When I woke up yesterday morning I didn't expect that I'd have lunch with Rowdy Roddy Piper later in the day. In fact, I didn't know what to expect, since I awoke at 3:30 a.m. to do my "shift switch" as an FM morning show producer for an OnMilwaukee.com feature article next week.
Had I known, I might've shaved or at least dressed up a little, since, after all, this was Rowdy Roddy Piper, the legendary former professional wrestler. After all, this author -- when he was 11-years-old -- played with wrestling dolls adorned in his image.
This was the actor who was one half of the greatest fight scene in cinematic history in "They Live."
The was the guy a generation of kids loved to hate.
And, on a mere five hours of sleep, this was the I guy I got "dragged along" to have lunch with at the Wisconsin Club.
It happened because OnMilwaukee.com blogger and my friend Gino Salomone hooked it up, as he always does. Halfway into my shift switch at WKLH, and after Gino's segment, he invited me to lunch with the Rowdy One. Still half-asleep, who was I to decline such an honor?
Piper is in town this weekend to host two Great Lakes Championship Wrestling events. The 55-year-old Piper is not actually wrestling (or so he says), but he is hosting a live "Piper's Pit." Last night, he did a stand-up gig at Jokerz. The wrestling events are tonight at Racine's Memorial Hall and Saturday at the Waukesha County Expo Center.
Piper was doing media interviews all day yesterday, so getting an hour with him in peace and quiet was special. Fortunately, Gino asked most of the questions, but I got in a few, too.
My takeaway is that Piper was exactly how I expected him -- and wanted him -- to be. He still looks like he could kick your butt, between his black leather coat and black mesh shirt and pants. He looks like a wrestler.
And he talks like a wrestler. I recall Piper's high-pitched piercing voice with his strong Canadian accent. Now it's quiet and grumbling. He sounds like Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler," and we talked about that, too, but the man sitting at my table wasn't a pitiful, broken man. Even though my passion and, frankly, my interest in professional wrestling ended 20 years ago, I could have listened to Piper talk forever.
Piper smiles a lot and tells stories and is appreciative of his fans' support. And simply breaking down our 30-minute interview into sound bites and quotes won't do this conversation justice.
Instead, if you have a few minutes, click here to listen to the entire conversation, clanking plates and all. Current and former fans of his work will appreciate this trip down memory lane. Had I been a little more chipper, I would've asked better questions.
But when dining with Rowdy Roddy Piper, perhaps it's best to let him do most of the talking.
You do not throw rocks at a man who's got a machine gun! What a classic line. Long live Hot Rod!
4 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Jan. 6, 2015
I remember back in college, I came to the realization that several different versions existed of me. Those different versions of me continue to this day, but nowhere are they more pronounced than on social media. I embraced Twitter long before Facebook and Instagram, but now active on all three, you'll experience a totally different Andy Tarnoff if you only look in one place.
Published Dec. 30, 2014
These year-end lists are always fun to write, because they are so open-ended. So bear with me if I skip the regular categories and think outside the box a little for this one.
Published Dec. 29, 2014
As you can imagine, it's not easy being a four-season bike shop in a state where it's possible to see snow on the ground for eight months out of the year. But Steve Whitford, co-owner of South Shore Cyclery in Cudahy, says he knows no other way.
Published Dec. 22, 2014
I remember vividly how hard school was. Not just the homework, but the routine of waking up early, navigating its social intricacies. Granted, my daughter is only in K5, but still, she works hard - so I like to reward her with plenty of family fun when seasonal school vacations come around.
Published Dec. 17, 2014
Yesterday, I walked around Packard Avenue in Cudahy for the first time in a long time. I mean, I drive through or around Cudahy all the time, but yesterday was different. I stopped to smell the roses. Every real Milwaukeeans should pay a visit to downtown Cudahy every now and then. It's like a window into our past, and it's still alive and kicking today.
Published Dec. 11, 2014
We all had a good laugh when the word spilled that Scott Walker substituted "Molotov" for "Mazel Tov" in his Hanukkah letter to Frank Gimbel. But you know that Gov. Walker didn't write that letter, right? He didn't even sign it.
Published Dec. 2, 2014
Black Friday and Cyber Monday were good fun, but Giving Tuesday is all about giving back to our community. It's a relatively new concept, but several Milwaukee nonprofits participate, including Discovery World, UPAF and Pathfinders. One local organization, Penfield Children's Center, is making Giving Tuesday work through crowdsourcing.
Published Dec. 1, 2014
I'm going to beat the Milwaukee winter. I will not be cold again. I will laugh in the face of Snowmageddon. I will be toasty warm when the temperatures drop well below zero. Here's how.
Published Nov. 18, 2014
Take it for what its worth, but Playboy Magazine has Blue's Egg as one of its 101 best breakfasts in America (don't worry, the link is reasonably safe for work). The restaurant at 317 N. 76th St. came in 21st place out of 23 Midwest selections, just behind Mickie's Dairy Bar in Madison.
Published Nov. 11, 2014
Can you imagine how social media would've melted down exactly 101 years ago? Nov. 11, 2013 was the end of the "Big Blow," the "Freshwater Fury" or the "White Hurricane," a hurricane-force blizzard that killed more than 250 people and and destroyed 19 ships.