Of course the death of Loaded isn’t really the “end of an era” ((c) all newspapers). That ended ten or even fifteen years ago or, arguably, when the first “me-too” copy was rushed out by a rival desperate to emulate the magazine’s success.
The parallel is with Elvis: something genuinely new and different, rapidly absorbed by the system it originally seemed to stand outside; bought off, compromised and reduced to irrelevance.
Because the tawdry and constipated magazine that has just closed bears no relation (other than the title) to the original Loaded. Love it or loathe it, the 1994 incarnation was sui generis – gonzo journalism reborn for the ’90s – and not even its creators knew what made it work (as the less than fabulous subsequent career of James Brown shows).
Plenty of people tried of course – FHM, Maxim, Front, then the execrable Nuts and Zoo – but they lacked the wit of the original, reducing everything to the lowest common denominator. And Loaded went the same way – because no one knew what made it work, no one knew that they’d broken it – and we ended up with the dismal procession of sub soft porn content and the replacement of genuine humour with ‘banter’. (more…)