Scott Teal is an author and the owner and publisher of Crowbar Press.
Brian Last: The name Scott Teal has come up several times in recent weeks here on the program when Jim Cornette was on with us, we discussed our excitement that Scott had recently rer-eleased the great, classic book Whatever Happened To Gorgeous George?. And when Bix and I had gone over the famed history of locker room ambushes and shoot Memphis TV live brawls, talking about the stories of Dandy Jack Donovan and Mario Galento. Scott’s name also came up as we recant some of his great work covering these stories in the past in his newsletter Whatever Happened To…?. And we’re very happy to have with us today here on the program, Scott Teal. Scott, how are you today?
Scott Teal: I’m doing good, how are you doing?
Brian Last: We’re doing alright! There’s so much I’ve gotta ask you about, and I guess before we really get into it, I want to talk a little bit about Crowbar Press. You have this book company, Crowbar Press, and you’ve put out some of the best wrestling biographies and autobiographies out there. From Ole Anderson to JJ Dillon, The Assassin, Stan Hansen. Don Fargo, which is a wild book, and Tony Atlas, as well as the aforementioned Whatever Happened To Gorgeous George?. Tell me a little bit about Crowbar Press and why you started it and what you’re up to.
Scott Teal: Well I got into wrestling back in ’68 and started watching it and started writing for magazines, taking pictures at the matches in Florida. Moved up to Tennessee and went to work for Nick Gulas. As I got more and more into wrestling…actually back in ’69, I discovered microfilm at the library and I found out you could go back and look up old wrestling articles. And that’s where my love for the history came. I started doing the…I got out of wrestling in 1980 when Nick Gulas sold his promotion and I thought I was done with it forever. And then at about, I think it was ’96, I started doing the Whatever Happened to…?. Some guy put on a convention here in Nashville and asked me to help him do a program because I had a computer. Nobody had computers hardly back then, but I had one. So, I created a program and everybody I talked to kept saying, ‘Whatever happened to so-and-so,’ and ‘Whatever happened to so-and-so.”
Actually, the Whatever Happened To newsletter, the title came…the idea for me even doing it, now that I’m thinking about it, was from Dick Steinborn. He talked to this event promoter and the guy hadn’t been in touch with me yet, and Steinborn asked him, he says “Whatever happened to Scott Teal?” And of course, the promoter says, “I don’t know. I know he’s in the area.” Well that’s where that newsletter came about was Dick Steinborn saying that, asking where I was.
So I started doing the newsletters. Where the wrestlers were, giving interviews, and that led right into the books. Ole Anderson was the first actual full book that I did. Actually, a lot of people seemed to think Crowbar Press is this big company in a big building somewhere, but actually I’ve got a little office in my home. I work at my desk here. It’s not really a big, big company, it’s just something I call a you know. I actually had to start a business and register a business so I called it Crowbar Press. But it’s not really a big company or anything like that. I do everything right here. I’ve got two little computers right here with monitors and printers.
And I do my work here. And I do everything with the books from re-writing, or you know…The books are done several ways. I may either do an interview with somebody and then I write the book, or they send me a book that they’ve written and I end up re-writing. In some cases they send me the book and I have to do very, very little except, you know, maybe fix some grammar and do some editing.
And that’s pretty much where Crowbar Press came from. Out of the Whatever Happened To, which as I said was sort of the…spurred on by Dick Steinborn’ comment to that event promoter.
Brian Last: I was a big fan of Whatever Happened To and I was a subscriber as a teenager in Long Beach New York, I was getting Whatever Happened To. I know back issues are available at Crowbarpress.com. Because of Whatever Happened To I was able as a teenager to become a pen pal with Lord James Blears, and also harass Killer Karl Kox at home.
Scott Teal: Awesome!
Brian Last: So I was a very big fan. In fact, I remember I wrote a letter in there once, pleading with you. I said please do a special issue of just Nick Gulas stories, just Jack Pfefer stories, and by the way, whatever happened to Chris Colt. And by the way, those are still want to this day. So please get on that. (Laughter)
Scott Teal: (Laughter) You won’t find a whole lot of that stuff because Chris is gone. I wish I had been able to talk to him before he died. But so many of the guys are gone, and that is a problem, you know. We’ve lost so many of them. But, yes, that’s one of the reasons I did the Whatever Happened To. I used to put the wrestler’s addresses in there. I always got permission first. And a lot of times I had their phone number in there. They were happy to do it. A lot of them just got a big, big kick out of hearing from people like yourself because so many of them had been out of wrestling, oh at that time, probably 20 years, and they had been pretty much sort of forgotten. Nobody ever contacted them. To hear from people like yourself. I don’t know. They loved it.
Billy Wicks used to tell me all the time, he still gets letters to this day once in a while from fans who read Whatever Happened To. And they absolutely love it because they’re not forgotten and that’s the main thing. They didn’t want to be forgotten.
Brian Last: The one wrestler who I remember didn’t put his phone number or address in there was Ole Anderson. Which makes sense I guess. (Laughter)
Scott Teal: I don’t remember doing a piece…Did I do one on Ole?
Brian Last: Absolutely!
Scott Teal: Oh I know what it was. I did on Ole, I did…he just told road stories. But I don’t think…I didn’t do a regular interview did I?
Brian Last: I thought you did. I could swear you did. Maybe I’m wrong. I mean it was a long time ago.
Scott Teal: Yeah, I don’t think I did. He used to write…I’m trying to think if he wrote the road stories for Whatever Happened To after we published the book. But either way, yeah, that’s how I think that it was. When we published Ole’s book, I was still publishing Whatever Happened To, and he wrote road stories. But I never did a full-blown interview with him in that.
Brian Last: How do you get to know Ole, because I know it’s always been said, and Jim Cornette always said, that Ole really hated Tennessee wrestling. And you obviously were so aligned with Nick Gulas and his promotion, you were there for, I don’t know six or seven years you worked with Nick. How did you first get to know Ole and what was the process of doing the book like?
Scott Teal: Well I had met Ole I believe back when he came into Chattanooga for Nick. Ole and Stan Hansen came in. And I barely remember it, it may have been just a ‘Hi. I’m Scott, how are you?’ blah blah blah. Then somewhere along the line, you know I knew Bill Froman for years and years, and I was going to the Gulf Coast Reunion, and one year we were both going to Cauliflower Alley Club in Vegas and he says, Ole Anderson’s going to be there this year, I want to introduce you. So, I said, great. So, he introduced me there. There’s sort of a sad but a funny story, we went to eat, Ole, and Bill Baldman and his wife Anne. We’re in one of these big resort hotels, and we’re in the restaurant and Ole being Ole, he’s holding court and telling all these stories. But the problem was he was using f-word here, and G.D. this and blank that. I was cringing because all around us was people with families. And I couldn’t say anything to him because I had just met him you know. Years later he’d do that and I’d get on him. In fact it got to a point where he’d curse or something, and he’d look at me and say, “I’m sorry, I know you don’t like that.” And I said, “Well, I don’t but you do what you’ve got to do.”
But I was just crawling under the table at the thing. So anyway, Ole came to the Gulf Coast Reunion in the years that followed, and I believe it was the year after Vegas, we were all in my motel room there. All the wrestlers used to go in somebody’s room, we’d have 8 or 10 of us in there sitting around telling stories. And one story would feed somebody else, and they’d think of something and that would lead to another story. It was just unbelievable. It was the most fun we’d ever had.
Ole got up to leave and I got up to see him out and as we were walking out to the parking lot, he says, “You know we ought to write a book.” Well you could have knocked me over with a feather. In fact, I know I didn’t do an interview with Ole Anderson in What Ever Happened To because I had never considered interviewing him really because he would probably be one of the last people. Even though I had (unintelligible) with wrestlers and I could talk with them about anything and they could tell me anything. Ole was one of those guys that you just think, ah, I’d be afraid to ask him something because he would probably bite my head off. You know something about the wrestling business.
But he actually mentioned it to me, and I said, sure that sounds good. Well, I sort of just shrugged it off and I didn’t know if he was serious. I waited about six months and then he called, we talked fairly often, and one day he says, “When we gonna get on that book?” And I said, “Well if you want to get started, we’ll get started.” So that’s where all that came from and we ended up doing about, I guess I spent, I recorded about 40 or 50 hours asking him questions and him telling me stories, and him answering my questions. And I just worked all of that together into the book. And that’s where the book Inside Out came.
Brian Last: Yeah, it’s a tremendous book. Ole Anderson, Inside Out: How Corporate America Destroyed Professional Wrestling. Again, available at Crowbarpress.com. We do want to talk to you about your current releases. Your three most current. The first one I want you to talk to you about is one that, it ended up being a topic here on the show, The Wrestling Archive Project: Classic 20th Century Mat Memories. And of course, you have a 117 page never before published interview with Buddy Colt, as well as various other interviews, some of which I believe originally were from Whatever Happened To
Scott Teal: Yes.
Brian Last: The one that really became a big topic here on the show was, a few weeks back, Beau James had released on his podcast, audio of Mario Gallento in 1974 going on Memphis radio after the incident that had occurred between him and Jerry Jarret and Jerry Lawler and exposing the business. In discussing that, I ended up digging through my old Whatever Happened To’s where you had an interview with Smoky Gallento as well as various wrestler’s remembrances of Mario Gallento. And that reminded me of something that I hadn’t thought about in years, and I dug it up and on the air we discussed your interview with Dandy Jack Donovan which discussed his, ah the only way to call it is a locker room assault at the hands of Jerry Jarret, Jackie Fargo and Tojo Yamamoto. A story that is later backed up a few issues later in a letter from Len and Joe Rossi. You being the person interviewing Jack Donovan, what are you thinking when he’s telling you this story? Had you heard it before? What did you know about it before that time?
Scott Teal: I knew there had been some problems but I didn’t really know the details. I had heard the Mario Gallento story from quite a few people. But the Jack Donovan story, I just knew that something had happened. And of course Jack went into detail in the interview. In fact that interview itself is in that Wrestling Archive Project, the first volume that you just talked about with Buddy Colt’s interview.
Brian Last: Right.
Scott Teal: That’s in the book. It really didn’t surprise me. I’ve had people since then that have written saying that it just blows their mind that something like that would actually take place. It was a…you know people will have to read the interview to understand it but, it was a brutal, brutal attack on jack by Tojo, jerry and Fargo. And I don’t know exactly how much Fargo had to really do with it. I think he was along for the ride. But I don’t necessarily think he participated probably as much as the others. I don’t know for sure, but that’s what I’ve had people tell me. But it was a brutal attack and something you just wouldn’t think…It’s really…People talk about the assault Sid Vicious and was it Arn Anderson?
Brian Last: Yes.
David Bixenspan: In England? Yeah.
Scott Teal: Yes. That wasn’t any worse than what they tried to do with jack Donovan. It was pretty brutal. But I wish Jack was here now because I would love to get him here to talk to you about it because he would tell you everything. It’s quite shocking, but I’d been around the wrestling business long enough to know there was a lot of stuff like that going on. Some of it in the ring you know, breaking people’s arms or ankles. Things like that happened quite often. Well Jack showed respect, but a lot of times when that happened, those kinds of things happened, it was because somebody didn’t show respect to one of the wrestlers or to the business, and that’s why those things happened.
Brian Last: You know in terms of Mario Gallento, you had the interview with Smoky Gallento and then you also had various wrestlers, Dick Steinborn, and maybe Frankie Cain, who had stories about Mario Gallento, and I believe you said coming up soon would be…You were going to talk to all different parties to get the story of everything that happened in the live fight on Memphis TV as well as the second attempted attack where he went after Jerry Lawler with a straight razor which was broken up by Jim Wight sticking a gun in his mouth.
You never, I don’t think you ever printed that story. Was it something you worked on and it just didn’t fit, or what happened with that?
Scott Teal: Oh no it would have fit, (laughter) something like that. I would have love to have done. I guess what the problem was, it just, there weren’t enough people that really knew many details that were there at the time. And so I never really did get an opportunity to talk…Plus it’s you know, working a full time job and I was trying to put out that magazine and work a regular job. I just never really got around to it I guess.
I talked to Billy Whicks a few weeks ago, and I told him I wanted to talk to him about it because I do plan to update that Smokey Boyette, Smoky Galento, interview. I talked to her a couple of years ago and she’s willing to do it. I may be getting more information from her. Hopefully we’ll get it updated in a little bit. I know Jerry Jarrett talked about it in his book a little bit. Of course, that is from his view point. Smokey’s is from her view point. Same with the Jack Donovan thing, that was his view point, Who knows what the real truth is about anything.
Brian Last: We talk about the Wrestling Archive Project Vol. 1 which again has the 117 page interview with Buddy Colt, as well as various interviews, including the Dandy Jack Donovan interview that we’re referencing here. Another book, the one that me and Jim Cornette were very excited about, that I have in my hands right now, is your recent re-release of Whatever Happened To Gorgeous George which is a legendary book. Other than Fall Guys, I guess it was the first real big book to break kayfabe and tell what was going on behind the scenes. What made you decide to revisit this book and put it out?
Scott Teal: Those kind of books to me need to be out there. Same with Fall Guys. I’ve sort of got something on the table with that, that I may end up re-releasing that but it’s going to be more of several historians chiming in on, you know, filling everybody in on what was true and what wasn’t. There’s a lot of things in there that were plain out fabrications of Toots Mondt. Toots Mondt had the ear of Marcus Griffin that wrote it. There’s a lot of things in there that aren’t true. Facts that aren’t exactly the way they happened. So there’s several of us who are gonna sort of combine…do almost…you know how they do books and they do something called an annotated version, I believe it is. I remember reading a book once where they have illustrations and explainations of things between paragraphs. That’s what I want to do with Fall Guys.
But as far as Whatever Happened To Gorgeous George, I, to be honest with you, I can’t remember how I got in touch with Joe Jarras. Whether he contacted me…Oh I think about that now and I just don’t remember. I’d have to ask him. But some way I got in touch with him and I thought this would be a great project. My thought on all of these re-releases, is not only to re-release the original book, but to add to it, to do an interview with the author and that’s what I did. I interviewed Joe and talked to him about the book and how he came about writing it. Whether he had problems, you know, from the wrestlers, did the wrestlers give him any heat about, you know. It doesn’t really come out and expose the business like a lot of books, but it does a little bit. And just asking questions about what happened after the publication of the book. Same thing with Hooker, when I re-released Lou Thesz’s book Hooker. Lou Thesz and I had been friends for many years and to me that was the book that needed to be out there. And of course that book has been updated too. We’ve got hundreds of pictures in the book that weren’t in the original along with interviews with the author and an interview Lou’s wife Charli. And actually a lot of stories that came from interviews that I had done with Lou back in the day. We added that to the end of the book. It’s pretty much, you know, almost a new version of the book, even though the original text, you know, appears just as it did when Lou wrote it.
But that’s pretty much how the Gorgeous George book came about. I just think those kind of books need to be out there. I’ve seen them online, and people asking hundreds of dollars for them. Drawing Heat is another one. The Bearman’s story by Jim Friedman. That’s a book that needed to be out there because it’s got so much good information and so much history in it. I just contacted Jim, and there again I don’t know how I got in touch with Jim, it may have been through Greg Oliver. But those kind of books need to be available on and on.
Brian Last: Yeah, Bix you had talked to me about Drawing Heat and both of us have a desire, that’s actually one of the few books I don’t have, and you said also you wanted. And there was another book that Scott recently put out that you said that you were really interested in reading.
David Bixenspan: Uh, which..oh of the new ones? The Mark Fleming book?
Brian Last: Yeah.
David Bixenspan: Yeah, that’s an interesting one. I haven’t picked it up yet. I didn’t check, is it on Kindle yet?
Scott Teal: No not yet. I have got to get…I’m trying to finish right now, I’m at the layout stage of a book called, well we don’t have a title yet, we haven’t decided for sure. But it’s a biography of Dick the Bruiser by Richard Vichek.
Brian Last: Oh wow! Awesome.
Scott Teal: He did some research. I mean, did a lot of work. Archives. He went to the Notre Dame Library, he talked to everybody he could find who knew Bruiser, who wrestled Bruiser, who worked with Bruiser. He talks with Wilbur Snyder’s son. You just wouldn’t believe how many people have, you know, contributed to the book through their memories. Dick the Bruiser Jr. shared a lot of things from his records that he had of Bruiser’s. Chris Parsons that does the Wrestling Relics website, he helped a whole lot with pictures and information. It’s going to be an awesome book.
But anyway I digress, that’s what I’m working on. The reason I brought that up is that I haven’t had time to get the Kindle format coded correctly until I finish this. As soon as I finish this, I’ll be putting the Bruiser book, Mark Fleming’s book, Wrestling Archive Project and Whatever Happened to Gorgeous George on Kindle. I would expect within a week, two weeks, I’ll have it up and ready to go.
David Bixenspan: By the way, I think it was kind of under the radar when most of the Crowbar stuff went up on Kindle because I didn’t see a lot of people talking about it. And it’s been a little while now, but for those that don’t realize it’s been about what, a year or two years now that the books have been up on Kindle.
Scott Teal: Probably a year. I’m just one of these old school guys that just fought the electronic age. I love having a book in my hand. Like I talked to my Mom, and she even reads Kindle now. She likes it, she prefers the regular books but she reads Kindle all the time because it’s so much easier. She told me a few weeks ago and she says the funny thing is, she’s reading a page on Kindle and she reaches over to the right side to turn the page. (Laughter)
David Bixenspan: So with Mark Fleming, that’s someone that maybe the average fan, even into older wrestling, wouldn’t necessarily think of at first glance as someone they’d find interesting. But he has a really uniquely varied career. Doing jobs and working undercards for Crockett, then going to UWFi which is very different. But also helping Lou Thesz with his school, so I haven’t picked it up yet, but for people listening, what should we expect from that book?
Scott Teal: Mark’s book…I had somebody recently posted on Facebook, he writes, “Mark Fleming? Who is he to get a book?” And I thought, give me a break. It aggravates me that people have…show no respect you know. And the guy is a good guy that said that. It’s just the way it came across.
Mark is one of these guys, and I have another book I’ll reference as well by Hal West, Harold West, Duke, west. He wrote a book called Long Days and Short Pays. I’ll get back to Mark in a second, but Duke, his biggest claim to fame was wrestling one time for Verne Gagne on Verne’s TV show. Everything else was small little independent shows that you probably never even heard about in Ohio, Indiana, just real tiny shows. And I’d say that I love Duke, because he’ll admit it. He says the same thing. He was just a carpenter guy that travelled the independent circuit. But his story just fascinated me because it comes from a different viewpoint. It comes from a viewpoint of a guy that, you know, loved the business, he had a dream and he was able to be a part of the business, but it was nothing more than small small independents, travelling around. Of course, now it’s hard to even find, you know, independents to do that with, you know, where you can travel around. But he traveled around a little bit.
And the same with Mark Fleming. He wrestled for WCW and in the book he talks about being trained, not trained, but going to the training camp, the school where they weed all the wannabees out. So I think there was 27 guys with him that Gene and Ole Anderson ran through the paces, and one by one these guys dropped out, left. Some of them left crying. Ole would put a hold on them, Gene would put a hold on them and they couldn’t take it. But Mark, you know, it’s like you say, he worked with Lou Thesz in Lou Thesz’s school. He wrestled for UWFi, he wrestled for United Nations Wrestling in Japan. And just his story, no he wasn’t a big name, he wasn’t a guy that most fans readily even recognize his name, but he has an interesting story. It’s sort of a…just a side of the business that you don’t always hear. You read Ric Flair’s stories, you read Jerry Lawler’s story and all these guys that have written books and they all come from pretty much the same place. They ended up in the main events. But these guys were you know, down in the ditches. They were fighting just to have a spot. That’s something interesting that I found, Mark was talking about Crockett sending them to Kansas City to wrestle when they sort of took over the Kansas City territory. And that was sort of fascinating to read, the things that happened and how that territory had pretty much died, and no matter what they did they just couldn’t bring it back. Partly because the talent that Crockett was sending, he really wasn’t doing what they should do to make it work. But it gave him the opportunity to work in a place, in a territory and learn a little more about his craft.
Brian Last: Well you know, speaking of interesting stories, I do want to talk to you a little bit about your early days in the business. As you mentioned previously, earlier here in this interview, you grew up in Florida and you actually started with, I don’t know if you would call it a newsletter or a fan zine in Florida. Was this something you just did on your own? Was it something where you actually were able to establish a relationship with the Cowboy Luttrell and later Eddie Graham office? Tell us a little bit about that.
Scott Teal: Oh no, I didn’t have any relationship with that office at all. And knowing what I know now, I didn’t know this back in the day, but knowing what I know now, I am so glad I never went down to the Sportatorium and told them I wanted to do something in wrestling. Because I heard horror stories about that place.
No I started watching, as I said, in 1968, and I was absolutely hooked. I was at a girls house for dinner, and after dinner she says…everybody gets up and starts going out, and I said where’s everybody going and she says we’re going out to watch wrestling. I said, wrestling? They did this every Sunday, that was what they did at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. We went out and watched it and I was hooked from then on.
Almost immediately I started to watch the program every week and I started checking the newspapers to see who was wrestling in Tampa. Then I went up to a music camp up at Florida State. It was a six week program. I went to the matches there live, that was my first time I ever went to a wrestling match live at the Tallahassee Armory. And I noticed they had the posters in gas stations and store windows, and I started to ask if I could have the posters after the cards were over. So, I got a bunch of those. By the time…I guess I had that wasn’t more than 4 or 5 weeks since I had seen my first match. Tallahassee, I realized there was wrestling in more places than just Tampa which I didn’t know until I went to Tallahassee. I thought they wrestled in Tampa, that was it. Come to find out they wrestle in 10, 12, 13 different places just in Florida.
So when I got home I started looking at newspapers and then I went to the library to look in out of town newspapers. And I went to a place called Sharpes drug store in Bradenton Florida. They had the Charlotte paper, the Washington paper, papers form all over the country and I’d look in there and read the results and see the ads. I went down there all the time. Next thing I was going to the library up in Tampa. Somehow I found out about microfilm and I started researching old wrestling cards and then I found, at the same time, I found the magazines on the newsstand. I wrote a letter to Wrestling Revue, the first thing I ever had published anywhere. Something about why don’t you cover Florida wrestling more. Which I understand now because Bruno and those guys sold the magazines. But I started taking a camera to the matches. I bought a camera, and started taking the camera and took pictures and started sending them into the magazines. That’s pretty much how I got my start and I met a few of the wrestlers while I was down there. I didn’t have anything to do though with the office. I didn’t hardly talk to anybody. Almost about 5 years, six years I guess I took pictures.
I didn’t want to be around. I knew enough to not get around where somebody would say hey kid get out of here we don’t want you here. So I just sort of kept to myself. I went ot the matches every week at Robarts Sports Stadium and served soda every other week in Tampa. Went to St. Pete Bayfront Center. And Like I said all that time I pretty much kept to myself. But I met enough guys and made enough relationships then selling, you know the wrestlers would buy pictures from me.
Then when I came up to Tennessee I did the same thing. I just went to the matches and took pictures and wrote stories and met a few of the guys. Then one day Don Greene called me and he’d asked me if I’d like to go to Huntsville with him. I said sure, so I rode down to Huntsville. They had a big, big show at the Von Bron Civic Center. I just stood out in the arena and took pictures and doing my thing. Then somebody walks up to me and says Nick Gulas wants to see you in the back. And this is why I didn’t ever get around, you know, Eddie Graham or anything, Because I thought if they know, if they see me, they may not want me around and they’d kick my butt out and say we don’t want you hear. I thought I was in trouble. I had no idea.
And I got to the back, and man, this guy, Nick was so nice. He says he had heard about me from guys that were wrestling there that I had known in Florida or that I had met there, and he wanted to know if I would come and work for him. And next thing I know I’m doing all his pictures, all his photography work and I picked up the Huntsville program. George Gulas asked me if I would like to do the program for Huntsville. He said they used to have one there and of course they had programs in Birmingham, Chattanooga, Nashville. Not Chattanooga, I don’t guess they did have one. But I said, sure. So, I came up with a program. We called it Slam-o-Gram. And after about 10 weeks the guy in Nashville who had the program, Mike Duncan, came and asked me if I’d like to buy the rights to publish the program there in Nashville. And I said sure. So I paid him whatever it was $500 or $600, he just didn’t want to do it anymore.
So at that point I had the arena program in Nashville, Huntsville, Bowling Green and then Chattanooga. And Chattanooga was the best of all the towns. I sold more programs there than in any other towns. I was living the dream. Being able to be a part of the pro wrestling business. I sold souvenirs. Boyd Pierce out of Louisiana, he had all kinds of gimmicks. Ashtrays, pencils, pens, combs, you name it, with “Wrestling, King of Sports” on the side. If you could print “Wrestling: King Of Sports” on something he had it. So he’d sell them to me at a 50% discount and I would mark them up 50% and sell them at the wrestling matches.
But the great thing about all this, the story that I always like to tell. I was making as much as a lot of the guys wrestling there at the time. Between selling the programs every week, and I only had to go out of town two to three times a week, actually once. I went to Chattanooga every week, TV in Chattanooga and the house show that night. Sometimes I went to Bowling Green. I was doing pretty well, probably $300, $400, $500 a week between that and all the souvenirs. It was a part time thing because I was going to college. But I’ll ask you this, Nick Gulas has such a bad reputation with people for being so chintzy and so miserly. How much, what kind of percentage do you think he asked that I had to give him for all that stuff I sold?
Brian Last: Oh, the fact that you are asking it in that way makes me think I should maybe modify what my answer would have been.
Scott Teal: (Laughter)
Brian Last: You know, I don’t want to say 0% but let’s say 15%?
Scott Teal: I’ve had people say yeah he probably took half of what you got, or some people say 25%. Well you’re too high. He never asked me for one dime.
Brian Last: Wow!
Scott Teal: He said Scott, you give me good publicity. Whatever you make you can keep. And he allowed me to set up a table in the foyer of any arena I wanted and sell all those gimmicks. He allowed me to go and sell programs and have people sell programs at all those places. All I had to do was go to the office once a week. Sit down with the booking, when they were booking and find out what, they’d tell me what they had planned coming up. So, I knew what kind of stuff, you know, what kind of articles to write for the program. If we’re gonna be pushing Randy Savage next week or blah blah blah and so I’d do an article on Randy Savage or one thing or another like that.
But he never charged me one dime. I made a great living while I was in college, paid my way through college. It gave me a good start in life. It taught me a lot about business and life. Of course I also sold pictures. The wrestlers bought pictures from me, so I had a great deal and I have nothing, nothing but good things to say about Nick Gulas. There’s a lot of guys that don’t say good things, but at the same time there’s a lot of guys that made a great living with Nick Gulas. Some of whom would never have been to wrestle anywhere else. They never would have been given an opportunity. And some guys like Tommy Rich, he got an opportunity through Nick. I would almost bet he never would have gotten in the door if he had gone straight to Ole Anderson.
Brian Last: Yeah, I would say so yeah.
Scott Teal: He got a good start with Nick Gulas and Tommy was so talented, but by Nick and Jerry giving him that start, you know, Jerry Jarrett had a good bit to do with that too, you know, with Tommy. But by the opportunity of being able to wrestle in that territory, look where Tommy went. He had a great, great career.
Brian Last: Yeah and you know your story is so similar to that of Jim Cornette’s…
David Bixenspan: I was just going to say that.
Brian Last: He ended up doing for Jarrett what you did for Gulas. Doing the programs, the pictures, and having a gimmick table. A similar story too where he was making more money than most of the wrestlers a lot of the time.
David Bixenspan: He took a pay cut to become a manager. A significant pay cut.
Brian Last: That’s right.
Scott Teal: (Laughter) Yeah I heard this story one time, I forget when it was I heard it, after I got out of the business or while I was in it. But it may have been Cowboy Frankie Lane told me. He said that Jim Cornette, and I think Jim will back this up because I think he even said something to me about it. He said he was so jealous of me because I never met him until years, and years, and years later. Decades later. But he said he was jealous of me because everyone told him I was allowed to go in and out of the dressing room whenever I wanted. I had free access to everything.
Brian Last: (Laughter)
Scott Teal: He wasn’t even allowed to go into the dressing room for years. I guess until he got in the business, I guess. I always thought that was funny.
Brian Last: But, uh, we'll talk more about this at the end of the interview, but without further ado, here is part two of our conversation with Scott Teal of Crowbar Press.
I, uh, I'm very fortunate and that I actually have a lot of original copies of the old Slam-O-Grams that you did and...
Scott Teal: Oh, awesome!
Brian Last: ...and I want to ask you about some of the guys that you covered in there and just get your thoughts on them because so many of them are guys that, you know, unfortunately these Slam-O-Grams that you did and your recounting of the storylines and the angles that took place are, in many cases, the only evidence that exists that any of this stuff happened. Just because obviously there's no videotapes or at least nothing that's been uncovered of so much of this stuff. One of the guys who's in a lot of the issues I have here who is someone who many aspects of his life have taken on a bit of an urban legend is what about the Bicentennial Baby, Big Bad John?
Scott Teal: I love John. He was the sweetest guy. He, I mean, he was loud and bombastic and, but man, what an interview he was. He wasn't very good as far as being a wrestler. But man, he could interview, he could talk his way into anything. I mean, what a good guy. I love John. Uh, I guess I first, I first met John in Florida, uh, around 1973. It wasn't anything where we became friends. It's just, hi, how are you doing? Um, you know, I'm Scott. That was it. But then when he came up there is just like, he remembered me from being down there taking pictures, but he didn't...It was just like we were all old friends. He was good guy, a real, real good guy.
Brian Last: You mentioned that unlike many of the wrestlers who have bad things to say about Nick Gulas, that you on a personal level can't say anything bad about him. I'm curious what your relationship with George Gulas was because here's someone who. It's very hard to hear anyone say anything good about. So what did you feel...Uh, what, what, what were your thoughts on George Gulas?
Scott Teal: Well, again, there I go. I owe George everything. He was just like his dad to me. He treated me well. He'd call me all the time. In fact he's the one that got me set up doing the programs in Huntsville, you know. He came to me, he says, you know, we don't have a program in Huntsville. Why don't you think about doing it? And he nev...You know...And my whole thought the whole time, you know, you know, what are they going to want for...What's George going to want for it? Because he did everything he could to help me get set up with that. And he never asked for one dime, but he, he'd call and say, we're doing this, we're doing that. Why don't you, why don't you try this? Uh, I mean, he, there was so many things he helped me with and I have...Just like Nick, I have nothing but good to say about him. And I will say this about George. George was brought up in the world of wrestling. I don't think there's anybody, I don't care who it is that was brought up that wouldn't want to be a part of it. George loved the business. He wanted so badly to be a wrestler, but he probably just didn't have what it, you know, he didn't what it took, you know, and I, I can't knock him for that because it's Nick's fault more than anything because Nick pushed him farther than he should have gone. But I will say one thing about George's character, people can say what they want, but somebody's got on an interview several years ago and I mean ripped him up one side down the other. Called him the worst, one of the worst wrestlers in the world. Somebody else said he was one of the worst three wrestlers in the world. George did an interview with the same interviewer, within that week, and he had heard the interview. I think it was Frank Morel. He had heard the interview Frank did. He didn't say one bad thing. He says, well, I'll tell you what, he said, that's Frank's opinion. He said I'm not going to say anything bad about Frank. He was a good wrestler. And in fact, if you can find the interview, I encourage you to listen. He was so...
David Bixenspan: It was Gary Cubetta's website right?.
Scott Teal: Yes, yes, absolutely. And it was very good what he said, he said nothing bad about anyone and he even, you know, Gary even challenged, not meaning mean wise, but he challenged him on it. He says, you know, well, they say you're the three worst wrestlers and George says well, that may be. He says, he says, at least I'm not...He says, I hope I'm not THE worst wrestler he says, but that may be he says, I just did what I had to do and tried my best and he didn't, you know, didn't knock anybody because of what anybody said. And yet I have people that's been to our reunion here at our house that...Oh, I, you know, the past is the past, you know. I'm not gonna say anything bad about George. And then next thing they're writing a book and saying bad things about George and all that stuff, you know, and I'm thinking, give me a break, you know. But you, you, you read Jerry Lawler's book. He had good things to say about Nick. Oh, I'm back to Nick now. You know, Bill Dundee had good things to say about Nick. You know, yeah, Nick did some things that people didn't like and I, I know, I know the stories. I've heard the stories.
Brian Last: Well you were working for Nick when the famed 77 breakup between Gulas-Welch and Jerry Jarrett took place. What were you thinking when all this was going on?
Scott Teal: I didn't go to Memphis. I take that back. I went to Memphis occasionally, maybe once a month...Oh there's my phone trying to ring in...Message. I went to Memphis, you know, maybe once a month. I didn't have the program there. So there was no reason for me to go other than just to go, you know, I'd ride, you know, once a month I'd ride with somebody there and take pictures and uh, but, you know, it wasn't somewhere I went to make any money, so I didn't go every week. Uh, I could've gone to Birmingham I guess, and done the same thing. Um, but when the split happened, it really, you know, I didn't, I didn't, you know, of course, you know, there's a lot of buzz. Everybody's talking this and that and I, you know, I, I don't know that I paid a whole lot of attention to it except what I heard from the guys. Uh, Frankie Laine was working...You know, went with Jerry and I was real, real good friends with Frankie Lane, so he, you know, he'd come back and tell me what's going on. I was working for Nick all that time and...I hope this doesn't sound bad on my part...But right after they split, Jerry Lawler called and wanted to know if I'd write stories for their program. And I said, Jerry, I said, I'd love to do it. I said, but if Nick found out, I said, you know, I'd be in big trouble. He says, well, he says, all you have to do is just bring it by the house. We didn't have email then. And I lived, you know I lived not too far from him in Hendersonville. And so every week I'd bring him five stories for the program and he'd hand me $50.
Brian Last: Wow.
Scott Teal: And I'd, uh, next week, same thing. I did, I did that for about, I'd say 10 weeks, I guess. And then one week Jerry calls me, or I, I got, I went to his house and he gave me the 50 bucks and he says, I hate to tell you this. He says, but, uh, we won't be needing your stories anymore. He says, I really liked the way you write. He says, but Jerry Jarrett found out I was paying you 50 bucks for the stories. And he, he thought he thought that was a waste of money. (Laughter) I said, that's fine. I understand. Business is business, you know, he feels it's waste of money. That's okay. I have no problem with that. So, so that was the end of that. But, uh, yeah, that, that's about all...As close as I came to really paying a whole lot of attention to what they were doing. Of course, like I said, at that point I had to know what they were doing because, you know, I had to know what kind of angles to push in the program. But now it was sort of nice to be able to do that for short while for the Memphis program. I'll tell you another story. One, one other time I got myself in a little hot water with another promotion is when, uh, Lou Thesz's UWA came in into town. Of course they're, you know, they're opposition to Nick and of course and a lot of my friends were working for them, you know, Ramey and the Interns and uh, Saul Weingroff. Frank Morel, lot of the guys, you know, I knew real well. And Al Costello called me one day, this is just before they came into Tennessee, they were going to have a big card up in Springfield, Tennessee, just north of Nashville. And Al says, Scott. He says, would you come up and shoot some pictures for us? He says, we, he says, we need publicity pictures and if you could just come up and take a bunch of pictures. He says we'll pay you for for them. And he says, but we need, we need, we need some. And I said, sure. So I went up to Springfield that night, took pictures and went back home and develop them, you know, sent them to...Uh took them to Al. And he paid me for them. So that Wednesday night, it may have been the next night, that Wednesday night I go to the fairgrounds and I walk in and somebody says, Nick wants to see you. I said, okay. And it really didn't dawn on me what he might want to see me for. I don't know why I didn't think of it. He pulled me into the dressing room, he pulled me aside. He says Scott, he says, uh, somebody tells me you were at the UWA card in Springfield last night. I said, yeah, I just went down there. I said, Al Costello asked me to go shoot some pictures for him. And now no one...If you knew Nick, you probably would've thought, you know, he would have chewed me out because he had chewed people. I mean, he did. He chewed people out over nothing. You know. He looked at me, he says, well, he says, I just wish you wouldn't do that. He says, because it looks bad. And it dawned on me at that point, yes it did. You know, I didn't think anything about it being opposition. I was just shooting pictures for my friends. But it dawned on me. Yes, it did look bad. Here I was, I worked for Nick and I was going to the opposition show. It didn't look good at all and it...And I said, Nick, I said, I am so sorry. I said I just, it just didn't even dawn on me. And I told him what I just said, you know, I just went to take pictures because a lot of them are my friends and I said, it won't happen again. You'll never see me at one of their cards. And he says, well I appreciate that Scott. And you know, he, he could have fired me right there, you know, he coulda chewed me out. I mean, like I said, I've heard him chew guys out. Oh my goodness. He doesn't mince words. But he...There's just another example of how good he treated me. And it may be...The reason I, I sorta think he did is a lot of wrestlers when they come in here, if they really need it, especially the, you know, the underneath guys, they need a place to work. Nick probably didn't treat them nice or as well because he knew they needed him. Me, he knew I was in college and I didn't intend to make it a full time career. Although if he had stayed in business I probably would have, but uh, he, he knew that I didn't need him and you know, that if, you know that I, I might just up and leave and so I think there's a difference in, you know, what I'm talking about sometimes, you know.
Brian Last: Did you have much interaction with Roy Welch?
Scott Teal: Not a bit. I don't know that I...I don't think I ever met Roy. I think he was, I think, I think he was out of the business before I started working for Nick.
Brian Last: Okay. And what was it like at the end, because you were with Nick until he sold to Jarrett in 80 or 81? I forget exactly when it would have been. Uh, so what was it like there at the end and was it just once he sold, you were done? Did you was there any talk between you and the Jarrett office or was that it?
Scott Teal: I still don't understand fully what the deal was. I got a call from Dick Steinborn one day and he said, Scott, Buddy Fuller has bought Nick's promotion. He's going to be the promoter now starting next Wednesday night at the Fairgrounds arena. He says, we'd like you to continue to do the program, but I like come over and talk to you about it. And so he wanted me to change the name from Slam-O-Gram to Mid-America Mat News, which I did as no big deal. And we doubled the size. I think we doubled the size of the program. He wanted me...What I was doing is I'd sell the program, like I said in Chattanooga, Huntsville, Birmingham, I mean Bowling Green, Nashville, and it was a generic program and I put an insert in there with the card. They wanted the card printed on the inside, which costs...At that time that costs a whole lot more because you know, the more you get of one type at that time, the cheaper price you got. But if you had to change up and have a different card in every program that costs a lot more money. But we did that about two, three weeks and Dick came and he says, man, he says, programs aren't selling like I thought they were. Just go back doing it the way you were. And I worked for Buddy for about, I'm wanting to say about eight weeks and one day I get a phone call once again from my good friend Jerry Jarrett. He says, Scott, Buddy's not going to be promoting anymore. He says, uh, we're taking over the promotion and we're bringing in my guy so we won't need your program anymore. I said, well, I understand that. I said, I just had programs printed for tomorrow night's card as though I said, can I go ahead and sell those? He says, no. He says, we, we've got our own program. I said, okay, that's fine. Yeah, here I was. I mean, I was making decent money, but I was still a college student, you know, struggling. And then it sorta ticked me off. Because I just spent three, three, three, $400, a couple...$200-300 on those things, on the, on the program for the week. So anyway. That was it. And that's when I said I'm through with wrestling, you know, I uh, I probably won't have anything...I won't have anything to do with again. Um, you know, it was really nothing for me. I didn't want to go anywhere else or I just, I just didn't think there was any, anything else I could do in wrestling, you know, other than programs. And we were sort of homesteaded there in Nashville. Had a good job with UPS. So I said that's it. I'm just...I'll just hang it up and wrestling's behind me. Well, little did I know 15, 16 years later now look at me.
David Bixenspan: Did you have any involvement with the Georgia office when they were running Chattanooga?
Scott Teal: No, I went quite a few times. Not quite a few. I went several times to Atlanta. Shot pIctures for the magazines and I knew real well...Um, well I take that back. I didn't know her at the time. When I came up to Nashville to go to Tribeca Nazarene College, I was in the concert choir and we were going to go to Atlanta on a...Like leave on Saturday, saturday and then sing at a church in Atlanta on sunday and it was going to be at the Nazareen church there. Which Tribeca's a nazareen college. I had never met Danny and Vicky Goddard. Are you familiar with those names?
Brian Last: I'm not, no.
David Bixenspan: I don't think so.
Scott Teal: Yeah, Danny and Vicky. Danny was the president in the late sixties of the Sputnik Monroe Fan Club, or The Monroe Brothers Fan Club. He was very, very close to Sputnik and Rocket Monroe and to an extent Flash (Monroe). Uh, he would....They were almost like uncles or fathers to them to, to, to Danny and Vicky. They loved those kids. They loved those two. The Monroe's loved them. So anyway, they, they were involved in the WFIA, the Wrestling Fans International Association. And so one day I thought I'm going to call Vicky. I'd never talked to her, never met her. I only knew of her through the magazines and things like that. I'd seen pictures of her and her brother in the magazines. I thought I'm going to call her and tell her that we're going to be in Atlanta singing at a church. So I call her and come to find out it's her church. Now, what... Figure...Go figure that. It was their church and she said...We talked for awhile and she could not believe I was coming down there to sing. Especially, in the wrestling business, it's, it's sorta, it's...Vicky and I used to call it the Mission Field. (Laughter) It's sorta a rough place, you know, it's not exactly a real Christian atmosphere. But anyway, she said she got off the phone, she told me later, she got off the phone and she told Danny her brother, she says, Danny, guess what? Scott Teal's going to be at our church singing with Tribeca Nazareen Concert Choir. And he said, yeah, right. He just didn't believe it. But, but that's how I met them. And so that's really the only inroads I had with the Georgia office. Bobby Simmons, I guess knew of me through Vicky and I had talked to Bobby once...Once or twice I guess when I went down for shows. I met a lot of guys. I met Lanny Poffo for the first time when I was down in Athens, Georgia. Uh Bill Bowmen and lot of those guys I met for the first time down there. So I didn't have any direct involvement. I wish I had, but I didn't. Like I said, I did make it up there a few times.
David Bixenspan: Now. I know you said that you...You said you never really understood exactly how the transition to when Jarrett completely took over Nashville took place. Uh, one thing, like, I've never been clear on and then because I know there was also a lawsuit and stuff, what exactly happened to where Gulas kind of came back into the mainstream fold, sort of working with Jarrett before all that. Like for like, you know, I guess so that's, this is like, I don't know exactly how long it was, but around 1980. Like when the, like when the Blonde Bombers would go in and out of Memphis to, to Gulas and then back.
Scott Teal: Yeah, well that actually, if I remember correctly, that was after Nick sold out. That was Buddy Fuller. I'm not confused about how Jarrett got the promotion. I'm just not certain how the business dealings happened.
David Bixenspan: Right.
Scott Teal: In other words, what was Buddy...I never heard a word about Jerry Jarrett having any part of that promotion when after...When Buddy Fuller first came over. From what I understood, Buddy Fuller bought the promotion from Nick and ran it for about as long...Til seven or eight weeks and I got the phone call from Jerry Jarrett at that point. That's when I...That's the first time I ever heard anything or knew anything about Jerry Jarrett being, uh owning the Nashville territory. So I always assumed Buddy bought the territory and then eight weeks later, Jarrett bought the territory. But, looking back I sort of wonder if maybe Jarrett had been the money man all along because Nick would've sold to Buddy but he wasn't going to sell to Jerry because you know the heat there. So I don't really know. You know, the full story. and even in Jerry's book, I don't think Jerry really...I don't know. I'm going to have to re-look at that again in his book. Give me about 10 minutes. No, I'm kidding.
Brian Last: No, but wasn't Buddy, Jerry's partner when he broke off from Nick and Roy?
Scott Teal: I think Buddy had a...Yes, I think Buddy had a part of, you know, of the promotion as well. But, so I don't know, like I said, I just don't know what the deal was. How Nick sold the territory, who he actually sold it to or what the contract was or any of that or if there was a contract. I don't know. I don't really know.
David Bixenspan: And do you know anything about the lawsuit that uh, Jarrett and Edward Welch filed against Gulas in 1980? Because I found that clipping awhile back and I...It surprised me because like again, it's like I don't really understand how exactly Gulas and Jarrett fit into each other, but, here they are saying that....Let me, because I have it right in front of me, the headline was "Sabotage Alleged by Wrestling Suit" and uh, I could even read it it here. But It was uh, let me see quickly what it says. They're seeking damages of $850,000 dollars, allegedly because of a dispute with Jarrett and Welch as to how Gulas would be paid for the remaining 25 percent of his stock. Gulas began in August, 1980 to systematically, knowingly and maliciously take actions intended to be of substantial damage to the plaintiff's, uh, Jarrett and Welch to jeopardize the plaintiff's find...You know, this is the stuff from the lawsuit itself, and then among the actions taken by Gulas alleged in the suit include the following on August 26, 1980, Gulas took the corporate checkbook and other records from the corporate offices and closed their corporate checking account, urged all employees of the company to quit, encouraged some wrestlers that had been promoted by Gulas Wrestling Enterprises to find other promoters. Uh September 07, 1980 caused WTVF TV to break a contract to televise wrestling matches promoted by the company and encourage the station to break a subsequent contract, thwarted the purchase by Ronald's Welch, which... Is Ronald Welch Buddy Fuller?
Scott Teal: Ronald Welch is Ron Fuller.
David Bixenspan: Oh, it was Ron Fuller. Right. Why am I thinking...? Why did I get that wrong? I'm in my head, I'm like, wait, what? Why did it...Anyway, he thwarted the purchase of Ronald Welch's portion of the, uh, company that operated out of Birmingham by threatening to have Birmingham television station cancel the televised wrestling programs. Uh, then they quote the suit saying the net revenues from the national operation, which are derived from wrestling fans attending wrestling matches in Nashville, drops substantially, resulting in substantial economic loss to the plaintiff's, all of which was caused by the above referenced actions of Gulas. Uh, Gulas, who sold his portion of the promotion firm he began for $106,000 in seven...Excuse me, $176,700 could not be reached for comment last night. Yeah. Do you know about any of this?
Scott Teal: Yeah, I remember that. I just pulled up some notes here I have. Jerry and I guess it was Ron, it was either...No it was Buddy Fuller, Edward Welch. They, they were charging that Nick, like you said, Nick had taken the records and closed the checking account. He had gone apparently behind their back and urged some of the wrestlers to quit working for them. He was, they said he was spreading rumors that they were about to go broke or couldn't pay their debts, so they were suing him for that. Well, it wasn't long after that Nick filed a $2.2 million counter suit. He said he sold 75 percent of the company to them for $43,000 in cash and they were supposed to pay him $500 a week towards the remaining balance of 90-some thousand dollars. And that of course he says they were trying to wreck the company by, by several things using workers who were untrained. So...Going behind their back trying to screw up their televisions and uh...Different, I guess just different things like that, you know. He was asking $2.2 million and 25 percent until the, you know, the legal charges were concluded. I don't know whatever came of it, but that's, that's all I know. I know that they sued him and then he sued them. And who knows. I don't know if he ever got, you know, the rest of his money or not. I couldn't even, couldn't tell you. I did...I will say this, the territory, Nick's territory really was on the downslide. I mean, I, I, I could see it even through my program sales, I could tell it, you know. The crowds got less and less and less towards the end before he sold to Buddy. And I don't know that, I think if Buddy and Jerry had waited a little longer, Nick may have just almost given it to them, you know, or just pulled...Just quit promoting because it was getting pretty bad there towards the end. I mean he was, he was still, you know, drawing enough. Drawing, you know, okay. But it wasn't nothing like it had been in the, in its heyday. And it was nothing like it was 1974 when I first got there. You know, by 1980 I'd say the houses were probably half of what they had been. Chattanooga was probably, like I said, the best town he had at that point. But, uh, I don't know. I wish I knew more about it.
Brian Last: You had mentioned how Boyd Pierce, anything he sent you in wrestling, King of Sport would sell. I'm curious as to which wrestler in the Nick Gulas territory, if you put them on the program or if you had pictures for sale. Who...?
Scott Teal: Jackie Fargo. You don't even have to ask me that.
Brian Last: (Laughter) That's simple. Wow.
Scott Teal: Oh yeah, absolutely. Jackie Fargo is...He...I don't care...That's what...Nick always went back to Jackie. Of course, Jackie and Tojo they both stuck by Nick when, when Jarrett went out, you know, took it...And took everybody with him. Jarrett...Uh, Jackie and Tojo stuck with Nick. And they, uh, Jackie, whatever Nick needed a shot in the arm, he, he'd do some kind of angle with Jackie. Jackie wasn't wrestling all the time, you know, every week. He'd wrestle for awhile. Then he, he had other businesses. He had, uh, you know, he had his bookie business, he, you know, he, he did numbers and all kinds of gambling stuff and when Nick needed a shot in the arm, he'd called Jackie and Jackie'd come in. They do some kind of angle like they did with Hickerson and Condrey. They supposedly, you know, caught him on the side of the road and blacked his eye and beat him up real bad and man, they packed the Chattanooga Auditorium that week. My goodness. It was unbelievable. Then they brought...They'd bring in Roughhouse Fargo. Jackie, you know when he gets mad enough, "I'm calling in my brother, Nuthouse", and they'd bring in Sonny Fargo from North Carolina and man, you talk about full houses. Those places would pack....They'd pack people out in all the arenas. So yeah, Jackie was the name. He was the man in Tennessee and until Jerry Lawler, you know, hit his stride, Jackie, Jackie couldn't be beat. But uh, Lawler, I have to give him a lot of credit. He knew the wrestling business. I mean he knew....I don't know, he just knew what to do and he was the biggest....A lot of people would still say Jackie Fargo is the biggest name in pro wrestling in Memphis, but I, I, I'd have to say if it's, it's got to be probably a tie, I'd say between Jackie and Jerry Lawler because Jerry Lawler was on top for years and years and years
Brian Last: In both program sales and what you remember beIng at the arenas. What, what do you remember, you know, you mentioned Fargo with Hickerson and Condrey, but what do you remember as being some of the hottest feuds?
Scott Teal: Oh man. That's the one that sticks out, but I couldn't even...You know, that's like when I go to the Gulf Coast Reunion down in Mobile, I hear thousands of stories. And I come home, and I don't remember one of them because I hear so much. It almost like burns everything up and I think that's really, as far as feuds go, that's, that's a hard thing for me to even think right now to come up with. I know Frankie Lane had some great...We had some great houses with Frankie Lane and Roger Kirby, uh, had great houses with Roger Kirby and the Gorgeous George Jr.. Uh, I, but I just have to stop and think and uh, I couldn't name them off the top of my head right now.
Brian Last: Well, circling back to Crowbar Press, there is something I wanted to ask you about that was in one of your books that I found fascinating and it's something Bix and I had discussed that really hasn't been out there a lot. Um, a book that you did that I actually really enjoy it. I think it's underrated and I say that only because I don't hear too many people talk about it is "Too Much, Too Soon: The Tony Atlas Story." And in that book Tony talks about his ex-wife Lisa. I don't know if that's her real name or if you used an alias.
Scott Teal: I believe it is.
Brian Last: But he mentioned that Lisa had been an ex-girlfriend of Jimmy Snuka and had been in the hotel room the night that Jimmy Snuka had the infamous, the alleged, murder at this point with his, uh, girlfriend at the time. And you know, it's, it's one of those stories that never, other than it being in that book that you published, I've never seen it out there. I haven't seen anyone follow up on it. I haven't seen anyone ask Tony Atlas about it. Do you have any memories of when he, when he, you know, I don't know how you, the process you had with him to do the book, if it's something where he told it to you or if he wrote it and delivered it to you, but what did you..
Scott Teal: (Laughter) Sorry.
Brian Last: (Laughter) What did you think when you first heard that?
Scott Teal: I'm sorry, I had to laugh. Tony and Don Fargo are probably the two...Only two wrestlers who wrote a book who can't read or write.
Brian Last: (Laughter)
Scott Teal: That's the truth, and they'll admit it. I mean Tony, I tease him about it all the time, but yeah, no he doesn't read or write so he, you know, he wouldn't have written anything down. Everything...Tony's book was done in the way where I called him and we talk every now and then and I, I have like, I have an 8-10 page questionnaire that I, anything, there's nothing hardly you can think of about pro wrestling that isn't on that sheet. And I go through that questionnaire when I do some of these books and that's how I did it with Tony. I called him and I just asked him question after question and just record and record and record and then when I'm through I type it all up and then put it in some semblance of a book. And as far as Lisa goes, that's pretty much all he told me. I, now that you mentioned that I probably should have thought about asking him if she had said anything else about it. One thing, I didn't want her coming around or Jimmy, either one and suing us. So I did sort of soft pedal, you know what he, what he said. I didn't necessarily leave anything out, but I didn't want to get into too much detail because I didn't want...You know I didn't want to come out and say...Or to have Tony in the book saying, yeah, Lisa told me Jimmy killed her or whatever, you know, because that, that opens me up to libel too.
David Bixenspan: What I found fascinating about it though is, you know, the book was a few years ago now. I don't know when exactly the process of writing it was and when you would have done the interviews, but it was before the case getting reopened and all of that. And the thing that stuck out to me when Brian and I were talking about it was that, um, the way he describes it, which is, you know, uh Snuka shoving Nancy Argentino and her hitting her head on like a dresser or something in the hotel room; that matches with the autopsy, you know, that she hit her head. She fell and hit her head as she was going down. And that's not something though that was really known until, you know, what I guess a year and a half ago whenever it was that that local newspaper article came out and they took up the autopsy report and the police interview and stuff. So I'm like, it sorta, it doesn't sound like it makes sense because if there was someone else, you know what I mean, that whole thing. But that little bit, I mean that adds some credibility to it cause otherwise you know, it's a wrestler spinning a yarn. You would think that that it's like maybe. Yeah.
Scott Teal: Yeah, I, I, that does surprise me too. The only thing I'd say is wrestling books aren't real mainstream and so I don't know that anybody in charge of the investigation would have ever realized, you know, that Tony wrote about this in the book. Because if they picked up the book and read it, yeah, they may have tried to track down Lisa. So I don't know, maybe it's just not out there enough that people even realize that something was said about that incident in the book.
David Bixenspan: Something else I had wanted to ask you about as far as the books in general is um...And we talked earlier about how you want to try to preserve these older books, whether it's Drawing Heat or Whatever Happened to Gorgeous George or Lou Thesz's book Hooker. Uh what's on your list of stuff that you'd either like to do or have tried to see and track down the author and stuff to do. Because like for example, I have right in front of me, I have a copy of Paul Boesch's book that I was lucky enough to pick up. One that was, you know, very limited run that they did at a local print shop and you know, of course...
Brian Last: I'm still trying to get that one.
David Bixenspan: Yeah. And there's Gary Hart's book of course, which I guess from a business point of view, since you know that the demand is there that if you could get that to be able to do that would be great. And there's stuff like even um, even more recent stuff like Butcher Vachon's books, which I don't think he sells anymore, that he did some small prints of like, what are, what's on your list that you'd like to do? Is there anything that you can talk about that may be close? Like what in that realm is...
Brian Last: Let me, let me throw one more out there while we're talking about this. But Jim Cornette, when I was on his podcast, mentioned that uh, Smoky Galento had a Mario Glaento biography that she was selling years ago. And he had purchased a copy. And I think he gave it to Mark James and hasn't seen it since. So...
Scott Teal: It's not really an autobiography. I talked to Mark about that because I thought it might be something Mark and I could work on together and we may still. My thought was redoing that and using my interview with Smoky in there and then a transcription of that radio broadcasts that Mario did, you know. All that in, in, in the book. But when Mark sent me a copy of it, of Mario's book, it's not really a biogrpahy, it's more of a fiction book. Stuff he's written.
Brian Last: (Laughter) Ok.
Scott Teal: I think if I remember right, that that's what it was. It just didn't seem like anything that interesting. You know, I'm...I do need to revisit that and see. Um, but as far as things on the drawing board, uh, I've got two books pretty well finished, the Dick the Bruiser book and then a book by Michael Mahaladi He's a guy from Finland, a guy you really ought to talk to. He's got a great story. He's a more modern guy. He wrestled in Japan in recent years, quite a bit. His book a, well...It'll be, well, I'd say it will be out in about a month or so. He's not an old school guy, but If I, or old school guy, but he, he thinks like an old school guy and he's got a wonderful story and it's sort of like a, a history of wrestling, how wrestling got started in Finland, of which he was a pioneer and it's, it's a pretty fascinating book. And then I've got a book I'm working on with uh, Tom Hankins. This guy Tom had a great, you know, he worked a lot of independent type of shows. He uh, but he, he was big into rock and roll and wrestling both. And man, he has got the road tales. It is, it's going to be great when we, when we get it. J. Michael Kenyon and I just finished a book called, well it's sorta called Mayhem in the Garden: The Battle for New York, Shoots, Works and Double Crosses and it's a history of New York wrestling in New York City. All the infighting among the promoters, uh, who you know, who was promoting and it's, and it has every match ever held in Madison Square Garden from 1880 to present. It's got a lot of things fixed from that original little magazine with all the Madison Square Garden results I put out. But it's a history of wrestling in New York. And it's fascinating because man, you wouldn't believe the stuff going on behind the scenes between, you know, uh, Tex Rickard and uh, you know, the promoters at that, at that time. Drawing a blank here. Uh, but anyway, it's that, that's Michael...J Michael Kenyon and I have that. Um, and then I've got on the works, I've got 80 hours of audio with Dick Steinborn I have to get typed up. That guy has a memory, like a steel trap. I asked him, I said, tell me about your match with Skull Murphy in Madison Square Garden. And he tells me the finish. He tells me what they did. It's, it's amazing the stuff he remembers and I've just got to find time to finish typing it up. and uh, get that going. And Chavo Guerrero sent me his book. It's done really well. I'm going to have to do very little editing and it, it's, he's tells a lot about his father, Gory Guerrero. How the Guerrero's got into the wrestling business. And uh, then, um, do...I've got call Marti Funk about Dory Funk's book. They're ready to get going with that.
Brian Last: Oh man! Awesome!
Scott Teal: Of course, my, whatever...My Wrestling Archive Project, I don't know if you have heard this, but you know, I, I did two interviews in the first book, Buddy Colt and Adrian Street that had never been published. The other 14 Interviews were stuff From my Whatever Happened To... Well if I published nothing but my old interviews, I don't do any new interviews, but just my old interviews in those Wrestling Archive Projects, I have enough for four or maybe five more, 400 page books.
Brian Last: Wow.
Scott Teal: But I plan to do new interviews, you know, I'm going to have a couple of new interviews and then, you know, a bunch of the old ones in each volume as well. So, uh, and then, uh, other guys have called, I've just got to find time. I just retired from UPS after 37 years at the end of the end of 2015. So I'm full time writing about wrestling now. I'll be able to get caught up on all this stuff and I got a lot of guys that...Jimmy Golden, you know, I've talked to him about a book. I want to call Ron Fuller, do a book wIth them. Uh, I just, I don't know, I just got to get, get, get busy.
David Bixenspan: Is there anything that you'd like, like I was saying like as far as books that weren't, you know, older books that you'd love to see if you could get your hands on to reprint? Or whether it's Paul Boesch's book or anything like that?
Scott Teal: Nothing really. Uh, I contacted, uh, Phil Verialli about the, uh, Gary Hart book, but for some reason they, he doesn't want to re-release it and I don't understand why. As far as other books, I can't think of anything. You know, I've toyed with the idea of that From Milo to Londos book. But I don't know, you know, where to go to get permission to do that. Not that I can think of uh, I loved the book Chokehold. I mean Jim Wilson is Jim Wilson. But there was great information in that book. Uh, but I think that that's still available, I believe. Uh, but uh, nothing jumps right at me just thinking about it that, that I'd like to reprint as far as the old...There's not a whole lot of good wrestling books out there printed before, you know, that were published before 1980 or 1970. There just wasn't, you know. It was all kayfabe stuff. I wish somebody had gotten with somebody like Harley Race and really picked his brain because his book is bad. It's a shame for his career. I mean, it's a shame. I think of all the things people should have asked him. I mean, easy things I should have asked him. I think, my goodness, why didn't they do that? and I don't think he's at a point he could even do it anymore. So...
Brian Last: Yeah, well listen, we really appreciate you coming on the show and uh, this has been a lot of fun. Why don't you tell our listeners how they can get in touch with you and keep up wIth the books as you publish them.
Scott Teal: Right. The best place is Crowbarpress.com, uh, has a complete listing of all my books. I do posts, make posters, uh, of famous wrestling cards and uh...I have all kinds of stuff, old tIme wrestling related on crowbarbarpress.com. And you can reach me. The easiest way is scott at crowbarpress dot com.
Brian Last: Great. Thanks. Thanks again for doing this. It was a lot of fun.
Scott Teal: Thank you. I've enjoyed it and I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to talk. I love sharing my own experiences and talking about the old days. It's, It's a lot of fun.