Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bobby Jaggers [57Talk Interview]

The Good
A lot of the old-time territory guys have these labels attached to them - ribber, stooge, tough guy, etc. Bobby Jaggers has the label of "bull-shitter" attached to him. Now, I do not want to come out and say everything he says is bull and everything he did is bull. I will say he is a top-notch talker who needs few questions asked of him to deliver a great interview. I will say he had some extraordinary tales that I've never heard myself (and I've listened to hundends of hours of shoot interviews). I will also say that he does not entirely deny that label that he admits to having. Bobby Jaggers had a great career and he had many experiences that are surely worthwhile. If you go into this knowing that he might be a bit of an exaggerator, than you should enjoy this thoroughly. Gary Cubeta did three separate shows with him and it's hard to say which of them I prefer. He covered his career, he detailed the death of Bruiser Brody, he talked in depth about several territories (Amarillo, Kansas City, Florida, San Francisco) and he both put over and buried a lot of people. This was an all-out-there shoot interview and whether you love, hate or believe Bobby Jaggers, how can you not enjoy this?

The Bad
One of the common knocks on Gary Cubeta is that his personal knowledge is not great, so his interviews can be scattered, unorganized and some key issues can go uncovered. Isn't this the knock against most every shoot interviewing outfit? I'm simply not one for chronology unless it serves a real purpose. Why do I need Bobby Jaggers to share his Amarillo stories first and when he has a sidebar from a later period it gets the "we'll get into that later" treatment? I can understand how people feel that this is the logical setup and an overview is needed, but this linear focus is not a must. At least not for me. As for this specific interview, Jaggers strong opinions are contrary to many popular opinions (Pat O'Connor was a terrible worker, Roddy Piper was only pushed due to his politicking, Buck Robley's booking tenures were cut short because promoters feared him, etc.). Was he originally going to be the third Freebird? Was he really Dusty Rhodes biggest drawing opponent (up to that point)? If you can assume that Bobby Jaggers' reputation as an over-the-top storyteller is warranted, then you can enjoy these interviews.

The Rating: ****1/4

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