This week marks the 1,500th issue of The Memphis Flyer
and to celebrate we're sharing 15 of our favorite and most significant covers since '89. You'll have to forgive me for some the older ones—they were professionally photographed from our archives with my phone.
The first issue:
founder and publisher Kenneth Neill remembers installing the first Flyer
box on a rainy night in 1989, by what used to be Three Little Pigs' old Highland location. Fun fact: all the Flyer
boxes retain the original Flyer
Lord of the Ring:
Jerry Lawler remains one of the most beloved celebrities in Memphis history. Here, he graces our 36th issue.
The Grizzlies' insane 2011 playoff run:
In 2011, the Grizzlies finally win their first playoff game and then some, beating the top-seeded Spurs and enthralling us with endless overtimes in the series against the Westbrook-KD-Harden OKC Thunder. Here's the consummation of the Grit and Grind era.
Historic demonstrations didn't skip the 901, as protesters and activists pushed a dialogue about the racially biased, and lethal, criminal justice system into the spotlight.
The Adventures of Shirtless Man:
Many on staff believe this story is the funniest thing the Flyer
has ever published. Decide for yourself.
John Calipari and Derrick Rose:
Our 2007 preview for the U of M's basketball team marks the beginning of a fantastic and frustrating journey that took the Tigers to the end of the NCAA tournament.
Down along the Flood:
Catastrophic flooding ravaged the lives of many Memphians in 2011.
Transgender in Memphis:
All about transgender pride and raising awareness of the transgender community.
Elvis Presley 1935-2007:
This cover story imagines Elvis' life if he lived to 2007, staging comebacks in music and film, as well as bringing Memphis its first NFL team (the Hound Dogs). When we published this issue, and any time we share the story online, we invariably get a barrage of comments from angry readers questioning our journalistic accuracy and reminding us that Elvis actually died in '77. It never gets old.
We still aren't there yet, but we're making progress in common sense legislation regarding marijuana. Our readers lit up over this cover.
The debate over firearm legislation continues to rage as the US (and Memphis) suffers from lethal gun violence that's unparalleled by any other developed country. Tennessee politicians continue to write love letters to gun culture in the form of legislation, and we'll continue to call them out for enabling this pandemic.
Silver Screen Style
We just love this cover for 2008's fall fashion issue. Bow down to the 50-ft woman!
KISS and Tell:
KISS came to Memphis in April 2000 near the start of what the band called its Farewell Tour. KISS superfan Frank Murtaugh interviewed fire-breathing bassist Gene Simmons, who touched on Bluff City icons from Elvis Presley to the Peabody ducks. Seventeen years later, Simmons is still performing with KISS (when not offending mankind with his behavior).
One of our most powerful covers, and totally fueled by Alyssa Moore's bravery in opening up about her horrific experiences with domestic abuse. Her story couldn't be more important, as Memphis and Tennessee consistently rank near the top of cities and states for men killing women.