Loaded issue 1

Private Frazer laments the troubled later life of Loaded, rather than its recent demise:

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).

I read the very first issue of Loaded, back at the tail end of my students days. I remember sitting in a common room in one of the halls of residences, devouring it. For a guy in his early 20s it was a seductive view of the world, distinctly male, without being laddish (that would come later). A little danger, without cruelty. The gonzo comparison is an apt one – it had a glorious, debauched style of writing that was confident without being arrogant. I looked at it a decade or so later, and it had just got tawdry.

I think we can genuinely say we won’t see its like again – with the print (non-porn) men’s mag sector pretty much down to GQ and Esquire, anything new in the space will be a digital launch, and a very different beast.