Boy Howdy, indeed!
A documentary about the legendarily raucous Detroit-born rock ‘n’ roll magazine Creem will open the sixth annual Freep Film Festival. “Boy Howdy! The Story of Creem Magazine” will make its Michigan premiere on April 10 at the Fillmore Detroit.
An irreverent competitor to magazines like Rolling Stone, Creem was born in Detroit’s Cass Corridor in the late ’60s and became a booming voice by the mid-’70s with its gritty, biting and often humorous approach to covering acts like Kiss, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Bob Seger, Patti Smith and many more.
Directed by Scott Crawford and produced by JJ Kramer (the son of magazine founder Barry Kramer), the film features vintage footage and photographs and contemporary interviews with stars the magazine covered (Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons, Peter Wolf) and musicians who were influenced by its approach (Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers). It’s a story rich with influential journalism (writers like Dave Marsh, Lester Bangs and Jaan Uhelszki), office backbiting, excessive partying and ultimately tragedy.
“Detroit defined Creem in so many ways; its aesthetic, its irreverence, its blue-collar attitude. Not being on the coasts certainly presented its challenges, but Detroit has, and always will, hustle harder,” said JJ Kramer in a release. “Creem’s wild and eclectic staff channeled this city’s spirit and took what started as a paper sold out of the trunk of my father’s car into a national entity.
“We knew when we started this project that it wouldn’t truly be finished until we blew the doors off a proper Detroit premiere,” Kramer continued, “and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring this film back home to where it all started.”
The documentary will be arriving in Detroit fresh off its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas in March.
“ ‘Boy Howdy!’ feels like the perfect film for Freep Film Festival’s opening night. We love that the movie celebrates some of the rowdiest, most exciting journalism ever produced in the Motor City,” said Steve Byrne, Freep Film Festival’s executive director. “The Fillmore couldn’t provide a better backdrop for a documentary that digs deep into one of the richest musical eras in Detroit’s history.”
The past two Freep Film Festival opening nights, “12th and Clairmount” (2017) and “The Russian Five” (2018), sold out the Fillmore.
Tickets for opening night start at $25 in advance and officially go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, at the Fillmore Detroit box office and LiveNation.com.
Opening night will feature a VIP reception that is open to the public.Tickets start at $55 and include early entry in the Fillmore, reserved VIP seating, food and two drink tickets. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the film starts at 8 p.m.
Opening night entry is also available through Freep Film Festival passes, which are being offered for the first time in 2018. The festival pass ($175) includes a general admission ticket to opening night and access to most festival events. A VIP pass ($450) includes a ticket to the film and VIP party, plus regular and marquee events during the festival weekend. Both are on sale now at freepfilmfestival.com.
More festival announcements will be made in the coming weeks, and the full lineup and schedule will be announced in early March.
Doors open for VIP at 6 p.m.
VIP reception at 6:30 p.m.
General admission doors: 7 p.m.,
film at 8 p.m.
Wed., April 10
The Fillmore Detroit
General admission $25
9 p.m., Fri., April 12
Emagine Royal Oak
8 p.m., Fri., April 13
Marvin and Betty Danto
Lecture Hall at the DIA