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 Posted: Tue Jul 18th, 2017 02:43 pm
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Qaenos

 

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This is a continuation of the conversation that started in the thread (http://sportsandwrestling.mywowbb.com/forum4/41618.html).  There WongLee told us he worked as security for nightclubs in NYC, under the tutelage of a Hells Angel.   He had some good stories in that thread and I remember he shared other great stories before, talking about vintage NYC events (wrestling, rock, etc) that he worked or attended.  So, I'm starting this thread hoping he will share more stories.  If anyone else wants to chime in and ask more questions or even share their own stories from NYC during the 1970s and 1980s, feel free to do so.

I'll start with wrestling at Madison Square Garden:

Q1:  What MSG wrestling events did you attend?  What was your first / last?

Q2: What kind of seats did you have?  Did you just attend them as a regular guy off the street?  Did you work security?  Did you have any inside connections?


Q3:  Did you ever meet any of the wrestlers, announcers or anyone else associated with wrestling we might know?  Did you ever go backstage?  Did you ever see any wrestling groupies? 


Q4: There were many wrestling events at MSG that were blacked out.  Any stories or anything from one of those blacked out MSG cards that we might find interesting?  For example, being a huge Snuka mark, I've always wondered about that April 1982 show where Backlund got stretchered out after taking the splash from Snuka (in his MSG debut).


Q5:  I believe I heard you talk about how crazy over Pedro Morales was during his WWWF title run and that due to the lack of videotape footage, that fact has kind of been lost to fans over the years who never got a chance to see the reaction live.  Anything else that you remember from being there live that might not be well known today to those (like myself) who only watch what's been left behind on tape?  For example, were certain wrestlers more or less over than they are given credit for nowadays?


Q6:  Who are your favorite wrestlers?  Who did you like to see live?  What did you think of Superstar Billy Graham's infamous heel title run during 1977/78?  How did you feel about Backlund as champ?


Q7:  What are the best matches you saw at MSG?


Q8:  If you could go back in time to one MSG card, what would it be?


Q9:  Did you attend any other cards at other venues during the 1970s/1980s?  What was different about attending a card at MSG compared to Boston Garden, Philly Spectrum, etc.?


Q10:  Anything cool / different / memorable about going to MSG wrestling shows that sticks out that might be interesting?  For a while there, they had a no kids policy at MSG wrestling.  Did this make the atmosphere seem a little more adult/serious/dangerous as opposed to another venue where kids were there and it might have been more family friendly?  For example, maybe drunks / smoking weed, etc., was more tolerated at MSG because there were no kids?


Q11:  Do you have any photos from the MSG events that you attended?

Last edited on Tue Jul 18th, 2017 02:45 pm by Qaenos

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 Posted: Tue Jul 18th, 2017 03:15 pm
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srossi

 

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I'm not nearly as decrepit as that old fart Wong, but I have pretty clear memories of NYC from 1984 on.

I typically went to the Nassau Colisseum because that's where my father was willing to take me.  In retrospect I have no idea why, he just preferred driving an hour out to Long Island rather than taking the train 25 minutes to MSG.  This makes no sense to me now, but I didn't question it as a kid.  I did go to MSG to see WMIII and WMIV on closed circuit and a few other house shows, but mostly Nassau.

My first show was at Nassau during the Hogan-Orndorff feud in 1986.  This is when I went from casual fan when I was super young (1981-1985) to pretty hardcore about it.  Orndorff won by DQ when Hogan started choking him using the middle rope and refused to stop.  It was an awful finish and the crowd hated it.  I vaguely remember Andre the Giant being a special ref for a match involving Piper.  Not everything is very clear. 

In those days the kids would run down to the guardrails to touch the wrestlers.  Security never stopped anyone, all the kids did it.  It was just constant running back and forth between seats and guardrails, no parental supervision and CPS never seemed to be called.  We survived.  I remember I slapped hands with every single babyface at my first show except for George Steele, who freaked me out so I stayed in my seat for that one.

My favorite wrestlers at the time that I was attending live shows were Piper, Savage, and Steamboat.  I hated Hogan even as a kid.  I tended to root for the heels or the technical guys, so I was a smark before I knew what that was.  Years later, when I was older and attending MSG with friends, I was cheering on Mr. Perfect against Doink and some younger kids were just absolutely appalled and disgusted with me.  It's my fondest memory of attending MSG shows because they just believed in the babyfaces so much and had never encountered someone who rooted for the heels before.  They were scared of me and it was hilarious.  

The best part about going to MSG though was taking the train into the city when the atmosphere of the subway was at its most depraved and filthy.  No hipsters, no cell phones, no service animals, just a lot of big black guys (on crack) and skinny white punk rockers (on crack) and homeless people defacing property out in the open (on crack) and Guardian Angles occasionally keeping the peace (on crack) because the cops (probably just drunk) were too scared to go into the subways.  I didn't like the filth or the smells, but the graffiti is something I miss to this day.  80% of it sucked, but 20% of it was real art.  It's not NYC without graffiti on the trains.        

 

Last edited on Tue Jul 18th, 2017 03:16 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Tue Jul 18th, 2017 03:47 pm
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tamalie
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I think you answered your own question from the second paragraph about why your dad preferred a longer drive to Nassau Coliseum instead of a shorter subway ride to MSG in the last paragraph with mention of the dirty and decrepit trains with people using crack and committing vandalism with no cops around. Avoiding that would be a very "dad" thing to do and I absolutely see my own dad taking the same course of action.

Last edited on Tue Jul 18th, 2017 03:49 pm by tamalie

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 Posted: Tue Jul 18th, 2017 03:48 pm
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srossi

 

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tamalie wrote: I think you answered your own question from the first paragraph about why your dad preferred a longer drive to Nassau Coliseum instead of a shorter subway ride to MSG in the last paragraph with mention of the dirty and decrepit trains with people using crack and committing vandalism with no cops around. Avoiding that would be a very "dad" thing to do and I absolutely see my own dad taking the same course of action.
Possibly.  He took the train to work every day of course, but maybe he didn't want to take me at night.

I will say that I never had what I considered a dangerous experience on the subway, aside from being a little freaked out by the wails of the mentally ill.  The subway at times seemed like a mental hospital with homeless people having arguments in their own heads or just curled in the fetal position screaming.  It was something to see. 

Last edited on Tue Jul 18th, 2017 03:51 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Wed Jul 19th, 2017 01:27 am
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WongLee
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Professor Qaenos has a tough thesis selection ;)
Let me lead this off by wishing a big Fuck You to Rossi for his old fart comment. With that out of the way lets get down to bizness.

Q1: What MSG wrestling events did you attend? What was your first / last?
First was the January 15, 1973 card.
Sky Low Low & Little Brutus over Little Beaver & Joey Russell
Mad Dog & Butcher Vachon beat Lee Wong & Ben Ortiz 2-0
Black Gordman over El Olympico
Fabulous Moolah beat Joyce Grable
Victoria Rivera drew Mr. Fugi
Ray Stevens over Sonny King
Bruno Sammartino beat Toru Tanaka
WWWF Title Match:
Pedro Morales over Moondog Mayne

The last one was the night Kevin Nash beat Bob for the strap. I walked out and swore to never return. However, that was not my last wrestling event at the Garden as I went to the HOF ceremony when Bruno and Bobby were inducted.


Q2: What kind of seats did you have? Did you just attend them as a regular guy off the street? Did you work security? Did you have any inside connections?

Always had red seats which back in the day were the first section above ringside. These were much preferred as you could look slightly down at the action instead of the back of some guys head. My father had his hand in many, many things back in the day (at 89 I think he still does too as he seems to have inexhaustable amounts of money). He had "a guy" at the Garden box office so the hook up was always there. Later on, in the early 80's when I lived in Manhattan and went with my girlfriend, good seats were not hard to get. Either we went at intermission or the next day when the tix went on sale to the general public.
I never once worked security at the Garden because they preferred NYPD and I was about as far away from that as you could get.

Q3: Did you ever meet any of the wrestlers, announcers or anyone else associated with wrestling we might know? Did you ever go backstage? Did you ever see any wrestling groupies?

Not until I was "born again" to wrestling in 1993. In 1995 I met ECW's idiot ring announcer Steve DeAngelis and I would drive him down to Philly for the show. I met Dreamer, both Pitbulls, 911, The Eliminators, Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, and the Gangstas (as Rossi can corroborate, Jerome is a lovely man). When I moved out to Long Island in 1997, I was involved.........errr.......I mean I had friends involved in moving HGH kits. The distributor was an old WCW jobber named Crusher Doogan who was trained by Boris Malenko. Through him I rekindled acquaintances and friendships with Saturn, Malenko, Chris, and Eddie. Through them I was introduced to most of the WCW or WWF midcard guys of that time period.

Q4: There were many wrestling events at MSG that were blacked out. Any stories or anything from one of those blacked out MSG cards that we might find interesting? For example, being a huge Snuka mark, I've always wondered about that April 1982 show where Backlund got stretchered out after taking the splash from Snuka (in his MSG debut).

Two that come to mind. The Stasiak/Sammartino title change was the first. The finish has never been shown. Stan got in alot of good offense in the match. They went for the finish with Bruno dead on the ropes. Stan lifted up Bruno's arm for the heart punch and Bruno kicked him in the gut. He then threw Stan in the ropes and punched him in the gut again and Stan went down for the 1-2-3.
The Snuka match was awesome. Jimmy kicked the shit out of Bob for most of the match. Bob heinously chocked Jimmy out for a DQ finish. Bob then got his comeuppance as Jimmy pearl harbored him and hit the Superfly Splash killing Bob dead. The crowd went apeshit wanting to kill Snuka and a stretcher was called for. They put Bobby on the stretcher and solemnly carried him out to the hushed Garden crowd. When they started towards the back, Bobby starts flailing away on the stretcher trying desperately to get up to exact some revenge. But the officials managed to hold him down and they disappeared up the runway.

Q5: I believe I heard you talk about how crazy over Pedro Morales was during his WWWF title run and that due to the lack of videotape footage, that fact has kind of been lost to fans over the years who never got a chance to see the reaction live. Anything else that you remember from being there live that might not be well known today to those (like myself) who only watch what's been left behind on tape? For example, were certain wrestlers more or less over than they are given credit for nowadays?

Mr. Fugi was an absolutely crazy bump machine during house shows. He predated ECW style by 20 years.
Don Leo Jonathan was the best though. Even though by the 70's he was on the wrong side of 40. He did tremendous spots, and had superhuman strength. The two Garden shows where he kicked the shit out of Morales were unparalleled.

Q6: Who are your favorite wrestlers? Who did you like to see live? What did you think of Superstar Billy Graham's infamous heel title run during 1977/78? How did you feel about Backlund as champ?

Sammartino, Morales, Thesz, Blassie, Snuka, Bret, Cold Stone, Shelton Benjamin, Kurt, Brock, and Backlund were my faves. When Graham was champ I had stopped watching wrestling. I stopped in 1976 and picked it up again in 1982. I absolutely loved Bobby as champ. I always preferred wrestler wrestlers and Bobby was that. Along with his incredible strength he made every match interesting to me.

Q8: If you could go back in time to one MSG card, what would it be?

Probably the first Sammartino vs. Kiniski match.
November 16, 1964
Golden Terror over Steve Stanlee 10:43
Sam Steamboat beat Boris Malenko 14:02
Jim Hady W/DQ Luke Graham 8:33
Bobo Brazil drew Waldo Von Erich 20:00
Freddie Blassie over Pedro Morales 3:08
Miguel Perez & Haystacks Calhoun beat Bobby Davis & Gorilla Monsoon
Jerry & Eddie Graham over Bill Watts & Don McClarty 11:53
WWWF Title Match:
Bruno Sammartino W/COR Gene Kiniski 17:21

Q9: Did you attend any other cards at other venues during the 1970s/1980s? What was different about attending a card at MSG compared to Boston Garden, Philly Spectrum, etc.?

Sunnyside Garden, Ridgewood Grove Arena, Westchester County Center, Nassau Coliseum.
The Garden was the ultimate. The best matchups, the best matches, the most excitement by far. The other places would have some great matchups that you wouldn't always see at the Garden like the rare heel vs. heel or face vs. face.

Q10: Anything cool / different / memorable about going to MSG wrestling shows that sticks out that might be interesting? For a while there, they had a no kids policy at MSG wrestling. Did this make the atmosphere seem a little more adult/serious/dangerous as opposed to another venue where kids were there and it might have been more family friendly? For example, maybe drunks / smoking weed, etc., was more tolerated at MSG because there were no kids?

While there were no children under 14 allowed, you have to remember that these marks had the minds of an 8 year old. During the 70's there were no drunks and no weed. By the Backlund years there was alot more drinking. It's funny because in the late 70's when the Knicks were awful and drawing 3,000 a game, the best heroin supermarket in NYC were the blue seats.

Q11: Do you have any photos from the MSG events that you attended?
Unfortunately no. However, my pops took plenty of 8mm film which for the life of us we can't find. Stuff like Sammartino vs. Tolos. Rare things that aren't in the tape trader community in any way, shape, or form.

Last edited on Wed Jul 19th, 2017 01:28 am by WongLee



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 Posted: Wed Jul 19th, 2017 10:28 am
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That film! Wow...I think WWE would want to get that from you for sure since old-old Garden stuff is ultra rare. Could be worth some bucks.

Very cool look back, thanks. This was a very good idea for a thread.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 19th, 2017 11:47 am
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Not until I was "born again" to wrestling in 1993. In 1995 I met ECW's idiot ring announcer Steve DeAngelis and I would drive him down to Philly for the show. I met Dreamer, both Pitbulls, 911, The Eliminators, Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, and the Gangstas (as Rossi can corroborate, Jerome is a lovely man). When I moved out to Long Island in 1997, I was involved.........errr.......I mean I had friends involved in moving HGH kits. The distributor was an old WCW jobber named Crusher Doogan who was trained by Boris Malenko. Through him I rekindled acquaintances and friendships with Saturn, Malenko, Chris, and Eddie. Through them I was introduced to most of the WCW or WWF midcard guys of that time period.

So you sold crack to the boys? Oh yeah, forgot to say old fart. :)



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 Posted: Wed Jul 19th, 2017 01:09 pm
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WongLee wrote: I met Dreamer, both Pitbulls, 911, The Eliminators, Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, and the Gangstas (as Rossi can corroborate, Jerome is a lovely man).
Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but I loved hanging out with New Jack.  A funny and crazy motherfucker, but you could definitely catch glimpses of his dark side and he could turn on a dime and make you want to get out of there in a hurry before the shit went down. 

Last edited on Wed Jul 19th, 2017 01:12 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Wed Jul 19th, 2017 09:20 pm
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WongLee
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freebirdsforever2001 wrote: Not until I was "born again" to wrestling in 1993. In 1995 I met ECW's idiot ring announcer Steve DeAngelis and I would drive him down to Philly for the show. I met Dreamer, both Pitbulls, 911, The Eliminators, Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, and the Gangstas (as Rossi can corroborate, Jerome is a lovely man). When I moved out to Long Island in 1997, I was involved.........errr.......I mean I had friends involved in moving HGH kits. The distributor was an old WCW jobber named Crusher Doogan who was trained by Boris Malenko. Through him I rekindled acquaintances and friendships with Saturn, Malenko, Chris, and Eddie. Through them I was introduced to most of the WCW or WWF midcard guys of that time period.

So you sold crack to the boys? Oh yeah, forgot to say old fart. :)
Not crack. Nutritional supplements. So they could stay healthy....or something. And never to ECW guys. They didn't have any money. WCW were preferred customers because all those guys wiped their asses with hundred dollar bills.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 19th, 2017 09:21 pm
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WongLee
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srossi wrote: WongLee wrote: I met Dreamer, both Pitbulls, 911, The Eliminators, Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, and the Gangstas (as Rossi can corroborate, Jerome is a lovely man).
Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but I loved hanging out with New Jack.  A funny and crazy motherfucker, but you could definitely catch glimpses of his dark side and he could turn on a dime and make you want to get out of there in a hurry before the shit went down. 
Nope, not being sarcastic at all. I thought he was a sweetheart.



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hello @Paula_Deen you have midget pig dick and dead dog tits I hope I see you I break your fucking fat neck bitch
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 Posted: Wed Jul 19th, 2017 09:24 pm
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freebirdsforever2001



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WongLee wrote: srossi wrote: WongLee wrote: I met Dreamer, both Pitbulls, 911, The Eliminators, Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, and the Gangstas (as Rossi can corroborate, Jerome is a lovely man).
Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but I loved hanging out with New Jack.  A funny and crazy motherfucker, but you could definitely catch glimpses of his dark side and he could turn on a dime and make you want to get out of there in a hurry before the shit went down. 
Nope, not being sarcastic at all. I thought he was a sweetheart.

Jerome is if you can get him by himself, otherwise, he's Bubba Ray Dudley.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 19th, 2017 09:29 pm
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WongLee
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freebirdsforever2001 wrote: WongLee wrote: srossi wrote: WongLee wrote: I met Dreamer, both Pitbulls, 911, The Eliminators, Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, and the Gangstas (as Rossi can corroborate, Jerome is a lovely man).
Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but I loved hanging out with New Jack.  A funny and crazy motherfucker, but you could definitely catch glimpses of his dark side and he could turn on a dime and make you want to get out of there in a hurry before the shit went down. 
Nope, not being sarcastic at all. I thought he was a sweetheart.

Jerome is if you can get him by himself, otherwise, he's Bubba Ray Dudley.
Now there's a total asshole. Really thinks he's a legit tough guy. He came into a strip club I was working in Bellmore one night and tried to throw his weight around. We stopped him cold at the door. Unfortunately my boss, who was the owner, grew up with him in Huntington so he overrode our decision to keep him out.



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 Posted: Thu Jul 20th, 2017 12:15 pm
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Good answers everyone. Ok, now on to the Bands. Although I'm primarily directing this at WongLee, I enjoy reading response from srossi or anyone who was in NYC at the time as well.


Q12: Ozzy Osbourne played at the Palladium where you worked in 1981. It was Randy Rhoads only appearance in NYC. I was a huge Randy Rhoads mark as a teenager. If I'm not mistaken, you said in another thread years ago that you were there. What do you remember from this concert?


Q13: Have you seen or worked for any concerts of the following bands, and do you remember anything specific about the shows:


- Van Halen w David Lee Roth
- Queen
- Led Zeppelin
- KISS


Q14: Did you manage to get =any photographs / film of any of these shows?


Q15: You mentioned Robert De Niro, Carrie Fisher and Martin Scorsese at the Clash show. What other celebrities have you seen attend concerts and which bands were they checking out?


Q16: Did you see the bands do anything special in NYC that they might not have done anywhere else? For example, perhaps a particular band played a cool cover while in NYC that you noticed was missing when listening to bootlegs of other shows on the tour.


Q17: What were your favorite bands? What were the best concerts you saw / worked?


Q18: Which concert beat your expectations the most? I mean you blew you away when you weren't expecting it?


Q19: Which concerts were the biggest letdown?


Q20: Any cool backstage stories that we might enjoy?


Q21: Being backstage and having all access, what is the sex/drugs scene really like for these rock stars? Is it really all that? Are the groupies really that hot or is it more quantity over quality?

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 Posted: Thu Jul 20th, 2017 01:36 pm
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srossi

 

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WongLee wrote: freebirdsforever2001 wrote: WongLee wrote: srossi wrote: WongLee wrote: I met Dreamer, both Pitbulls, 911, The Eliminators, Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, and the Gangstas (as Rossi can corroborate, Jerome is a lovely man).
Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but I loved hanging out with New Jack.  A funny and crazy motherfucker, but you could definitely catch glimpses of his dark side and he could turn on a dime and make you want to get out of there in a hurry before the shit went down. 
Nope, not being sarcastic at all. I thought he was a sweetheart.

Jerome is if you can get him by himself, otherwise, he's Bubba Ray Dudley.
Now there's a total asshole. Really thinks he's a legit tough guy. He came into a strip club I was working in Bellmore one night and tried to throw his weight around. We stopped him cold at the door. Unfortunately my boss, who was the owner, grew up with him in Huntington so he overrode our decision to keep him out.

It's funny how everyone pretty much has the same experiences with the same guys.  Bubba was a dick, but I thought he was just being in character at first.  If you saw him at the buildings, he was out-of-control.  I saw a kid, maybe 12, ask him for an autograph at an ECW show and he took the kid's pen and threw it back in his face.  A bit much just to play the heel 15 years after being a heel didn't mean much anymore.  He's also the only guy I would say who went way too far in some of his promos.  At the Elk's Lodge in Queens one night, he berated this woman for more than 15 minutes and the crowd, which was a vicious one of course, was into it for the first 5 and then it became super uncomfortable (and keep in mind this was before the main event on a show that had already gone 4 hours and it was 100 degrees in the building and everyone wanted to see the last match and just go home).  She's fat, looks retarded, probably has retarded children, on and on and on, even after she was crying hysterically.  And Atlas security was holding her husband back and threatening to throw him out because he was getting ready to jump the rail.  Eventually, the atmosphere went from "viscous fans playing along with the heel" to a near mob scene of "white knights" where fans were screaming for him to leave her alone and Heyman came to the entrance with more security because there were two dozen fans ready to storm the ring.  I was there with my friend and his pregnant girlfriend and I actually said that we might need to get her out of there because it was getting that ugly.  I'm sure Bubba would say that was the last time anyone got real heel heat, but there's a difference between pretending to be an asshole and actually being one.  It's not hard to get heat when you really are one. 

And away from the buildings, he wasn't much different.  A little more normal, but not much.  I always tell the story about the time I was at a Black Label Society show.  Small venue, SRO, jam-packed, 2 opening acts had already played, and just as BLS is taking the stage Bubba comes rambling in, pushing and throwing fans who had been standing there for 2-3 hours out of the way.  Obviously, he was the biggest guy in the room, even a room filled with lots of unsavory biker types.  Bodies were flying, including women, and miraculously no one started a brawl.  He gets to the front and the bassist or someone spotted him and obviously knew him and told security to let him over the front rail.  So he stood in his own "VIP section" in that dump, in the 2 feet between the stage and the railing (basically the photographer pit I suppose) for the whole show, occasionally leaning onto the stage to high five members of the band to play the big shot.  And everyone was like "Who the fuck is that?"    

Last edited on Thu Jul 20th, 2017 01:39 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Fri Jul 21st, 2017 01:23 am
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WongLee
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Ok now I'm convinced Qaenos is trying to steal my identity but I'll answer anyways.

Q12: Ozzy Osbourne played at the Palladium where you worked in 1981. It was Randy Rhoads only appearance in NYC. I was a huge Randy Rhoads mark as a teenager. If I'm not mistaken, you said in another thread years ago that you were there. What do you remember from this concert?

I went to that show as a civilian. It was a rarity for that age because by 1981, double shot shows were a thing of the past. Ozzy played an 8:00pm show and then a midnight show. The 8:00am show which I went to was a complete sellout. What I remember most was everyone was wondering if Ozzy's guitarist would be as good as Iommi. Well, after the first song, I Don't Know, that question was answered with an exclamation point. Randy was a whole other being unto himself. Possibly better than Eddie. The funny thing was, the midnight show was almost completely empty. I bought a ticket off a 12 year old black kid for a cool dollar.

Q13: Have you seen or worked for any concerts of the following bands, and do you remember anything specific about the shows:


- Van Halen w David Lee Roth
- Queen
- Led Zeppelin
- KISS

Oh good Odin, yes to all. The first time I saw Van Halen was working at the Palladium. They opened for the Irish band Horslips in 1978. You absolutely knew right away you were witnessing the next big thing. However, somehow contradictory, Horslips was the better band that night.
I also saw them in 1981 for their first headlining shot at the Garden with The Fools opening. This was VH at the peak of their powers and absolutely no guitarist on earth could touch Eddie at that time.

Queen was a part of the greatest double bill I've ever seen in February of 1977 at the Garden. They had Thin Lizzy (w/Gary Moore) opening. This should have been the Lizzy's breakout show but for some strange reason, Phil didn't think it was an important gig. Both bands were perfect.

I then saw Queen with no opening act in December of '77 and November of '78 and they were the very epitome of what a rock band should be. I saw them one more time in 1982 at MSG with Billy Squier opening and it was just as fantastic as all the others. Just a sick sick live band. I will say something controversial though. It was the entire band Queen that was so godlike. I always though Freddie as a singer live was the best I've ever seen. But with Brian, John, and Roger, he achieved immortality.

The mighty mighty Zeppelin. All of the tickets for the seven nights they played the Garden in 1977 were done by mail order lottery. While I had been very successful in the past with other bands with this method I struck out here. Sooo, it was time to use alternate means. I have snuck into MSG at least 40 times for concerts, as well as Ranger and Knick games. The way the Garden was set up was the NYPD started checking tickets from outside the Garden on 7th Avenue. There were piggies every 200 feet or so who would check you. Once you got to the turnstiles, it was MSG employees who would check your ticket, rip it, and send you inside. Now, bear in mind, in those days, the Garden had its own proprietary tickets. No matter what the event, the tickets all looked the same. Now to keep this wrestling related, we all had an Sneak In MSG ticket. The blue seats for wrestling only cost three bucks and it looked exactly the same as a Led Zeppelin ticket so the stupid coppers didn't know the difference. I got all the way to the MSG guy, slipped him a fin, and he pushed me right in. I sat on the steps in the blue seats parallel to the stage next to my two buddies. I had been to many shows before this, but the Zeppelin crowd was a whole other world. They seemed so worldly and super cool. The best part was the show was in early June near the solstice. The stage for the Garden was on the 7th Avenue side of the building or the eastside. Someone opened a door at the top of the building on the westside as the sun was going down and the blazing sun lit up the stage. Zep came out to the Song Remains the Same with Robert Plant bathed in natural sunlight. It was otherworldly. They played three hours and I doubt I will ever see anything as exciting for as long as I live.

KISS - I'm a KISStard. I've seen them 28 times. The first time was New Years Eve 1975 at the Nassau Coliseum with Blue Oyster Cult and Leslie West opening. We were sitting in the back of the Coliseum and the metal railings were vibrating, that's how loud it was. This was the KISS Alive! tour.

I saw their first MSG show in February of 1977. What a disappointment. Sammy Hagar opened and was booed off the stage. It wasn't his fault as KISS wouldn't let him use their back line so the sound was shit. When KISS came on it sounded like KISS wouldn't let KISS use their back line. The sound was mud. The performance subpar. Shocking since these were all NYC guy who knew that the Garden was sacred ground. When I saw them two nights later at the Nassau Coliseum, both Sammy and KISS kicked all kinds of ass.


Q14: Did you manage to get =any photographs / film of any of these shows?
Nope. Different day and age as you actually had to carry a real camera with you and I was not that guy.

Q15: You mentioned Robert De Niro, Carrie Fisher and Martin Scorsese at the Clash show. What other celebrities have you seen attend concerts and which bands were they checking out?

You know as far as movie stars go there weren't many. You weren't going to see Sir John Geilgud at a Molly Hatchet show. What you got mostly at the Palladium were other musicians coming in to check out their buddies. People like Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye, Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, David Byrne, Alan Vega, etc. were always coming down and we would let them in on the arm. The Clash was an anomaly because they were so hyped that I guess it was the place to be seen.

Q16: Did you see the bands do anything special in NYC that they might not have done anywhere else? For example, perhaps a particular band played a cool cover while in NYC that you noticed was missing when listening to bootlegs of other shows on the tour.

This is a good question and I have one absolute answer. I saw Elton John at the Garden in 1982 with Quarterflash opening. I've seen Elton 13 times over the years. Huge fan. Anyway, he started to introduce his tribute to John Lennon, Empty Garden. Bear in mind this was barely a year and a half after Lennon was assassinated by Ronald Reagan. He played the emotion soaked version of the song ever. As he played the last notes he brings out Yoko and Sean Lennon and the place became unhinged. The pure emotion and grief resonated though the entire building. Complete chills.

Q17: What were your favorite bands? What were the best concerts you saw / worked?

KISS, Nugent, Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick were my faves.

The best single show I've ever seen was Cheap Trick at Radio City Music Hall with the Romantics opening in 1982. This would be closely followed by Nugent in November of '77 at MSG, KISS in December of '77 at MSG, and the aforementioned Zeppelin show.

Q18: Which concert beat your expectations the most? I mean you blew you away when you weren't expecting it?

Hahaha. Losing my man card here. My fiance at the time. This was 1988 was a huge Bee Gees fan. So to get the anal, I bought tickets to see them at Jones Beach. I had actually seen them at their peak in 1978 first row at the Garden. A connected buddy of mine said I don't want this shit, take it. One of my crew kinda liked them so I said let's go. It was ok but nothing at all to write home about. Now this 1988 show however, sheesh, blew the doors off of everything. Fantastic setlist. Three part harmonies to die for. Not a whole lot of disco. It was stupendous.

Q19: Which concerts were the biggest letdown?

That first KISS show in February of 1977 that I mentioned earlier.

Q20: Any cool backstage stories that we might enjoy?

Now bear in mind, I worked for the facility and not the band. Believe it or not, there wasn't always a ton of interaction with the talent. I did snort coke with Joey Ramone at the Palladium. I smoked angel dust with Joe Cocker in the same venue. I was offered to get into a threeway with the chick Cindy from the B-52's but I turned it down because it wasn't the cool kind of threeway. I had a deep, otherworldly conversation with Carlos Santana on Pier 84 until his cunt wife came in and ruined everything. But mostly I was keeping an eye on the riff raff.

Q21: Being backstage and having all access, what is the sex/drugs scene really like for these rock stars? Is it really all that? Are the groupies really that hot or is it more quantity over quality?

See above. I will say one thing. I worked a Willie Nelson show at the Westbury Music Fair around 1989 or so. Willie was just the greatest, most laid back guy there was. I was hanging out with his guitarist Jody snorting Tony Montana type rails. Anyway, after the show, Willie had a grand total of two Long Island soccer moms try to get on the bus. Not a whole lot of action.

At the Palladium in the 70's, we weren't allowed to let the skanks backstage unless they had the magical laminate.



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hello @Paula_Deen you have midget pig dick and dead dog tits I hope I see you I break your fucking fat neck bitch
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