Ready for "The Iron Claw"
Old-school pro-wrestling fans finally get a serious biopic.
It’s been another one of those weeks, which is why this edition of the Daly Grind is both late and on the short side. It’s also why I struggled way too long to come up with today’s topic. But since I committed a long time ago to putting out this newsletter weekly, in part to stay in the writing-zone even at times when life pulls me away from my other writing, I’m going to share a few thoughts.
Today’s feature thought is on an upcoming film that I, as an old-school wrestling fan, am really excited about seeing. It’s called The Iron Claw, and it’s the true story of the Von Erichs, a legendary family that ran (and performed in) a pro-wrestling promotion out of Texas that found huge success in the early 1980s. World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) was known for producing bloody, hard-hitting ring-action coupled with emotionally-intense story-lines that often pushed fans over the edge. In many ways the promotion was ahead of its time, breaking attendance records and achieving international success just prior to WWF president Vince McMahon virtually monopolizing the industry.
But with the family’s notoriety came huge tragedy, known as the “Von Erich curse.” Fritz Von Erich, the patriarch of the family, had six sons. Five of them died before the age of 35 (most were in their early 20s).
One thing that interests me about The Iron Claw is that I believe it’s the first ever pro-wrestling biopic. There have been several pro-wrestling documentaries, of course, along with some fictional films like The Wrestler, but this effort appears to break new ground. It seems the film’s creators took the subject-matter very seriously, employing some talented, well-established actors including Mindhunter’s Holt McCallany (who I think, when he was younger, would have made an excellent screen version of Sean Coleman).
What I know for sure is that the trailer’s pretty great:
The Iron Claw releases in theaters next month, and I’m hoping it’s a good as it looks.
Are you an old-school wrestling fan? Who was your favorite wrestler from back in the day? Let me know in an email or in the comment section below.
Worth Your Time
On Halloween night, comedian T.J. Miller released — as a Halloween special — his comedy show at the Stanley Hotel from back in April. My wife and I were seated in the front-row for that event, and thus ended up making a number of cameos. We had a blast that night, and as best we could tell, the set was totally improvised (which is incredibly impressive).
It was fun reliving some of the moments, and I’d recommend the special to anyone looking for a few laughs.
Odds & Ends
One of my all-time favorite rock groups, Candlebox, is calling it quits after 30 years, and wrapping things up with their “The Long Goodbye” tour. Kevin Martin, the band’s front-man (and only remaining original member), did an interview with Spin where he talked about Candlebox’s legacy. I found this quote pretty interesting:
“If I were to pinpoint what it is that I’d want to be said about us, it’s that ‘they were the happiest accident that Seattle scene had ever seen.’”
It was a reference to the fact that none of the original band members had come to know each other organically. They were put together by a music producer, and magic somehow ensued. Their first album sold more than four million copies, and though rock purists and historians would probably laugh at me for saying this, I truly believe it’s one of the all-time best rock albums.
Early Candlebox connected with me on many levels. Listening to Martin’s primal vocals and Peter Klett’s guitar mastery on songs like “You” and “Rain” at high volume still fills my soul with passion and energy.
The band never recaptured the success or caliber of that first album, though they did continue to put out good music over many years, even after everyone but Martin left and was replaced. (The original lineup did reunite on occasion, including for a couple shows in their birthplace of Seattle in 2018, where they celebrated the 25th anniversary of that iconic first album; my wife and I were in attendance).
Anyway, I wish Martin and the rest of the crew (past and present) the best of luck. Their amazing contribution to rock music will not be forgotten.
Obligatory Dog Shot
Awkward family photos.
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That’s all for now. Thanks for reading today’s Daly Grind.
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Take care. And I’ll talk to you soon!