(Close Window)
Topic: Evel Knievel
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Nov 30, 2007 03:50PM)
Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel died in Florida at the age of 69 today. Born Robert Craig Knievel, he had been in poor health for several years and died due to liver failure.
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Nov 30, 2007 03:56PM)
In his prime, Evel made Johnny Knoxville look like a piker. He was fearless, he was the original jackass. I loved him as a kid. RIP.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Nov 30, 2007 04:05PM)
I just read this about two minutes ago and came right to the Cafť to post it.

Vandy, you and I may be about the same age, because I loved him as a kid, too. I remember those Wide World of Sports jumps, and thought they were about the most awesome and thrilling things I'd ever seen.

I even got an Evel Knievel doll with a motorcycle and a van and some kind of crank that wound up the motorcycle so that it would go tearing off by itself. The toy didn't work all that well: you had to have about a hundred yards of sidewalk and good aim to get it to do anything. But it was still cool.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Nov 30, 2007 04:08PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-30 17:05, stoneunhinged wrote:
I even got an Evel Knievel doll with a motorcycle and a van and some kind of crank that wound up the motorcycle so that it would go tearing off by itself. The toy didn't work all that well: you had to have about a hundred yards of sidewalk and good aim to get it to do anything. But it was still cool.

Jeff
[/quote]

I had the same toy! It was a cycle that went onto a stand and you'd crank it and it would take off. And you could remove the Evel "action figure" off the bike. He had the cool jumpsuit and his helmet came off and everything.
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Nov 30, 2007 04:14PM)
I had one too... That's sad to hear. He was a childhood hero of mine as well.

Ironic isn't that he survived all those jumps and it was eventually liver failure that did him in...



Lyndel
Message: Posted by: Margarette (Nov 30, 2007 04:28PM)
I, too, was a fan. I remember watching his Snake River Canyon attempt on tv. I wonder how many kids ended up with broken arms and legs because they wanted to be like him and jump over stuff on their bicycles. I know my brother got scraped up quite badly on of his attempts.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Nov 30, 2007 04:33PM)
Me thinks his root cause of death was pulmonary fibrosa rather than the ol' liver. Poor guy. I saw him jump in San Jose when I was a kid, he lectured everyone on drugs before the jump, made it.... He is a true American character ol' Evil. I fractured my ankle trying to do a jump on my bike.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Nov 30, 2007 05:50PM)
Anyone hear the Jim Rome interview with Evel on his radio talk show, about five years ago? Absolutely classic, and 100% Knievel. The relevant portion went something really close to this:


JR: "Now, when you made that Snake River Canyon jump, what did you think the odds were that you'd survive?"

EK: "About 50-50."

JR: "FIFTY FIFTY?! What were you doing trying a stunt where you thought there was an even money shot you weren't going to live through it?"

(Half a beat pause)

EK: "Do you know who the hell I am?"



PRICELESS. There won't be another quite like him. RIP Evel.
Message: Posted by: Hoff Man (Nov 30, 2007 05:50PM)
Evel Knievel was a wonderful showman and a fearless performer. The impression he made on my generation can hardly be overstated.

Whether it was flying my Huffy off a makeshift ramp with my friends or tuning in to his latest death-defying feat on TV, his presence on the world stage made my childhood a richer one. To this day, his name alone invokes a sense of reverence for all that is larger than life. And in that sense, he lives on.

Thank you for the memories Mr. Knievel.

One more jump.

Steve
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Nov 30, 2007 05:51PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-30 17:33, MagicSanta wrote:
Me thinks his root cause of death was pulmonary fibrosa rather than the ol' liver. Poor guy. I saw him jump in San Jose when I was a kid, he lectured everyone on drugs before the jump, made it.... He is a true American character ol' Evil. I fractured my ankle trying to do a jump on my bike.
[/quote]

Heard it could have been late fallout from hepatitis contracted from a long-ago blood transfusion following one of his stunts gone wrong.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Nov 30, 2007 07:09PM)
He'd not been well since getting hepatitis C but he had a lung condition with no cure and his breathing went on him. Either way he was one cool mo fo.
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Nov 30, 2007 08:07PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-30 17:28, Margarette wrote:
I, too, was a fan. I remember watching his Snake River Canyon attempt on tv. I wonder how many kids ended up with broken arms and legs because they wanted to be like him and jump over stuff on their bicycles. I know my brother got scraped up quite badly on of his attempts.
[/quote]

Margarette's post reminded me of a daring ramp jump that went TERRIBLY WRONG that I performed on my Huffy bicycle shortly after seeing the Snake River Canyon event...

Let's just say that there was a lot of bruising and my voice was several octaves too high for about a week! Bannana seats were NOT very soft back in the seventies as I remember! LOL!

Jump home Evel... Jump home!


Lyndel
Message: Posted by: Marvello (Nov 30, 2007 09:01PM)
Here is a pic of the Evel Knievel Dare Devil Set (I had one too)

[img]http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/3010/p539491mq8.jpg[/img]

they are reproducing them now, using the original molds - and they go for around $60

Original commercial for the toy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF0LLdpEspg

[img]http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/2995/evelknievelqp6.jpg[/img]

Evel Knievel got his famous nickname while he was in jail with the town drunk, who was known as "Awful Knoffel." The police officers were reading out the role call to see who was in their cells, and Knievel and Knoffel were together. The jailers made a little joke that they had Awful Knoffel and Evel Knievel.

Evel was a pioneer in what is now called "extreme sports" and he was always thrilling to watch. Part stupid, part daredevil, part courage and always the showman, there will never be another like him.

Caesar's Palace jump:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYGGCVE2lKY

Snake River Canyon:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYGGCVE2lKY
Message: Posted by: nums (Nov 30, 2007 09:05PM)
If anyone here listens to country music, there is a song called "1970 somethin" and one line goes

"had a showbox full of baseball cards and couple of Evel Kenevil scars on my right arm"

He was the man and even what his son does today pales in comparison to that huge heavy bike his dad uses.

NUMS
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Nov 30, 2007 09:39PM)
He was also jumping with hard tails, which is why some of them just broke in half.
Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Nov 30, 2007 10:31PM)
Evel Knievel was a 'modern day' legend...

A legend that created himself.

It is truly rare for a 'modern day mythic figure' to invent himself.

Evel did just that...

He became 'larger than life' ON PURPOSE!

And, without the aid of CGI, camera cuts, or creative editing he put his butt on the the line in order to make something of himself.

I seriously doubt there will ever be anyone as unique, creative, or GENUINE as the amazing Evel Knievel...

The man was a marketing genius...

A hero to all of us who wish to become 'larger than life'...

And a TRUE American 'success story'.

If any of us can lay claim to living even a 10th of his amazing life should count ourselves VERY, VERY blessed.

R.I.P. Evel...

God Bless you as you jump the Pearly Gates!

Sincerely,

A true Fan,

Prof. Piper
(Terry)
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Dec 1, 2007 12:21AM)
I loved how the cane he needed to walk after one of his wipe-outs became known as a "swagger stick". Talk about putting the spin on something!
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Dec 1, 2007 12:23AM)
I think I saw the " daredevil set" recently released again for retro collectors.

I remember the day he was set to do the Snake River Canyon jump. I had this little red AM radio and I listed all day for updates of what happened. It was riveting.

Surely an American Icon. RIP

Best,

Tim
Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Dec 1, 2007 12:24AM)
Cliff...

That is how he made himself a legend.

Makes you thing about your own career, huh?

Made ME think, that's for sure.

Not only did Evel leave us a legacy of Courage...

He left us with a wealth of knowledge on how to become "Larger than Life".

Again, God Bless him and RIP!

Prof. Piper
(Terry)
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Dec 1, 2007 12:44AM)
I knew I has seen this. I now remember seeing it in those SkyMall Mags you read while on flights. Here it is. http://www.skymall.com/shopping/detail.htm?pid=102524531&c=

Best,

Tim
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Dec 1, 2007 07:29AM)
I know George Hamilton starred in an Evel Knievel movie in 1971 and there was a less popular movie starring George Eads in 2004... It would be nice to see a new movie made about his life perhaps with Mark Wahlberg in the title role...


Lyndel
Message: Posted by: Patrick Differ (Dec 1, 2007 08:59AM)
At the height of his career, Knievel ruled the world. All over the news, all over the toy shelves, all over the streets, every kid wanted to be him, every parent worried when their kid asked for a motorcycle for Christmas.
Everywhere he went, tickets sold in minutes. Every stunt he did was talked about for weeks. Afterwards, we tried them ourselves on our Huffys and our Renegades. Broken bones and road rash were small prices for us to pay to achieve eternal fame and glory in the eyes of our peers.

His "work hard, play hard" approach to life gave us all a sense of who we were. Go for the gold. Tear 'em a new one. Bet it all, sleep in the hall. You never know until you try. There is still a little Evel in all of us. Ironically, we are left scratching our heads and smiling to ourselves thinking that he died of natural causes. Whodathunkit?

The original Ghostrider.
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Dec 1, 2007 09:53AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-01 09:59, Patrick Differ wrote:
At the height of his career, Knievel ruled the world. All over the news, all over the toy shelves, all over the streets, every kid wanted to be him, every parent worried when their kid asked for a motorcycle for Christmas.
Everywhere he went, tickets sold in minutes.
[/quote]

That line of toys, lunch boxes..etc was part of a PR campaign that would have made him more money than any of his jumps did. Just as it was getting into full swing he had the altercation with the writer ( the one where he broke both his wrists with a baseball bat) and the jail time he got caused him to loose backing for the marketing campaign. Nobody connected with the toy marketing campaign wanted a convict to be a role model. He was ahead of his time. If that happed today they'd make a million selling evil kenievel bats.

Best,

Tim
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Dec 1, 2007 10:05AM)
I read about Evel's passing early this morning.

I have many childhood memories of Evel Knievel and I had ALL the toys.

In our neighborhood we would run outside after watching Evel Knievel make a jump on tv, we would grab our bikes and make the most dangerous ramp jumps we could, we would then make all the littler kids lay down on the street and we would jump over the little kids, broken glass and whatever else we could find.

I have had many sticthes and broken bones from emulating my all time hero Evel Knievel, my mother was very upset and sick and tired of having to take me to the hospital which was like 40 miles away.

I rememebr the Snake River Canyon jump, watching him fail and crying because I thought he had died. While emulating him with a bunch of kids I had got my foot stuck in the spokes of a ten speed and ended up going back to the hospital and getting my first set of crutches, this was just days before my first day of kindergarden.

On the way to the hospital while traveling on the freeway an 18 wheeler flatbed truck went past us going the oppisite direction.

On the flatbed was non other than Evel Knievels crashed up rocket that was used in the Snake River Jump!

It was a highlight of my life and I'll never forget it.

Years later, even after Evel pretty much quit jumping I was still living life hard and dangerous and kept breaking bones and whatnot, only in the last few years have I calmed my jets because getting out of bed in the morning is getting more difficult.

RIP Evel, there will never be another like you.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 1, 2007 10:12AM)
I must be an anomoly.

I never tried to emulate Evel Kenevil (I might have been too old by then)

I never tried to fly with a towel stuck in my collar because "Superman" could do it on TV!

I never had any problems decerning what was real from what was fake on television.
(Or, in the case of Evel, real but beyond my ability to emulate!)


There must have been something wrong with me.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Dec 1, 2007 10:39AM)
Mandrake, sounds like you've missed out on a lot then!
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 1, 2007 10:56AM)
Oh, I had the cape! I just expect it to work if I jumped off the roof (which I didn't do!)

I had a James Bond attache case and made my own shoulder holster out of string and a Cracker Jack box!

I had a lot of fun, I just kept it in perspective!
Message: Posted by: cardone (Dec 1, 2007 11:15AM)
He was my first hero ...... I love him when I was a kid .... No one comes even close today .... he really did push the envelope.....rip Evel
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Dec 1, 2007 11:38AM)
Given who he was, he is probably getting ready to do a jump right now up in Angel's Stadium. (pardon the pun)
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Dec 1, 2007 12:34PM)
Didnít mean to post this twice. Didnít see your post as I came home late and there were other items in this section about poetry. I too loved to watch Evel do his jumps. He will be missed. I wrote this quickly and didnít check the spelling of his name. sorry.
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Dec 1, 2007 12:35PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-01 11:05, johnnymystic wrote:

I have had many sticthes and broken bones from emulating my all time hero Evel Knievel, my mother was very upset and sick and tired of having to take me to the hospital which was like 40 miles away.
On the way to the hospital while traveling on the freeway an 18 wheeler flatbed truck went past us going the oppisite direction.
On the flatbed was non other than Evel Knievels crashed up rocket that was used in the Snake River Jump!
It was a highlight of my life and I'll never forget it.

[/quote]

Great story!

Best,

Tim
Message: Posted by: Marvello (Dec 1, 2007 09:36PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-01 01:23, Timothy Drake wrote:
I think I saw the " daredevil set" recently released again for retro collectors.[/quote]Wow - I guess I turned in to the invisible man! LOL
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Dec 1, 2007 11:06PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-01 22:36, Marvello wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-12-01 01:23, Timothy Drake wrote:
I think I saw the " daredevil set" recently released again for retro collectors.[/quote]Wow - I guess I turned in to the invisible man! LOL
[/quote]

Sorry Marvello.. LOL

I saw your post but didn't see the line about the reproductions.

Best,

Tim
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Dec 2, 2007 05:00AM)
It doesn't matter, Tim and Marvello. I thank you both for the info and the pictures. The pictures brought back some good memories.

I won't be buying the toy, however. As I said in my post: it didn't work so well. I guess if you remain a big Evel fan it might be fun to have him and a motorcycle left on your bookcase.

Now I shall honor the dead with a personal eulogy.

For me, Evel lies at the very center of a certain time in my life. I was born in Orange County in California (which to this day means, for me, DISNEYLAND and little else) but actually spent most of my early years in Taiwan. But we spent several months in Texas around 73 or 74 and returned to the States for good in the summer of 1976. During these crucial years, while I was in the States I watched enough television to put a normal sentient being into a coma. I think I watched about five times as much as the average American kid. I was catching up.

And at the heart of my catching up was sports, and at the heart of sports--up there with Roger Staubach and Leroy Jordan--was ABC's Wide World of Sports. And back in those days, at the heart of Wide World was Evel Knievel. In my mind I can still hear Jim McKay (that voice will be with me forever) telling me about the agony of defeat and narrating collages of Evel's jumps. They would show his body bouncing on the ramp in slow-mo after a failed jump, or him tearing down that huge ramp in the L.A. Coliseum to jump 50 cars.

I honestly can't remember if I saw any jumps live: my recollection is that I watched the Coliseum jump live. But maybe not. They showed the replay 1000 times. Just like they showed the bouncing body 1000 times. And I would watch in AWE. He wasn't so much a hero for me as a figure of AWE and wonder and that boyhood definition of what "cool" means.

Back then, the Cowboys were #1 in my life. But Evel was #2, and I give him the honor of being the single biggest definition of "cool" that there was back in 1975 or so.

As far as RIP goes...well...if there is a heaven, I hope he's tearing around on a white Harley with gold trimming. He shouldn't rest: he should put on a show.

I'll miss him.


Jeff
What
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Dec 3, 2007 11:15AM)
I was just looking through the Dec issue of Maxim magazine and there was an article entitled "Evel Never Dies" about Evel. He says in the article that it may be the last interview he ever does.
Message: Posted by: Pete Legend (Dec 3, 2007 12:29PM)
His an absolute legend.He made huge impact across the globe.The majority of people here in Ireland even from different generation gaps would have at least heard about him,an amazing man!

Peter