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Creem Magazine and Birmingham

Updated: Sep 9, 2021
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Creem Magazine-Published from Downtown Birmingham
The cheeky, in-your-face attitude of Creem Magazine followed the prevailing attitude of the post-1960s anti-establishment culture among young people. Rock music was more than just saying and doing whatever you wanted, shock value and all. It was also about skill, artistry, and that something special that only a fraction of bands really had. The writers at Creem, both on staff and freelancers, were among the best rock critics ever produced by the industry. They also included some outstanding women journalists, such as Jaan Uhelszki and Susan Whitall, who went on to forge remarkable careers as music critics. But the most famous of Creem's golden age of rock journalism was undoubtedly Lester Bangs. 
CREEM Exhibit   
Boy Howdy Creem historical markerFrom 1969-1972, Creem was published in Detroit and in a rented farmhouse in Walled Lake. But in 1973, publisher Barry Kramer made the strategic move to downtown Birmingham. The magazine stayed here until 1986, when it was sold to an L.A. publisher, moved to California, and sputtered out shortly thereafter.  In our ground-breaking exhibit in 2014, the Birmingham Museum worked with former writer-editor Susan Whitall and former long time art director Charlie Auringer to re-create the essence of the magazine's editorial offices. The resulting exhibit became permanent, and brought Auringer's considerable private collection of photos, objects, and archives into our care. A commemorative banner was installed outside the original offices of Creem at 187 S. Old Woodward to mark its significance.