Commentary

Iconic Rock Pub 'Creem' Returns With Plans For Entertainment Empire

Creem is being revived more than 30 years after the boisterous rock-music magazine last appeared in print. JJ Kramer, the son of the late Creem founder Barry Kramer, is leading the relaunch as the chairman of the recently formed Creem Entertainment, with plans to expand the brand outside of the print business.

The company hired John Martin, the former publisher of Vice Media, as CEO of the company, which is based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Following this week’s launch of its new website, Creem plans to begin printing an oversized quarterly magazine in the fall, according to the announcement.

Creem Entertainment has ambitions to grow as a company that produces concerts, music festivals, podcasts and TV shows, the Detroit Metro Times reported.

In the 1970s, Creem was the second-biggest music magazine behind Rolling Stone, with a circulation that topped 200,000. Billing itself as “America’s only rock’n’roll magazine,” Creem’s articles captured the rebellious spirit of rock musicians with an irreverent sensibility. The attitude also reflected the hard-charging music scene in Detroit, where Creem was started in 1969.

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There has been renewed interest in the magazine following the release of the documentary “Creem: America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine,” two years ago.

The new website has several paid tiers, starting at $5 a month for digital access and $79 for the print and digital editions, along with special discounts. The top-tier “fan club” costs $129 a year and offers an additional yearly gift and other perks.

Creem’s website features an archive of all 224 issues of the original monthly magazine, including more than 69,000 features and photos. Readers also can sign up for an email newsletter called “Fresh Creem” that has columnists and feature articles about rock musicians.

The new editorial team includes Jaan Uhelszki -- one of the first women to work in rock journalism as a reporter for Creem -- as a contributor. The company also hired Fred Pessaro, who worked at Vice’s Noisey, as vice president of content, and former Entertainment Weekly copy chief Dan Morrissey as executive editor. Maria Sherman, who has written for a variety of media outlets and authored the book, “Larger Than Life: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS,” is a senior editor.

1 comment about "Iconic Rock Pub 'Creem' Returns With Plans For Entertainment Empire".
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  1. Michael Strassman from WGBH, June 3, 2022 at 10:02 a.m.

    Yeah, good luck with that in a musical landscape where rock is woefully passe and most of the big stars are dinosaurs or at least long in the tooth. I say this ruefully, as an avid listener, but rock is the new jazz...except that jazz is actually looking healthier these days.

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