Evan Ginzburg

Interview - Evan Ginzburg

I/V: Evan Ginzburg - Wrestling Manager, DJ at WBAI-FM's Light Show NYC
& Editor/Publisher of Wrestling Then & Now - 26th May 2003

What's your Background?

I 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?

Loved 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?

I'm 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!"

I 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?

On 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,

What aspects of the business do you like to write and report on?

Realizing 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?

I 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?

The 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?

1. 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 book?

Foley's first book was great. We were very friendly at one point.

What is the biggest misconception about the pro wrestling business?

That wrestlers are "all rich."

What are the biggest change in wrestling from the 1940-70 era and now?

They (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 wrestling website?

I 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 wouldn't be.

What traditional media coverage have you received?

I 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 Walker ( 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?

Please 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 including 70s and 80s clippings books, autographed magazines, etc. And a bunch of Johnny Valiant merchandise on Please check 'em out.

Thanks for the interview and support. And I hope to eventually visit my readers/buddies in Australia - Geoff Brown rules!

Interview: Evan Ginzburg - 17th November 2003


Evan Ginzburg

Website links


Media Man Australia: Wrestling Then & Now section

Tama Waipara profile

ObliqSound official website

Nikolai Volkoff official website

Theater For The New City, New York

Theater Mania (Ticketing)

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

Wrestling Legends (Greg Tingle's)

Article: The Great Yankee Promoters, by Greg Tingle

Article: The Great Aussie Promoters, by Greg Tingle

Tag Teams (Greg Tingle's)

Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame


84 packed pages- our largest Annual ever!

Professionally printed- magazine format

Each 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!

$15US/$20 overseas


An extensive interview/tribute with Don "Dr. Death" Arnold

A tribute to the late, great Lou Thesz

A tribute to Superstar Billy Graham

A southern wrestling retrospective

Tons of rare clips, photos, artwork, merchandise listings and many, many surprises!

Checks payable to EVAN GINZBURG please

Release date: May 15, 2003

Wrestling - Then & Now Annuals are critically acclaimed autographed collectibles. Order yours today!

(Also still available: 1980s Clippings Spectacular- 60 packed pages from all the territories: $10US/$12 OS)



Price: $10 US/$12 Overseas
Address: PO Box 640471 Oakland Gdns. Station Flushing, NY 11364
Checks/Money Orders to: Evan Ginzburg

If 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.

Also still available: 70s Clippings Spectacular at $10US/$12 overseas.