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March 13, 2007

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anal-R

Not to be anal retentive, but how did George Hamilton manage to make the Evel movie five years before Evel got his start? Was the movie made in perhaps '82?

ResidentClinton

I didn't say got his start in '77 - he got his daredevlish start in '66. However, our story begins in 1977, the year that Evel was insanely popular, only to have it all come crashing down by year's end.

c

Evel Knievel + Dave Kingman + Battle of the Network Stars: The Holy Trinity of my Youth

Parq

Great stuff, Clint. My dad was on the production staff of a 70s off-mainstream magazine show put out by PBS called "The Great American Dream Machine" -- there may be one or two of you who remember it. One of their regular segments was "The Great American Hero", and Evel was featured in one of them. He was joined in that distinction by the likes of Big Daddy Roth and Blaize Starr,

Dale Hazelton

Evel was perfect for the times: 50% Elvis impersonator, 50% Joey Chitwood stuntman, 50% Rebel without a Cause, all wrapped up in an outlandish Bicentennial-fever jumpsuit that Bob Mackie would have been proud to design. He had the hubris of an Ali or a Cosell, and the public, especially acne-ridden boys, ate it up. However, I do remember my disappointment when the Grand Canyon turned into the Snake River canyon, and the rocket-powered mortorcycles chute deployed before he ever got airborne. That said, he is still more bad-ass than any Jesse James (the Sandra Bullock whipped one) or Gangsta' Rapper ever could be.

K

I found the '72 biopic w/ George Hamilton to be quite good; in turn outlandish and brooding, a perfect period piece to capture a perfect period icon. Viva sounds awful, like the kind of crap the man himself would spout if given half a chance. But do see the earlier picture, you won't regret it. Did Shatner ghost write it? Maybe just some of the dialog, but then, we're talking about friggin' Evel Knieval here! Were you expecting Shakey Bill to come spouting from those giant bicentennial lapels? No, I think not. Besides, I don't think Shatner ever did magical realism, which is sorta what that mineshaft thing was all about.

ResidentClinton

I like the dialogue in the Hamilton film more because it does reflect the real man, but the low-budgetness of it makes for a less exciting viewing experience. And while I don't 100% agree with the Shatner quote, but I thought it was funny enough to encourage people to want to watch the movie. Casting Sue Lyon (Lolita) as his girlfriend is a great coup, and Hamilton is a way better Evel than Evel. But ultimately Viva Knievel! is the better movie in terms of entertainmemnt value. Heck, I recommend watching them both!

I am so going to use the mineshaft scene as an example of magical realism from now on.

Banyon II

Twin Falls, Idaho, never got paid for his stunt show over Hell's Canyon there. They say his name with a sneer there.

fatty jubbo

wow- the mineshaft scene is pretty amazing and haunting. magical realism indeed. I love the nonchalance.

Vic Perry

Don't forget "Reebus Kneebus" (spelling?) in Firesign Theater's completely classic "Everything You Know is Wrong" LP from 1974, the daredevil who jumped into the center of the earth and tricked all of humanity down with him...

Jeffersonic

Further hilarious daredevil action can be obtained by watching the first 30 minutes of Blake
Edward's "The Great Race" with Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate (my personal role model). I find
myself watching this segment of the film again and again over the years.

Richard Brandt

One of the screenwriters of "Evel Knievel" was a young John Milius; I've always assumed the "Patton"-style opening was his.

ortsed

Don't forget the great documentary "Last of the Gladiators" ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0237397/ ) where Evel goes around waking up homeless people in the park and telling them to "go get a job", then clips of him trying to jump over other cyclists but not making it and getting painfully hit in the crotch, then more of his philosophy on life "alcoholics are boils on the ass of progress".

Lukas

One of the few big events and tourist attractions in Butte, Montana, are the Evel Knievel Days each summer, with lots of stunts, alcohol, and bad music. Unfortunately, I heard that 2006 was the last year that the man himself would attend, due to his deteriorating health. But his son Robbie is following in his footsteps and jumped 180 feet at last year's festival. So come and visit Butte in July, and while you're at it, don't forget to check out its biggest tourist attraction, the huge environmental disaster known as the Berkeley Pit, a heavy metal-laden lake with a pH level of battery acid.

vmh

If you think Evel was a crazy MFer (he was) hunt down the film "Devil at your heels". The antics of one Ken Carter are, once seen, barely believed and never forgotten.

Doctor Popular

Viva Knievel! was a fantastic film and by far my favorite Evel flick.
I think the films greatest contribution was Evel's great marijuana speech where he compared pot to nitrous.
"I go to Indianapolis every year, to see the the Indy 500. I go there with friends to drive and race. Every year when they go there to qualify, they usually have to go as fast as they possibly can to get a front row position. They put nitro in their cars sometimes instead of the fuel that's intended to be in the cars, so that the cars will go faster. And they do, for 5 or 10 laps... then they blow all to Hell."
Man Or Astroman? fans will recognize that audio clip from the band's classis "Nitrous Burnout".
My fave scene in Viva Knievel! was when he was drinking and driving his semi-truck with a young fan riding shotgun.
For an extremely well documented Knievel disography, check out Steve Mandich's Knievel Rock page.

ResidentClinton

Thanks Lukas and Doc Pop - I added those links to the post. The discography was especially awesome!

Dale Hazelton

Off topic, but Jeffersonic, get your a** to the Petersen Automotive Museum in L.A. to see the Leslie Special and Professor Fates car

http://www.petersen.org/default.cfm?DocId=1813&CarID=257

Fantastic movie and Natalie Wood was such a babe!

Listener Kliph

My favorite line in Viva Knievel has Knievel approached by a doctor in the waiting room after Gene Kelly has suffered an overdose (if I recall correctly its gangsters who purposely inject him with too much). The doctor says, "Evel, your trainer is a junky." "No, he ain't! My trainer ain't no junky!" "Evel, look at the facts!" to which Evel screams, "You're going to have to show me a lot more than facts, doctor!" Sounds like a Stephen Colbert line. Also, in the most recent biography of Knievel, the author tells the story of a suicidal man jumping in front of Knivel's bike at a stunt in early seventies Toronto attempting to kill himself. He got hurt but didn't die.

Conference Call University

Shelly Saltman, the guy who was beat up by Evel with a baseball bat, is giving a live interview on May 2nd, 2007, and anyone can listen in by telephone for free. Go to http://www.AskShellySaltman.com to check it out.

Rheba

Shelly Saltman .....I can't beleive this guy. He is the lowest of lows. Going after millions from the estate. Evel risked his life to entertain all of us. This guy should get something for a broken arm but $100 million!!!! I understand he received a $12.75 million dollar judgement, but this guy is a money hungry scum that wants to make his millions off of someone elses work.

Bad Guy

urban legend has it that OUR FAVORITE BOY EVANGELIST sings this title song. I've done the research and NO ONE is credited w/ writing or singing this ode to Evel.

YouTube search "Whiz Kids 7.1". Marjoe does all the singing, including the faux commercial. The voice is eerily similar.

who wants to weigh in on this weighty issue? Is it or is it not the golden pipes of Gortner?


Casey

Anyone around Cincinnati, Ohio? EVEL KNIEVEL'S SON IS Trying to break his dad's record by jumping over 24 COKE ZERO TRUCKS at Kings Island (the theme park in Mason, Ohio) - It's May 24th @ 7:00pm.

Like 33 years ago Robbie Knievel's dad, EVEL KNIEVEL jumped over 14 Greyhound buses at Kings Island. The event is supposed to be huge! Any Evel Knievel fan CANNOT miss this! You just buy a park admission and then admission to the Robbie Knievel's stunt is free! I'll definitely be there, so I just thought I'd spread the word!!

Bad Guy

is there an official press release on this jump I could email to friends? I smell ROAD TRIP!!

Elliott Hill

The lyrics to the PBS show.
FROM A PBS SHOW "GREAT AMERICAN DREAM MACHINE" 8/10/74

1. BEEN TRAVLIN ROUND THIS COUNTYSIDE, AND MET SOME FOLKS ID LIFT MY CUP TO, IT AIN'T TRUE THAT ONLY MIDGETS HAVE SOMEBODY TO LOOK UP TO.
AND WHEN I FIND SOMEONE WITH GUTS, WHOS GOT A DREAM THATS KIND OF NUTS, I DON'T CARE IF HIS IQ IS NEXT TO ZERO
I JUST STICK OUT MY RIGHT HAND, AND SAY I'M PROUD TO MEET A MAN , WE ALL CAN CALL A GREAT AMERICAN HERO

2. IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE ALL OF EVIL KNEIVEL, IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE CAUSE IT'S TRUE
AND WHEN YOU SEE HIM DO WHEELIES IT'S EASY TO FEEL, HE'S JUST A DIFFERENT CUT FROM ME AND YOU
GO TO A SHOW IF HE'S IN IT, YOU'LL HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE FOR A MINUTE
WATCHIN ALL THOSE CHANCHES HE TAKES, AND WHEN HE MISSES, PULL ON THE BRAKES

3. I BELIEVE THERES GOODNESS IN EVIL, CAUSE HES DOIN WHAT HE REALLY UNDERSTANDS
YES I BELIEVE THERES GOODNESS IN EVIL, AND ITS EVERYWHERE, WHENEVER HE LANDS

4. OUT BY THE FOUNTAIN, THE TENSION WAS MOUNTING, THE PALACE WAS IN AN UPHEAVEL
THE GAMBLERS AND BOOKIES WERE CUDDLIN THEIR COOKIES, AND WAITIN FOR EVIL KNEIVEL
THEN UP IN THE SKY THEY SAW EVIL FLY BY, THEY THOUGHT HIS SUCCESS WAS COMPLETE
BUT AS SIR ISSAC FOUND, WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN, AND SOMETIMES IT'S DOWN ON CONCRETE

5. WELL FIRST YOU TAKE THE ARMS AND TRY TO BEND EM IN PLACE, THEN YOU PUT A LITTLE PLASTIC ON THE FEET AND THE FACE
WE TAKE THE RIGHT LEG AND FIX IT SO IT FITS ON A BIKE, AND TAKE THE LEFT LEG AND DO WITH IT WHATEVER WE LIKE
THEN WE SCREW AROUND A LITTLE WITH THE PLATE IN HIS HIP, PUT A ZIPPER IN HIS BOTTOM AND BUTTON HIS LIP
AND THINGS THAT WE DON'T RECOGNIZE GO BACK IN THE BAG, AND WE MOP HIM UP ALL OVER WITH A SURGICAL RAG.

6. REPEAT 3......END.


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