Saturday, February 9, 2008

Probably not yall's bag but...

In the unlikely event that you are interested in a book about the SoCal bodybuilding scene between 1968 and 1971, this here is the book for you:

West Coast Bodybuilding Scene - The Golden Era by Dick Tyler (2004).
This here book is a collection of columns and longer pieces written by Dick Tyler in what is often referred to as the golden era of bodybuilding. Awesome stories from Muscle Beach and Venice Beach, and personalities like Dave Draper, Don Howorth, Frank Zane, Larry Scott, Zabo Koszewski, Joe Gold, Chuck Sipes, Harold Poole, Art Zeller, Sergio Oliva, Eddie Giuliani, Franco Columbo, Steve Merjanian, Ed Corney, Armand Tanny, Vince Gironda, Joe Weider and that Austrian guy.....what was his name again.....Arnold Schwarzenegger. If these names and the concept of Muscle Beach mean anything to you, then you'll probably enjoy these stories. Like how future global franchises Gold's Gym and World Gym were conceived as a direct result of Muscle Beach being closed down due to some shady activities going on there.

The book is very much written in the language of that time, so there's a lot of "Jeepers Billy; I sure would like a slice of that apple pie and a soda pop". The dialogue could've been lifted from an Archie comic. I've read the book twice now, and the only thing I don't like is that Tyler writes too much from the perspective of total fanboi. Bodybuilder mogul and Tyler's boss at the time - Joe Weider - is getting an epic blowjob via this book, while anyone not into bodybuilding and physical culture is portrayed as philistines and ignorant. Moreover, there is something inherently funny about professional bodybuilders giving "don't do drugs" seminars at high schools. Of course; D-bol and other things were legal back then, they were not on anywhere near the same dosages, they were not on gear most of the year, and they apparently got legit subscriptions from doctors ("You've sure grown a lot over the last two weeks, Larry. Aw shucks Doc; I just started the new Weider routine - thanks for noticing"). But still...

No comments: