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Except where noted, all original text & art ©2010 Eddie Flowers


Clockwise from upper left: Ron Juntunen, Jim Wilson, Billy Tanon, Art Hicks.

Creme Soda was a mid-70s garage/hippie kinda band based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I became a rabid fan based solely on their still-amazing 1974 single "(I'm) Chewin' Gum"/"Roses All Around" (Trinity Records; with eye-in-pyramid logo). They also put out an earlier single, "Keep It Heavy"/"And That Is That." In 1975, they released a great full-length LP called Tricky Zingers, and then seemed to disappear from the face of the earth (or the rock underground anyway). What follows is a Q&A I sent them in 1974, gathering info for an article which eventually ran in mangled form in a crappy Chicago "prozine."

* * *

EDDIE: How long has the band been together, and what brought you all together in the first place?

JIM: It all started years ago in the dusty depths of Billy's mind, but the members of the band started drifting in from other bands about two years ago. We were brought together by a '64 Chevy, a '67 Mustang, a '60 Stude, and a '65 LeMans with lots of dents in it.

EDDIE: Where did the name Creme Soda come from?

RON: Well, it all started years ago in the dusty depths of Billy's mind. . . .

EDDIE: What are each of your individual musical influences?

RON: Pat Boone.

JIM: The sky, the clouds, the mountains, and the depth of beauty.

ART: I had violin lessons in school, so I dropped that and took up the drums.

BILLY: I was born with a silver guitar in my mouth.

EDDIE: Was your single "(I'm) Chewin' Gum" a conscious cop from the old Stick McGhee/Jerry Lee Lewis tune "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee"?

EVERYONE: A cop from who? what? how? when?

EDDIE: Why have you never performed together publicly?

RON: Next question?

EDDIE: Why do Art and Jim live 300 miles from Billy and Ron?

ART: We moved from the city to enjoy the peace and friendliness of Sturgeon Bay, a slow-paced community where we can know ourselves and our friends.

EDDIE: What do you think of your "Chewin' Gum" single in terms of what you're capable of?

ART: We're capable of a variety of sounds, from folk to heavy rock. When we find a form of expression we work well in, we don't cut off the other styles--we let them influence us.

EDDIE: When you start playing together live, will there by any type of stage act?

BILLY: Yeah, but our fans will come basically to hear us.

EDDIE: What kind of music do you consider what you do?

JIM: We do a variety of things, we don't like to get bogged down with one style.

EDDIE: Just out of curiosity, do any of you listen to, or have you ever listened to, the 13th Floor Elevators? Can? The Stooges? Amon Düül? The Godz?

RON: After listening to "(I'm) Chewin' Gum," who wants to listen to anyone else?

EDDIE: Where do you call hail from?

ART: We all come from Milwaukee. Jim and I come to play. We'll be moving back down shortly before Creme Soda goes on the road.

EDDIE: What instruments were used on "(I'm) Chewin' Gum"?

BILLY: Lead, rhythm, and bass guitars; drums; and various percussion instruments, including a sink. (You thought it was a cowbell?)

Left to right: Art Hicks (drums, vocals), Ron Juntunen (guitar), Billy Tanon (guitar, vocals), Jim Wilson (bass, vocals).

Stuff I Been Listenin' To
Stuff I Been Watchin'
Spam Pomes: Junk Email, Unedited (& Uncredited)

Stooges in St. Louis 1974 photos by Bruce Cole
Creme Soda Q&A 1974
1974 Rock Writers Symposium in Buffalo NY by anonymous

Teenstar 69 online reprint