Only in Cleveland: Buzzard Jeans at J.P. Snodgrass, 1975

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Three years before jeans went designer with Jordache and five years before Brooke Shields said, “Want to know what gets between me and my Calvin’s?” we debuted our Buzzard Jeans.

Actually, they were Levi’s jeans with a WMMS Buzzard logo patch sewn on the right back pocket. 

We did it as a special promotion with Cook-United’s J.P. Snodgrass boutique chain (they also owned Uncle Bill’s). 

The Buzzard mascot was a little over a year old and we were on a quest to make it the most recognizable logo in Greater Cleveland.

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The agency we put the promotion together with was run by a Cleveland native, Eddie Spizel

A year later and in no way related to the Buzzard Jeans, which actually sold quite well, Cook-United filed for Chapter 11 and the company closed the J.P. Snodgrass and Uncle Bills stores. 

After losing his bread-and-butter client, Spizel relocated to San Francisco and set up a flourishing agency there.

That would’ve been the end of the story except that in 1984, I got a call from Spizel, who I hadn’t talked to since he left town.  He called to say that Bill Graham, the famed rock promoter, was planning to build a rock and roll hall of fame in San Francisco, off Ghirardelli Square

“He’s going to make it like rock and roll started with Haight-Ashbury,” Spizel said, outraged at the thought that the earlier history might be ignored.  His Cleveland pride was wounded.  He said he was coming to down and wanted me to set up a meeting. “They can’t be allowed to build it there,” Spizel said. “You’re the biggest station, you can rally Cleveland.”

More on Eddie Spizel and the birth of the campaign to bring the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland can be found in Chapter 29 of The Buzzard.

5 Responses to “Only in Cleveland: Buzzard Jeans at J.P. Snodgrass, 1975”

  1. Scott Enochs Says:

    I came of age listening to WMMS. Most of my favorite groups over the years I first heard on this station in the early 70’s: Al Stewart, Steeleye Span, Wishbone Ash, Glass Harp, Curved Air, Rush. Don’t forget about Rush and the special thanks printed on their first album cover to Donna Halpern at WMMS in Cleveland for giving it plenty of airplay!

  2. Does anybody have a photo of the “JP Snodgrass” mannaquin that was in front of the store..??
    If so,PLEASE fwd to me….Thanks…!!!

  3. […] in Chapter 29 in The Buzzard as well as here, and what started the campaign in the first place, here, a friend recently found a piece from a May 9,  1986 issue of Radio & Records, which announced […]

  4. cj degrassi Says:

    I could have sworn that I was in JP Snodgrass and Uncle Bill as late as 1980. This article makes it sound as if they closed in 1976 or 1977. Splitting hairs maybe, just want to clarify however

  5. In 1978 my friend and I took a WMMS bumper sticker to Bimini and put it on the End of the World Saloon’s Wall. We proudly signed it!
    Jan and Nancy

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