Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, actor Jeff Daniels and more discuss the revolutionary work of Creem magazine in the teaser for the upcoming documentary, Boy Howdy! The film is set to premiere March 10th at SXSW in Austin, Texas with additional screenings to follow.
The new clip captures the ethos and aesthetic of Creem, which sought to cover rock and roll while simultaneously deconstructing it in the most radical ways possible. Hammett recalls reading album reviews that barely discussed the actual album, while Carney hails the way Creem simultaneously played up and tore down the rock star image.
“Buying Creem was a little bit like buying Playboy,” Daniels says. “You didn’t want your parents to see either one of them.”
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Boy Howdy! director Scott Crawford said he first encountered Creem in the Eighties and bought back issues from the magazine’s Seventies heyday at a local record store. “It was a history lesson of sorts for me,” he says. “There was an undeniable punk aesthetic and its bite-the-hand-that-feeds editorial approach resonated with me instantly. The writing was inspired and bratty (yet thoughtful) and encouraged me to listen to music in a way that I hadn’t previously known how to do.”
Crawford and Jaan Uhelszki – a Creem alum, who also co-wrote and -produced the film – teased some of the treasures they discovered while digging through the Creem archives as well. Uhelszki recalled finding old “letters to the editor,” including one in which Patti Smith called Lester Bangs a “pig fucker” after he wrote a bad review of a Bob Dylan album. Crawford also said the film will feature never-before-seen footage of Bangs at the Creem offices in Detroit.
Boy Howdy! was also co-produced by JJ Kramer, Creem’s current CEO and the son of late founder, Barry Kramer. “Making this film opened my eyes to so many things about my father and the magazine,” JJ said. “The good: He was brilliant, a visionary, and left an indelible mark on almost everyone he came in contact with. The bad: He was an antagonistic provocateur with a Detroit-sized chip on his shoulder, which helped to create the beautiful chaos at Creem.”
Following its March 10th premiere at the Alamo Lamar, Boy Howdy! will screen two more times at SXSW: March 14th at the Alamo Ritz and March 15th again at the Alamo Lamar. In April, it will screen during the opening night of the Freep Film Festival in Detroit, Michigan, while it’ll also be shown May 29th at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Additional information is available on the film’s website.