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Beer, Blood & Cornmeal

Delving into the organized insanity of Incredibly Strange Wrestling (ISW), this memoir takes a look at the bastard offspring of post-punk garage rock and masked Mexican wrestling. Fielding a cast of crazed characters with names like El Homo Loco, Macho Sasquatcho, and El Pollo Diablo, the show lived up to its name. And if that wasn't enough, cult bands such as NOFX, The Dickies, and The Donnas provided the raucous rock and roll in between the highflying mayhem. ISW emerged from the back alleys and seedy clubs of San Francisco's South of Market scene to headline the historic Fillmore and barnstorm North America on the Van's Warped Tour. At the height of its popularity, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and Metallica's James Hetfield could be seen tossing tortillas (which the promoters supplied) at ringside with the rest of the hell heads, boozehounds, and tattooed party girls.
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About the Author

Bob Calhoun is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in "Filmfax," "", ""and the" San Francisco Chronicle." He is the coauthor of martial arts and Hollywood stunt legend "Judo" Gene LeBell's autobiography, "The Godfather of Grappling." He lives in San Francisco.


"Like music and sex, wrestling is so much more fun when it's local, no-budget, and sleazy." --Jello Biafra, singer, spoken word flamethrower, and former wrestling manager "Well-observed and sharply funny. [Calhoun's] characterizations nicely communicate the wrestlers' addiction to performance and risk-taking in and out of the ring." --"Slam! Sports" "In this unforgettable insider's account of the bygone era when punk rock and wrestling ruled San Francisco, Bob Calhoun (aka Count Dante) proves that he's still the fastest mouth in the business. You may run, but you won't be able to hide from this gleefully warped tale. I couldn't put it down." --Matthew Polly, author, "American Shaolin" "Describes what can happen when wrestlers are unable to distinguish fantasy from reality." --"Bombin' Magazine" "Just makes you want to don a leopard skin and get paid 20 bucks to go in the ring and beat up a dude in a chicken suit." --"Metro Silicon Valley" "Calhoun's reflections on his time in ISW make you feel as though you are ringside. . . . His insightful social commentary adds an unexpected dimension as well, enlightening outsiders to San Francisco's rich history and extremely unique culture." --"Ottawa XPress" "This book was like candy--I could not stop eating it up. . . . A great read." "--Maximum Rock & Roll" "A behind-the-scenes look at one of the best oddities to come out of the Bay Area over the past few decades." --"San Francisco Chronicle" "For seven years, Calhoun tried to help ISW break through to the mainstream . . . [and now he] chronicles that unsuccessful quest--as well as the twisted characters he met along the way." --"Scripps Howard News Service" "Calhoun intricately traces the developmental trajectory of [Incredibly Strange Wrestling] . . . the book gives readers a look at a formerly shadowed part of non-mainstream culture. Highly recommended." --"Recommended Readings", Butler University

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