Greetings Cagesiders I have decided to start my own series of fanposts entitled, "The LongGoodBye's Locker Room". Wherein, in bi-weekly intervals, I will produce an editorial based upon subjects of my own choosing, or by requests I receive from members. Note that other members on this site have their own variation of this format, Kanenites "Wrestling Stats" series as well as the "Match Time" series, The Notorious Eddie Mac's "The Notorious Eddie Mac Presents" series, and ClownBurgers "Diary of a manager" series. My intentions are not to copy these highly informative and insightful pieces whatsoever. My intentions are to create my own unique column with focus on hot button issues past and present. However, to start out I will debut "The Fundamentals of Wrestling Series". A series of articles highlighting my top 5 fundamentals of a wrestling promotion. What are the other 4 after music? Well, you'll just have to wait and find out! I chose music first though because it's a great conversation starter, and that is the ultimate goal of my Locker Room column, to grease the wheels of conversation. I hope everyone enjoys--and learns-- from this(and all) articles I produce. So, without further ado.....Lets enter the Locker Room!
Music can touch us like no other medium can. Music can speak to us in ways that words cannot. In the world of Professional wrestling music enhances and sometimes, signifies, a wrestler. I think there is no better example of this than Hulk Hogan. Real American sung by Rick Derringer, which was originally used by The U.S. Express, became Hogans entrance music and, I argue, is a large part of what made him so successful. As soon as that music hit the fans would go absolutely nuts! It's interesting to note that Rick Derringer was a member of "The McCoys" who had a number 1 hit in 1965 with "Hang on Sloopy". Only to be usurped by The Beatles song "Yesterday". One of the first wrestlers to use music as part of his act was Gorgeous George who used "Pomp and Circumstance".This was in the 1940s and 50s! A true pioneer in every sense of the word . Eventually music would land in the arena of professional wrestling again when the Fabulous Freebirds, led by Michael Hayes, would incorporate Lynyrd Skynyrd's hit "Free Bird" as their entrance music. Eventually that entrance theme would be replaced with "Badstreet USA" in 1984 which was sung, composed, and co-written by Michael Hayes himself. In fact The Fabulous Freebirds usually earn the distinction of the forerunners for the Rock 'N' Wrestling Connection. The Rock 'N' Wrestling connection was an era where there was cooperation and cross promotion with the then WWF and parts of the music industry. It started when Captain Lou Albano met Cyndi Lauper on a plane to Puerto Rico and she asked him to appear as her father in the music video for her hit single "Girls just wanna have fun". Lauper and Albano were then featured on an episode of Piper's Pit where a feud was started by way of Albanos referencing of Lauper as a "broad" which led to Lauper hitting him with a loaded purse and culminating with "The Brawl to end it all" match pitting Wendi Richter, with Lauper in her corner, against The Fabulous Moolah, with Albano in her corner, for the Womens Championship which was broadcast live on MTV. The event was heavily promoted on MTV and by notable music artists of the time. I would venture to say that had it not been for this blending of Rock and Wrestling, with the promotion offered by a fresh and wildly popular MTV, Vince McMahons nationwide takeover would not have been as large of a success. In fact "The Brawl to end it all" spawned the Main event at the inaugural WrestleMania. As you can see the element of music in wrestling has been far reaching. We can go on to the more modern era for further examples. How about the recent "Fandangoing" phenomenon? Then theres Shawn Michaels "Sexy Boy" song which was a huge reason for his popularity, as he would dance his way to the ring and gyrate while in it.The Undertaker has benefitted highly from his funeral march music to the ring. Can you even imagine watching an Undertaker match without it, or his gongs? Also, how would Stone Cold Steve Austins popularity and reign as champion have been different had it not been for the breaking glass noise and subsequent music? What about DX and their entrance music/music video package? Surely that was a large part of their success as well. Just the fact that the WWE has had it's own in-house music production crew for nearly 30 years, is a testament to the power of music in the world of wrestling. Another example of the importance of music in wrestling is ECW using popular industry songs to accompany their performers to the ring. Paul Heyman(former owner of ECW) previously worked in, and had connections with, segments of the music industry, which enabled him to garner more affordable licensing deals. Jimmy Hart the legendary manager, was also a member of "The Gentry's" who produced a top 5 Billboard Top 100 hit in 1965 with "Keep on Dancing". He would go on to pen numerous compositions for various wrestlers entrance themes such as the aforementioned "Sexy Boy" for Shawn Michaels, as well as The Honkey Tonk Man, Ted Dibiase, The Nasty Boys,Brutus Beefcake, and Legion Of Doom. Also in-house music producer and engineer Jim Johnston has composed themes for Undertaker, The Rock, and The Big Show, as well as producing virtually all music for Pay-Per-View's, television, and home video. He actually got his start producing commercial cues for MTV and VH1.
Music has been and continues to be one of the most integral parts of the wrestling landscape. It has captured our attention for decades and is a driving force in the success of many performers in the business. Without it I don't think any of us would enjoy wrestling as much as we do, at least I know I wouldn't. How do you feel about the importance of music in wrestling cagesiders? How has it spoken to you?
That's all for now CSS. See you next time in....The Locker Room