The Evolution of the Buzzard

A week after the second “Wrath of the Buzzard” full-page ad appeared in Zeppelin, Denny Sanders, David Helton and I powwowed after Denny’s 6-10 PM shift on WMMS.   

As far as we were concerned the Buzzard and WMMS were one and the same.  Our next mission was to place the Buzzard character into every-day situations. 

David did some sketches, like the one here, showing the Buzzard looking through albums in the WMMS library.  This wasn’t intended for a print ad.  It was an exercise in enhancing the Buzzard character and broadening its personality.

The Buzzard evolved from the wide-wing span turkey vulture to a friendlier Buzzard with a distinct appearance.   In this sketch by David the Buzzard is wearing a T-shirt with the original WMMS mushroom logo.  It was our intent to circumspectly phase out the mushroom logo while establishing the Buzzard as our mascot.

Zeppelin, the alternative weekly, we were running our ads with folded after the issue featuring the second “Wrath of the Buzzard” ad.  Providentially, Exit, another new alternative weekly made its debut days later, and we speedily cut a trade deal with them.  We ran x-number of free radio spots for Exit and, in turn, had a full-page ad in the paper.

In one of its first issues, Exit writer Tim Joyce wrote of the Buzzard, “It’s the perfect image for rock and roll suiciders pushing thirty and stuck in jobs that they hate…”

For more on how the Buzzard became the WMMS mascot, read Chapter 7 of The Buzzard.

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