This is topic Steve Yohe interview on Slam in forum Lou Thesz forum at Message Board.

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Posted by Steve Yohe (Member # 302) on :
Jon Langmead interviewed me at my house a few times, and I liked him, and I liked the result:
Posted by Ken Viewer (Member # 5528) on :
It's a fine article; if a nationally-circulated general-interest publication such as The New York Times picks up on it and does its own report, it could lead to fee-based speaking-invitations for you.

But then you'd need to sign on with a speakers' bureau (they only get money after they get you paid gigs -- including first class transportation -- and the check clears the bank) and travel around the country. (If they want money up-front, it's a scam.)

A woman I coincidentally worked with at the same newspaper's bureau at the same time wrote, for a major mainstream publisher, a junk book on a particular subject and got herself a periodic column on the topic. She parlayed that into a speaking fee of as much as $10,000 per event. I haven't a clue as to whether there's that kind of money for worked-sporting events such as harness racing and professional wrestling.

You don't need many of those each year to bank a nice piece of green. Even I get invites once in a great while regarding two subjects unrelated to the rasslin' world but I can't travel any longer and never know in-advance how much mobility I'll have at any specific time.


[ 05-13-2019, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: Ken Viewer ]
Posted by Phil_Lions (Member # 5296) on :
That was a fun read.

Loved the comparison to the Lewis/Stecher Omaha match.
Posted by SaxonWolf (Member # 129106) on :
Good read, I enjoyed that.
Posted by First Row Al (Member # 127224) on :
That was a great article. I didn't realize the depth of Steve's involvement with pro wrestling history. I knew he was a wrestling historian but not to that degree.

I only live 3 or 4 miles away from him so one day we'll have to get together.
Posted by djangoska (Member # 10798) on :
Very cool read.
Posted by Steve Ogilvie (Member # 5116) on :
Nice to see some press on Steve. Hopefully it gets a few more people interested in digging deeper.
Posted by Ed Lock from Sydney, Aust (Member # 76599) on :
In today's Daily Update at Dave Meltzer commented that Steve Yohe "may be the single most important person in the world in compiling a legitimate history of pro wrestling before 1950. Before he came along, everything was haphazard at best."

Well deserved praise.
Posted by repairmanjacj (Member # 6649) on :
Great Read
Posted by Gary Will (Member # 396) on :
That was really good! Thanks for posting the link.
Posted by Ken Viewer (Member # 5528) on :
I would have liked to see a photo of the Yohe Press's various monster-size record books, piled one on top of the others, which are full of information -- not just about the wrestler in question, but of the era and loads of large photos. Yohe's record books are printed on 8 1-2 by 11-inch paper and because they are privately published, he isn't restrained by copyright assertions on photos, of which he included as many relevant ones as he could find.

I've seen other privately-published biographies meant for scholars/fans/whomever in order to avoid the issues a standard publishing house would raise, and Yohe's are as good as they come.

With one exception (tributes to Buddy Rogers which wouldn't fit within the binding limitations of the copying house that was assembling them), Yohe uses large-enough type for Senior Citizens to be able to read without magnification -- a rarity these days for many mainstream publishers who like to cut their own throats by using six-point type.

If I can't read it, I won't buy it, and young adults are usually allergic to printed books.


[ 05-14-2019, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: Ken Viewer ]
Posted by Steve Yohe (Member # 302) on :
CLEAN...I don't nothing about no stinking cleaning!--Yohe
Posted by Ken Viewer (Member # 5528) on :
Originally posted by Steve Yohe:
CLEAN...I don't nothing about no stinking cleaning!--Yohe


Posted by Steve Yohe (Member # 302) on :
Those papers I'm carrying in the photo, are the masters of the old Yohe Press. I keep them hidden away. I brought them out to show Jon what they looked like.

To my right, on top of the selves, are binders holding the old Observers. I ran out of space for them at 2006 & the rest are in a cabinet under the large TV. I have the complete collection.

I'm proud of all this stuff. There is a ton of history in those books. The idea was to bind the records I got from Hewitt, Luce, Hornsby, Hauro, Koji, & Melby. And then add clipping, photos & stuff related to the topic. A lot of them are huge. It was a way to show what they were doing in most of the days of their life.

Under the WON, are a few record books on minor guys from the 50's & 60's. Schmidt, O'Connor, Dave Levin, Jonathan, Stanlee, Orville Brown, Bockwinkel, Destroyer, Blassie, Rikidozan, ETC.

In another book case, you can't see, on the front wall, has major books on Thesz, Longson, Carpentier, Hutton, Rocca, Carnera, Eagle, Sexton, & Gagne. On the lower part, I keep wrestling books.

In the side dinning room, I have the major books: Stecher, Londos, Steele, Stan & Wladek Zbyszko, Caddock, Gotch, Muldoon, Pesek, ETC On the bottom are 5 or 6 binders of clipping on people, I didn't make records of. Random stuff.

To my left in the photos is a 70 inch TV, surrounded by cases of major movies. In the same area are my wrestling DVD's. My 1,300 wrestling VCRs are in my bedroom in boxes.

To my right in the corner is the computer, surrounded by records of LA, St Louis, Columbus, SF, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, AWA, WWF,Japan, & etc. On a small book case I keep photos. Mostly stuff from the 20's & 30's. There are posters on the wall of The Destroyer. In the hallway I have more posters on the wall & a Destroyer poster that has his ring worn mask.

I don't collect objects (other than Dick's mask)...I collect information. I know it's nuts....but it is what it is. I don't trust computers...I like things on paper. I believe that computers will disappear with everything on them.

After I lost my first wife, I lived in a apartment in Alhambra, across the street from the hospital I worked at. I was never into family stuff. I only saw my parents once a year at Xmass. I was a runner & did my laps every day. My life was basically sleeping, eating, running, wrestling stuff, and working nights at the hospital. On days off I went to movies, sports events & wrestling. I liked was perfect. It was there that I got into the sheets & found tape traders & met John Williams & had wrestling friends. Then my mother had a few CVAs & had no one to take care of her. It pissed me off but I returned to Montebello because of her. I thought I'd hated it, but it turned out fine. Then she died. I ended up with half the house & some money. I was going to sell the house & get a large apartment. But my wrestling stuff was piling up & I was into it's history & I wanted room. So I bought the other haft of the house from my brother. I also didn't like the idea of some stranger living in the family house.

My girlfriend was having trouble with an ex-boyfriend doctor, who she had a kid with. He was trying to starve her out to steal the kid. I felt it was my job to protect her, so I let her move in the house. But I told her that wrestling came first, and she & her kid came in #2. She thought it was funny & moved it. Later I married her, because she had a medical issue & needed health care. I didn't want to do it at the time, but I'm glad now...and it's been a great 23 years.

She has the back haft of the house & the kitchen, and the rest is me & my wrestling junk. Can't remember ever having a fight with her about anything.

So it's my house, I owe no one anything, and I do just want I want to do. I'm one free little hippie. I'm not rich, but I don't want to be. I'm cool.

I'm always working on some wrestling project, big or small. After each day's work, I'm not about to clean everything I can bring it all back the next day....and start over. That would be nuts. It kind of looks like a lawyers office.

As far as I can remember only three people have come to the house. John Williams, Dan Westbrook, and Jon Langmead. Williams didn't care about the wrestling records because he thinks he knows everything (maybe he does), & Dan just cares about photos. Jon was into everything...all the records & stuff. It was new & cool to him. I really liked the guy & I could talk to him for hours. He's young (late or mid-30's), good looking and thinks the stuff is important. He also likes to talk about favorite subject.

I'm a loner. I only hang around people I respect. I don't waste my time on people for no reason. If you think I'm your friend, and I give you that impression, you really are. There isn't that many of them.

One of the reasons, I kept the house is..I thought the guys (John & James, maybe Barnet) would come over & watch the old days with "King of Chicken" video watching & PPVs on Sunday. It happen a few times....once Wade Keller & Bruce Mitchel watched a UFC PPV (in the early years before I created the mess)….but it stopped. I miss the 90's & going to all the important cards in LA, Mexico & SF....and being around the top people. I see computers as the heel in that story.

I'm going to just keep playing around with my "Time Line" project until I pass away. Leave as much as I can, before it's over. I don't know what's going to happen to all the old record books. I guess, me passing, has to happen, it's the only way the house is going to get cleaned up.--Steve Yohe

[ 05-14-2019, 03:10 PM: Message edited by: Steve Yohe ]
Posted by Steve Ogilvie (Member # 5116) on :
I've been to Barnett's house so now I need to visit you sometime Steve!
Posted by Steve Yohe (Member # 302) on :
Barnett's apartment, condo, house or whatever....when he lived in Santa Monica...was the center of wrestling culture in Los Angeles. I loved Bob. He was great. I used to tell everyone he was my personal lawyer. Everyone used to go over to his house to watch wrestling, boxing, etc and eat chicken with his fat cats running around. Telling Mike Lano stories. It was the first meeting place of our "King of Chicken" parties. Everyone used to show up at Bob's place. There was always interesting people coming & going.

Him & John had problems over something...and we all fell apart somehow. He moved to Long Beach. Bob knows everyone anyway. I don't get to see him much any more....but he was & is one of my best friends. I went to the Long Beach NJW card with him this year. I think he is a great guy & one of the major wrestling people in LA...or Long Beach.

If I sue you, you'll hear from Barnett.--Steve Yohe

[ 05-14-2019, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: Steve Yohe ]
Posted by Ken Viewer (Member # 5528) on :
Well, Steve, who on this board made any comments about neatness? The place doesn't look dirty to me, and I wouldn't care if it were, as long as you didn't abide insects/rodents.

And we are friends and have been for a long time.

Old guys, particularly ones who live alone, such as widowers or those who never married or hooked up with a significant other, tend to keep messy apartments/houses. My long-term lady lives in her own apartment because we both are sorta messy. It's one reason why, decades ago, I decided not to collect anything and to dispose of what I had collected.

You apparently haven't visited enough homes of other 70-plus guys and seen their level of neatness. Most of my friends who retired at 65-or-later, including the cohabiting ones, lived in, by choice, a sloppy household. They didn't care. I don't care. My best friend from college bought a house in Anaheim in the early days of Dizzyland-Takes-Over-the-World and went there almost every evening.

His wife didn't do the dishes and they were piled so high in the sink that the filthy mess made the sink unusable. The living room, I kid you not, had a used car parked in it and I'll never figure out how he got it in there. But when I'd drive cross-country and spend a week hanging out with him and a few others, I made certain I had a quiet motel room near an all-night restaurant.

Since I am the guy with the apartment in New York City, everyone I knew outside of the area, when they came here on vacation, wanted to stay with me. So, some 60 years ago, I decided I will never stay as a guest in anyone's home/apartment and no one can stay in mine.

I used to keep an up-to-date list of cheap hotels in my area, but most of my colleagues/relatives from out-of-town have remarkably managed to eat themselves to death. Not kidding. I've never (and I covered news of medicine beginning in 1970, breaking to another specialty after five years, and returning to it several times during my newspaper career) understood how educated people can ignore their health to the point of dying needlessly.

I still can't believe that the knowledge that morbid obesity probably is the leading cause of other fatal medical conditions was so ignored in my pre-Baby-Boom and then the Baby Boom generations. My best buddy, like me, weighed in at average for his height in college and then, the year he died of the preventable effects of negligent diabetes, was over 300 pounds of ice cream, sodas and cakes.

His best friend was having sweets smuggled into his hospital room when he was losing toes to the effects of diabetes. His mother kept his apartment and she just stopped taking the trash out. She stopped cooking and they ate five meals a day at the nearby fast-food joint.

She and he were evicted from the apartment he was born in about 70 years earlier after the judge gave him/her a dozen warnings before signing the eviction order.

I toss, every evening before I go to bed, the food-related garbage out of the apartment. No opened food containers survive here overnight unless they're refrigerated or sealed (like oats for oatmeal).

Some 2,000 news articles are spread around in safe containers, but they are no more organized than your stuff. The copyright-infringing articles of mine which were stolen by such joints as an airline in-flight magazine, and the files on the litigation, are in cases here and there in various closets.

I'm tossing that stuff too; it's a matter of not leaving a hoard of confusing stuff for my lady to deal with if she wants the apartment. If she doesn't, there's some money set aside for her to hire workers to toss the stuff out of the windows.

I haven't a clue as to why you felt you had to be concerned by what a photo of a professional researcher/author/collector's living room showed. It ain't sterile, but so what? You do your professional work in good-part from your home. A work-space, which can be more than one room, is occupied with all manner of research materials and books and stuff. If people don't care for it, they don't have to look at the photo.


[ 05-14-2019, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: Ken Viewer ]
Posted by Steve Yohe (Member # 302) on :
Well there was a photo!

Like I said...I don't care about being neat. But some people need to be warned a head of time. I don't care about a lot of things...spelling, grammar, dressing well, or being PC. Not into offending people ether.--Yohe
Posted by Ken Viewer (Member # 5528) on :
This ain't a dirty joint. It doesn't even qualify for "messy." You are either being conned by someone or are a few lanes off of the exit on the Interstate. Go back and spread stuff all over the room; then walk on it for color:

A Researcher's Working Space is Usually a Mess; You need to visit more professional Authors.

Steve Johnson says he keeps his raw material for future projects on his floor, for instance. The guy I used to have an occasional Saturday-writers-group lunch with, among the gaggle of writers, and who partnered with another screenwriter to sell a spec for $3 million against $5 million, kept a less neat place.

(They split the $5 million because the script was turned into a studio film by a director who took the assignment without having any interest in shooting it; he just needed a fat-fee project to fill a hole in his time,)

You need to get messy if you want the big dollars.


[ 05-14-2019, 04:07 PM: Message edited by: Ken Viewer ]
Posted by CrusherBolo (Member # 1137) on :
Boy, I'm sure glad I'm not the only slob when it comes to wrestling stuff. It's all over the place in my apartment and I find stuff easier to find on the floor than if I put it elsewhere. I thought there was something wrong with me until I read some of these posts. Turns out I'm just a normal wrestling researcher! Who'da thunk.
Posted by Steve Yohe (Member # 302) on :
Yeah....there are photos of Meltzer's work room & it was something to be used national. And he has stuff all over too. Us guy's are working.--Yohe
Posted by Wrestling Perspective (Member # 1487) on :
"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, we can’t help wondering what an empty desk indicates." — Chicago Tribune quoting The Wildrooter in April 1955.
Posted by First Row Al (Member # 127224) on :
There's nothing wrong with clutter. It ain't clutter as long as you know where things are at. My house is fairly clean except for my office. There's paperwork clutter everywhere but I know where things are.

I never throw anything out. I get monthly investment reports, bank statements, medical records, etc. and save every sheet of paper. They're filed in cabinets, drawers, shelves, etc but I know where everything is at. My motto is: Never throw anything out because one day you'll need that piece of paper.

I have over 1000 sci-fi and horror movies from the 30's thru the 60's on old VHS tapes, DVD's and some even VHS's tapped from the TV. They're all over the place but if I want to watch a movie I know where to look, most of the time. I've spent many an hour searching through the bins at Amoeba Music & Video in Hollywood looking for crap. So my collection keeps growing.

When I worked my office was the same way. Computers were supposed to help us reduce paperwork but it just created tons more. I had stacks of it everywhere. I never threw anything out. Someone would walk in and want a report of something. They'd look at mt office and say they'd be back in a couple of hours after I found it but I'd walk over to a stack, go half way down, flip through a few pieces of paper and pull it out. They couldn't believe it.

Most clutter is beautiful. It's all in the eyes of the clutterer. So Steve, keep that clutter going!!
Posted by Steve Ogilvie (Member # 5116) on :
You've got to be careful with those VHS tapes. They go mouldy really easily at this age.
Posted by Ken Viewer (Member # 5528) on :
All of my tapes from as late as 1990 have become unplayable and I finally tossed them.

It could be the brand of replacement VHS player; I don't know, but if you're ever going to keep them viewable, the time to convert them to DVDs or another format (uploads to Youtube, for instance) is now.

Posted by First Row Al (Member # 127224) on :
So far I've never had a problem. They all still work. I have a couple of VHS / DVD combo players and everything works far!
Posted by Steve Yohe (Member # 302) on :
I haven't had a problem yet.--Yohe
Posted by Ken Viewer (Member # 5528) on :
Originally posted by Steve Yohe:
I haven't had a problem yet.--Yohe

I'm glad for you. But if you want to continue to view those tapes, prudence suggests copying those that you can't replace with DVDs of the same show/movie/event.

Posted by Steve Yohe (Member # 302) on :
I only have so much time. I'm playing with other things. Can't be spending my time converting VCR tapes to DVDs. At one point. I spent a lot of money buying a machine to transfer VCR to DVD....and couldn't figure out how to do it. Cost a lot of money & took me away from doing other wrestling projects.

To me, the creation of DVDs is the worst thing to ever happen as far as tape collecting goes. Used to be I could copy all the wrestling off TV. Can't any more. Used to be able to copy tapes of matches to send to friends, not any more. As far as buying stuff, I used to get 8 hour VCR for $25. Get complete Japanese shows & in the space at the end, add on other major matches I was interested in. Now it's one show on a DVD.

My feelings are that DVDs were created to stop the copying of stuff off of Tv, so they could sell it to you. People are addicted to buying new technology. I hate old man rants as much as anyone, but I can't help saying what I think.

Anyway the collection got so big, that I could have spent all my time just organizing all of it. Numbering everything, so you can find things. Space was also a big problem. It was, at one time, my goal to get everything from Japan. It was nuts. Anyway it took too much time & there were tons of people doing it. I felt it was better to do my history stuff.

DVD were better for movies. Better picture & sound & you don't copy movies. Then they went to Blue-Ray. After selling DVDs as the primo object to have, it turned out that was BS. So to be really up to date & get the special add on stuff, you had to go BR. I fought that idea, but now I get BR for special classical movies & some good SF movie. But the move from DVDs killed off the business to some degree. DVD sells aren't what they used to be. Now they got 4D or something. Just something new to sell more stuff.

I came out of the sheet world. It seemed like there wasn't a lot of the history known at the time. I know Luce, JMK, Hornsby, Hewitt, Hauro and the others were doing major work, but it was a small group. I saw a spot for me to contribute to wrestling...even if wrestling didn't care or want it. So that's what I did & the tape collection can just suffer. I'm just doing what I want to do.

I'm still into "the matches". When I write something I describe the "matches". A good match is everything. A lot of people see that as being a "mark". But I don't mind being a "mark". I don't care about minor TV shows very much. Promos & stuff, I don't care much about. I'm interested in the booking & how cards are set up & how they build up add to the "match". But to me the "match" is the art.

I don't like wrestling that is comedy. I like drama, that seem realistic. The best wrestling, doesn't need a lot of out of the ring story telling. The best should be created in the ring during the match. But I understand there are all kinds of ways to make it work, to make money....and other people like a different style, that I look down on. To me, pro wrestling is pretty ridicules on it's own, the art is making it not funny, but dramatic. I think it draws better & lasts longer.

I'm rambling....and I'm ending this. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on my VCR collection. It will do OK. It already takes up a ton of space in my bedroom.--Steve Yohe

[ 05-17-2019, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: Steve Yohe ]
Posted by DaClyde (Member # 127626) on :
Once things went digital, it did require learning a new set of skills to continue to record stuff from TV (or cable, satellite, etc.). Early on, at least, if you weren't part of the Apple crowd, digitizing video was a pain or very expensive. When I learned how people were initially hacking their TiVo's to snag copies of shows, I immediately looked into to how to do that. Had to learn some linux to deploy the hack to my DirecTV TiVo box, learn a bunch of new tools to connect to the box from my PC and then "download" the shows, then convert them out of the proprietary TiVo file format to something more universal.

So, while it was still possible, it required a much bigger effort, at least initially, to get back to what you could so easily accomplish with a single VCR and a tape, although it opened up a world of possibilities.

But really, the only reason to convert anything from VHS to digital is if you can't already find it in digital or if there is a change to dramatically improve on the existing digital copy. My Dad has a massive VHS collection of old westerns. He has converted a few that he recorded off TV decades ago, but mostly he is able to find DVD copies for $5 so he doesn't bother.

I agree without about "the matches". After all, without that, there is nothing to draw fans. I can't imagine, even in this day and age, that there is anyone who skips through the matches so they can get to the inane talking bits.

Oh, and I loved the piece on Slam. I'm always glad when wrestling history and historians gets some attention.
Posted by Steve Yohe (Member # 302) on :
Going thru my stuff today, behind my dinning room table, I found all my old books on comic books. Found my old (1970 & 1972) THE STERANKO HISTORY OF COMICS by Jim Steranko. This was always a major book to me. The info in 1970 couldn't be found anywhere at the time. It's 14 x 10 and the design of it is special. I haven't touched it or moved it in 30 years. It's been read, but it was something I always took care of. There was some dust on the cover but the pages were white & seem in very good condition. There was going to be 6 books but only two were published. Cover the comics from the 1940's. Probably just going to put it back in the same spot. It's at Amazon & other places on the computer.

Also found THE WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMICS by Maurice Horn (1977). This was a book I used all the time. Studied it actually. Reference book, so it's been used.

Bunch of other stuff. Barry Smith & Spirit books.---Steve Yohe
Posted by Steve Yohe (Member # 302) on :
In the same spot, I found all my old issues of The Torch. The ones that came with a photo.--Yohe

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