- He was born and spent his early years in London, England – His father was American and his mother Canadian, giving the guy 3 nationalities but he was born and spent a large part of his childhood in London. He left for America at age 4 but returned to England aged 9. He attended the American School in London back in those days.
- He started drinking at the age of 2 and first got properly wasted at the mighty old age of 4! – This info comes from Steve-O’s sister who he seems to have a great relationship with to the present day. Evidence of this pre-teen drunkenness is backed up by the family photo albums.
- He attended clown college and afterwards found work at the circus as a day job before finding fame on Jackass – Around 1997 he attended and graduated from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. His sister recommended it to him on account of it being the one place not charging tuition fees. He wasn’t immediately chosen as a clown, he went off and found performance work on a cruise ship before then taking up a position in the circus as a ‘day job’ whilst he continued to film his crazy stunts in his own time. It was during this time that he learnt to perfect his unique tricks that he still uses in his stand up shows today. He was athletic and also a decent skateboarder. There was hard work, thought and a fair degree of talent behind the pre-jackass Steve-O madness.
- He had to be sectioned after running in to trouble with his hefty alcohol and drug problem – Knoxville and co feared for his life after Steve-O sent some alarming emails at a low point. They held an intervention for him and for a short while he was placed on psychiatric hold where he encountered a guy brake dancing in his own shit in the hallway on his ward..oh boy.
- He somehow now looks younger than he did 20 years ago with a nice new set of teeth. He has recently appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience and states that he is now clean and sober and looks to be loving life. He looks great for his age and keeps in shape with his ongoing stand up shows. All in all he seems to be a good advert to show the important benefits of doing what you want to do with your life in your own way.
I recently started reminiscing back on catching glimpses of The Ultimate Warrior and the British Bulldog as a youth and how excited it made me at the time. Living in England I missed a great deal of the ‘pro’ wrestling action because of unfriendly time-zones but my dad tried to keep me updated as much as he could with news and highlights. He bought us the WWF Wrestlemania game for the Atari ST which I have only very recently sold on and I have great memories of playing that game back in the day. As I grew up and moved on to the Playstation I continued to love wrestling games. I had WWF Attitude and Smackdown on the Playstation 1 and I continued to occasionally catch highlights of the current pro wrestling story-lines as a guilty pleasure. I really do think the themes, gimmicks, the music and branding of pro wrestling all combine so well and translate to make hugely entertaining video games.
Because I missed a great deal of the story-lines as a child I’m in the process of binge watching this retro bygone age of classic wrestling in my free time, ie The Hogan era. I’m looking back on some of the awesome entrances and gimmicks which were most often far better than the actual wrestling itself, such as The Legion of Doom’s theme song which was so simple yet so powerful and would blow the roofs off stadiums. Stuff like that shows the true power of punk when combined with the personalities and appearance of Hawk and Animal. A good example of this is the Legion of Doom’s 1992 Summerslam entrance which can be easily found here on YouTube. Music and pro wrestling just go together so well..even Ozzy Osbourne recognized this and made guest appearances in the WWE a couple of times. Ronda Rousey with her love of ‘rowdy’ name provider Rody Piper has also been known to show up in the WWE.
Pro Wrestling of this classic time period is still very much watchable as an adult simply for the pure comedy value and it surely inspires and entertains young kids who are still willing to suspend their disbelief. These factors mean pro wrestling should be commended for what it is, and that is simply unadulterated entertainment in it’s purest and simplest form. The dark side to pro wrestling back then however was the alarming abuse of steroids that took place. The Ultimate Warrior and The British Bulldog, aka Davey Boy Smith where both famously ousted from the WWF due to steroid issues before later returning..drug addictions took the lives of many famous wrestlers within this time period.
The WWF became the WWE and things are well and truly PG and Politically Correct now (don’t dare call one of the female wrestlers a diva!) and in my mind can’t compare to the classic shows of yesteryear. It’s also the case now that there is simply too much of it. It maybe worth a watch for a laugh now and again but for me nothing can quite compare to watching the LOD riding out to the ring with the music blaring and the sun setting over a packed Wembley stadium.