14 November 2003

Just Shut the F*ck Up and Sell Me Some Gilby's


--Have you ever heard of Chuck Wepner? No? Chuck was a fighter back in the 70's. He was well known for being a boxer with very limited athletic ability but a TON of heart and chin. He would go toe-to-toe with anyone that would strap on gloves. He always lost, but he never got knocked out and never gave up. His career as a punching bag that couldn't be destroyed earned him the nickname "The Bayonne Bleeder". In a bout with Muhammad Ali, he went the entire distance (15 rounds), even knocking Ali down in the 9th, but lost by unanimous decision. After that he kind of scuttled around different circuits doing what he could. He now sells liquor for a living.

Why am I mentioning this? Well, in several interviews over the years, Sylvester Stallone mentioned that he attended the Wepner-Ali fight and was awed by Wepner's moxy. So much so, in fact, that he used him as the inspiration for Rocky. Have you ever heard Stallone talk about him? No?

Here's the reason I ask: this week, Wepner filed charges against Stallone and all the producers of the Rocky for a share of the profits to all five films and any upcoming releases, of which they are planning at least one. His lawyer's reason? Stallone had constantly been dropping Wepner's name over the years in different interviews linking Wepner to the Rocky character without his permission, using Wepner's celebrity to gain notoriety. This is disturbing for two reasons:

1. You do not need to retain permission from someone if you use them as only an INSPIRATION for a story. There is a big difference between "inspired by" and "based on a true story".

2. I'm willing to bet that no one reading this ever heard of Chuck Wepner before I mentioned him. I follow boxing almost religiously and had never heard of the guy. I'm also willing to bet that if you had never heard of him until I talked about him, you certainly never heard Sly talk about him.

Wepner is a product of our culture that allows us to sure each other for anything, bringing an entire case with baseless accusations and wasting taxpayer money in the process. Wait, let me back up: the fact that our country allows a person to sue someone for anything is a good exercise in freedom. However, I return to the old adage: just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD.

F*ck Wepner's lawyer. I do not include Chuck in this tirade because many reports indicate that Chuck may have been brain damaged over the years due to his fights and that his family and unscrupulous lawyer are mostly in on the suit, using Chuck as a pawn. Any way you slice it, this sucks, and anyone bringing this against Stallone and other can go straight to hell in my book. Wepner isn't even from Philadelphia. Idiots.

To date, between theatrical release, video/DVD distribution and merchandise, the Rocky series have earned over $1 billion.

SIDE NOTE: Reason #4,592 I have the Ultimate Respect (TM) for Sly Stallone--He felt so strongly about his Rocky script--which he wrote--that he took $100,000 pay to for the script, acting and all production duties he handled after every single studio but one turned him down. Also, you notice how one side of his mouth doesn't move when he talks? That's because during birth they had to yank him out with foreceps and they damaged several facial nerves.


--The new Travis album is depressingly bland, boring, and horrid. I am extremely disappointed, as Fran and Gang are usually on top of their game.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Let this not take away from their first three albums, which were--yes Craig, f*ck you--brilliant: Good Feeling, The Man Who, and The Invisible Band. They could be described as elements of each Coldplay, Radiohead, Oasis, and The Verve.)

My note to Fran: please let Radiohead monopolize, brooding "I hate everything in the world and want to bawl quietly about it" market. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Radiohead fan, but I'm telling you, the people that listen to more than two of their songs in the same day are crying for help, desperate to commit suicide. Sidenote to Thom Yorke: there is a time to stoop bitching and whining and contemplating and be happy. Find it.

Back to Fran: you are much better when your songs all sound different and they are downtrodden yet hopeful. Get off the schnide. Travis has never caught on in the American mainstream like Coldplay or Radiohead, to a degree, and this album will probably keep them from ever doing so. A shame, really. I hope they regain form.

Addenduminining my Strokes comments, I'd like to add two drawbacks to the album that have really nothing to do with the music...

1) I realize you guys are going for a certain vibe, but the album is a bit overproduced. The megaphone effect for your lead singer is good in some songs, but not all of them (Craig there has to be a technical term for this, what the hell is it?). When the lead vocals are drowned out COMPLETELY, something is wrong. I know, I know, part of the gig is to sounds like a record...I get it. But if I wanted a record, I'd forget there were CD's...that sound good. C'mon, guys. I checked every EQ setting I had and nothing made it better.

2) Even if it were produced differently, I still wouldn't be able to understand a single f*cking word the guys says without the lyrics in the liner notes. Thank Christ for that, because they are great lyrics. I thought they were from New York? Do they still speak English there? Does this guy slur more than Paris Hilton at an open bar? What's happening?

--Everyone is talking about this Triumph skit on Conan where he does the weather report from Hawaii. I'm trying to find it online...

--I'm sure this joke has been made a million times, but do you really think the chicks on Baywatch needed the little orange thingys to float? I mean, come on.

--Received possibly the biggest comment of my life twice this week from people who read the blog, to the effect that they have something to look forward to everyday. Though they're likely lying to be nice, this makes me feel quite good. With that, I reveal the news that there may be something much bigger in store than just this simple text monument. This is exciting to all five of you who read my blog daily. Details coming later...

--As of today, 14 November 2003, it is a mere 211 days until the Most Important Event in the History of the World. The first person to email/IM me and correctly guess what this event is will win a Sony DVD Player**. Hint: I will be in LA when this event takes place.

(**--Denotes that by "win a Sony DVD Player" GooseTown Management means that entrant correctly guessing said Most Important Event in the History of the World will pay for own Sony DVD Player if they so choose to have one. Phrase "win a Sony DVD Player" does not imply that GooseTown Management will actually award a physical prize, nor will they purchase physical prize, nor shall they take any part in anything having to do with a Sony DVD Player. Void where prohibited. See above for details. Contest not valid in New Mexico.)


Shamelessly copying off Craig, I shall begin my own list of GooseTown's Top Five Movies of the Week, which I suggest you peruse at you leisure. Good day.

(EDITOR's NOTE: the html code to Bold text is a bookended "strong" denotation on specified words. Goose finds this to be strong to...quite strong.)

1) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari--Early German expressionismm aking it more disturbing than a night at a brothel watching your mother get sodomized by a midget with one leg. Tough to find anywhere, so good luck. I paid $75 for this movie on DVD, once again proving I'm an idiot
2) The Awful Truth--Good ol' screwball comedy. Impossible to go wrong with Carey Grant. You grandparents will remember this.
3) Kentucky Fried Movie--A John Landis classic. Expect little and you will laugh your face off. Not high quality filmmaking. Lots of nudity and a good-natured look at racism. And Asians.
4) The Graduate--If you are male, between the ages of 22-30, and have not seen this movie, please move to the front of the auditorium so you may be shot.
5) Bottle Rocket--If you liked The Royal Tenenbaums or Rushmore, run to pick this up. If you haven't seen either of those, watch this one, then move to the front of the auditorium with all the other confused gentlemen.