Buzz Magazine celebrates 24 years this month! Way back in the dawn of time. September 1993 to be exact. Buzz Magazine came into existence. It came about with the advert of new technology. The ink jet printer had arrived.
Laserlook Graphics had been a successful Graphic Design company for some five years. Typesetting and designing work for 6 local printing companies, a local newspaper or two, plus producing a regular series of letterbox drops for South East Melbourne strip shopping centres.
But it was time to jump ship. At the time Owner Peter Sutton and Graphic Artist Jason Lowe cast around to see what they could do. Cheap printing and the lowering of the cost of Laserwriters meant Graphic Design was now being done by printers themselves. The local Papers were non payers. So where?
It was a different age. Venues were Pokie free. They depended on young people to drink alcohol. Bands were the drawcard to venues and a flourishing circle of Bandrooms in venues meant a never ending supply of live local music and good quality venues. On the Peninsula alone there were 30+ venues offering live music.
Jason was an expert in local music, Peter loved talking to people and writing. There was a void in the Frankston, Peninsula, Dandenong scene. Buzz was born to support local music.
Over the years Buzz grew slowly. It expanded to the Latrobe Valley, Melbourne, and Tasmania. It grew to 28 pages.
It survived because it grew. The introduction of The Pokies destroyed the suburban venues almost overnight. Parallel importing saw a massive drop in cd prices.
Buzz did well. Till the 21st Century. Our extensive base meant we survived and prospered.
Jason Lowe left in 1995 and in 1998 Mark Rasmussen joined the team as Music Editor. He was to remain in the job for 8 years.
We saw the introduction of Mobile Phone Technology and The Internet, Colour computer screens, hard drives and modems.
Competition in Tasmania made it hard for us mid way though 2005. Buzz started to find it difficult. Major labels were experiencing the growth of the internet and free downloading and by 2007 advertising from Major labels was declining. It became harder to find advertising, but the support of smaller labels meant that we soldiered through to 2009. We missed an issue in September. By then each month was almost a break even. The minor labels and Touring companies were folding.
In January 2010 the advertising tap was turned off. It was that sudden. One paper in February and one in June. Gone!
Buzz Magazine still maintains a Facebook page and a web page. Just to keep our hand in.
A couple of facts we are proud of. Peter Sutton is the longest continuing Editor of a street press in Melbourne. He has been at the helm every month for 23 years.
Buzz Magazine was the longest continuous running street press in Tasmania. (Our competition folded in May one month before Buzz). Buzz Magazine was the first Melbourne newspaper on the Internet (not street press).
Many of writers and photographers have become well established writers and photographers in magazines and newspapers around the world.
Mark Rasmussen is a screen writer in Hollywood
Mikey Cahill is a feature writer for the Herald Sun.
Martin Pegan was editor of The Australian Times in London.
Scott Gelston is a photographer with the Launceston Examiner
David Griffiths is an established, well known and respected Aussie film critic
Matt Ryan publishes an established and popular Melbourne Zine and is a well known St Kilda music identity.
We have a journalist with an Albury based newspaper and an editor of an inflight magazine among the people we know about.
We have been publishing in one form or another for 23 years!
Oh and we need writers and reviewers. Is that you Message us through the contact page.