Friday, May 29, 2009

Hell

Another Antiseen upload, and this CD is my second favorite release of theirs. (The first being Here to Ruin Your Groove, but you already knew that.) Vinyl purists may disagree with me and cite the original ten-inch instead, but the Hell CD is an expanded version that is far superior in my book. What knocks it out of the box for first place is the fact that all but four songs are covers, but otherwise this CD is every bit the equal to Here to Ruin Your Groove. The record starts off in devastating fashion as Antiseen covers the Curtis Mayfield classic “(Don’t Worry) If There is Hell Below (We’re All Gonna Go)” in a way where the lyrics and the music both evoke the image that, yes indeed, we’ll all wind up in hell regardless of our skin color. It’s really one of those instances where a band takes a cover song and makes it their own, and as much of an Antiseen classic in my book as “Fornication” is. The cover of Roky Erickson’s “I Have Always Been Here Before” registers with me much better than Antiseen’s rendition of “Two-Headed Dog” on another record, while I honestly can’t deal with their take on BTO’s “Taking Care of Business.” Then again, I’m not sure if I can deal with the original either. An old favorite of mine, “Haunted House” by Jumpin’ Gene Simmons (although I think my recently-inherited 45 of that song was done by someone else), sounds really interesting and fun with distorted guitars. The Talking Heads classic “Psycho Killer” also gets covered in interesting fashion here, as does Hank Senior’s “I Saw the Light.” “Chicken” by Jack Starr puts a silly grin on my face as Clayton growls out oddball lyrics about how a rock chicken tastes finger lickin’ good…I think. The original record ends with Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street” that is ten times better than the earlier version of the same cover that I heard on Noise for the Sake of Noise.

The extra songs on the CD, taken from various seven-inches with some inserted between the songs from the ten-inch, are what make this CD superior to the vinyl original. Ernest Tubb’s “Thanks a Lot” is another cover song that is as good as any Antiseen original, as well as the brutal rendition of “Deeds of the Damned” by close friends Rancid Vat. Ironically, their idea of covering Skrewdriver’s all-time racism-free classic “I Don’t Like You” is to play it about four steps faster rather than keeping it closer to the original’s slower, more powerful tempo. Although I haven’t heard the original, I do find myself really enjoying the cover of Adam Shame’s “It All Breaks Down.” Another song where Antiseen makes a cover their own is none other than the Sun Ra epic “Space is the Place.” You might guess that Antiseen shortens the song considerably, but they also add in sound bites from the Planet of the Apes series (I think) and play the song in a way that crosses several different genre lines, still makes sense, and has a sick vibe. Further bonus tracks on the most recent reissue of the CD version take things even a step further with “The Witch,” an original that bears no resemblance to the Sonics tune of the same name (be happy for that), as well as a great cover of Roky Erickson’s “Bloody Hammer” that brings that exact imagery to mind in a different (good) way than the original does. You might really dig Antiseen’s take on the late Roy Orbison’s “Mean Woman Blues,” and dare I say that this live version of “Sick Things” that ends the disc is better than that done in the studio with Michael Bruce on leads.


TRACK LIST:
1. (Don’t Worry) If There is Hell Below [Curtis Mayfield]
2. I Have Always Been Here Before [Roky Erickson]
3. Taking Care of Business [B.T.O.]
4. Thanks a Lot [Ernest Tubb]
5. Haunted House [Jumpin’ Gene Simmons]
6. Deeds of the Damned [Rancid Vat]
7. You’re Gonna Tote an Ass Kickin’
8. I Don’t Like You [Skrewdriver]
9. Psycho Killer [Talking Heads]
10. Masters of the Sky [Jack Starr]
11. It All Breaks Down [Adam Shame]
12. Cactus Jack
13. I Saw the Light [Hank Williams]
14. Chicken [Jack Starr]
15. Positively 4th Street [Bob Dylan]
16. (We Will Not) Remember You [Anti-Nowhere League]
17. Space is the Place [Sun Ra]

BONUS TRACKS:
18. Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World [The Ramones]
19. I Don’t Ask You for Nothing
20. The Witch
21. Bloody Hammer [Roky Erickson]
22. Mean Woman Blues [Roy Orbison]
23. (Don’t Worry) If There is Hell Below (live) [Curtis Mayfield]
24. Sick Things (live) [Alice Cooper]

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Owen Hart R.I.P.


I just realized that today marks the ten-year anniversary of Owen Hart's untimely death. Damn.

I found out about it the day after while watching the WWF's “Raw is War” show. While this was going on, I was getting tattooed in my friend's kitchen. When the blurb flashed across the TV screen, I gasped. Momentarily forgetting that Jason was in the middle of doing the shading on my tattoo, I jumped out of my chair and ran over to the TV to see what the hell was going on. Owen Hart...dead...? Of course Jason yelled at me because I'd nearly fucked up the tattoo royally, but this was more important at the moment.

I copied and pasted the following from Wikipedia:

Owen James Hart (May 7, 1965–May 23, 1999) was a Canadian professional wrestler who was widely known for his time in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Hart was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada the youngest of 12 children to wrestling promoter Stu Hart and Helen Hart. He was the younger brother of professional wrestler Bret Hart. He was a two-time Intercontinental Champion, one-time European Champion, and four-time World Tag Team Champion in the WWF, as well as the winner of the 1994 WWF King of the Ring. He had a brief reign as USWA World Champion while under contract to the WWF, however this title was never defended on an international forum. Although he never captured the WWF Championship, Hart was a frequent challenger for the title and has been cited as one of the greatest in-ring workers in WWF history.

Hart died on May 23, 1999 when an equipment malfunction occurred during his entrance from the rafters of the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S., at the WWF's Over the Edge pay-per-view event.

Career
Stampede Wrestling (1986–1987)
Hart entered wrestling by working for his father's Stampede Wrestling. Wrestling, however, was not his first choice for a career; as his widow Martha explained in her book Broken Harts, Owen tried numerous times to find a profitable living outside of wrestling. As those attempts were unsuccessful, he decided to give wrestling a chance and see where it took him. Hart was trained in his father's legendary Hart Dungeon and made his professional debut in 1986 for his father’s federation, Stampede Wrestling. He remained with Stampede for the next couple of years while honing his skills. During 1986, Hart teamed with Ben Bassarab and won the Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship. The success of the team and Hart's in ring skills earned him the prestigious Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie of the Year Award in 1987 (coming out ahead of Ray Traylor and Shane Douglas in the fan voting). After he & Bassarab lost the tag team titles, he feuded with the likes of Johnny Smith and Dynamite Kid.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (1988)
In 1988, Owen Hart branched out to Japan where he wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling on several tours. In NJPW, he wrestled Keiichi Yamada both unmasked and later under the legendary Jushin Liger gimmick. On May 27, Owen Hart defeated Hiroshi Hase for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Owen became the first westerner to hold that coveted title. He was also the first of only two Canadians to hold that title (the other being Chris Benoit). Despite holding the title just under a month, the fact that he held it at all was a testament to how much faith NJPW had in him and his ring skills.

World Wrestling Federation (1988–1989)
Owen’s success in Japan and Stampede’s working relationship with the World Wrestling Federation led to Owen Hart signing with the company in the fall of 1988. Owen debuted at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in August 1988 under a mask called the Blue Angel. Instead of promoting Owen as Bret Hart’s younger brother, the WWF decided to create a masked “superhero
type gimmick for Owen Hart known as The Blue Blazer. The Blazer caught the attention of fans with his unique look and exciting aerial maneuvers, but he didn’t achieve much success against uppercard talent, being eliminated at Survivor Series 1988, losing to Ted DiBiase on the March 11, 1989 edition of “Saturday Night's Main Event, and being defeated by Mr. Perfect at WrestleMania V.

Independent circuit (1989–1991)
Shortly after WrestleMania V, Owen left the WWF to tour the world both with and without the Blue Blazer gimmick. In 1991, Owen lost the Blue Blazer mask in a mascara contra mascara match against Mexican icon El Canek, thus bidding farewell to the Blue Blazer gimmick.

World Championship Wrestling (1991)
In 1991, Owen Hart appeared sporadically on World Championship Wrestling shows, teaming with Ricky Morton and without much fanfare and no mentions of his WWF connections.

World Wrestling Federation (1991–1993)
Owen had been engaged in contract discussions with WCW but the deal was never struck, as Owen was not willing to move himself and his family to the company's headquarters in Atlanta. Instead, Owen signed with the WWF for a second time. In the WWF the popular Hart Foundation, comprised of his brother Bret and real-life brother-in-law Jim Neidhart, had split up; Bret set out on a singles career while Neidhart was used sparingly. Jim Neidhart was “injured
(kayfabe) by Ric Flair and the Beverly Brothers and put out of action for a while. When Neidhart returned from his “injury” he joined Owen Hart to form a team known as The New Foundation, who became instantly recognizable for their bizarre attire—baggy pants and bright jackets.

Owen and Neidhart first feuded with the Beverly Brothers. They then had their only PPV match at the 1992 Royal Rumble where they beat The Orient Express. Jim Neidhart left the WWF shortly after the PPV, and Owen set out on a very short run as a singles wrestler, including a match at WrestleMania VIII against Skinner. Shortly after WrestleMania, Owen was teamed up with Koko B. Ware to form the duo known as High Energy. To show team unity, Koko also adopted the trademark brightly colored baggy pants and the two added checkermarked suspenders to make the look even more distinct. While the team was exciting and certainly “kid friendly
,” it was never pushed as a serious threat to the tag team titles. This was illustrated by the fact that they had only one PPV match as a team, at the 1992 Survivor Series where they lost to The Headshrinkers. The team was quietly dropped at the start of 1993 with Owen Hart starting a singles career, ditching the baggy pants look.

In the middle of 1993, when Bret Hart’s feud with Jerry Lawler ignited, Owen Hart stood by his brother’s side and fought against Jerry Lawler. The fight with Lawler did not take place on WWF television but mainly in the United States Wrestling Association where Bret, Owen, and most of the other WWF talent were considered the heels. Owen Hart won the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship from Papa Shango, but it was never acknowledged on WWF television. Owen’s participation in the WWF vs. USWA feud was cut short when he suffered a knee injury in the summer of 1993 and was forced to take some time away from the ring. At the time, rumors circulated that Owen was on the verge of leaving the WWF due to a lack of success. Whether the knee injury was just a way for the WWF to explain his absence or not isn’t quite clear.

Owen returned to the WWF ring in the fall of 1993, at a time when Bret’s feud with Jerry Lawler was temporarily sidetracked. Bret, along with Owen and their brothers Bruce Hart and Keith Hart, were scheduled to face Jerry Lawler and his team at Survivor Series. However, Jerry Lawler was unable to make it to the show, and as a result could not appear on WWF television. Lawler was replaced with Shawn Michaels. During the match Owen and Bret inadvertently crashed into each other, causing Owen to be eliminated from the team (the only Hart family member to be eliminated). Owen showed up after the match and had a heated confrontation with Bret, while Keith, Bruce and Stu tried to calm things down. This resulted in Owen leaving the ring to boos while his brothers and father watched in dismay and mother Helen cried at ringside. The following night Owen adopted the pink and black, sunglasses and sharpshooter finisher to send a message to his brother. Owen angry with being in Bret’s shadow challenged his brother which Bret declined. Instead the brothers seemed to reunite by the holidays.

1994–1995
Bret tried to make amends with Owen, teaming with him on a regular basis. Bret even secured the two a shot at the WWF Tag Team Championship. They faced the Quebecers for the titles at the 1994 Royal Rumble. Initially everything was fine between the brothers, but when Bret hurt his knee (kayfabe) and was unable to tag Owen in for a long period of time, the younger Hart got frustrated. When the referee stopped the match due to Bret’s damaged knee, Owen snapped; he kicked his brother in the knee and then walked off, starting his run as a heel. After the act an infuriated Owen accused his brother of being selfish and holding him down. Owen admitted that it felt good to take out his brother. Owen would solidify his heel turn by wearing Bret’s glasses down to the ring and rip them up in front of a young fan.

The two brothers faced off for the first time at WrestleMania X, where Owen Hart shocked the world by cleanly pinning his older brother. Later in the evening, Bret Hart won the WWF Title while Owen Hart stood by and watched in jealousy as Bret celebrated in the ring. Owen won the King of the Ring Tournament with Jim Neidhart’s help (turning Neidhart heel in the process). After the victory, Owen took the nickname “The King of Harts.”

Owen and Bret feuded throughout the summer of 1994, clashing many times both in singles and later in tag team matches (with Bret joined by the returning British Bulldog). Two matches stand out in this feud: first, their Steel Cage match at SummerSlam which Bret won after a hard fought match. This match would later get a 5-star rating from Dave Meltzer. The second was a lumberjack match on August 17 that Owen Hart initially won and was announced as World champion; Bret won the match after it was ordered to continue due to interference. At the Survivor Series, Owen struck the most damaging blow against his brother as he conned his own mother Helen Hart to throw in the towel for Bret. Owen was at his most manipulative and insincere as he pleaded with her to think of his brother's well-being. The ploy cost Bret the world title to Bob Backlund.

Owen also prevented Bret from regaining the title at the 1995 Royal Rumble when he interfered in the match between Bret and new champion Diesel. In the weeks after the Rumble, Bret and Owen clashed again with Bret soundly defeating his brother, thus putting an end to their feud for the time being.

Owen rebounded from the loss to Bret Hart by winning the WWF Tag Team titles from The Smoking Gunns at WrestleMania XI. Owen, who was joined by a “Mystery Partner,” had challenged the Gunns to a title match; the partner turned out to be former world champion Yokozuna. After the victory Owen Hart took Jim Cornette as his manager, who already managed Yokozuna. The team defended the titles for 5 months until they lost them to Shawn Michaels and Diesel at In Your House 3. They would briefly hold the titles a second time when the belts were handed back to them before the Smoking Gunns regained the titles. Owen Hart and Yokozuna would continue to team off and on until the end of the year.

1996–1997
In 1996, Owen had a running feud on WWF TV with interviewer Raymond Rougeau, which was done largely for the Montreal market to promote upcoming house shows there. During one such match, where Rougeau was a guest ring announcer for Owen's match, Hart attacked him after the match. This set up a boxing match between the two at the next show. It was Rougeau's cornerman at the next show, local boxing great George Chuvalo that knocked Hart out.

In 1995, Owen's brother-in-law Davey Boy Smith turned heel and joined Camp Cornette. During the summer of 1996 the two brothers in law started to team up more and more, sometimes alongside Vader who was also a member of Camp Cornette. Owen was also a color commentator for the 1996 King of the Ring PPV (exhibiting clear partisan support for Vader and Smith) and during this time wore a cast on his right forearm for several months, feigning a nagging injury to subsequently use his cast as a weapon during his matches (much as Bob Orton did in the mid 1980's).

In September 1996, Bulldog & Owen Hart finally earned a PPV shot at the tag team titles at In Your House 10. Owen and Bulldog left with the gold after defeating the Smoking Gunns. They also left with a new manager as Clarence Mason had conned Jim Cornette into signing over the contracts of the new champions. The duo reigned supreme over a relatively weak tag team division but everything was not well with the two. Signs of dissension slowly started to show.

One occasion where this was evident was at the 1997 Royal Rumble when Owen accidentally eliminated Bulldog and Owen generally tended to try to steal the spotlight. After the Rumble, Bulldog fired Clarence Mason, something which did not sit well with Owen Hart. Another bone of contention between the two was the newly created WWF European Championship; both men had fought their way to the finals to crown the first champion with Bulldog coming out as the victor after a long, hard fought match.

After retaining the tag team titles against the Headbangers by disqualification on the March 24, 1997 edition of “Monday Night Raw,” the tension between the two bubbled over. An incensed Owen Hart demanded a shot at Bulldog’s European title the next week. The match was booked for March 31; on the night, the two went at it with such intensity that many thought the tag team champions had finally gone their separate ways. Then in a shocking moment, the recently turned heel Bret Hart appeared at ringside and stopped the match. Bret appealed to both Owen and Bulldog, talking about the importance of family. Bret got through to both of them and they agreed to put their differences aside and join with Bret to form the new Hart Foundation, an anti-American stable that also included Hart in-law Jim Neidhart and Hart Family friend Brian Pillman.

After forming the Hart Foundation, Owen Hart quickly gained singles gold of his own as he pinned Rocky Maivia to win his first WWF Intercontinental title. This meant that the Hart Foundation held every WWF title except the World title, cementing their dominance over the federation. It was not all success for Owen, though, as he and the British Bulldog lost their tag team titles to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. The team also failed to regain them when Michaels got injured and was replaced by Dude Love. At SummerSlam 1997 the Owen Hart/Steve Austin feud took a nasty turn as a botched piledriver ended up injuring Steve Austin’s neck. The injury was so bad that Austin’s neck never fully recovered and was part of the reason Austin was forced to retire in 2003. Owen also lost his Intercontinental title to Steve Austin that night. Because of the neck injury, Austin was not allowed to compete and was stripped of the title. Although it was an accident, the WWF decided to make it part of the storyline as Owen Hart began wearing a t-shirt patterned after Austin's that read “Owen 3:16/I Just Broke Your Neck.”

Owen Hart fought his way to the finals of the tournament to crown the next Intercontinental champion and was set to face Faarooq at In Your House: Bad Blood. Owen went on to beat Faarooq, surprisingly with Steve Austin’s help. Afterwards, Austin explained that he wanted to beat Owen Hart for the title when he returned and wouldn
t allow Faarooq or anyone else to beat him. His wish came true when Austin returned to action at Survivor Series 1997 in Montreal. On the undercard, Owen lost his title to Austin once again, and then he watched in shock as the infamous Montreal Screwjob took place.

1998–1999
Bret Hart left the Federation after the Montreal Screwjob and both the British Bulldog and Jim Neidhart were granted quick releases from their contracts to jump to WCW. This left Owen Hart as the only Hart family member remaining in the WWF, due to his contractual obligations. Unlike Smith and Neidhart, Vince McMahon did not grant Owen a release from his contract and Owen remained with the company. However, in a later interview, Bulldog claimed that Owen voluntarily stayed with the WWF as he didn't want to pay a huge sum of money to get out of his contract.

Owen was kept off the air for a while. He was not seen or mentioned on WWF programming until he made a surprise appearance after Shawn Michaels retained his title following a disqualification loss to Ken Shamrock at In Your House: D-Generation X where he attacked Michaels. Initially, Owen, by now a face and known as “the Black Hart” as he fought against Shawn Michaels and Hunter Hearst Helmsley which was soon changed to “The Lone Hart” as a reflection of his “lone wolf” status. Owen had a very heated, very emotional feud with DX and won the European title from HHH, although not directly. Goldust dressed up as HHH in an attempt to swerve Owen, but Commissioner Slaughter considered him to be a legitimate replacement. Owen later suffered a kayfabe ankle injury during a match involving Triple H. When Hart joined the commentary at ringside, Triple H managed to draw Owen into an impromptu title match and regained the title in a controversial fashion. With time the Owen Hart/DX feud turned into Owen vs. HHH.

Four weeks after WrestleMania, during a tag team match with Ken Shamrock against D
Lo Brown and Rocky Maivia (later known as The Rock), Owen Hart turned on Shamrock, “snapping” his ankle and “biting his ear” in the process. After the attack on Shamrock, Owen joined the Nation of Domination, claiming that “Enough is enough and it’s time for a change.”

The Nation’s first big feud after Owen joined was against the freshly turned DX, a feud that was a natural for Owen. It was during this feud that one of D-Generation X’s most famous skits occurred as DX parodied the Nation of Domination. The imitation was complete with Jason Sensation dressing up as Owen Hart and coining the phrase “I am not a nugget;” this was in response to Shawn Michaels referring to Owen as a nugget of feces sticking to the side of a toilet bowl, and no matter how many times Shawn Michaels flushed, it kept sticking around and he was unable to get rid of it. “Nugget” became a derisive term that followed Owen for the rest of his career. Owen’s participation in the DX feud was sidetracked when Ken Shamrock returned from injuries dead set on getting revenge on Owen. The two split a pair of specialty matches on PPV, but nothing was ever conclusively settled between them.

Owen Hart remained with the Nation of Domination throughout the year until the stable slowly dissolved, leaving Owen without much direction in the WWF. Owen was seldom seen after SummerSlam 1998 until he teamed with Jeff Jarrett. Owen and Jeff were long time traveling companions and real life friends, a fact that was reflected in their teamwork as they gelled from day one. The two had Jeff’s manager Debra in their corner. During this time a storyline was proposed that Owen Hart was supposed to have an on-screen affair with Debra, something which Owen turned down, because he didn
t want to disrespect his wife and young children.

After a match in which Owen “accidentally injured” Dan Severn, Owen seemingly quit the WWF. Playing off the legit injury Owen had inflicted on Steve Austin about two years before, the angle blurred the lines between reality and “storyline" enough to make people notice. Yet as soon as Owen “quit”, the Blue Blazer appeared in the WWF claiming to in no way be Owen Hart despite it being very obvious who was under the mask. Unlike the first run of the character, the Blazer was now an overbearing, self-righteous heel who treated the edgy Attitude-era WWF with disdain. The gimmick was seen by many as punishment for Owen refusing the love-triangle storyline proposal, however in his brother Bret's autobiography, he claims Owen himself took on the role of the character in an attempt to distance himself from most of WWF’s raunchy storylines at the time. Owen and Jeff would end up making the storyline into such a comical fashion that it was turning both of them face in the process. To prove that Owen was not the Blazer, he showed up besides the Blue Blazer, figuring that’d put an end to it, until someone asked where Jeff Jarrett was (he was under the mask). In a later attempt to prove that neither Owen nor Jeff was the Blazer, they both appeared next to a man in the Blue Blazer mask; however, it was obvious that a black man was under the mask (Owen’s former partner Koko B. Ware wore the Blazer mask that night). On January 25, 1999, in the midst of the Blue Blazer angle Owen and Jeff defeated Ken Shamrock and The Big Boss Man for the tag team titles.

Death
On May 23, 1999, Hart fell to his death in Kansas City, Missouri during the Over the Edge pay-per-view event. Hart was in the process of being lowered via harness and rappel line into the ring from the rafters of Kemper Arena for a booked Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather. In keeping with the Blazer's new “buffoonish superhero” character, he was to begin a dramatic entrance, being lowered to just above ring level, at which time he would act “entangled,” then release himself from the safety harness and fall flat on his face for comedic effect—this necessitated the use of a quick release mechanism. It was an elaboration on a Blue Blazer stunt done previously on the “Sunday Night Heat” before Survivor Series 1998. This time, something went wrong with the stunt harness, apparently triggering the release mechanism early as he was being lowered. Hart fell 78 feet (24 m) into the ring, landing chest-first on the top rope, approximately a foot from the nearest turnbuckle, throwing him into the ring. In Mick Foley's autobiography Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, he claims that following the fall, Hart attempted to sit up and did so before falling back.

Hart had performed the stunt only a few times before and was worried about performing the stunt at the Kemper Arena due to the height involved. Hart's wife Martha has suggested that, by moving around to get comfortable with both the harness and his cape on, Hart unintentionally triggered an early release. TV viewers at home did not see the incident or its aftermath—at the moment of the fall, a pre-taped vignette was being shown on the pay-per-view broadcast as well as on the monitors in the darkened arena. After, while Hart was being worked on by medical personnel inside the ring, the live event’s broadcast showed only the audience. Meanwhile, WWF television announcer Jim Ross repeatedly told those watching live on pay-per-view that what had just transpired was not a wrestling angle or storyline and that Hart was hurt badly, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation. Hart was transported to Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The cause was later revealed to be internal bleeding from blunt chest trauma.

Controversy and lawsuit
The WWF management controversially chose to continue the event, though they were unaware of the severity of Hart’s injury at that time. Later, Jim Ross announced the death of Hart to the home viewers during the pay-per-view, but not to the crowd in the arena. While the show did go on, it has never been released commercially by WWF Home Video, and to this date no footage of Hart's fall has ever been officially released.

In the weeks that followed, much attention was focused on the harness Hart used that night, especially on the “quick release” trigger and safety latches. When someone is lowered from the rafters in a harness, there are backup latches that must be latched for safety purposes. These backups may take some time to unlatch, which would have made Hart’s stunt difficult to perform smoothly. Therefore, it was apparently decided that it was more important not to have the safety backups, because it would be easier for Hart to unlatch himself.

Hart left behind a widow, Martha, and two children, Oje Edward and Athena Christy. Three weeks after the event, the Hart family sued the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) over how dangerous and poorly planned the stunt was, and that the harness system was defective. After over a year and a half into the case, a settlement was reached on November 2, 2000, which saw the WWF give the Hart family $18 million that was distributed among the Hart family. The manufacturer of the harness system was also a defendant against the Hart family, but they were dismissed from the case after the settlement was reached. Martha used the funds to establish the Owen Hart Foundation. Martha wrote a book about Hart's life in 2002 called Broken Harts: The Life and Death of Owen Hart.

In his DVD set Bret “Hit Man” Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be, Bret said that he wishes he had been with the WWF the night Owen's accident happened so he could have stepped in and prevented him from going through with the stunt.

Raw Is Owen
“Raw Is Owen” is the name given to a special live episode of “WWF Raw is War” that aired on May 24, 1999, the night after Hart’s death. It was broadcast live from the Kiel Center in St. Louis. It featured shoot interviews from his fellow wrestlers. According to “Raw Exposed” (a special that aired before the first “Raw” airing on its return to USA Network on October 3, 2005), WWF management gave all wrestlers on the roster the option of working or not. Nevertheless, ten matches were booked with no angles.

The show began with all the wrestlers of the WWF (except the Undertaker) standing on the entrance ramp; Vince McMahon, Linda McMahon, and Stephanie McMahon were at the front of the ramp. Howard Finkel called for a ten-bell salute. Hart’s former Nation of Domination comrades were emotional, most notably Mark Henry, who read a poem that he wrote in memory of Hart. A tribute video narrated by Vince then played on the TitanTron. Throughout the broadcast, personal thoughts on Hart in the form of shoot interviews with various WWF Superstars were played. Before the first commercial break, such thoughts were aired from Mick Foley and Bradshaw. Foley noted that Hart was his son’s favorite wrestler and had proudly gotten a haircut like Owen’s, although he also said his son didn’t quite understand that “nugget” was not a term of endearment. Bradshaw talked about how Hart spent less money on the road than most wrestlers because he wanted to retire early and spend time with his family. Owen’s friend and Nation Of Domination partner The Rock also made a short and memorable speech. The broadcast ended with Stone Cold Steve Austin coming out for a special salute to Hart by climbing the turnbuckle and performing his famous beer guzzling routine, and leaving one beer in the ring ‘for Owen.’

The tribute show scored a Nielsen Ratings score of 7.2, making it one of the highest rated shows in “Raw” history. Shawn Michaels, in his Heartbreak and Triumph autobiography, notes that “Owen is the only guy you could have a 2-hour show for, and no-one would say a bad word about him.” The next day, WWF taped the episode of “Raw” for May 31, 1999. During that show, Jeff Jarrett defeated The Godfather to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship, the title Hart was booked to win at Over the Edge for the third time. Jarrett screamed Hart’s name as the belt was handed to him.

Personal life
He met Martha Joan Patterson in 1982. They married on July 1, 1989, and they had two children. Oje Edward Hart was born on March 5, 1992 and Athena Christie Hart was born on September 23, 1995.

Legacy
With the exception of his banner year in 1994, full time main event status eluded Owen Hart throughout most of his career, and he spent his most formative years (1994-1998) as what is known as a “jobber to the stars,” often losing matches to rising stars at the upper mid-card level, which was consistent with the more classic style of wrestling heel that Hart portrayed throughout much of his career. Future champions Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Steve Austin would receive significant main event pushes after feuding with, and defeating Hart in singles competition. His series of matches with his brother Bret are regarded as being among the best of each man's respective careers.

The best known of Hart’s many, though similar in-ring personas was the “King of Harts” which Owen portrayed during his feud with brother Bret, and especially following his victory at the 1994 King of the Ring. As the King of Harts, Owen portrayed a jealous, sniveling younger brother and frequently accused Bret (kayfabe) of holding back his career, and showed a maniacal zeal for moving out of Bret’s shadow. As such, Owen would use deceptive tactics in his matches and fans took special delight when he lost, a fact often lost to fans in the years following his death. Owen also borrowed Ric Flair’s trademark “Woooo!” during this time and quite literally stole both of his Slammy Awards, which Hart would pretentiously carry to the ring, even going so far as to have the image of the awards and the word winner stitched onto the legs of his singlet. Hart’s zealous and often childish antics endeared him to many fans, though he was accordingly booed by most. Beginning with the formation of the new Hart Foundation however, the childish elements of Hart’s in-ring persona were gradually phased out in favor of a meaner, tougher and more driven character, known as the “Black Hart.” Today, Hart is known as one of the best, and last of the old school wrestling heels, as his characterization of the “bad guy” was rendered virtually obsolete following the rise of wrestling anti-heroes like The Rock and Triple H.

Despite Hart’s heel persona within the ring, he was known for being an extremely down-to-earth and friendly person outside the ring to his fellow wrestlers and fans. Many wrestlers who worked with Hart often cited the hilarious pranks he pulled on people on the road, including phony phone calls to hotel rooms and other hijinks. Others cited Hart’s devotion to his family, and his very frugal spending on the road to help save money.

As a tribute to his brother Owen, Bret Hart wrestled Hart Family friend Chris Benoit on the October 4, 1999 edition of “Nitro” at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, which was the site of Owen's death earlier in the year.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Shit Gets Smashed

Here’s an all-but-forgotten comp of (mostly) East Bay bands that were around during the scene’s supposed “dead” period of the mid-‘90s. Green Day were blowing up on MTV, rendering the local pop punk scene to irrelevance save for a few stellar bands like Tilt and American Steel. (Believe it or not, both of those bands were SOLID live.) In response to mainstream pop punk, a number of ex-members of melodic East Bay bands formed new groups that shifted to a much darker sound—what people refer to as “Oakland crustcore.”

This sound was also the product of people who moved here from the suburbs to be a part of the East Bay punk dream expressed on records or in zines like Absolutely Zippo or Cometbus. Instead, they found that those fantasies often had very little in common with the gritty reality of Berkeley and Oakland’s streets at the time. The drugs of choice became harder, the music was heavier, and most of the lyrical content didn’t exactly carry the upbeat, positive energy that many of the earlier East Bay/Gilman bands had. (That is, if you could even figure out what the fuck they were actually trying to say aside from wanting to commit suicide.) The old guard—such as former Lookout Records mogul Larry Livermore and Absolutely Zippo editor/ex-Blatz guitarist Robert Eggplant—weren’t down with this darker vibe, and with good reason. That lifestyle ruined the lives of some of their old friends, in particular Rich “Lucky Dawg” Gargano (ex-Fifteen/Crummy Musicians/etc.), who met a most unfortunate demise in the winter of 1997.

But there was no denying that this new sound—influenced by bands like Buzzov-en and the late ‘80s UK stenchcore scene—was much more compelling than the typical pop punk or ska/punk that the East Bay was known for during the 1990s. Unfortunately, most of these bands would crash and burn within a year or two after this comp was released, causing certain “movers and shakers” in the scene to believe that this generation of East Bay punks were unreliable. Subsequently, when they formed new bands in the late-‘90s, groups like Murder Takes No Holiday and Pig Iron were treated unfairly and denied opportunities to play bigger shows because they were seen as a waste of time. Sad, but true.

Shit Gets Smashed was released in December of 1995 by East Bay Menace, a short-lived label run by Lenny Rokk/Strychnine and photographer Murray Bowles. I remember buying my copy from Lenny at a show my crappy old band played at Berkeley’s Old Northside Theatre, where we opened for a few of the bands included here. It’s not often that I break out this comp, but when I do, I’m reminded of a time when yours truly attended “Oakland crustcore” shows as one of the only punk kids in the crowd that still had a big Mohawk and a pair of Doc Martens. As much as I enjoyed the bands, I was very much against the rising crust trend taking place in the East Bay. Kids were cutting off their spiky hair in favor of dyed-black dreadlocks, and trading in their punk records for crustcore stuff that they’d completely dissed practically a week before. If you were a younger kid like me and kept your Mohawk or liberty spikes, chances were you’d get made fun of and have to endure constant peer pressure to conform to the newest trend. In response, we would call those kids “insta-crustys” (“add dirt, watch crusty grow”), and slam the shit out of them in the pit. Out of all of those stupid kids, there wasn’t even one who managed to remain consistent and stick around. And to this day, I have never given in and gotten dreadlocks, thank you very much!

The older people in that scene wouldn’t exactly demand that you conform to their standards the way kids my age would. Instead, they’d just be complete and total assholes. Or they’d simply pretend you didn’t exist. There were exceptions to the rule though. The Skaven guys were friendly enough, particularly vocalist Zeb and infamous bassist and womanizer Mike Matusio. Greg Valencia from Eldopa could always be counted on for ‘80s thrash metal recommendations, in which he would express much regret over cutting up his old metal record covers to decorate his bedroom as a kid. Ira from Ojorojo was always a friendly dude. Can’t forget DaveEd from Neurosis, who was worshipped like a god by those people. There certainly were others, but for the most part, the so-called “Oakland crustys” were a bunch of rotten scumbags who had no time for anyone outside of their social circle…unless you had drugs and booze for them to leech off of. Fortunately, most of those people have grown up (literally and figuratively) or moved on from the local scene.

Despite my feelings towards that end of the scene at the time, those shows were fun. And influential in a way—I figured out which direction I DIDN’T want my life to go. Meaning that I had no interest in trying to impress others by being an alcoholic/drug addict, living in dicey neighborhoods that would only further fuel my misery. I watched friends go down that path and never return. Some of them are dead, while others are still in the throes of heroin addiction more than ten years later, and any grasp of reality that they had was lost a long time ago. I wish I could turn back the clock and enjoy that time with my friends all over again…when we were young, dumb, and enthusiastic about brutal punk rock, attending those backyard keggers on Fairview and Adeline. As harsh as some of these words are, those are the memories that I have which revolve around Shit Gets Smashed.

Enough of my reminiscing about the scene. Let’s take a quick look at each band on an individual basis, shall we? And then I’m outta here.

HOT ROD SHOPPING CART: Featured Dave “KoKo” Chavez, bassist extraordinaire for Sick Pleasure, Code of Honor, Verbal Abuse, most recently Slightly Creepy, and undoubtedly many others. It’s a bit more of a rock ‘n’ roll take on the early ‘80s SF punk style. Not bad, but they never really did much for me. An unreleased recording supposedly puts this material to shame, but since I’m not a part of the East Bay in-crowd, I’ve never heard it. Such is life.

MULTI-FACET: When I first saw them in late 1994, they were a melodic pop punk band, and a laughable one at that. Within a few months, they’d dumped those songs, started wearing black clothing, and were actually one of the first bands to adopt that dark hardcore sound. Vocalist Jenean was something of a wet dream to teenage punk boys in the scene who had yet to lose their virginity. (Personally, I had a much bigger crush on Adrienne/Spitboy when she still had that Mohawk with the spider web patterns shaved into the sides. Fucking. Hot.) Uh, anyway, Multi-Facet released a 7-inch and a split EP with Sheephead before splitting up in October of 1995.

OJOROJO: I’ll never know why the mighty Cancer Alley chose to change their name to Ojorojo and frankly, I don’t think I want to. “Ojorojo” means “red eye” in Spanish, so we used to make fun of them for the obvious marijuana implications. Jon Sumrall from Econochrist teaming up with Grimple’s rhythm section had a lot of promise, but this band never seemed to be able to keep it together long enough to become an unstoppable force. Sumrall sings on these tunes (“there are no lyrics, just random rantings”), but Ojorojo had become an instrumental band by the time this comp was released in the winter of 1995. Shortly after, they adopted Jenean/Multi-Facet as their vocalist and recorded a full-length that I’ll post here at some point. Ojorojo fizzled out in late 1997 or early 1998.

MICKEY & THE BIG MOUTHS: I used to love chugging those grenade-shaped bottles of Mickey’s, and obviously, these guys did too. A fun drunk punk band from the North Bay that never played much around the Oakland/Berkeley area, and I believe they were down with the original Pirate Punks crew long before Marcus da Anarchist (aka Chief Blackdawg) even thought to use that name for his shows. I still love their song “Chonch,” which is unfortunately not included here. But these songs are good too.

LOADED: Drunk punk outfit from the San Jose area, and that’s really all I know. “Suffer in Pain” did a better job of articulating anti-political correctness than Oppressed Logic’s “PC Full of Shit,” in my opinion.

SQUAT: Squat was a San Francisco band that I knew very little about. I definitely saw things from an East Bay/Gilman perspective, which didn’t have much room for SF bands that more than likely made their rounds on the bar scene. But these ladies were down with plenty of bands and people around here, so I imagine that they had their fair share of fans and all that. New Red Archives released a Squat CD in 1996 that I’ve seen in the clearance bins. For the most part, the other bands they played in don’t register on my radar, but Pamela went on to play guitar for Cruevo and now plays as “Agnes Young” in AC/DSHE.

ELDOPA: I know bands like AFI and Screw 32 had a much higher profile during this time, but I don’t care. If you were truly down with the local underground scene at this time, you knew for a fact that Eldopa were THEE BAND to see from 1995-1997. No joke, Eldopa was the shit. I believe I saw a majority of their local shows, and would always marvel over how each set would somehow manage to top the previous one’s intensity. The pit action would get violent, but that’s just how it was. You would dance harder and faster when Eldopa took the stage, because that was what the situation dictated. They lost a lot of their momentum in mid-1997 when a Boston band of the same name threatened to sue over the intellectual property, forcing Eldopa to change their name to the silly teenage metal moniker 1332. (Divide that number by half and you’ll see what I mean by that.) However, there wasn’t a single person in the scene who bothered to go along with that name change unless they happened to be a total fuckin’ poser. These songs were recorded when Greg Valencia was still the frontman handling all vocal duties, which is why they don’t sound as beefed-up as their future recordings.

STRYCHNINE: Ex-members of Filth and Econochrist, but this band had more in common musically with Capitol Punishment, the longtime Fresno band that vocalist Jimi Haze (also of Hell’s Kitchen) was in for a spell. I think had Strychnine come together at any other time besides the mid-‘90s, they would have done well for themselves. But there wasn’t much of a place for straight up punk rock in the East Bay at this time, and they were already thought of as old hat by the time crowds outside of the SF bar scene would have been receptive to them. Living proof that it’s not always about who you know. Strychnine weren’t bad, but it really depended on what kind of environment you saw them in. True story: when I was 19, I once managed to keep up with Jimi drinking straight whiskey at a party in East Oakland. NOT an easy feat to accomplish, nor was it something I ever tried to do again.

APEFACE: You can’t help but laugh at a band who consisted of a bunch of (supposedly) crack-smoking crusty degenerates…and clean-cut Rob from Krupted Peasant Farmerz on drums. For an all-too-brief time, this San Jose outfit were considered one of the best bands in the area, which was based almost entirely on one gig opening for Multi-Facet’s last show. Their split LP with Zero Hour was great, but they’d run out of steam by the time they’d released their full-length. However, you will find the very best representations of their music right here.

MASTERBAITER: For some reason, I believe they hailed from the San Jose area. Other than that, I have no clue. And they didn’t even spell their song title correctly—isn’t it supposed to be “Diazepam”?


TRACK LIST:
1. Speed [Hot Rod Shopping Cart]
2. The Snake [Hot Rod Shopping Cart]
3. Ghost [Multi-Facet]
4. Mirror [Multi-Facet]
5. Eight [Ojorojo]
6. Nine [Ojorojo]
7. Less Than Human [Mickey & the Big Mouths]
8. Meth Breath [Mickey & the Big Mouths]
9. Suffer in Pain [Loaded]
10. She [Squat]
11. Misery [Squat]
12. Ed [Eldopa]
13. Repercussion [Eldopa]
14. Sounds of Seduction [Strychnine]
15. Shit Outta Luck [Strychnine]
16. Slaves [Apeface]
17. The End is the Beginning [Apeface]
18. Diazapam [Masterbaiter]

Friday, May 15, 2009

Short Wave Warfarce

Here’s a show that I would have liked to have attended: Neurosis at Gilman in April of 1990, playing a twenty-song set of their now-classic shit from Pain of Mind, The Word as Law, and the Pollution 7-inch. Econochrist, Filth, and Blister were also on the bill; and the show was Listed as a Neurosis benefit. (I also have the Econochrist and Filth sets, but those will have to be uploaded some other time.) But alas, I turned twelve earlier that month, and bands like Neurosis had yet to register on my radar. For those of you who are familiar with an old Neurosis live bootleg titled Short Wave Warfare, I believe this is it…except a million times better. I haven’t listened to that bootleg in eons, but I remember that the songs were out of order, with bad sound quality and inaccurate info. All of those problems are corrected here with the complete set that was recorded straight from the Gilman soundboard. Three of the songs are instrumentals, none of which came out as finished songs on any of the future Neurosis records. Thanks to my good friend Dan Hashthrash over at KillThatCat.com for converting my tape to MP3.


This propaganda was recorded on 4/28/90 at 924 Gilman Street.


Disc 1
Disc 2


DISC 1:
1. Insensitivity
2. Pollution
3. Life on Your Knees
4. Double Edged Sword
5. Day of the Lords [Joy Division]
6. Grey
7. United Sheep
8. To What End
9. Shallow
10. Black
11. Instrumental #1


DISC 2:
12. Common Inconsistencies
13. Obsequious Obsolescence
14. Nonsense
15. Pain of Mind
16. Instrumental #2
17. Tomorrow’s Reality
18. Blisters
19. Self Doubt
20. Instrumental #3

Friday, May 8, 2009

Here to Ruin Your Groove


The Evil Eye is joining the MP3 blog ranks, and our first post is none other than Antiseen’s 1996 album Here to Ruin Your Groove. The text that follows was taken directly from the first (and currently only) issue of The Evil Eye in print form.


Here to Ruin Your Groove is the record that exemplifies what Antiseen is all about, at least in my opinion. The album kicks it off into high gear early with “Ugly American,” a fast-paced tune with humorous lyrics extolling the virtues of American icons like King Kong, bleached blondes, auto racing, and pro wrestling. Speaking of wrestling, there is also a good stompin’ number titled “Funk U,” paying a fitting tribute to that middle-aged and crazy hardcore rasslin’ legend from the Double Cross Ranch in Amarillo, Texas; Terry Funk, whose in-ring career has spanned four decades. “We Got This Far (Without You)” is an Antiseen anthem if there ever was one, a cowbell-laden “fuck you” to the band’s detractors. The centerpiece of the album is a great song titled “Billy the Kid,” which is of course about one of America’s outlaw icons. A bit different than the standard Antiseen fare, this song sees Jeff Clayton tempering his trademark growl somewhat with favorable results and a chorus that recalls many a great country song that you can’t help but sing along to. Extra flavor that makes the song that much better is the use of a banjo and a Clavichord by engineer Jamie Hoover.


“Self Induced Lobotomy,” “OD For Me,” and “Justifiable Homicide” are all revved-up punk songs that recall the heavy influence the Ramones have had on Antiseen’s sound. There is also a cover of the great Alice Cooper’s “Sick Things,” that disturbingly quiet ditty from Billion Dollar Babies. It sounds considerably different in Antiseen’s hands, and features lead guitar work from Michael Bruce of the Alice Cooper Band. For anyone that is sick of hearing bad Lynyrd Skynyrd covers, Antiseen’s rendition of “Needle and the Spoon” is faithful to the point where the late Ronnie Van Zandt’s brother Johnny contacted the band personally to give his approval. “Fornication” is one of the classic Antiseen songs that seamlessly blends punk and Southern rock, with Clayton scratching on a washboard to boot. And ending the album much like it started is “Fuck All Y’all,” another fast-paced Antiseen classic, re-recorded from their previous LP Eat More Possum. Let’s not forget the odd spoken interludes by Kelly “The Dean of Sods” Dean, which do nothing but add to the overall vibe. I’ve read numerous reviews that make the claim that Antiseen is best as a singles band, but with an album like Here to Ruin Your Groove, that’s certainly up for debate. By and large, not only is this Antiseen’s finest work, but it’s also their most accessible.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Playboy Buddy Rose RIP

Playboy Buddy Rose, born Paul Perschmann, a local wrestling institution in the Pacific Northwest who later garnered a national following with stints on national TV with the WWF and AWA, passed away on 4/28 at his home in Vancouver, WA. He was 56, born November 15, 1952, always noted as being the same day Randy Savage was born.


Rose, who had complained to friends of late about having blood sugar issues related to diabetes, brought on because he was so heavy, was found dead by his wife of 18 years, Tammy Perschmann at 4 p.m. when she got home. He had apparently passed away in his favorite chair while watching television. She had seen him a few hours earlier when she came home for lunch. Rose was best known as a comedy jobber in the WWF at the tail end of his career when he weighed well over 320 pounds. His gimmick was that they would announce him at a certain weight, in the AWA it was 271 pounds and later 317 pounds when he got heavier, and he would then correct the ring announcer, saying, “I do not weigh 271 pounds,” telling the announcer he read a digit wrong, or the digits were transposed, and that he was, “A slim, trim 217 pounds.”


But in his prime in Portland, between 1976 and 1984. including setting gate records in virtually every city in the circuit when he feuded with Roddy Piper, he was one of the best main event heels in the industry. Piper used to nickname him both the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the Michelin Tire Dummy after pear shaped figures in TV commercials, while Rose set Piper’s kilt on fire once, and the two had hair vs. hair and loser leaves town matches.


Rose was unique in that even when he was younger, he could play the part but he didn’t look the part. He has bleached hair and called himself a Playboy, but he hardly looked the part, but could get serious heat doing so because people didn’t buy the idea he really had women all over him. During his WWF run when he worked on top against WWF champion Bob Backlund and Intercontinental title holder Pedro Morales in 1982, at major shows he would have pretty women with him (for a trivia note, one of his valets during that period later became known as Sensational Sherri Martel), which got him even more heat. Besides working with Piper, one of his most memorable feuds was with Matt Borne, particularly after, in real life, he married Matt’s sister, and later divorced her, which was worked into an angle, which was groundbreaking in wrestling at the time.


He also could be described as, perhaps similar to Ray Stevens (when he first came to San Francisco in 1978, promoter Roy Shire billed him as reminding him of a young Ray Stevens, the area’s wrestling legend with the idea of building to a program between the two), as a great athlete who looked anything but athletic. Rose was the scheduled opponent of U.S. champion Lonnie “Moondog” Mayne at the Cow Palace in a match where Rose was going to win the title when Mayne passed away a few days earlier in an auto accident driving to the TV tapings in Sacramento.


The relationship between Shire and Rose turned sour after a dispute between the two which saw Rose grab the mic at a show at the Cow Palace on June 8, 1979, and told fans that pro wrestling was fake and that Shire picked who would win and lose every match. Security, thinking it was a bizarre part of the show, did nothing, while an enraged Shire came out of the back and pulled the power on the mic. For all the talk of how something like that would get you blackballed out of the business or worse 30 years ago, Rose never believed he got any heat over it, although it did end the business relationship between Shire and the Portland office and Rose never worked for Shire again.


Rose played Ice Hockey and baseball and was good in both sports, but even when he was on top had what could be called an unathletic physique, which later went to overweight and by the latter stages of his career, and in his post- wrestling career, had to be pushing 400 which led to the onset of diabetes. He was a great natural worker, and could do everything he needed to do with a perfect sense of timing. He never went to the gym and rarely watched his diet, yet had an open challenge to wrestlers to race him and even at 240 pounds, it was four years in the Portland territory before someone beat him in a sprint. Even when he was close to 300 pounds, he’d do a series of one-arm push-ups in the ring as part of his heel gimmick.


Rose, by the time of the national expansion was relegated to working as a prelim guy even though he was one of the most talented wrestlers on the roster, because his physique was such they felt they couldn’t push him in the bodybuilder dominated era. But he holds the distinction of being in the first Wrestlemania match ever, under a mask as The Executioner, losing to Tito Santana in the opening match at Wrestlemania I on March 31, 1985, in Madison Square Garden. He received a $700 payoff for the match and quit the promotion over it.


Besides being one of the favorite wrestlers of Dwayne Johnson (Rocky Johnson worked a headline program with Rose in Oregon in 1982), he was also instrumental in the early career of Shawn Michaels. Michaels’ first national exposure would have been in the AWA, teaming with Marty Jannetty as the Midnight Rockers, and they had a great series of matches against Rose & Doug Somers for the AWA tag team titles in 1986 when the AWA aired weekly on ESPN. It was one of those matches, a bloodbath from Las Vegas, that got Michaels & Jannetty their first WWF contract, even though they only lasted a day or two before they were fired.


One of the funniest comedy segments in the history of Saturday Night’s Main Event was when Rose was well over 330 pounds, and they did a mock diet commercial on the show called the Buddy Rose “Blow Away” Diet, where he had Tide detergent blown on him.


As Paul Perschmann, he grew up in the Minneapolis area and was a long-time AWA fan, growing up friends with Mick Karch, who later became a TV announcer and ran Nick Bockwinkel’s fan club. Perschmann was a referee in the AWA starting in 1971, and was invited to break in the next year going through the brutal Verne Gagne and Billy Robinson training camp. He was in the same camp/torture session with Ric Flair, Greg Gagne, Jim Brunzell, The Iron Sheik and Ken Patera, but the camp was brutal and like Flair, he quit. Billy Robinson roughed everyone up in camp, but it was said that Robinson took special delight in humiliating him and bullying him. But he came back a year later in the 1973 camp that included Sgt. Slaughter and the late Chris Taylor, and started working in the AWA. His first pro match was later that year against Bob Remus, who became Slaughter.


Buddy Rose, a takeoff on Buddy Rogers, was a wrestling name that others in small territories had used before him (there was a Buddy Rose that worked both California circuits as a job guy and Arizona in the early 70s), although no other wrestler became famous with it. After breaking in the AWA, he went to Kansas City, where he met long-time tag team partner Ed Wiskoski (Col. Ed DeBeers) for the first time. He also went to Texas, and was the opponent in Kevin Von Erich’s pro debut. Fritz Von Erich had a good relationship with Don Owen and opened the door for him to go to Oregon in 1976, where he took the Playboy Buddy Rose name, billed himself as being from Las Vegas, and got his career break, quickly forming a tag team with Jesse Ventura and feuding with local favorites Dutch Savage & Jimmy Snuka on top.


He was so successful in the area, earning in excess of $50,000 per year in the late 70s, which was big money for a small territory wrestler, that he made Portland his home and worked most of his career there. By the mid-90s, with no full-time promotion in Oregon, he was working part time and hadn’t wrestled in several years. In recent years, he Wiskoski ran a wrestling school and a large percentage of the current area independent talent came through the school. The school closed a few months back.