When one thinks of bodybuilding and Larry Scott it is difficult to do so without also thinking about Vince Gironda, Rheo H. Blair, and Joe Weider.
There always seems to be an association between them. Good or bad, it’s a very select group and names that not only are part of bodybuilding but will be forever recorded in the annals of bodybuilding history as champions, leaders, and innovators.
The last time I spoke with Larry I was working on the “Vince Gironda Legend And Myth” CD. I hadn’t seen or spoken with him in many years. When I called I was
deeply grateful when he remembered who I was. We proceeded to spend a few moments reminiscing of the “Good Old Days”.
It’s always nice to know someone that has the celebrity Larry does is also thoughtful and humble enough to not only remember but also say a few kind words to someone they have not seen or heard from in years. That’s Larry!
I wanted to include some of Larry’s comments in my project because I know Vince thought a lot of Larry and Larry felt the same way about Vince.
In fact, a great many photos of Larry working out that have been published in various magazines were taken at Vince’s Gym. This was no small task for a photographer as Vince’s was a dark place. The lighting was very poor for photography purposes.
Still it was Larry who insisted they be taken at Vince’s. Some may not think much of that but it shows Larry’s respect for Vince. Along with a lot of things Larry once said. “Humility, not arrogance isthe true mark of a champion”.
Larry Scott is a true champion.
Here is my interview with Larry that I did for the “Vince Gironda Legend And Myth” CD.AP:
Larry, thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I am working on a project updating my book on Vince. I know that Vince was very cantankerous but he was always very good to me. He would tell people not to call but always allowed me to do so. He sent me all his courses and would take a lot of time talking to me about training and nutrition.
He would also give me updates on your training and the progress you were making. I believe that you are probably one of the most famous of all that came out of Vince’s. I would just like to pick your mind a little and get some comments from you about your relationship with Vince because it appeared there was a special chemistry
between you two.LS:
Well, as you are probably aware I think it was your southern accent that endeared you to Vince. He could be a hard guy to get along with and could make people nervous. We never socialized at all. Vince had a lot of knowledge and professionally we were close and I would go to him all the time when I had any questions about training and something I was trying to figure out.
Vince was always really good about giving me ideas. He was very knowledgeable about physiques in that he wouldn’t give you an idea and just say, “you got to do this,” he would say, “try this.” Then I would take it and try it and let him know whether or not it worked.
So our relationship in that regard was very good. Sometimes he would make me nervous because he could be so unpredictable in his
emotional outbursts he made me feel like he was a walking time bomb or something. Never knowing when he was going to go off.
I remember the very first time I met him, I walked into his health club and I guess I must have had, you know, kind of a big head. I managed to appear in one magazine and I walked in and I said “how do you do, my name is Larry Scott.”
I must have said it in a way, that sounded like: “Hey, here I am,” because Vince said “so what!”AP:
Typical Vince Gironda fashion.LS:
Well, that kind of defines our relationship. Then when I won the California contest, some of the guys came back to the gym and said, “Larry won,” and Vince said, “he didn’t deserve it.” They said, “What do you mean he didn’t deserve it?” “He looked great!”
Vince said, “He wasn’t ready physiologically.” Maybe I wasn’t and maybe I needed to pay the price first and he paid the price and knew what he was talking about. It all kind
of, I don’t know, defines the relationship we had.
When I moved back to Utah, and I would go back to take photos for Joe Weider, I would always insist that we would take them at Vince’s Gym. Joe would say that it was too dark in there, “it’s not a good light Larry.” I would say I would just like to do it because I always wanted to help keep Vince in the limelight as well as I could because he had
given me a lot of advice, a lot of which I wasn’t aware of. I was ah, shocked, that’s almost the right word. At one point later on I had told Vince: “If you can give me all your
booklets, I will design an ad for you, to put in MuscleMag International that will help sell your booklets.” One that I think would be better because I had seen the one he had in
there currently and I could see some of the things I knew about marketing were not being utilized in his ads. I thought I could help him. In order for me to do that I needed to know what the content of each one was so I could pick out “hot buttons” out of each one to use in the ad.
Vince sent them to me and I started to read them and I was amazed to see how many things he had in his books that I thought I had come up with on my own. I had taken credit for them, not intentionally, I just thought they were mine, but they were actually his ideas he had about training. I was pretty amazed at that.
I guess out of thanks, appreciation, I went back to Vince’s for a photo session and he took me in the back and he showed me where he had hung a sign that said, Larry Scott’s Dressing Room. I could not believe it. I just could not believe that he would ever do something like that. He never ever gave me the indication that he would ever do
something like that. I was flabbergasted. So that kind of shows you the relationship we
The times Vince and I talked on the phone about you he was always very complimentary. He always had positive things to say about you and how hard you would
work. He would get on my case quite often; in fact he even hung up on me one time, typical Vince style. I tried to call him back for about three days and he refused to take my phone call. Finally he took it and I said, “well you hung up on me last time Vince.” He said, “If you start I’ll hang up on you again!”LS:
A lot of the things he did I would like to have had the courage to do.AP:
Larry how about some of the valuable lessons Vince passed on to you about training or anything else. Do you have any you would like to share?LS:
I remember when I competed in a Los Angeles contest, I took third. There was one chap in there named Franklin Jones, he won the Most Muscular. Three months later I went into the Mr. California contest. My sole intention was just winning the Most Muscular; I thought I could do that. I didn’t think I had any chance of winning but I did
want to win Most Muscular. In the meantime, Vince had helped me with my posing and it made a tremendous difference. I won the California contest and it was an absolute shock, total shock.
When I didn’t get fifth I gave up because I knew I wasn’t even going to be in the running. When I got first I was dumbfounded.
Just a short while ago, a guy by the name of Ron Kosloff, who is a real fan of Vince Gironda’s, sent me a video of Vince’s posing routine. I had never seen Vince’s posing routine. My posing was based on what Vince taught me. A lot of things, after you have done them for so many years you begin to think you came up with the ideas yourself. I
watched the video of his posing routine and I’m telling you, they were the poses I did. The way he went from one pose to the next, I learned that from Vince.
I’m a lot more of a fan or product of Vince’s then I ever realized, so I can’t say enough about Vince. I can’t
say enough about his knowledge. He helped me a lot. I learned the down the rack dumbbell system for shoulders. I couldn’t get big in my shoulders. I had tried all the things in the magazines and they didn’t work for me, I had to put on more meat because I wasn’t as big as some of the others. Vince taught me that down the rack system for deltoids which really helped me put on some extra weight in my shoulders which I needed so badly.
Vince led me to the Preacher Bench. I had never heard of the Preacher Bench. It was a funny looking little bench in his gym and I didn’t like working biceps, I was more into
triceps. He led me over to the Preacher Bench and showed me how to use it. It became a bone of contention between us because I got to where I used it so much that whenever I did an article for Joe Weider that talked about arms I would take him over to that bench.
Joe is a real creative guy and he called it the Scott Bench. Boy, I tell you, I had fits over this. The first time the article came out in the Weider magazine and it said, the “Scott Preacher Bench,” Vince put it up on his bulletin board and put a big red line through it and wrote “bullshit” under it. I said, “Vince, I didn’t write that.” Yeah, right he said.AP:
If I am not mistaken the Easton Brothers Gym had the original Preacher Bench.LS:
Yes, they are the ones that actually created it.AP:
You are the one that made the bench famous. I can’t remember a time when you did not have name recognition with the bench.LS:
I guess I popularized it. There were a couple of things about it I didn’t like so when I got out to California I asked Vince for his permission to remanufacture those pieces and change it. I didn’t say anything about changing; I wouldn’t dare say that to him. I asked him if I could manufacture them and he gave me his permission. I changed some things on them. After so long in the business you learn to improve on things if you can but Vince was the foundation of where it all came from.AP:
There toward the end I had heard that Vince’s Gym really hit on some hard times and he eventually sold all his equipment for something like twenty thousand dollars, did you hear anything about that?LS:
Yes, I did know about that, and I was sick when I heard he sold all his dumbbells and all his equipment for five grand. I would never have even dared to offer him anything like that. I would have loved to have had those.AP:
Boy oh boy. Gosh, just the Preacher, Scott Bench that he had would have easily brought five to ten thousand itself. That is really sad.LS:
It was sad. As a matter of fact, I told Vince I was going to and help him. I was going to put together a special fund raiser for Vince and I was trying to get all the guys, you know; bodybuilders, movie stars, etc. to come. I wanted to help him raise cash and pay off some bills. Of all the actors that worked out there, and I won’t mention names of those that wouldn’t help, but the one that was positive and willing to pitch in was Clint Eastwood.
A lot of the bodybuilders were but I couldn’t get any of the actors that trained at Vince’s. Vince had a lot of friends and people that spoke highly of him.
I remember one day when Clint Eastwood was in Vince’s training, he was doing side laterals I think, for his shoulders. I said “Clint, come here and let me show you how to do
this to make a lot more progress.” He said, “Oh man, I’m leaving you make me tired.” He wasn’t very motivated.
I remember Clint Walker from the Cheyenne series trained at Vince’s quite a lot. There were a lot of people that trained at Vince’s, mainly movie stars and bodybuilders. At one
time, there were four Mr. Americas training there at the same time. Most of the guy’s who were training for physique contests had to work during the day so most of the actors were there around midday.AP:
Well Larry, you have certainly provided a great amount of information and I am deeply grateful for your time. Are there any last comments you would like to add about Vince or Vince’s Gym?LS:
Some may think it didn’t look like much but boy that gym had class. All the pieces were leather covered. Although it was dark inside, in the spring or when it would rain and water would come running down the hill (behind Vince’s), we would have to walk around in bare feet; we were walking in water. The pieces (equipment), were tailored, I mean they were just good pieces. If you go to some gyms today the equipment is not made for the body, not the way it should work. The equipment at Vince’s were tailored for the guy who knew what he was doing. I always trained there when I went to California, it was a great club.