As a teenager, I discovered CREEM in the magazine rack at our tiny, crowded neighborhood party store, and it was absolutely love at first sight. The magazine’s ferociously irreverent attitude informed my humor – Lester Bangs, and, later, Rick Johnson (and later still, J. Kordosh) left me helpless with laughter – as its coverage of artists like David Bowie and Patti Smith helped develop my musical tastes. (Its constant mockery of Rush didn’t hurt, either.)

But maybe what mattered most to teenaged me was the proof in its pages — the proof of its pages — that someone out there thought and said and did the things that I formlessly yearned for and imagined, lived the life I was sure I wanted, and made themselves laugh as they did it all. You can’t know how much all of that meant to me.

So I was startled and very grieved to learn recently that Rick Johnson had died in the spring of 2006. Now I’ll never get the chance to thank him for the pleasure he gave me with the utter Dada brilliance of his prose. John Kordosh, if you ever read this, thank you, too.

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