Sat May 02 2020 22:35:58 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Well, here we are again, another blog entry paying late respect to one of the greats.
I learned last week that Portland wrestling superstar Rip Oliver had recently passed away after battling heart disease.
As a child of the 80s in Oregon City, I grew up watching Portland wrestling and Tom Peterson, and "Playboy" Buddy Rose, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Don Owen, Sandy Barr, and the whole bunch. Me and my friends used to love staying up late (while the parents all played cards) to watch the spectacle and hopefully make it to the main event. We were just like all the other young idiots who thought it was all real...and, to that young, impressionable, naive macho tween kid brain, it was fucking amazing! We lived for this shit. We cheered and yelled and recreated the action in our living rooms. We always begged to go to a match, but it never happened.
These wrestlers were ahead of their time. These mostly naked dudes were legend.
We used to just call Rip Oliver (and Buddy Rose etc) "the bad guys" or sometimes villains. Today we might call them "heels". It didn't matter, they were great! We'd always boo them and cheer for the "good guys", but the most important thing was always the show and the spectacle and the action. And they always delivered.
Back when junior high was a thing, I was on a (Greco-roman) wrestling team in the 'burbs, and Rip Oliver's son Lance was on my team. I think he might have been a year older, and I didn't really know him that well, but we were teammates. I was a skinny little dork, he was our crushing heavy (IIRC). I remember being star-struck when his dad RIP OLIVER would show up to our matches (and rarely our practices). I honestly felt conflicted, though, by having "the bad guy" rooting for our side, and giving us advice. I didn't think we were villians...and I wanted to be one of the good guys. I was an idiot.
In doing some late-nite nostalgia diving / web stalking, it's definitely clear that the sport of wrestling was important to Larry "Rip" Oliver and his family. From a couple of google searches, it seems like Lance might have even continued the tradition with his children...which I think is pretty amazing and brings me joy to see the bloodline live on.
RIP RIP OLIVER. 2020. Your legend is missed.
Fri Dec 14 2007 00:11:33 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
Ok, so I'm really really not a media blog. But I had this amazing nostalgic experience, and I thought it was worth sharing. Of course, there's youtube involved:
You see, the Pixies are probably my favorite traditional 4-piece rock band, and there was this clip that I recorded (on videotape) way back when I was in college. The tape is long gone, but my memories of this performance certainly are not. Like so many of us rapidly aging thirtysomething fools, I've been hoping to track down this clip, and once again, youtube came to the rescue.
In spite of all its flaws (censorship, terrible quality, advertising), it really is a genuinely amazing resource.
This clip is, quite possibly, to me anyway, the epitome of pre century original rock based perfection. It is sheer beauty. It is a postmodern mishmash and hee haw of amazement. Yes, Kurt wanted to sound like the Pixies, and this is exactly fucking why. What year was it when YOU heard of a band called Nirvana?
It's quite subtle, but there are some serious gems in this short clip. It's shot in beautiful B&W, and the camerawork and direction are beautiful and intimate. You see, even in 1990, this kind of real artistic expression, even on MTV, was starting to become hard to come by...but the sound here is very loud and tinny abrasive surfy chord progressions juxtaposed with Joey's brilliant vibrato and Kim's haunting flat chants. There is real discomfort, and there is opposition. The camera shots are SO SUPER CLOSE and what seems impossibly intimate only goes on to PULL IN TIGHTER. The head shots are generally way too high and the drum shots are downright OVERHEAD. It seems like sometimes the focus is on the instruments themselves and, in several cases, the lights themselves.
The real gem for me, though, is Charles's off-timed expression between phrases ("finally through the roof") around 1:40 ("and how does lemur skin...?"). It struck me as a thing of perfection in 1990, and it has stuck with me now for almost 20 years.
Charles has commented that this was internally referred to as the "Led Zepplin" song...but once again, this performance goes to show exactly why it is so much more. So many Pixies fans have talked down the later albums, including "Bossa Nova", but I think that this simple clip should serve as redemption!!! This really is a noteworthy piece of perfect rock music history!!!