CREEM, the legendary rock magazine, is relaunching after 33 years

More than three decades after the last printing, this legendary rock ‘n’ roll magazine has been reborn.

Formed out of an abandoned Detroit bank in 1969, CREEM made a name for itself as an underground editorial project before ceasing production in 1989. Now, 33 years later, America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine is back with a fresh print edition, as well as a newly available digital archive – and a bigger plan to become an entertainment company in its own right.

The revival is the passion product of JJ Kramer, the son of the magazine’s founder, the late Barry Kramer.

“When CREEM ceased publication in 1989, it left a huge void that has never been filled, despite many trying,” JJ told the Post. “That’s why the return of CREEM is so significant; his uncompromising and insanely funny sensibility was sorely missed by fans and bands alike. As the news began to spread, the response was overwhelming.”

Relaunch of the creem magazine
Dave Marsh, Barry Kramer and Lester Bangs in the early days of CREEM.
Charlie Auringer

Subscriptions to CREEM 2.0 launched online on June 1, with the first quarterly issue due out in the fall. The resurgent counterculture brand promises its new readers content from “contributors ranging from established writers and photographers to emerging new voices and even random meme lords found online” in their resurrected subscription-only print magazines bring, so a press release.

Comprising 228 issues and 69,000 photos, the digital archive includes “definitive” writings by the likes of Lester Bangs, Cameron Crowe, Patti Smith, Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh, Robert Christgau and Jaan Uhelszki – all “available for the first time”. over 30 years.” The archive also still includes the magazine’s memorable mascot, “Boy Howdy!” — designed by underground artist Robert Crumb.

The archive is open to the public, with a 30-day free trial offer through August, after which it’s free with print subscriptions.

Relaunch of the creem magazine
A spread from the September 1981 issue of CREEM.
Courtesy of CREEM

And looking ahead, there’s a broader plan to create a media empire in the brand’s name, complete with concerts, podcasts and maybe a TV show, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The push to relaunch this year was largely inspired by a 2020 documentary about the Detroit-born magazine, which at its peak had a circulation of over 250,000 — according to the release, a number two in the country’s music publications only after Rolling Stone .

Relaunch of the creem magazine
A staff photo of the original CREEM team.
Richard Lee

“CREEM was the only place where I felt like I was part of something bigger than myself,” CREEM editor Jaan Uhelszki told Rolling Stone after news of the relaunch. “All of the early collaborators accidentally found our way to a broken three-story old bank building in downtown Detroit, like we were characters in ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind,’ and had to come together to understand why we were shaping our mashed potatoes into the airship on the cover of Led Zeppelin – obsessed with a five-note musical sequence. Not even the same.”

The archive is open to the public, with a 30-day free trial offer through August, after which it's free with print subscriptions.
The archive is open to the public, with a 30-day free trial offer through August, after which it’s free with print subscriptions.
Courtesy of CREEM

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