Thursday, April 28, 2011

Now I've Seen Everything #15: Buttafuoco Kid Sings "Nu Thang"

Thanks to commenter Marco... Now playing at Christian Nightmares!

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I Read a Book: Evel

After my Evel Knievel biography was published in 2000, the next Evel bio appeared in 2004, written by a Brit named Stuart Barker and titled Life of Evel. Though I was eager to read it, I was disappointed to find it largely a rewrite of my book, often bordering on plagiarism...
Mandich, p. 146: “Following Snake River, Warner had signed Evel to a three-picture deal, beginning with Viva Knievel!. Unlike the 1971 biography in which George Hamilton played Evel, Viva was a fictional action picture starring Evel as himself.”

Barker, p. 176: “Following Snake River, Warner Bros. had signed Evel to a three-picture deal, and the first was to be Viva. It was not to be an updated biography following on from George Hamilton’s 1971 Evel Knievel movie, but rather a fictional action-adventure with Evel starring as himself.”

Anyway, upon hearing last year that Sports Illustrated's Leigh Montville had his own Evel bio in the works, I was eager to read it as well, but also wary of another knockoff. At long last, Montville's 400-page Evel arrived on Tuesday, and I've spent the past couple days plowing through it. So...

I liked it! Instead of a rehash of all the stuff in my book, I was pleased to find that Montville had explored the various eras of Evel's life in much more depth than I did, turning up lots of good information and anecdotes that I hadn't known about before. While my book was steeped in dates and places and facts and figures, and relied heavily on previously published sources (I made a point of including as many of Evel's most obnoxious quotes as I could find), Montville interviewed many of the big names Evel crossed paths with, such as Frank Gifford, Brent Musburger, Linda Evans and George Hamilton. He also talked to many less-flashy supporting characters -- a childhood friend, a cellmate, an old hockey teammate. My book spent large chunks exploring son Robbie's daredevil career, as well as the careers of many of Evel's other imitators; I also wrote lots about Evel's ongoing impact on pop culture, much of which involving the loads of Knievel-related media and merchandise released in the '70s. In contrast, Montville mostly stuck to the many wild stories that were a constant in Evel's life, relating them with the flourish of a seasoned biographer. Still, he glossed over the 30-odd years between Evel's retirement and his 2007 death in the final chapter, while I spent maybe a third of my book covering Evel's post-daredevil career... Overall, Montville's book is a solid complement to mine, and vice-versa.

However, though I didn't think it possible, Montville far surpassed my book in demonstrating that Evel was a colossal asshole -- a violent, abusive, drunken, mean-spirited, philandering, egomaniacal bully, whose m.o. was to lie, cheat and steal his way through life. Among Montville's juicier bits: Evel's FBI file (released in 2008) suggested he hired goons to beat up his daredevil rivals; a couple interviewees said that Evel himself beat his wife Linda (not surprising, though nothing I've actually read in print before); not only did Evel regularly dine-and-dash, but he also pulled a midnight heal-and-dash from a hospital; he once rudely referred to George Foreman and Muhammad Ali as, as Bob Arum politely put it, "another word for 'African Americans'" (also not surprising). Evel had an anti-Semitic streak too (currently listed on eBay by Evel's son Kelly: EVEL KNIEVEL ORIG 1977 ANTI SEMITIC LAWSUIT PAPERWORK -- bidding is now at $51!).

But hey, Evel's jumps were still cool.

Almost as entertaining as Montville's book is its reception by the knuckleheads on the Ultimate Evel Knievel Fan Board...
Posted by Jeff on April 27, 2011, 1:56 am
Did this really say that Evel beat up Linda and the kids? Wow. Has anyone here ever met Linda? That would be like beating up Mother Theresa. If all this is true, its no wonder that Robbie left home at 16. Bob, surely you aren't liking this book, right?

Posted by Bob on April 27, 2011, 3:18 am
Im not even reading the book after what you told me before. Not buying it or giving the guy that wrote it one dime of my money. But thats just me. I have no interest in the book what so ever. To me it was never even written...I removed all info on ordering or promoting the book on my site and canceled my order sometime ago..

Posted by Dave Whiting on April 27, 2011, 11:29 am
I looked forward to this new EK book for months. I haven’t even made it half way through and I’m already ticked that this guy got a red cent of my money. As far as I’m concerned, I doubt this guy ever even met Evel or knew anything about him and had absolutely no business writing a book about Evel Knievel other than to just cash in on the name. I hope the royalties to the Knievel estate are stinkin HIGH ! If anyone out there who hasn’t already paid for this, Don’t waste your money!!! It's a real rip off !!!

Posted by Jeff on April 27, 2011, 12:46 pm
We should all just pass around one copy and not put any more money into this guys hands.

Posted by Bob on April 27, 2011, 3:40 pm
All i can say is thanks to Jeff for the heads up on the book. Which not only saved me money but didn't give this guy any of my money. I think everyone who truly loves and cares about Evel, If you read the book or not. Should go to and rag on this guy for your book review..I the way i like Jeff's idea,let everyone that cares pass the book around and then we will burn it.

Posted by Scott on April 28, 2011, 8:21 pm
Mine came in today. I missed the thread about how negative the book is. Not even going to open it. Sending it back on Monday.

Posted by Bob on April 29, 2011, 12:02 am
Thats the way you do it Scott..good man..
Man, I can't wait to see their Amazon reviews ...

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy 60th, Ace!

The Spaceman hits the big six-oh today.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cool Stuff Now!

Two killer items were officially released today: the new Evel Knievel biography by Sports Illustrated senior writer Leigh Montville (above), and the Rolling Stones' The Singles: 1971-2006 box set (below)...

First impressions: the Evel bio is twice as long as mine, though I'm pleased to see that Montville still found room for a shout-out:
I seemed to refer often to Evel Incarnate, a fine book by Steve Mandich that lays out the grid of the famous daredevil's life. Mandich also has a website,, that contains all things Knievel. Highly recommended.
Sweet. I'm also glad that Montville didn't perpetuate Evel's bullshit coma story, which has been erroneously repeated by The New York Times and pretty much every other major news outlet. Especially nice that he credited this very blog with its debunking...
Knievel biographer Steve Mandich noted in his blog that within two years [of Evel's Caesars Palace crash] a story appeared in the September 1969 issue of Science and Mechanics claiming that Knievel "suffered a severe brain concussion." The statement quickly grew from there to an almost routine Knievel reponse that he had been in a coma for twenty-nine days after the Caesars Palace crash. A basic part of his story, totally bogus, was that he landed in Southern Nevada Memorial Hospital in a coma and woke up twenty-nine days later and was famous.
I'll post a full review of the book once I've read it.

As for the Stones box, I already own most of the stuff on there, but there are still a bunch of B-sides I haven't heard (as well as, um, eight different mixes of "Out of Control," a tune that wasn't so hot to begin with). Also, I'm a sucker for the nifty packaging. So there.

Lastly, the Canucks finally vanquished the longstanding burr in their playoff saddle, the Chicago Blackhawks, in tonight's thrilling game seven overtime win. Alex Burrows (below) netted both Vancouver goals.

The 'Nucks dodged a fucking bullet. Next up: the Nashville Sexual Predators.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Now I've Seen Everything #14: DC Talk

For this special Easter edition of NISE comes DC Talk -- Decent Christian Talk -- kickin' it old school. This made Baby Jesus shit the manger.

From FourFour via Everything is Terrible! via Christian Nightmares.

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Bigfoot Re-Re-Remix!

The good folks at Everything is Terrible! compiled this X-rated, NFSW video from a bunch of Bigfoot movie and TV clips. Many of these are listed on my Bigfoot on Film page, including Bigfoot: The Unforgettable Encounter, The Capture of Bigfoot, The Geek, iCarly, Little Bigfoot, Night of the Demon, Shriek of the Mutilated, The Six Million Dollar Man, and To Catch a Yeti, starring Meat Loaf.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

It Was 20 Years Ago Today: Johnny Thunders Dies

April 23, 1991: Punk guitar god dies a mysterious death in New Orleans -- read more here.

Devil raised a good boy.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Birdland Baseball

Eliza's folks treated us to a ballgame in Baltimore tonight. Above, The Bird eats Eliza's head; below, a field guide to the many Orioles seen throughout Camden Yards...

Like on the backside of the giant scoreboard...

On the pressbox...

And on a program stand...

Oh, and the game was good too. For the record, the Twins beat the O's, 3-1.


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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Southern Accents

A couple more shots from Atlanta: above, Hank Aaron's 715th home run marker in the Turner Field parking lot; below, a view from the lounge atop the Peachtree Plaza Hotel (click to enlarge, if you want to sorta see the ballpark in the middle distance)...

Sunday I picked up a rental car and motored toward Washington, where yesterday I met up with Eliza at her parents' house, and where we've been ever since. On the drive north I spotted Mr. Waffle (have since been punching myself in the face that I didn't stop to eat there) as well as Crazy Steve's, both in South Carolina...

In North Carolina I took in my first-ever International League game, watching the Durham Bulls clobber the Gwinnett Braves, 18-7. Here's a big bull sign above the stadium's "Blue Monster"...

I dined at Waffle House and spent the night at a Holiday Inn, both in Raleigh. (The Carolinas mark the 41st and 42nd states I've visited, leaving only Alabama, Iowa, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Vermont.)

Yesterday, just before dropping off the car in Arlington, Virginia, I had a half-smoke at Weenie Beenie...

Then today in D.C. I had another half-smoke at Ben's Chili Bowl, where Ben's widow Virginia complimented me on my Nationals cap!

Orioles/Twins Thursday.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mostly Clear Night in Georgia

Ah, that's more like it.

Still way down south in Dixie, in the land of cotton, Richard Jewell, Steve Bartkowski, Whatizit and the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show. After tonight's ballgame, Turner Field is now the 25th current stadium I’ve been to a game at, and 31st overall, leaving only Toronto, Minnesota, Chicago (Cubs), Florida (Marlins), and Tampa Bay (Rays). I had a Georgia Dog and Tomahawk Amber Ale.

My history with the Braves started as a teenager in the '80s, watching "America’s Team" on SuperStation WTBS, if only to catch opposing NL stars like Dwight Gooden, Tony Gwynn and Dave Parker. In the early '90s, seeing Ted Turner and Jane Fonda doing the Tomahawk Chop on TV was fairly annoying, but after observing it in person tonight, I've decided it's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever seen in all the live sports events I've ever attended. (Except for Turner Field's illiterate, 40-foot Chik-fil-A cow statue, which also does the Chop.) The stupidest rainout thing I've ever seen was last night, when the stadium video screen showed a lengthly Chipper Jones bow hunting video.

Anyway, I'm still glad I went. For the record, the Bravos beat the Ny Mets squadron, 4-2. Due to last night's rainout, it rescheduled as the second game of tonight's doubleheader. However, I missed the first game due to sightseeing, much of it spent on rotating platforms. First I spun around on the Cyclorama, viewing a four-story, 360-degree Civil War oil painting. Then I spun around atop the Peachtree Plaza Hotel, 73 floors up (I'm a total sucker for observation decks).

Elsewhere, I strolled around Phillips Arena (home of the Thrashers and Hawks) and the Georgia Dome (home of the Falcons) and took the CNN tour, which was fairly cool. However, being a Saturday, there wasn't any live broadcasting to be seen. (In the CNN gift shop, you can buy a CNN snuggie and/or a Dale Gribble "Guns Don't Kill People, The Government Does" T-shirt.) At the Varsity, I had a chili dog, a chili burger and a Coke (had to have at least one here).

Other ballpark photos: in the cool Braves museum, a sleeve patch on Ralph Garr's jersey...

The Powerpuff Girls' house at "Tooner Field"...

And the Hammer statue outside the ballpark...

Suck it, Bonds.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Rainy Night in Georgia

Feels like it's raining all over the world.

I'm in Hotlanta, or Shitlanta, or the ALT or whatever it's called. Home of Spud Webb, Wolf Blitzer, Billy Beer, Outkast, David Cross, the Black Lips, Ty Cobb, Gladys Knight, the Pips, and Chief Noc-A-Homa. Sadly, tonight's Braves/Mets game was rained out. I've been to a few games with rain delays, but this was only my third all-out rainout (the others being in Texas and at Wrigley Field). Instead, I updated Super Ichiro Crazy while watching the Canucks/Blackhawks game in my room at the Marriott (sure enough, inside the nightstand is The Book of the Mormons).

In case you were wondering, I have been here before, but it was just an overnight layover when I was a kid in the late '70s, on a family vacation to New York. I think we stayed at a Motel 6 near the airport.

Anyway, tonight's game will be made up during tomorrow's doubleheader. After all, tomorrow is another day.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy 87th, Jack!

Jack T. Chick, purveyor of a zillion batshit kookoo Christian mini-comics, hits the big eight-seven today.

I don't have much to add that hasn't already been written about his work (myself, I already wrote a fair amount in Heinous #3), except that it appears his funnybook empire is a strong as ever.

Anyway, his official site is always a hoot, and jeez, I'm jealous that I didn't create this cover gallery myself.


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Friday, April 01, 2011

Your Attention Please: Super Ichiro Crazy!

Ladies and germs, I'm pleased to present my new blog, Super Ichiro Crazy!

It'll track Ichiro's performance during his 2011 season (which begins tonight), and act as a sort of complement to my Ichiro fan page, also called Super Ichiro Crazy!

This is my second subject-specifc blog, following last year's Quatchi Watch. But, unlike during the first three months of Quatchi Watch, I plan to keep current with this here general-interest blog (even if it's just of general interest to me).

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