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Evel Knievel

As a child of the '70s, the stunts of Evel Knievel are part of the texture of my formative years - along with the Mary Tyler Moore show, bean bag chairs, the Doobie Brothers, Ali vs. Frazier (as narrated by Howard Cosell), Stevie Wonder, the Six Million Dollar Man, Mark "The Bird" Fidryich, Nixon, Ford and Carter, and so on and so forth.

Evel Knievel was in the news twice recently; first for having settled with Kanye West over some disagreement, and then for dying. The seventies for me were punctuated by Evel Knievel's death-defying leaps over busses or semi trucks, or Las Vegas fountains, or, perhaps most famously, some canyon out west in a rocket motorcycle. (He didn't quite pull that one off). I vaguely recall a movie with Kurt Russell as Evel Knievel, and I have to mention that, due to his bad example, I built ramps for jumping my bicycle.

In this interview with Dick Cavett, he comes off as a bit arrogant, and he hardly even acknowledges Dizzy Gillespie (one of jazz's all-time greats and, in the grand scheme of things, a much more important artist than Evel Knievel).

Evel Knievel's passing is an excuse to go back to the seventies. If you lived through them, you know that it was a great time to be alive, and that all those clichés about disco and bellbottoms don't do the decade justice at all.



my evil buddy

wow, I didn't know he died. I have his autograph on a magazine on display in my bedroom. I met him at the Cycle-rama 73 in Detroit. He jumped a whole bunch of cars and trucks. He also put a a show of endless wheelies and stunts. He talked about his plans for jumping the Snake River Canyon. I said, can I have your autograph? and he said, sure thing buddy.

November 2018



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