The content for the premiere issue of JAZZIZ was contributed by friends in Gainesville, Florida whom I had met in the local record stores in the ’70s and early ’80s while attending the University of Florida. None of them had any real writing experience (as you’ll notice as you read through our first issue), but their love of jazz was palpable. The design of the entire magazine and even the logo was created on a Xerox machine, in a copy center across from the campus, borrowing some of the design from UF’s student newspaper’s entertainment section (which I wrote for back then).
Having no experience in the business side of magazine publishing, I naively paid a local print shop guy named Oscar, cash in advance, to get the job done. The shop owner then farmed out our amateurish pages of mostly black and white photos and text to a printing house in Miami. When the magazines were printed, bound and shipped back to Gainesville, Oscar demanded more money (doubled his original price) to get the goods. In a panic, I agreed to lien my rusty, beat up Oldsmobile Cutlass as collateral, until I could muster up the extra doe, in exchange for the release of the premiere issue held hostage.
Like having a first child, when I finally got to see this baby, as funny looking as it appears now in “pictures”, to me it was the most beautiful magazine I had ever seen. So much, that I was determined to stuff every cubic centimeter of my oxidized jalopy (front and back seats, dashboard and trunk) with all the news “fit to roll” as I drove the heavy freight around Florida hustling record and music stores to take and display a box or two of the new magazine and give it away to their customers.
For the first time, since 1984, the Premiere Issue is now available for our subscribers to view and download at no charge-it’s part of your new subscription/membership to JAZZIZ. Though a part of me cringes when I look back at it, another part makes me proud to let our readers see how far we’ve come.
So have a good laugh and enjoy. And check back for many more back issues that we will post each week.
Click on the cover below to launch the Digital Edition.