In addition to being America’s only rock ’n’ roll magazine, CREEM happens to be the world’s best rock ’n’ roll magazine—and, it could be argued, the world’s most masturbatory. Because we like ourselves a little too much, every now and again, we’re going to review past CREEM takes in a series called CREEMAINS. Expect the most deliciously spoiled CREEM, like in our take on Karen Schlosberg’s 1986 essay on the Hooters. A lot has changed in 36 years. Lap it up!
The Hottest In the Hooter Business is Karen Schlosberg’s 1986 CREEM essay documenting a day-in-the-life of the Hooters, the regular folks’ Philadelphia rock band. (You may know their ballad, “Where Do The Children Go,” as well as "And We Danced," from their platinum-selling second album, Nervous Night, the former of which was, at the time, the fourth single off an album released a full year prior and #51 on the Billboard Hot 100.) At a certain point in recounting the Hooters’ prosaic hassles, which the band handled with affable aplomb, Schlosberg writes, “It's not just a job, it's an adventure.” The implication of course being that: “also, it’s a job.”
Schlosberg may have been referring to the grind of promotional appearances that she accompanied the Hooters on: their ritual of visiting radio stations, and being asked about the Hooters’ name, and the band’s readiness to rock ‘n’ roll. Or she was referring to the band’s grueling touring schedule: eight months on the road with such emotional laborers as Don Henley, Squeeze, and Loverboy. Or maybe, with singer and multi-instrumentalist Eric Bazilian eventually telling her, “As far as I'm concerned I'm no different than a bricklayer or a surgeon or an airline pilot. I'm somebody that does a job. I'm just a little more visible than your average surgeon," the writer was foreshadowing the band’s own self-effacing view of their newfound fame. That is, being hounded by fans, playing LiveAid, having multiple singles in the Billboard charts—after years of paying dues as the biggest pop-rock-reggae band in southeast Pennsylvania.
Or maybe Schlosberg was dryly hinting at a deeper, value neutral but not exactly complementary, truth. Maybe the Hooters’ frontman got it exactly right, that there was indeed no difference between what his band did and laying bricks.