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Author Topic: STEVE REEVES- behind the scenes (only for getbiggers,,only on getbig!)  (Read 53470 times)
Casey Butt
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« Reply #225 on: December 13, 2006, 10:18:28 AM »

Casey, in relation to Reg Park, are you performing your analysis of him at his peak or at the early stages of his career?

Before 1958. I haven't really looked into his stats after that -- 1958 is my "cutoff". Park's physique didn't change much in terms of overall mass from 1951 to 1958 -- he was actually 1 pound lighter in 1958 when he won the pro Mr. Universe than he was when he won in 1951. He was 213 in '58 and 214 in '51. From 1949 to 1951 he went from 205 to 214 as his competition weight.

Park and Reeves onstage at the 1950 Mr. Universe (which Reeves won)...


Park a year later in 1951...
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BEAST 8692
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« Reply #226 on: December 14, 2006, 08:16:52 AM »

he looks pretty dense and cut there, but wtf is he doing with his arms. that pose is not doing his arms any favours. i believe he got thicker towards the end of his career, but he's pretty thick there, especially through the legs, traps and delts.

excellent upper body definition, great back
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stuntmovie
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« Reply #227 on: December 14, 2006, 11:30:52 AM »

Beast, I saw Park at an event in Oakland, California in which he filled in for Reeves as a special guest. I think the year was 55 or 56 and he was a lot thicker by then. In fact he did not even guest pose. Instead he did a number of heavy lifts as mentioned earlier and drew the number out of a hat for the Olympic Set. I recall now that that number was one less than the number on my ticket.

Strength and muscle control acts were relatively common back then, but Steve was not known for doing any.

Tommy Kono will be long remembered for driving a nail held in his fist through a board and blowing up a hot water bottle till it burst.

And Gypsy Boots would throw a football an amazing distance for an old guy in one event that was held on a baseball field in Palm Springs. That was the year Don Peterson won the BB contest and one of the original Mission Impossible cast members placed second or third.

Someone mentioned Ed Jubinville as the muscle control showman at that time but I think he only performed back east, so it is strongly possible that he was not the one I recall seeing in SoCal a number of times. (Sorry but I lost that Jubinville post and did not respond.) Mozee will be able to refresh my mind on that one, I think.

I told a bodybuilder/hot water bottle story on this site once in the History Section and I know for a fact that Only has done it a number of times for kids of all ages to enjoy.

BTW. I have never seen a Reg Park shot when he was lean and "narrow" such as the one above. Thanks, Casey.

PS... Do any of you old timers recall Judy Miller of So Cal?? ANd who was the "old feller" who used to MC those original events at the Embassy Auditorium? Gene Mozee did the MC'ing numerous times but there was an old gentleman who filled in on occasion. Anyone recall?
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Jay Em
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« Reply #228 on: December 14, 2006, 02:27:37 PM »

Stunt, I thought you were out to sea? Are you in dry dock now?

The name Judy Miller rings a little familiar but can't say for sure; I just think I
recall the name.

Regarding the MC question. That wouldn't have been Bud Parker, would it?

Personally, even though I don't go back further than the late fifties (I'm 60 now), I've always thought the strength and muscle control acts were great, and saw a few back in Minnesota in early 60s. I'm of the old school thinking that physique contests should have always included some display of athletic ability to showcase the muscles and their application and usefullness; not JUST for show exclusively. I think by keeping those acts--and what was required of the participants--would have contributed to bodybuilding not going to such monsterous extremes in development (as it would have been pretty hard to do many of those things with such muscle size and limited movement...). And Bob Hoffman has always taken a hit for incorperating lifting with physique. I still say it wasn't a bad idea as it included more of the athletic into the mix. But, they could have greatly expanded the concept to include more virations of strength, flexibility, and athletic prowess. Bodybuilding would have been more generally accepted, and embraced more by the mainstream sports community.

And while Reeves may not have been known for doing those things on stage,
he was capable of numerous strength stunts and was quite powerful; but,
it wasn't his number #1 forte.
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« Reply #229 on: December 14, 2006, 02:57:00 PM »

Perhaps the Oakland show was the annual Ed Yarick show? After missing a show in 1955, Ed resumed on April 21, 1956 and Park was there. The event is covered in Ironman, Sep 1956, though no mention of muscle control, and the emcee is not named.
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« Reply #230 on: December 14, 2006, 03:27:44 PM »

Jay, my day at sea got cancelled and that's good.

The name 'Bud Parker' doesn't sound familiar, Jay, unless he was that bulky blond haired older guy who was often mentioned in the old Iron Man pubs by Mabel and Perry Raider whom I met on a frequent basis back then. (Very nice country folk.)

One major problem with Hoffman's association with bodybuilding is that he simply used the bodybuilders to draw the fans to fill the seats during the Olympic lifting which was just about as exciting as watching wet paint dry to most people.

This went on for a long time with the start of powerlifting too and many a bodybuilding contest started way past midnight. This was one of the major reasons why the AAU was deserted in favor of the NPC. Long story there but that is it in a nutshell.

I participated in that meeting when Hoffman's people and Dan Lauri (spelling?) and Ben and Joe Weider and the original NPC "founders" fought it out at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and decided to side with the IFBB. That decision was mainly based on the excellentand well spoken presentation presented by Ben Weider. He was mild mannered and articulate and definitely presented himself and his objectives well; while the others opposed to him were simply verbose and hostile. (At least that is the way I recall it.)

At that meeting, the NPC agreed to recognize the IFBB as the world governing body for the "sport" and the IFBB agreed to not promote amateur events in the US and thereby recognize the NPC as the only governing body for amateur contests in the US .... not exactly the way it was stated but similar.

This passed over the objections of many in the audiance but it did get the NPC on its feet.

Manion was voted in as President in Atlanta, Georgia after a successful run against Kenneth "Doc" Neeley. I personally give Pete Grymkowski all the credit for getting all the voters together in favor of Manion, but no one back then figured it would be a lifetime position. I believe that was the same year that Ray Mentzer won the Nationals. Almost sure of that.

A guy by the name of Jerome Wiese deserves that credit for doing all the paperwork that was required to set up the NPC legally and he also was the main man behind the publishing of the original NPC Rules and Regulations. (Anyone got a copy?)

OK, Jay, thanks for helping to refresh my memory.

Joe, that date seems about right and I think that Yarick was the only one in Oakland with a real gym at that time. And I sort of recall that Steve was mentioned on the poster with no mention of Reg Park (who appeared on his behalf at the last minute).

That muscle control act I referred to was in Los Angeles in the early 60's at the Embassy  and I think I recall a similar routine at the Golden Gate YMCA in San Francisco when Bill Stathis organized bodybuilding events there. (Who was that old time stevadore who did some phenominal bench pressing at a very late age under Bill's tutaledge back then?)
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« Reply #231 on: December 14, 2006, 03:37:10 PM »

The bench presser was perhaps Karl Norberg? Used to bench sometimes with his legs straight on the bench- zero arch, bullishly strong.
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Casey Butt
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« Reply #232 on: December 14, 2006, 07:06:07 PM »

The bench presser was perhaps Karl Norberg? Used to bench sometimes with his legs straight on the bench- zero arch, bullishly strong.

Didn't he bench like 400 lbs when he was 70? No shirt, no arch, just strength. He was one of those guys that defy nature. Smiley

Stunt, Park was surprisingly narrow-shouldered when he was 19. If I can find the old photos I'll post them. He's a perfect example of a man who built width through hard work and knowing how to pose (and incredible delts). I'm not saying that his shoulders were narrow when he was fully grown, but they weren't as wide as one would assume. Even in some shots in his Hercules films you can see that he doesn't have a very wide shoulder structure. His width was due to muscle.







But look at the width here...
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stuntmovie
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« Reply #233 on: December 14, 2006, 10:15:27 PM »

Joe, Casey, You guys got me hoppen here. Yep! You are right! It was Karl Norberg! THANKS!!

How the hell do you know these minor details?

Bill Stathis a San Francisco police officer encouraged Karl to do some heavy benching when Karl was 60+ and still might hold some records for a man of his age. You got to remember that this was back in the mid to late 50's when lifting was frowned upon by the general public and football coaches were claiming that lifting made one "musclebound" and less than "athletic".

I believe that Karl trained with Bill at the Golden Gate Y but I am not aware of his best lifts. If I recall right, he only did benches.

Later on Bill owned a very small gym in the Sunset area of San Francisco called Sunset Gym. I bet that the entire place was 600 square feet or less.

Here's a real stumper for you guys ...... Who was Curt Freeman?
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Jay Em
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« Reply #234 on: December 15, 2006, 01:21:44 AM »

Darn, Stunt, I can't connect the dots on Freeman but his name sounds familiar.

John Grimek had that impromptu liftoff with Norberg, too, and finally beat him
after a genuine challenge. I'm sure Joe Roark has all those exact details.

Norberg of course was Norweigen, I believe. I'm part Norweigen and come from
Scandia stock that had some real brutes among its ranks, including my uncle
Oscar, whom I used to attend wrestling matches with in Minneapolis. When he
was a young man in North Dakota, he attended one of those carnival wrestling
shows, where the hotdog of the mat takes on all comers. My unc, a huge, raw
bone farmer, was pushed up to the mat by his "buddies" and made mincemeat
of the thug within a minute. The promoters signed up Oscar and he toured with
the carnies for awhile, but got sick of the grind and quit. Reputation has it that
he was unfeated. He later became the sheriff of Mayville, N.D., where he retired.

In one of those matches I attended with him (to see the Crusher, who I
worked out next to a few times), some thief stole my uncle's wallet (we were
ringside). He was so cool he just smiled and shook his massive head and said,
"I just had a few bucks in there and an old bill; maybe the guy will pay it."

Oh-oh, off topic, bad. Sorry.

My uncle was certainly not build like a Steve Reeves or Reg Park--more along
the lines of Karl Norberg--but darn was he one powerful, tough (but nice) guy.
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stuntmovie
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« Reply #235 on: December 15, 2006, 04:08:37 AM »

Here's another unrelated one , Jay.

You might recall that Paul Anderson did some professional wrestling way back then. I don't know how many matches he had back then but I was fortunate enough to be at one of them taht was held in San Francisco at the SF Auditorium down there by the City Hall.

He did some sort of strength act that evening along the lines of breaking a large piece of wood over his head or with his bare hands.

I kind of felt let down because it was sort of like someone catching a huge wild bear in the forest and putting him on display doing cheap triciks.

Needless to say, he did win that evening but the promotional gimmick was not so much a wrestling match but a display just  to show how strong he really was by throwing and lifting his opponent all over that square circle.
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« Reply #236 on: December 15, 2006, 05:30:08 AM »

I show a Kurt Freeman competing twice in 1958:
6th at Mr. Fiesta and 2nd at Mr. Pacific Beach

Same guy?

Anderson had very few wrestling matches (eleven comes to mind but I am not sure). He lacked endurance for lenghty matches. His career in boxing was even worse, as I understand.
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Casey Butt
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« Reply #237 on: December 15, 2006, 06:57:44 AM »

Speaking of wrestlers... I found some Whipper Watson plates the other day at a pawn shop. (They had Dan Lurie weights also.) I deliberately didn't buy them because I was afraid of starting a memorabilia collection. Wink
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Jay Em
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« Reply #238 on: December 15, 2006, 04:32:02 PM »

Casey, for reals, Whipper Watson plates? You shoulda snatched 'em up, cause I woulda bought them from you, even if they have no collector's value.

Whipper Watson by the way, had an Errol Flynn Mustache, and was the mat's
matinee idol, so to speak.

But, he sure wasn't a Steve Reeves, nor did he even come close to challenging Reg Park (there was also a wrestler named Reg Parks).

It's always a shame in my opinion that certain athletes stray from their chosen sport to lend their hands at another sport, like Anderson. I even heard once that he had a hard time passing the wrestling physical back then before a match. Boxing? That really musta been a joke (like Joe Frazier swimming at
that celebrity athletic competition on tv back in late 70s).

But Paul Anderson was an incredible lifter for his times, had unreal overall
power in many unusual strength feats and was truly deserving of his iconship
in the iron game. Also, of course, a fine, giving, decent human being.

Steve Reeves never strayed from bodybuilding.
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Casey Butt
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« Reply #239 on: December 15, 2006, 04:48:18 PM »

Jay, yeah, there were two 1.5 lb Whipper Watson plates. (I'm always on the lookout for small/odd plates so I can increase the weight on the bar by just a little.) I think I'll drop by Monday and get them. It'd only cost $2 ...but I know where buying old stuff just for the sake of having old stuff can lead. Wink I got the Weider 1.5's instead.
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« Reply #240 on: December 15, 2006, 07:35:48 PM »

Joe, that could be the same Curt Freeman because the time is right. It is definitely the same Curt if he was from the Bay Area (Oakland vicinity I believe) and went into "professional" wrestling shortly thereafter.

Curt was one of the original teen age bodybuilders in No Cal during the 50's. A rareity back then.

It was a rare occasion when Norhtern Cal kids went down to Southern Cal for any reason, and I never heard of Curt entering a contest down that way; so it would be interesting to confirm that and see if he actually did and if any photos exist.

How come I never heard of Whipper Watson? That is a totally new name to me for some reason. But I do recall Peppi Gomez from back then, if that carries any weight.

Speaking of Errol Flynn, I met his son once and can pass on an interesting, but bodybuilding-unrelated, story if there is any interest.

Any of you GetBiggers know Jon Jon Park (Reg's son residing in So Cal I believe)?

Thanks for the refresher - I had completely forgotten about Anderson's boxing "career".

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« Reply #241 on: December 15, 2006, 07:59:47 PM »


Any of you GetBiggers know Jon Jon Park (Reg's son residing in So Cal I believe)?



I know a guy that's friends with his son.....I was told he resides in LA.

That was a year ago...unless he moved
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knny187
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« Reply #242 on: December 15, 2006, 08:01:33 PM »

Stunt....

any stories on Leo Stern?



* i_leo3.jpg (8.82 KB, 205x318 - viewed 1770 times.)

* i_stern.jpg (8.28 KB, 205x290 - viewed 1518 times.)

* i_stern2.jpg (4.65 KB, 205x300 - viewed 1564 times.)
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stuntmovie
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« Reply #243 on: December 15, 2006, 09:10:47 PM »

Yes, Knny, regarding Stern, but confusion reigns on this one.

Back in the early 60's I was driving along the PCH through Camp Pendleton and a truck passed me with the name Bill Pearl printed on the side door. I took a close look and noticed that Bill was driving it but he was exceeding the speed limit and I wasn't so I never managed to make an attempt to get him to pull over to the side of the road and say hello. (I'm the type of guy who would do that.)

I mentioned this to someone in the base gym and was informed that Bill was training at Leo Stern's Gym in San Diego so within a week a couple of us drove down to SD and looked for Stern's place in the hopes of meeting Bill.

I told this story before and someone says I was mistaken, but I do recall that Stern's Gym was in downtown San Diego on the second floor of an old building in a less than attractive part of town. I kind of recall a lot of military type bars and pool halls in the area.

Up a flight of narrow stairs and once inside the gym it was dank and dark with old equipment scattered around. Back in those days gyms were not meant to be attractive nor appealing. They weren't "social clubs". They were just places to work out and build up a decent sweat and ladies were never allowed.

Leo happened to be there so I intoruced myself and asked a bout Bill and was informed that he would be in sometime during the evening hours, so I never did meet Bill on that accasion; but later on I had the opportunity to do so and claim friendship
to this very day.

Sorry, not much of a Stern story here and I don't recall ever seeing him at those old time contests down So Cal way. In fact, even Bill seldom made an appearence unless one of his members was competing. - And that is how I originally met Bill. The best man of all times in the world of bodybuilding as far as I am concerned.

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« Reply #244 on: December 15, 2006, 09:22:14 PM »

Does anyone have any factual knowledge of Muscle House in Santa Monica during the 40's/50's. My knowledge is limited in that regards although I looked for the actual location on a number  of occasions without success during a long tenure in Souther Cal.

I believe it was "managed" by Pudgy Stockton and her husband who offered a lot of fine meals and lodging to the prime bodybuilders of that time.

I do know that Reeves spent some time there. Ditto with Eifferman.

But that's about the extent of my knowledge on Muscle House.

Has anyone ever seen a book written on this subject or have the details?
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Joe Roark
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« Reply #245 on: December 15, 2006, 09:32:52 PM »

Muscle Power mag October 1950 page 47 mentions that Fleuertte 'Joy' Crettaz was the hostess of 'Muscle House by the Sea'.

Pudgy & Les were not connected to it.
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« Reply #246 on: December 16, 2006, 12:44:24 AM »

619 trains at Sterns Gym in San Diego.  Here is a link to it http://www.sternsgym.com/pages/resources.htm#
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EL Mariachi
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« Reply #247 on: March 13, 2007, 03:29:12 PM »

Your information is a joke , you've been caught in a handfull of lies already , this is your direct quote ' during the 30s and 40s ziegler who was a doctor '  you're outright wrong he was NOT a doctor in the 1930s as you claim , he didn't even start medschool until the mid 1940s . so I read the sentences as you type them , and I point out your numerous lies .


Dianabol wasn't even created until 1958 I don't care what you say , and when it was no one outside of York knew what it was or what it even did , and Zeigler himself at the time didn't even know how well they worked until much trial and error when working with Bill March slowly on a month to month basis did they finally learn how much they really worked .

The only reason you keep responding is because you're trying to save face , because you know damn well you're wrong and I've proved you wrong . your story is nonsense and contradictory , your claims about Steve Reeves are fanciful lies and a slap in the face of a bodybuilding icon who accomplished more naturally than you could ever hope to on all your cocktails .



gh15 you speak from the heart and i like that. but you ahve to understand you're dealing here with a moron ( ND) . this guy believes every lie they put in the muscle magazines. thats his proofe. he reads it somewhere and directly assumes its correct. so you better dont respond to this kid ND. he is aas dumb and naive as they come, and just look at the other thread of ND, 1000 pages long. ND is a total dumbass.
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« Reply #248 on: March 15, 2007, 09:37:26 AM »

Thanks, Joe. Just managed to fall across this topic once again and reread it and I sincerely believe that this is the sort of stuff that is needed to keep Bodybuilding History up to date (so to speak).

It's best to read posts about this crazy way of living from people who were actually there and witnessed history in the making.

And so many of those witnesses are passing away and taking bodybuilding history with them.

Joe Valdez, for example. He should have written a book.

In fact, Joe was writing a book. The working title was "Why Is Everybody in Hollywood Famous Except Me?"

One day he told me part of the storyline and it was phenominal and would have been a best seller.

But Joe did leave many great pictures behind, but in Joe's case I think his words would have been better than a thousand pictures.

Anyway, I hope that we can continue with this topic and get you guys who were actually a part of the bodybuilding in the 40's, 50's, and 60's to spill the beans and let these youngsters know how it really was back then.

OK, thanks!~

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Jay Em
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« Reply #249 on: March 15, 2007, 11:43:07 AM »

Excellent, Stunt, couldn't have said it better myself.

I worked with Joe Valdez fairly often on photo projects when at Muscle
Digest and he was such the gentleman; very unassuming.

The one thing that I have to say we didn't see eye to eye on, and actually
had a friendly little debate over it, was his constant pushing and public
relations push for Rory L.

But yes, that working book title sounds dynamite. And I'm sure Joe would
have had a success on his plate with that, for sure.

For years now, I've been trying to get famous natural trainer Jack O'Blenness,
to pen his memoirs. Or, even a training, industry book. He's now pushing 80!
And can hardly walk. Boy, does he have some stories about the politics of
bodybuilding.
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