By Jim Johnson

One of the most important upcoming rock documentaries heading to the big screen needs your help. The story of arguably rock’s most important and cutting edge music magazine — CREEM — is being told by director Scott Crawford along with producer J.J. Kramer — the son of late CREEM founder, Barry Kramer. The pair are at the final stages of their Kickstarter campaign to help fund the film, Boy Howdy! The Story Of CREEM Magazine — and as of now — are just $20,000 short of reaching their $100,000 goal.

Crawford and Kramer explained, “We’re traveling the country talking to musicians, artists, poets, eccentrics and ex-CREEM staffers to bring the story of the most unflinching and uncompromising music magazine in America. We’re working with the full cooperation of the late publisher Barry Kramer’s estate — which will provide access to a wealth of archival material and never-before-seen photographs.”

  • Among the legends who’ve already shared or have signed on to tell their stories about CREEM are Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Paul Stanley, Ted Nugent,Micahel Stipe, Iggy Pop, MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, Mountain‘s Leslie West, Marshall Crenshaw, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, the Dictators’ Andy Shernoff and “Handsome Dick” Manitoba, the Runaways Cherie Currie, and the Sex PistolsJohn Lyndon. Many more are being lined up to take part in the definitive tale of CREEM.
  • The doc will tell the brutal early history of the Detroit magazine as it came into its own in the late-1960’s and early-’70s, featuring such brilliant, era defining rock writers as Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Greil Marcus, Susan Whitall, Ben Edmonds, Jaan Uhelszki, Patti Smith, Cameron Crowe, Richard Meltzer, and Dave Marsh — who back in 1971 was the first to coin the term “punk rock.”
  • Alice Cooper recalled the moment when CREEM‘s Lester Bangs made his initial comment on the band: “We finally got an album out. Lester Bangs reviewed it as a ‘tragic waste of plastic.’ (Laughs) That’s a great review.”
  • Lester Bangs, the world famous heart and soul of CREEM, spoke about rock like no one had before him: “Let’s take Emerson, Lake, & Palmer. Here is, like, musical sterilty at its pinacle. A band that has absolutely no soul, has nothing — there’s no feeling in the music.”
  • Photographer Bob Gruen, who’ll always be remembered for his incredible shots of John Lennon, Kiss, the Clash, Led Zeppelin, the New York Dolls,Blondie, the Sex Pistols — and so many more, explained the difference between CREEM and other rock papers at the time: “Were they serous about this? No, they were never serious about anything. Rolling Stone liked to be the authoritative, serious, definitive voice — like, The New York Times. Rock n’ roll is not supposed to be serious, it’s supposed to be fun.” 
  • Director Scott Crawford explained exactly where all that Kickstarter money goes: “No one’s getting paid out of the Kickstarter fund. Music licensing alone will probably be — if we’re lucky — about a third of that amount that we’re going for on Kickstarter. And that’s if we’re lucky. We’ve gotta pay for travel, for legal fees, archival rights and digitizing of film, and all that stuff, alone — it adds up. You’d be surprised how much this stuff costs. It’s crazy, especially with the archival footage, y’know, you’ve gotta pay for that stuff.”

For more information and to contribute to the CREEM documentary kickstarter campaign, log on to:

CHECK IT OUT: The Boy Howdy! The Story Of CREEM Magazine documentary teaser:


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