Being 43 now, I, like you, grew up with 60s and 70s wrestling. I'm really excited about the Sensational 70s clippings special you have coming up. I have every issue and Annual of WT&N--as Gorilla would say, "What a piece of work." Keep slammin' us Evan.
STEVEN J. PERRY
You've said that wrestling history is a hard sell, and I agree. I realize that most of the people who visit my site do so for information from "the PPV era." But hopefully they will see some of the older info and be intrigued enough to find out more. To me history is the best wrestling topic on the web.
There is a guy who is working on a history of the WWF at the Spectrum. He tells me that his site will be up in a few months. Someone in the Spectrum management office sent him every date that the WWF was booked there. I was floored. It's a shame there aren't more companies with that kind of public relations.
The July issue was another good issue, and your "talk" with blues musician Jeff Alperin was superb; I really enjoyed that, as over the years I've been a diehard blues fan, especially of the 50s Chicago style, and I knew of all the guys "Red" mentioned in his interview. He knows his blues; he was right on target, both with blues and wrestling!
Thanks for the mention in your "Gab," I'm glad I can help out, and thanks for using the Joe LeDuc clips that I've sent earlier. Big Joe was always one of my favorites.
Here are more classic clips, hope you can use some. The 70s clip collection you advertised sounds great, hope it does well for you. Y'all take care.
Thanks for another knock-out issue. The consistent excellence is awe-inspiring. Kudos to you and Jeff Archer both. I particularly loved your interview with Red Alperin, just incredible (not to be confused with Justin Credible!). You did a magnificent job balancing the disparate art forms of wrestling/blues. Not that they are incompatible. I've been singing the wrestling blues for years. The result is not lovely, but the neighbors blame the resultant din on my cat. I see no reason to enlighten them!
I couldn't agree more with Red's assessment of the respective states of music and the sport of "Kinks." "The soul of the crowd is corrupt." Boy, do I agree. Unfortunately, that really has permeated all walks of society. God help us all.
Your 70s salute sounds great, here's my $10. Talk to you.
I used to like Jesse Ventura, but now I think he is a two-face sellout with zero credibility for anything he now says. Money talks, I guess.
Speaking of sports figures, I never liked Wade Boggs even when he played for my Red Sox. He deserved to get his 3000th hit playing for Tampa Bay. Do you think it bothered him that they lost the game he got the 300th hit in? You know, being the team player that he is. There's no "I" in team. That fits him!
Sign me up for renewal and your Sensational 70s clippings publication.
The 1970s were sensational for wrestling, that's when it hooked me. During the summer months like now, if you were willing to travel a little, you could catch live WWWF shows here in the New England area on a regular basis. Every Friday night for years, Jack Witchi's in N. Attleboro, Mass. (So glad to see Bryan Walsh mention that in his column from time to time.)
The whole summer of 1972 at Witchi's, Tanaka-Fuji vs. Strongbow-Sonny King for the tag belts in all kinds of wild matches. A rookie named Chuck O'Connor (who we all know later became John Studd) taking on Arnold Skaaland, El Olympico, Joe Turco, Chuck Richards, Garea, Lee Wong that whole summer. The Lincoln Park Ballroom in N. Dartmouth, Mass., Cape Cod Melody Tent, Warwick Musical Theater, Worcester Memorial Auditorium, Lowell Memorial Auditorium, plus the bigger arenas every month, Boston Garden, Providence Civic Center. Saw Spiros Arion, Waldo Von Erich, Putski, Calhoon, Kowalski, Garea, Zybysko during '74-'75 summers/fall season at Lincoln Park. Most arenas were only about a 40 minute drive from here in Rhode Island.
I remember when the Prov. Civic Ctr. opened in late 1972, the first wrestling card was May, 1973. The main-event--Strongbow vs. Fred Blassie in a steel cage with Haystacks Calhoon special ref. Also on the card, Andre-Tanaka, Monsoon vs. Frank Valois-Frank Hickey handicap match, Garea-Moondog Mayne, and a Moolah tag match. I always remember the TV wrestling for years during the 70s on every Saturday night after Roller Derby on the UHF Channel 27 from Worcester, Mass. (Remember Strongbow-The Spoiler with the big X on the screen?)
I think ESPN Classic does a lousy job with the wrestling they show on Sunday mornings. First, the shows should be on Friday or Saturday nights around 10 or 11 PM. They should also get more tapes, they show the same matches all the time! Almost 50 years of TV wrestling and that's all they have?
Enjoyed the Jeff Alperin interview with the wrestling connection. Everyone around our age has great wrestling memories growing up, too bad for this generation. Remember when a run-in meant something? Most of the stars I grew up watching are still alive!
You bring back a flood of memories, Evan, which is why I love your newsletter. I became a fan in the summer of 1970 toward the end of Bruno's first title reign. I remember being snowed in early 1971 when they came on TV and said he lost to Ivan Koloff. Early 70s memories of a young, in-shape "Handsome" Jimmy Valiant, Stan Stasiak, Beautiful Bobby managed by the Grand Wizard, Luke Graham/Tarzan Tyler tag team--managed by Lou Albano, the beginning of a long, successful run by Strongbow. TV before Vince, Jr. with Bill Cardille and Ray Morgan who made it so believable. The great local TV promos. The matches were called with no PPV hype, not trying to sell T-shirts or books, just wrestling. Great tag team title TV match late '71 early '72 with Karl Gotch/Rene Goulet vs. Baron Scicluna/King Curtis managed by Albano; to this day was the best TV wrestling match I ever saw. The tag team titles meant so much back then, got great feuds going with Strongbow/King vs. Tanaka/Fuji, Garea/Ho vs. Valiant Bros. Remember the TV match Bruno/Pedro vs. Tanaka/Fuji which set up their Shea Stadium match?
By the end of the 70s, except for "Superstar" Billy Graham, wrestling kind of took a nose-dive for me. It was replaced by girls (where have you gone, Paula, a nation turns its lonely lips to you. . . .), cars, college, working. Bob Backlund just didn't cut it for me. They could get Backlund over because they had a formula that worked by always having fresh contenders every couple of months coming in, working the way up, get your title matches around the horn, then move up the next contender. That worked for years.
The Uncle Floyd you referred to in the last issue, was that the guy with a bow-tie and plaid jackets that played the piano and had a TV show for a while late 70s, early 80s?
[EDITOR'S NOTES: Your Paula, most likely, is a housewife with 2.5 little hellspawns watching the WWF. Yes, Uncle Floyd was a Soupy Sales type with a "kid's show" more appreciated by adults. And yeah, the WWWF of the 70s was a wonderful era, huh? E.G.]