Boy Howdy! Creem Magazine Resurrected

 

Legendary
rock mag to relaunch in September. Sit back and watch the fur fly!

 

By Fred Mills

 

A few years ago, writing for BLURT predecessor Harp magazine, I reviewed the Creem book, a coffeetable-sized
compendium of choice entries culled from the pages of the late, great rock mag
of the same name. Included, too, were quotes from Robert Matheu, the former Creem photographer who, along with some
fellow investors, had in 2006 purchased the title and rights to the legendary
publication (which had shut down in 1988 following a long, storied run that
stretched back to the late ‘60s). Little did I know that I was wading into a
shitstorm: after the review and interview were published, I received a barrage
of email – not to mention a corresponding onslaught of online commentary – from
assorted Matheu supporters and detractors, the latter group by far being the
more vocal and, epithet-wise, colorful.

 

Just for the record, I thought the Creem book was great, and that Matheu
had done his old employer proud both with the book and the archival website he’d
established as CreemMagazine.com. (I also liked Matheu as a person.) However, there’s
no business like unfinished Creem business,
it seems. Many of those individuals who disliked my review of the book, as well
as other positive reviews of the book that were published around the same time,
appeared to be old-school Creem-ers
(or their buddies), and while their gripes were myriad, the main complaints
centered around feelings of being marginalized with regards to their early
contributions to Creem, along with
assorted territorial pissing. I won’t belabor the point, other than to say that
I rarely try to take sides in someone else’s pissing match; a few quick online
searches should easily get you to some of the stuff I’m talking about, and
meanwhile, if you want to read my original review (minus the interview), I
posted it to the BLURT site right here for archival purposes after Harp folded.

 

 

So anyway – Creem is coming back from the grave. According to a report yesterday at the New York Times, Jason Turner, chairman
of Creem Enterprises Inc., has indicated that the current Creem partners plan to start publishing the magazine again as a
quarterly, with a target print run of between 150,000 and 200,000 copies. It
will be “part of a broader music network that will include mobile apps and
streaming music videos. The hope is to attract both older readers who remember
the magazine and younger music fans, who consume music and criticism over the
Internet.”

 

Turner is quoted as telling the Associated Press, “We
just feel the time is now. There’s so much amazing music happening today but
there’s no filter.”

 

You can read the entire article here at NYTimes.com.
Creem is looking to launch in
September. Not only will it be interesting to see the finished (new) product
and how it measures up to the original, iconic Creem – and say what you will, the idea of having MORE, not FEWER,
rock mags on the newsstands seems to be a positive one – it will be fascinating
to see what the reaction will be from the rock-crit community, in particular
the folks who were so vocal about the 2007 book. If you scroll to the bottom of
the Times  article there are already a couple of reader
comments that blast Turner as a “swindler,” so it’s likely the conversation
will not steer in the direction of congratulations and back slapping, at least not initially.

 

 

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