From 1986 through 1994 I worked for a string of pro-wrestling magazines, as both a photographer and writer. traveling throughout the North East and to places like Memphis, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. I continued to be in involved in that end of the business until around 1995, but I limited my time and travels to the New England area later on, as I returned to school to finish my degree in Fine Arts, and I began working many hours in the banking industry. Gradually, I made my debut in the dark fiction world, and rather than my pinups of larger than life wrestlers gracing covers of magazines, my paintings began to see print.
I put the wrestling days behind me, storing away a vast collection of photo negatives, slides, stories and interviews. And I dismissed those years as youthful adventures (youthful compared to today), referring to them as “the crazy times”. Recently, those memories–those times–were brought to the surface when a friend asked me to play a small part in one of his projects…a project pertaining to pro-wrestling. It stirred me to resurrect my vast collection of wrestling memorabilia–all those photos–those road-trips–those memories.
I learned something…I realized that although those days were crazy…they were also an integral part of my life. Hell, I have enough to material to write more than one book–to make catalogues and small publications regarding those times. It’s a different line of work than what I’ve currently been doing, but I guess it’s important. I was somewhat of a “record-keeper” back in those days, and even though there’s nothing literary about it, it’s part of Pop Culture, of the history of the men and women who spent their days and nights on the road…in that carnival-like atmosphere, in that strange and wonderful subculture.
So, in addition to the paintings, the fiction…even the poetry…there will be this.
Above: From a 1992 edition of NEW WAVE WRESTLING. The magazine was on sale at Ebay in the summer of 2018.
Below: I found a ton of old magazines in a box on a shelf in my basement–dating from 1986 through around 1996. I did these interviews in the early 90’s. Recently caught up with Sandy Starr aka Sandra Johnson and she’s still at it.