Evan Ginzburg - Wrestling Manager, DJ at WBAI-FM's
Light Show NYC
& Editor/Publisher of Wrestling Then & Now
- 26th May 2003
was the only white kid on Lenox Road in East Flatbush,
Brooklyn NY in the racially turbulent 60s and 70s.
It taught me a lot of good and bad things about humanity.
My dad drove a NYC cab for 27 years as chronicled
in his book Hey Cabby.
Classic cigar smoking NY cab driver. He picked up
Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland,
Ali, Nixon, Jackie Kennedy, Haystack Calhoun,
pimps, prostitutes, muggers, etc. and was the funniest
guy I ever met.
When, why and how did you start
reporting on wrestling?
wrestling since the age of 12 and it was just a natural
thing to start writing for early sheets. I started
Wrestling - Then & Now in 1990 when I was unemployed,
bored and depressed. 13 years later I'm still at it,
only now I have guys like Johnny
Valiant, Nikolai Volkoff, Killer Kowalski, Dr. Death
Don Arnold, Bill Anderson and others in the
business contribute as well.
What other media related activities
do you do?
a DJ on 200,000 listener/50,000 watt WBAI-FM's
Light Show in NYC where I do an arts program
with Fred Geobold. We've
had many wrestling legends on as Fred calls wrestling,
"Proletarian performance art!"
also manage Johnny Valiant
who is a comic genius - just stream of consciousness.
This guy can walk on stage without a script and an
hour later he's still going. I promote his shows,
An Evening With Johnny Valiant
based on his life and wrestling experiences and Johnny
Valiant's Vaudeville Review which is exactly
what it sounds like. We have a "cult following"
you'd say. The audience feels like a large group of
friends. Very rewarding.
How has the Internet helped
and hindered you?
the one hand it makes a zine a tougher sell as there's
so much free wrestling history material on the Net
and some wrestling fans are too cheap to live and
just won't support a quality publication. They'll
fly across the country to an old-timer's convention,
greet you like you're their long-lost best friend,
but just won't support a relatively small publication
that has heart and soul. Or they'll only support the
major news sheets and not the "little guys."
On the other hand, the Net is great to promote your
shows and at least get the word out on your projects
- I get 2,000 hits a month on my site, www.wrestlingthenandnow.com
What aspects of the business do you like to write
and report on?
a long time ago that I wasn't going to get rich from
any of this, I decided to ONLY write about things
that interest or move me. So I interview people I
admire regardless of how famous (or in the case of
hardcore icon Lowlife Louie
Ramos - infamous) they are. I recently wrote
about Curt Hennig's death
because I was upset by it. I could give a crap about
the latest angle on Raw or Smackdown.
What is the biggest scoop you
have reported on?
broke a story about some dude molesting kids for a
local paper I was working on. The major dailies picked
up on it later. The guy must have been thrilled.
What are some of the highlights
of your wrestling memorabilia collection?
thing that meant the most to me was having Killer
Kowalski's book, Killer Pics
(White-Boucke Publishing) dedicated to me by the Killer
himself. It doesn't get any better than that. I was
also featured in Jeff Archer's book Theatre
In A Squared Circle. There was a whole chapter
on my surreal life.
Who are your top 10 (current) favorite sports entertainers,
wrestlers and why?
Eddie Guerrero (the true "total package")
2. Terry Funk (the most entertaining)
3. Ric Flair (in the late 80s nobody touched him)
4. Abdullah the Butcher (gotta love him)
5. Low Ki (just a pleasure to watch)
6. Homicide (can do it all- from hardcore to strong
style to flying- great!)
7. Tiger Khan (most underrated of the indie guys)
8. Lowlife Louie Ramos (he's insane- in a good way)
9. Jerry Lynn (just a great worker)
10. Rey Misterio (love that high flying stuff)
What is your favorite wrestling
first book was great. We were very friendly at one
What is the biggest misconception
about the pro wrestling business?
wrestlers are "all rich."
What are the biggest change
in wrestling from the 1940-70 era and now?
(WWE and others) made it lowbrow. Appealed to the
lowest common denominator. When Jack
Brisco wrestled one of the Funks
or Nick Bockwinkle defended
his belt, it was ART. Watching Sable
cat fight is just cheesy. And desperate. Cursing is
cheap heat. Doesn't offend me - just saddens me. Just
let 'em wrestle.
Who have you found most supportive
in your reporting of wrestling and operating of your
honestly think that what I do is the closest thing
to a commune type mentality that you'll find. It's
like we all have a common goal and nobody (including
myself) expect to make any "real money"
at it. My production ace Jeff
Archer doesn't get paid anywhere near what
he should to do the sheet. Webmaster (and wrestler)
Joe Rules is also a great
guy who does an awful lot of work for not a lot of
money. But we all believe in preserving wrestling
history and getting some good stuff out that otherwise
What traditional media coverage
have you received?
have been interviewed for tons of radio, websites,
TV, etc. It's all flattering, although I can't bear
to look at myself on camera. Vanity! I'm also in 2
upcoming wrestling documentaries - one from Detroit
based filmmaker Ryan Magnus
and the other by San Diego's Dwayne
that should be out this summer or fall which I hope
will make some noise. I helped them by setting up
interviews with tons of wrestlers including Nikolai
Volkoff, Johnny V, Homicide, Louie Ramos, etc.
What else would you like to
share with our audience?
learn to support the little guy. Instead of buying
your 7th WWE T-Shirt, why not spend the money on a
ticket to an indie show or pick up an autographed
photo from an indie guy who just got paid a whopping
$40 (or less!)? Or subscribe to a small newsletter
that struggles? Seriously. Wade
Keller's already made his first million. We
have a ton of stuff for sale on www.wrestlingthenandnow.com
including 70s and 80s clippings books, autographed
magazines, etc. And a bunch of Johnny
Valiant merchandise on www.johnnyvaliant.net
Please check 'em out.
for the interview and support. And I hope to eventually
visit my readers/buddies in Australia - Geoff
Evan Ginzburg - 17th November 2003
Man Australia: Wrestling Then & Now section
Volkoff official website
For The New City, New York
Citizens Brigade Theatre
Legends (Greg Tingle's)
The Great Yankee Promoters, by Greg Tingle
The Great Aussie Promoters, by Greg Tingle
Teams (Greg Tingle's)
Wrestling Hall of Fame
THE WRESTLING - THEN & NOW 2002-03 ANNUAL
packed pages- our largest Annual ever!
printed- magazine format
annual autographed by Don "Dr. Death" Arnold-
a 35-year veteran who wrestled all the legends and
tells of facing Buddy Rogers, Gorgeous George, Rocca
and many others!
extensive interview/tribute with Don "Dr. Death"
tribute to the late, great Lou Thesz
tribute to Superstar Billy Graham
southern wrestling retrospective
of rare clips, photos, artwork, merchandise listings
and many, many surprises!
payable to EVAN GINZBURG please
date: May 15, 2003
- Then & Now Annuals are critically acclaimed
autographed collectibles. Order yours today!
still available: 1980s Clippings Spectacular- 60 packed
pages from all the territories: $10US/$12 OS)
CLIPPINGS SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE NOW AVAILABLE FROM
WRESTLING THEN & NOW
$10 US/$12 Overseas
Address: PO Box 640471 Oakland Gdns. Station Flushing,
Checks/Money Orders to: Evan Ginzburg
you enjoyed those newspaper clips from all the old
territories as well as program reproductions, this
60 page magazine is packed with them! All the great
territories and all the great legends are here, with
each clip electronically polished up to its original
glory. From the cover clip of Sammartino vs. Zybysko
to the legendary late 80s NWA Bunkhouse Battle Royals,
if you enjoy wrestling history, you don't want to
miss this one! Broken down year by year, this special
clippings edition of Wrestling- Then & Now is
a must for your collection. Order yours today.
still available: 70s Clippings Spectacular at $10US/$12