Walls of the Buzzard!

L to R: Matt the Cat, Betty Korvan, Joel Frensdorf (WMMS sales), John Gorman, Debbie Ullman, Jeff Kinzbach, Denny Sanders, Kid Leo, Bob Zurich (RCA Records)

In 1974, when our WMMS promotion budget consisted only of our wit and ingenuity, we searched for every opportunity to make our proposed Buzzard logo visible (it had not been officially sanctioned by Malrite corporate at that time).

Our best shot at visibility came from a deal we cut with Shelly Tirk, owner of the Music Grotto record store on Euclid Avenue, across the street from Cleveland State University. He allowed us to add a huge Buzzard on the side of his building.  The record labels took turns in leasing the Music Grotto’s west-facing side wall to paint building-size reproductions of current album covers.  Because WMMS was the only station regularly programming their product – and since we had no promotion budget to speak of, I proposed that the labels pay for the Buzzard art as well.

The deal provided our Buzzard, perched on a mushroom, a permanent roosting place, and gave WMMS its first billboard – a prominent one.

Years later, we continued our search for buildings we could paint our Buzzard logo on.   For a few years, we had the back of a building Triskett, which faced the then-newly completed I-90.

When Cleveland State University expansion caused the urban removal of Music Grotto, we located a new site for a downtown/Cleveland State wall – on the side of a three-story building next to the Holiday Inn on Euclid and East 21st.

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