I first discovered Robert Christgau in the hallowed pages of Creem Magazine. It was nearly 30 years ago, and I was a music-crazy high school kid trying to come to terms with not just the two decades of rock ‘n’ roll I’d already missed, but this punk rock thing I was reading about, but not hearing. You gotta remember that, back in the day, not only was there no internet, there were no radio stations in Fresno that were playing anything more adventurous than The Cars, and everybody I knew were on a steady diet of Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Kiss and AC/DC. So I bought album after album without hearing a note; based entirely on what people wrote about them. That’s just what you did.
Punk Rock changed my life, for sure, but Creem was the catalyst. (And The Clash was the agent, but that’s another story.)
Since I spent every penny of disposable income on records, I didn’t have the money for a subscription, so I went to Thrifty’s Drugs (Tower Records wasn’t selling magazines yet) every day during the middle of every month because that’s when I noticed it would show up.
There was no doubt that it was just about my favorite thing in the universe. I devoured each issue, over and over again, month after month. And my favorite thing of alll was Christgau’s Consumer Guide.