jaan Uhelszki, but Robbie Cruger and, later, Georgia Christgau, and several others whose names escape my memory. They worked in the art department, wrote columns and articles, and lived the rock life the same way as the guys did. Even Connie Kramer would reveal something behind the princess facade from time to time and step in to solve a problem with some brilliance.
I applaud the article; CREEM gets mentioned little enough these days, and when it does get mentioned, I rarely get mentioned with it. (The article was brought to my attention by Sue Whitall, who asked me what we were feuding about on the SXSW panel. No such feud existed, to either of our recollections.) Maybe things had changed too radically by the time you got there, but the co-ed vibe of the place always impressed me, and was, I think, one of the things that made Creem Creem. —Ed Ward, Berlin, Germany, CREEM contributing editor 1971-1977
Never looked back
What a great first part to the CREEM article — I'm looking forward to the second.
You hit the nail on the head describing Creem's influence on me. I learned about the Ramones, Lou Reed — all these folks that shaped my musical tastes to this day. Reading in Flint, I went straight from comics to Creem and never looked back. Creem also had a lot to do with my feelings about being a champion of local music.
It's amazing to see what picking up a magazine when you're 12 years old and seeing these really cool-looking guys on the cover with skinny legs and leather jackets can do to shape someone's lifelong view of music, culture and art. And more so, how it can make you act to share that music with others. —Steve Hester, Grand Blanc
Jack Lessenberry's article "Blame the Dems" (Metro Times, Jan. 16) pointed out everything that is wrong with the system in the first place: If the party hierarchy of the Democratic Party wants to hold Michigan hostage, what does that say about them and their "regard" for the people.
And what of the candidates who give lip service to the idea of real change? None of them had the courage to come to Michigan except Dennis Kucinich, who isn't getting the recognition that is his due, thanks to the mainstream media. What are they so scared of? —Andrew Keith, Detroit
'You're cut off'
Regarding Jack Lessenberry's column "Hope Rises" (Metro Times, Jan. 9), I am no political activist, so I may not understand the finer points of the controversy regarding the primary. But it seems to me that it was appropriate for Michigan Democrats to try to break up the stale monopoly that Iowa and New Hampshire have had over the early candidate selection process. Now I understand that the national party is, in fact, dead serious about not seating the state's delegates. In response to this, Michigan Democrats ought to invoke the "Golden Rule" — "he who has the gold makes the rules" — and refuse to provide any financial support (individually and collectively) to the national party or any of the candidates who withdrew their names from the primary ballot. Sometimes the only way to get people's attention is to hit 'em in the pocketbook. —Joe Karner, Sterling Heights
Praise for 'Jesus'
I just wanted to tell you that your article, "Jesus of suburbia" (Metro Times, Dec. 19, 2007), was one of the most touching and deeply moving things I've read in a long time. I've been a musician for a long time now, largely unrecognized and only marginally talented, but I felt everything you wrote in that article in the deepest places of my existence. I'm sorry about your friend; he was a hell of a songwriter. If it had not been for your piece on him, I wouldn't have known anything beyond what was available on Wikipedia when you look up the Gin Blossoms. Christmas always makes me feel like shit too, so chin up. I've never been one of those touchy-feely, glass-is-half-full types, but I believe we'll all get there sooner or later. —William Zech, Eastpointe
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