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Author Topic: Help Me Out Here!  (Read 1245 times)
Getbig V
Posts: 7644


« on: July 09, 2007, 07:56:32 PM »

I'm trying to remember a lot of names of places and persons related to the "sport" of bodybuilding that go back to the 1940's and I hope that there are a few of us still living who can help me fill in the blanks, so any help is appreciated from any old timers who may still be with us as members of this grand old site.

My connection with bodybuilding goes back to the days when Steve Reeves was a kid in Oakland of 18 or even younger. Anyone who lifted weights back then, and there were relatively few, had heard of Reeves, the kid who never had a cold or a cavity (as reported in a small Oakland newspaper in an interview with him mother while he was in highschool).

Any "kids" still out there who went to school with Steve?

Once in a while Steve would come to a summer place called Rio Nido on the Russian River about 70 miles north of his home across the Bay. (MID 50'S) His friend at that time was a bulky powerlifing looking guy maybe in his early 20's (Help me out here with this guy's name!) and they would join in with all the other thousands of Northern California kids who were looking for summer fun in the one place that everyone in the Bay Area considered the place to be on summer weekends.

Back then "muscles" were a rareity and attracted a lot of attention and some of the guys with a few beers under their belt would want to challange someone else who had bigger arms or smaller waists or wider shoulders or  better looking faces just to be able to say that he had gotten in a fight with a much bigger guy last weekend while at the Russian River. Fighting was kind of a weekend thing to do back then as everyone had a face and a name and stood in front of an opponent in every and any situation. Not at all like the computer world of today where accusations without retaliation are so common.

In those gallant days you stood behind your adverse comments and before you adversary with clenched fists or ready feet.

Well, one weekend while Reeves was having a decent time in Rio Nido, some unknown guy (Help me out here! Anyone remember this weekend and the guy?) got in a sucker punch and knocked Reeves on his ass and took off before Reeves even had a chance to get back on his feet..

Hate to be the hero here but facts are facts..... and that's when I got a call at my summer cabin that Reeves had been suckered punched and "come on down and help us find this individual" (the term "fucker" was not a known word back then).

So I go down to The Grounds (the Rio Nido place where every kid in the Bay Area gathered at one summer moment in their life back in those great old days) and eveyone is conerned about Reeves getting hit  because he was a good guy and never caused no problems, (and the girls loved him lots cause he had such a nice face) but Steve  is gone and so is the guy who hit him so we all go back into the dancehall and forget about all that ruckus outside.

So while I'm still in highschool, Steve is wandering off to far off places such as Los Angeles and Europe making movies and appearing on TV and makeing a good name for himself and all that stuff you all already know about. He makes a movie called "Jailbait" and appears on "The George Burns and Gracie Allen TV show" and has a regular part on the Ralph Edwards Show", and there's talk about him in a Broadway play called "Kismit" and possiblu a role as L'll Abner. And then a major MGM movie called Athena.

And eventually he becomes famous as a star himself outside of the bodybuilding world with a movie called Hercules thanks to Joe Levine and his daughter.

Meanwhile back in Los Angeles a guy by the name of Joe Gold is welding eguipment together and making money  by selling membeships to a gym for roughly $34 a year,,,(Help me out here!)

 I don't recall exactly but I think Joe initially had a small gym at one of the beach hotels in Santa Monica right off the parking lot on the )north side of the  building. That must have been in the 50's. (Any help? Help me out here!)

Meanwhile back east there are a couple of magazine publishers .... Joe Weider and Ben Laurie going head to head in the  publishing business of the ill-respected world of muscle.(Help me out there on those original publications)

More help needed but time to take a break. To be continued if specific help can be provided.
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Getbig III
Posts: 836

« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2007, 08:58:07 PM »

I've tracked down the major Weider mags from the first year they were published & how some of them evolved

Your Physique (August 1940, a pamphlet)
Muscle Power (1945)
Mr. America: A Man's Magazine (1952)
Mr. America: For the Man with a Future (1953) (replaced above mag)
Muscle Builder: The Magazine of the Champions (1953)
Muscle Power and the Weightlifter (1957)
Mr. America: The Magazine of Champions (1958)
Muscle Builder/Power (1968) (combined version of 1945 & 1953 mags)
Muscle: A New Body Image for You (1979) (replaced Muscle Builder/Power)
Muscle & Fitness (1980) (replaced Muscle)
Shape (1981)
FLEX (1983)
Sports Fitness (1985)
Men's Fitness (1987) (replaced above mag)

Steve Reeves never had a real biography published & it's a shame.  There are a few "tribute" books, heavy on pix but they didn't go into much detail & aren't easy to find.  There is a biography of Charles Atlas, & also one of Sandow. 
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