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. 12, 2017
I'm very concerned about the problem of "fake news" and what it means for journalists, politicians and the media-consuming public. But, really, this isn't a new concern of mine. For many years, I've battled with the concept that the internet is always right.
Published Jan. 9, 2017
On Dec. 8, Larry Hansen was injured in a horrendous and freak accident by a presumed drunk driver. While working on his car in his Okauchee garage. Five surgeries and 42 pints of blood later, Hansen has lost a leg, has a broken back and faces more surgeries.
Published Dec. 20, 2016
Last week, I was bragging about the airfare deal of a century: a $66 round-trip ticket from Milwaukee to Ft. Myers. Yesterday, I was eating my words, since my flight home was delayed from Saturday to Monday, then cancelled completely on Monday, with no reasonable option on how to get home.
Published Dec. 8, 2016
Every few years, we remind you about Chief, the hard-rocking Milwaukee band that you should check out. Why? Not because frontman Chris Tischler compares Chief to Van Halen and Judas Priest, although that's a pretty good reason to give them a listen, since they're excellent musicians.
Published Dec. 5, 2016
I wasn't really in the market for a new TV, but like so many others, I got suckered into buying a huge one on Black Friday. I was lured by the low, low prices, but also the idea of having a super-sharp 65-inch television that would be ready for 4K.
Published Nov. 30, 2016
Margaret Gintoft knew there was a chance she'd run into a Clinton after jogging near her daughter's home in Chappaqua, N.Y. Last Sunday, Gintoft and her family were hiking in Rockefeller State Park when she saw the former president and former Secretary of State.
Published Nov. 28, 2016
With almost everything available on-demand online, cable and satellite TV are pretty archaic. Today, AT&T acknowledged this by unveiling DIRECTV Now, a streaming service that will go head-to-head with cable (and its own soon-to-be-discontinued U-Verse), for $35 a month.
Published Nov. 16, 2016
Even though Cedarburg is so close to Milwaukee, when you're in its little downtown, you feel far away. And, while plenty of Milwaukeeans visit the Stagecoach Inn Bed & Breakfast for a staycation, this charming old hotel attracts plenty of people from out of town, too.
Published Nov. 15, 2016
House of Harley-Davidson announced today the expansion of its territory with the purchase of Racine Harley-Davidson.
Published Nov. 9, 2016
In this darkest moment in modern U.S. history, I'm looking for a silver lining. This is the best I've got: The president is not a king. Donald Trump cannot tear up the Constitution and keep his job.