Music’s Ultimate Bad Influence


The new doco of the magazine that changed music as you know it.

If the kick-ass Tower Records documentary, All Things Must Pass, spoke to the facade of the music industry, then the upcoming documentary of CREEM magazine takes you behind the scenes and into the sick, sordid and outright debaucherous days of music’s bygone era. Sounds like a one-way ticket to a good time to us…

Best music docos

For (official) music documentaries almost never grow tired, delving deep into the acid-washed days of pop culture past to uncover the building blocks of contemporary music and the tiny-waisted rock, blues and folk pioneers who carved/smoked them – think Woodstock, Searching for Sugarman, Gimme Shelter and Montage of Heck to name but a few…

A new genre

But one style of music doco has emerged in recent years that sheds even more light on the sordid workings of the music industry and pop culture at large – the warts-and-all tales of music’s sales and media sector, which has endured where 99% of bands and artists haven’t. Last year’s All Things Must Pass, the story of Tower Records’ rise from the 1960s, to their fall in the 2000s, is a killer look at the outer workings of the music industry and the culture it created. Hell, it’s 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Sound City, another in the same vein, focuses on technology’s impact on music during music’s heyday in Los Angeles…

CREEM magazine

But Boy Howdy!, the doco of the irreverent and unapologetic CREEM magazine of the 1970s and ’80s, is all about the deep inner workings of those who made music and covered it. They were the flies on the wall in studios and at parties. They were the ones who encouraged The Who, Rod Stewart and John Bonham to smash up hotel rooms. They were Rolling Stone’s major competition and snot-nosed little brother at the same time. They pushed harder and got away with more. They coined the termed “punk rock” and broke artists like Bowie and Blondie, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Van Halen and Lou Reed before they went mainstream. CREEM was more than a magazine from Detroit. It was a lifestyle. And moreover, a bad influence in the best fashion possible…

Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM magazine

Directed by Scott Crawford, who helmed 1980s punk era doco Salad Days, the doco already features the likes of Alice Cooper, KISS, Iggy Pop and Bob Seger, to name but a few.

“It’s the ultimate underdog story… a group of self-described misfits that came together in Detroit in the late 1960s,” Crawford told Detroit’s WCSX radio.

“It was a national magazine – No.2 music magazine to Rolling Stone. These are larger than life characters – Lester Bangs, Barry Kramer and Dave Marsh. Kurt Cobain credits CREEM as his introduction to punk rock.”

To complete the thing in time for a possible October release, Crawford has taken the project to Kickstarter where it’s reached $60,000 of its $100,000 goal in just two weeks. Check it out here.

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