[9 June 2009]
The unsinkable Mike Edison — former High Times Publisher, Screw editor, Hustler correspondent, and professional wrestler of no small repute — is hitting the road to promote the new paperback of his outrageous memoir, I Have Fun Everywhere I Go: Savage Tales of Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talking Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues, American Heroes, and the Most Notorious Magazines in the World.
He recently began his “I Have Fun in Brooklyn Tour”, a five-neighborhood odyssey that he promises will be “more fun than the circus”. He’ll be blogging his adventures here. (See below for dates.)
HULK HOGAN R.I.P.
I have been feuding with Hulk Hogan for twenty years now. So why does winning feel so ugly?
Those of you following this blog know I have been on tour promoting my book, I HAVE FUN EVERYWHERE I GO, a fair part of which is dedicated to my career as a wrestler and a wrestling journalist, not to mention my high-minded philosophies of the game. To wit:
“Wrestling is like what Dostoyevsky says about faith. If you get it, no explanation is necessary, and if you don’t, no explanation will do.”
“Wrestling is the only sport where you can kick a man when he’s down.”
My book isn’t only about wrestling — I track my absurd career as publisher of High Times mag, and my years spent toiling as a pornographer until I finally made the grade as e-in-c of Screw mag, the ultimate vehicle for libertarian reprobate muckrakers such as myself. There are also some nice stories about the space program, the fall of communism, punk rock, modern art, and that time I got stabbed in a White Castle.
If you read the book you’ll also know my tours generally end up with me in the emergency room.
In France a few years ago I took a timekeeper’s bell in the face during a wrestling match, and found myself being sewn up on a head full of very good French tranqs.
In Spain I shattered my hand doing a kart-wheel on the street, trying to show off for a pretty girl. I failed miserably and had to be med-evac’ed to New York, the closest place where there was a doctor with a Jewish-sounding last name who knew how to put me back together again.
I wish I had a good story this time. I broke my toe, a stupid drunken jam-job stumbling around in the dark trying to find the bathroom after everyone had gone to sleep.
I was in Chicago, and staying at my brother’s House of Doom, a yuppie palace that has three baths on three floors, an electric massage chair, but no books.
Seriously. No books.
I was in Chicago to do a reading at Quimby’s fine booksellers, a quick side trip from the celebrated I HAVE FUN IN BROOKLYN TOUR. It is right around the corner from his house in Wicker Park. I asked him if he had ever been there.
“Why would I?” he said. “It’s a book store. I never saw the point.”
Such is my family.
Anyway, I promise you that I never really appreciated how much weight Mr. Big Toe shouldered until he was the color of a crunchberry and as tender as a slice of Kobe beef.
And so I found myself, on my ass, foot elevated, drinking Pinot Grigio (my summer drink) and burning through a cereal bowl of shake weed to anesthetize myself, TV tuned to the Stupid Channel.
I admit freely that I watch the bottom-feeders of the reality TV world, and seeing as I make my living reading and writing, I feel that I can justify it. Actually, I can pretty much justify anything.
So here I am watching Brooke Knows Best, the follow up to Hulk Hogan’s show, Hogan Knows Best. Brooke is his talentless teenage daughter (who doesn’t look a day over forty), who, like Hulk’s shrew of an ex-wife, and his new girlfriend (and the Hulk himself), has immolated any brain cell that God had seen fit to bless then with mistaking Extra-Strength Clorox bleach for a boutique hair-care product.
Not even in the apiary-like United States Congress do birds this much of a feather flock this much together. Creepy just begins to describe it.
Hulk Hogan is my nemesis. We have been feuding since the mid-1980s, and now his life is falling apart, right before my eyes. I can take no credit, nor do I want to, not like this, with his life falling around him pathetically on a reality TV show. I wanted to crush him in the ring.
Now, what’s the point? Hogan’s not really a bad guy, he’s just stupid in a stunningly profound way. He makes Mickey Rourke’s character in The Wrestler look like he’s got, well, character. Moxie. Gravitas. Balls. A code of ethics. Good taste in ’80s rock music — as if there were such a thing.
Let’s recap Hogan’s current sinkhole of a life — but briefly. His horrid, self-centered beast of a wife, a woman so selfish as to make the Real Housewives of New York City, New Jersey, and Ocean County seem like Buddhist monks, has left her man of thirty-something years for a nineteen year old, whom she is now shacked up in the marital home Hulk bought for her with years of body-crushing abuse in the ring. Meanwhile, his retard of a son has recently got out of jail where he was doing time for wrapping his car around a light pole and nearly killing his passenger. The civil trial is still pending. And now Hulk is doomed to wearing hair-extensions and hobbling around his rented bachelor pad on crushed knees and malfunctioning hips, begging kindness from his new girlfriend, who has somehow managed to capture the worst qualities of wife, daughter, and his Hulkness himself. That is when he is not being caught crying or yelling at his wife’s lawyer on TV, or telling Rolling Stone magazine that he “understands OJ.”
I could go on, but it would become personal.
I never liked Hogan’s flag-waving, stay-in-school, and stay-off-drugs persona. It did not help that he is a fucking hypocrite — one of these clean-living proselytizers who spends their private time snorting coke, shooting ’roids, smoking dope, chasing skirt, etc.
What really killed me about Hogan — besides his gargantuan shit stream of stupidity — is that he is truly one of the worst wrestlers of all time, almost completely without skill, a dick in the locker room, selfish in the ring, humorless, and without irony. Never has someone with so little made it so far. And yet his demise, now fodder for reality TV, makes me unfathomably sad. I need him, the same way Batman needs the Joker. Pro wrestling has always been the most existential of sports, and now here I am, grieving my enemy. I wanted him gone, now I am bereft. Go figure.
But before I get too maudlin, let me share with you a great clip of the good ol’ days, with that doofus Hogan getting beaten up and humiliated, and in fine fashion. Oh, this is a jewel. God, I love youtube! Here’s what you are about to see:
A seven foot tall animal wrapped in Mummy-style bandages who called himself “The Yeti” (don’t ask, I have no explanation) will dry-hump Hogan, who is being held up by another outsized goon called The Giant. Meanwhile Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart rants and raves, Macho Man Randy Savage takes a few good boots, and eventually Hogan gets his back broken by Lex Lugar. If the NHL was more like this, maybe more people could tell you just what the hell was going on in this year’s Stanley Cup. (Yes, it is still going on. Pittsburgh leads Detroit three games to two. Sixth game is tonight if anyone cares.)
If you don’t get it, just remember what Dostoyevsky said.
Next We Take Fort Greene
If you’ve come with me this far, please come on out and see the next stop on the I HAVE FUN IN BROOKLYN TOUR in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge, WED JUNE 10 at 7 pm. This is the coolest, old school “cocktail lounge” in New York City… I’ll be reading from my book with my band the newly christened Space Liberation Army featuring Jon Spencer, Hollis Queens, and Dean Rispler, and let me tell you they sounding so fucking good last Saturday in Williamsburg that I wish I could figure out a way to bottle them. All the info and more is on www.mikeedison.com, including dirty pictures, comics, MP3s, etc. Please come on out!
And here’s a dose from the CD of I HAVE FUN produced by Mr. Jon Spencer.. this one is the TALKING MAIN EVENT MAGAZINE BLUES, the some crazy avant electro-boogie featuring the story of my early feud with Hogan.
“Talking Main Event Magazine Blues” [MP3]
Photo from Pete’s Candy Story in Williamsburg, Saturday, June 6, by Michaela Warren.
OTHER UPCOMING GIGS
>> WED JUNE 10th, 7 pm, Frank’s Cocktail Lounge (Ft. Greene) with the Delta Science Arkestra featuring Jon Spencer and Heavy Friends, with Special Guests
>> SAT JUNE 13th, 3 pm, Freebird Books (Redhook) — Afternoon cookout with the Rocket Train All-Stars!
>> SAT JUNE 20th, 3 pm, Roberta’s restaurant (Bushwick) End of tour party, broadcast live!
>> FULL DETAILS AT www.mikeedison.com