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Unfiltered and unapologetic, CREEM remains America's only true rock'n'roll magazine—long after publishing its final issue.
Unfiltered and unapologetic, CREEM remains America's only true rock'n'roll magazine—long after publishing its final issue.
1,257 backers pledged $117,186 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$117,186

1,257

"Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM Magazine" explores the seminal music magazine from its 1969 launch in Detroit to the untimely death of its publisher Barry Kramer in 1981. Check out our current trailer:

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As irreverent and profane as it was passionate about the music that it covered, CREEM featured writers like the late Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Greil Marcus, Susan Whitall, Ben Edmonds, Jaan Uhelszki, Patti Smith, Cameron Crowe, Richard Meltzer, Dave Marsh (who was the first to coin the term "punk rock" in 1971), and many others. At times, the CREEM newsroom could be be as wild and unruly as the music it covered. The film will explore the sometimes larger than life personalities of the magazine's staff and their relationships to the artists they covered.  

An insightful piece over at Rockcritics.com provides a detailed overview of CREEM and it's enduring legacy:

http://rockcriticsarchives.com/features/creem/michaelkramer_creem.html

CREEM editor Lester Bangs with Bruce Springsteen, 1976
CREEM editor Lester Bangs with Bruce Springsteen, 1976

Director Scott Crawford has a personal connection to CREEM. As a onetime music magazine editor/publisher, it was CREEM that inspired him to write about music and culture. Crawford worked alongside many ex-CREEM writers in the trenches of the magazine business as an editor throughout much of the previous decade.

This is a story that J.J. Kramer (Barry Kramer's son and onetime heir to the CREEM throne) has wanted to tell his entire life. J.J. will be producing the film—and his trust in the filmmakers to tell this story the right way was instrumental in getting this project underway.

We're traveling the country talking to musicians, artists, poets, eccentrics and ex-CREEM staffers to bring the story of the most unflinching and uncompromising music magazine in America. We're working with the full cooperation of the late publisher Barry Kramer's estate—which will provide access to a wealth of archival material and never-before-seen photographs.

Here's a partial list of who we have already talked to or plan on including in the film:

As you know, a project of this magnitude takes time and money. If we successfully reach our goal, we plan on using the funds to pay for the following:

• music licensing fees

• travel/location costs

• archival usage fees

• post-production costs (editing, sound, color, etc.)

• digitalization of archival footage

• audio restoration and print restoration

• insurance

• legal representation

Kickstarter is a wonderful tool for filmmakers like us—but it's an ALL OR NOTHING proposition. If we don't hit our goal, we can't make this film! Every last dollar counts!

 

 

 

Our target running time for the film is 90 minutes, as the harsh reality is that you can't have any success at film festivals if you're over 90 minutes long. But we know the CREEM story is much bigger than 90 minutes. CREEM changed rock journalism and popular journalism. It launched the careers of photographers. It influenced radio programming. It inspired kids to become the next generation of young rock stars. It made Detroit a rock'n'roll destination.

We want to tell the whole CREEM story, but to do it, to expand on all these aspects of its influence, we need a way to go beyond the 90 minute barrier. And we've got one: special features on the DVD. We've established a series of stretch goals for the campaign that will enable us to create individual special features on the DVD that tell additional aspects of CREEM's story.

Stretch Goal at $115,000: CREEM the Later Years

After publisher Barry Kramer died in 1981, the remaining CREEM staff, along with some new blood, banded together to carry the magazine forward. While this chapter in CREEM's history was certainly wrought with serious challenges, the writers, photographers, and artists they covered made their own special mark on CREEM's storied history. This is a part of the CREEM narrative that we'd like to bring to life by exploring the contributions of folks like Bill Holdship, Dave DiMartino, John Kordosh, Gregg Turner, John Mendelssohn, Sylvie Simmons, Iman Lababedi, Chuck Eddy, and many more. This will be included as a special feature on the DVD.

Stretch Goal at $130,000: Lasting Influence

The influence of CREEM magazine can still be felt throughout todays rock'n'roll landscape. We'd like to profile a handful of contemporary artists, writers, photographers, and the like who exemplify the spirit of CREEM in a bonus feature on the DVD.

DIRECTOR/WRITER: Scott Crawford's critically acclaimed debut documentary entitled Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC played to sold-out theaters globally in 2015 and made "Official Selection" at over a dozen fIlm festivals including DOC NYC, Sydney International Film Festival, Big Sky and others. The film received the "Audience Award" at the 2015 Noise Pop Festival and "Best Documentary" at the 2015 Asbury Park Film Festival. Salad Days was a successfully funded Kickstarter project. 

PRODUCER: J.J. Kramer  is the only child of CREEM's late Publisher, Barry Kramer, and the onetime heir to the CREEM throne. At 5 years old, J.J. was the Chairman and primary shareholder of CREEM and, for the better part of his adult life, J.J. has been fighting to preserve CREEM's storied legacy.

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Jaan Uhelszki  Music journalist Jaan Uhelszki was an editor at Creem magazine from 1971 to 1977. Her writing has appeared in Uncut, Mojo, Rolling Stone, Guitar World, and USA Today.

SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER: Jim Saah is a returning collaborator from Salad Days, Scott’s last film (jimsaah.com.) Jim is a native of Washington, DC who has worked professionally in photography and film for over 25 years. He is an experienced shooter and editor whose credits range from union organizing films to music documentaries. Projects he has worked on include movies about the bands Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie and Eddie Vedder. Jim was Director of Photography, editor and producer on Salad Days.

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Patrick Wright co-produced and was associate editor for Music By Prudence, which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short and aired on HBO in May 2010. He edited the feature documentary See You Soon Again, about Baltimore-based Holocaust survivor Leo Bretholz and was an Associate Producer on 12 O'Clock Boys. Wright has produced and directed films on HIV/AIDS, clergy sexual abuse, and a profile of Ann Coulter. He is Co-Director of the JHU MICA Film Centre and Director of the MFA in Filmmaking at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

Wayne Kramer (MC5) production still from "CREEM: America's Rock'n'Roll Magazine"
Wayne Kramer (MC5) production still from "CREEM: America's Rock'n'Roll Magazine"

 

KISS holding up the iconic "Boy Howdy" beer, 1976
KISS holding up the iconic "Boy Howdy" beer, 1976
 
 

Risks and challenges

We're committed to reaching our completion date. But, as we've learned, things happen that you never see coming—and that can slow your roll at times. We see the biggest potential stumbling block being the music licensing of what needs to be a loud, fist-pumping, rowdy soundtrack. However, our team of licensing pros are good at what they do, and we're confident that we'll be able to pull off what promises to be the biggest single expense of our production budget.

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    YOUR NAME IN THE FILM'S CREDITS

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    MOVIE POSTCARD

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    CREEM BUMPER STICKER

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    "BOY HOWDY!" BUTTON

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    "BOY HOWDY!" BEER COASTERS

    We'll send you a 4 pack of CREEM "Boy Howdy!" beer coasters.

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    "BOY HOWDY!" GUITAR PICKS

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    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (BACKER EDITION)

    You'll get a special digital download of the film that includes the theatrical version of the film plus tons of backer only exclusive content and features (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

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    "BOY HOWDY!" COFFEE MUG

    We'll send you a CREEM "Boy Howdy!" coffee mug. Plus you'll get a digital download of the Backer Edition of the film that includes tons of backer only exclusive content and features (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

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    DVD OF THE FILM

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    WOMEN'S "BOY HOWDY!" TANK TOP

    We'll send you a CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Women's Tank Top in heather grey with black lettering and a Digital Download of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

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    "BOY HOWDY!" T-SHIRT

    We'll send you a CREEM "Boy Howdy!" T-Shirt in heather grey with black lettering and a Digital Download of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

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    OFFICIAL FILM T-SHIRT BY JESS ROTTER

    We'll send you the film's official T-Shirt, featuring original artwork by Jess Rotter, and a Digital Download of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Informed by a deep knowledge and love for the world of 1970s rock ’n’ roll, Rotter was first inspired by her father’s vinyl covers and comic books growing up. Rotter launched Rotter and Friends in 2007, resulting in collaborative capsule collections for The Gap and Urban Outfitters, and official band merchandising for acts such as the Grateful Dead, Sly Stone, Rodriguez, Big Star, Mavis Staples, Kurt Vile and more.
    www.jessrotter.com
    instagram: @rotterandfriends

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    WOMEN'S "BOY HOWDY!" TANK TOP + DVD

    We'll send you a CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Women's Tank Top in heather grey with black lettering and an official DVD copy of the film (the DVD and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

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    SIGNED OFFICIAL MOVIE POSTER

    We'll send you the official CREEM Documentary movie poster, personalized and signed by the filmmakers. You also get the Digital Download (Backer Edition) of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

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    "BOY HOWDY!" RINGER T-SHIRT

    We'll send you a "Boy Howdy!" throwback style Ringer T-Shirt inspired by the original white with red ringer design and a Digital Download of the film. Choose between Men's and Women's sizes (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

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    CREEM TRUCKER HAT

    We'll send you an awesome throwback style CREEM Trucker Hat inspired by the original design. You also get the Digital Download (Backer Edition) of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

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    "BOY HOWDY!" T-SHIRT + DVD

    We'll send you a CREEM "Boy Howdy!" T-Shirt in heather grey with black lettering and an official DVD copy of the film (the DVD and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • DVD copy of the film
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
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    OFFICIAL FILM SHIRT BY JESS ROTTER + DVD

    We'll send you the film's official T-Shirt, featuring original artwork by Jess Rotter, and an official DVD copy of the film (the DVD and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Informed by a deep knowledge and love for the world of 1970s rock ’n’ roll, Rotter was first inspired by her father’s vinyl covers and comic books growing up. Rotter launched Rotter and Friends in 2007, resulting in collaborative capsule collections for The Gap and Urban Outfitters, and official band merchandising for acts such as the Grateful Dead, Sly Stone, Rodriguez, Big Star, Mavis Staples, Kurt Vile and more.
    www.jessrotter.com
    instagram: @rotterandfriends

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    "BOY HOWDY!" BASEBALL SHIRT

    We'll send you a CREEM "Boy Howdy!" throwback style Baseball Shirt inspired by the original white with black sleeve design. You also get the Digital Download (Backer Edition) of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
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    • Your name in the film's credits
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    "BOY HOWDY!" RINGER T-SHIRT + DVD

    We'll send you a "Boy Howdy!" throwback style Ringer T-Shirt inspired by the original white with red ringer design and an official DVD copy of the film. Choose between Men's and Women's sizes (the DVD and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • DVD copy of the film
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    "MISTER DREAMWHIP" T-SHIRT

    We'll send you a Mister Dreamwhip T-Shirt and a digital download of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Our famous Mister Dreamwhip Tee, drawn in 1969 by legendary cartoonist R. Crumb (who also penned Boy Howdy!), this iconic design made its debut on the cover of CREEM No. 2 in 1969, and was again featured on the cover in November 1971 (this time in full color).

    Oozing with sexual innuendo (playing off the name CREEM), this tee includes classic captions like "WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?" and "WHAT'S HE DOING TO OUR DAUGHTER?!?"

    This shirt is a piece of rock n' roll and counterculture history - so do yourself a favor and grab one today!

    Includes:
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
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  22. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    CREEM TRUCKER HAT + DVD

    We'll send you an awesome throwback style CREEM Trucker Hat inspired by the original design and an official DVD copy of the film (the DVD and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • DVD copy of the film
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    "BOY HOWDY!" BASEBALL SHIRT + DVD

    We'll send you a CREEM "Boy Howdy!" throwback style Baseball Shirt inspired by the original white with black sleeve design and an official DVD copy of the film (the DVD and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • DVD copy of the film
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    "MISTER DREAMWHIP" T-SHIRT + DVD

    We'll send you a Mister Dreamwhip T-Shirt and an official DVD copy of the film (the DVD and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Our famous Mister Dreamwhip Tee, drawn in 1969 by legendary cartoonist R. Crumb (who also penned Boy Howdy!), this iconic design made its debut on the cover of CREEM No. 2 in 1969, and was again featured on the cover in November 1971 (this time in full color).

    Oozing with sexual innuendo (playing off the name CREEM), this tee includes classic captions like "WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?" and "WHAT'S HE DOING TO OUR DAUGHTER?!?"

    This shirt is a piece of rock n' roll and counterculture history - so do yourself a favor and grab one today!

    Includes:
    • DVD copy of the film
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
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    PICK 2 T-SHIRT BUNDLE

    We'll send you 2 T-Shirts and a Digital Download of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release). Choose between the CREEM "Boy Howdy!", Women's CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Tank and The Official Film T-Shirt by Jesse Rotter.

    Includes:
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    "BOY HOWDY!" HOODIE

    We'll send you a CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Hoodie in heather grey with black lettering. You also get the Digital Download (Backer Edition) of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
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    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    "BOY HOWDY!" HOODIE + DVD

    We'll send you a CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Hoodie in heather grey with black lettering and an official DVD copy of the film (the DVD and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • DVD copy of the film
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    PICK 2 T-SHIRT BUNDLE + 2 DVD's

    We'll send you 2 T-Shirts, 2 DVD's and a Digital Download of the film (the DVD and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release). Choose between the CREEM "Boy Howdy!", Women's CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Tank and The Official Film T-Shirt by Jesse Rotter.

    Includes:
    • DVD copy of the film
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    DOWNLOAD + SWAG BUNDLE

    We'll send you a box full of CREEM campaign swag! You also get the Digital Download (Backer Edition) of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Signed Movie Postcard
    • Bumper Sticker
    • Coffee Mug
    • "Boy Howdy!" Button
    • Beer Coasters
    • Guitar Picks
    • Your name in the film's credits
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    DVD + SWAG BUNDLE

    We'll send you a DVD and a box full of CREEM campaign swag! You also get the Digital Download (Backer Edition) of the film (the DVD and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • DVD copy of the film
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Signed Movie Postcard
    • Bumper Sticker
    • Coffee Mug
    • "Boy Howdy!" Button
    • Beer Coasters
    • Guitar Picks
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    CREEM LEATHER WALLET

    We'll send you an awesome, limited edition CREEM leather wallet custom designed and produced for this campaign by PARABELLUM (colors may vary). You also get the Digital Download (Backer Edition) of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
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  32. Select this reward

    Pledge $190 or more About $190

    PICK 2 PREMIUM T-SHIRT BUNDLE

    We'll send you any 2 T-Shirts or Hoodies from our rewards list and a Digital Download of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release). Choose between the CREEM "Boy Howdy!", Women's CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Tank, The Official Film T-Shirt by Jesse Rotter, the CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Ringer T-Shirt, The "Mister Dreamwhip" T-Shirt, the CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Baseball Shirt or the CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Hoodie.

    Includes:
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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  33. Select this reward

    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    PICK 2 PREMIUM T-SHIRT BUNDLE + 2 DVD's

    We'll send you any 2 T-Shirts or Hoodies from our rewards list, 2 DVD's and a Digital Download of the film (the DVD's and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release). Choose between the CREEM "Boy Howdy!", Women's CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Tank, The Official Film T-Shirt by Jesse Rotter, the CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Ringer T-Shirt, The "Mister Dreamwhip" T-Shirt, the CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Baseball Shirt or the CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Hoodie.

    Includes:
    • DVD copy of the film
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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  34. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    "BOY HOWDY!" KICK DRUM HEAD

    We'll send you a limited edition CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Logo Kick Drum Head, signed by the filmmaker. You also get the Digital Download (Backer Edition) of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
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  35. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    70's INSPIRED "BOY HOWDY!" JACKET

    We'll send you a throwback style 70's inspired CREEM "Boy Howdy!" Baseball Jacket. You also get the Digital Download (Backer Edition) of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 5 backers
    $
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  36. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    "CREEM" HEIL SOUND VOCAL MIC

    We'll send you a custom Heil PR22 vocal mic hand painted with the CREEM logo exclusively for this campaign by The Heil Sound Custom Shop. Heil Sound was a big supporter and advertiser in CREEM Magazine during its run. You also get the Digital Download (Backer Edition) of the film (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
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  37. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    TICKETS TO DETROIT PREMIERE EVENT

    You'll get a pair of tickets to the CREEM Documentary Film Premiere event to be held in Detroit, MI at a date and time to be announced in the not-too-distant future. Plus, you also get a signed poster, DVD and Digital Download (Backer Edition) of the film (the DVD and download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • Choice of "Boy Howdy!" T-Shirt, Ringer T-Shirt or Tank Top
    • Signed Movie Poster
    • DVD copy of the film
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    • Backer only production updates and content
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 18 backers
    $
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  38. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    LESTER BANGS PAYCHECK FROM JAN. 5, 1972

    Ah, Lester, Lester, Lester. What can we say that hasn't already been said. Actually, quite a lot, which is why this movie MUST BE MADE. Lester became CREEM's editor after being fired from Rolling Stone for being "disrespectful to musicians." Instead of being censored by a publisher concerned about lost advertising revenue, CREEM gave Lester a platform completely unindentured to the record labels (who had absolutely NO ability to influence or control his writing). Ya'll know what that lead to: some of the greatest articles/reviews ever penned. Rumor also has it that many a paycheck went towards beer and Romilar (an over the counter cough syrup frequently used as a recreational drug).

    The check will be professionally framed to show the front and back. Plus you'll get a digital download of the Backer Edition of the film that includes tons of backer only exclusive content and features (the download will be delivered at a point in time AFTER the film's theatrical release).

    Includes:
    • Backer only production updates and content
    • Digital Download (Backer Edition)
    • Your name in the film's credits
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer