Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bill Apter [Highspots Shoot Interview]

The Good
For those who did not grow up with the "Apter Mags," it is hard to put in perspective how influential they really were. I have my own memories of waiting anxiously for the latest to come in and I still have dozens and dozens in storage. These magazines, even though they held up kayfabe, were huge in getting talent national recognition. Bill Apter, while not the first and maybe not even the best, became synonymous with pro-wrestling magazines. While a magazine writer might not have the most interesting tale, Apter is a great storyteller, does great impressions and traveled widely after being a fan as a youngster in the 1960s. His explanations of the changes in the magazine industry, its role in the business and how it impacted his own life and career are really fascinating. It seems funny because there were obviously innumerable people who were pro-wrestling photographers, journalists, sheet writers and such, but none seem to have been as involved as Apter. His tales of encounters with transvestites in Japan with Terry Funk, being puked on by Road Warrior Hawk and being chewed out by Vince McMahon Sr. for putting Mil Mascaras on the cover of magazines were just a few glimpses into the unique life he's lived. Apter has a great sense of humor and does not let himself get pinned down to much with chronology, politics or bad feelings.

The Bad
I feel like Bill Apter is the type that could probably do a dozen interviews and never run out of funny stories or interesting insight into the industry. I've heard him a handful of times and he never seems to tell the same anecdotes. So, I almost feel a little cheated here because it just was not long enough. Seriously though, this is as good of an interview as I'd expect with someone who never worked in the business (per say). There are always going to people who have their taste in shoot interviews and this might not be salacious or angry enough for some. Apter is largely positive about everything and delivers a great light-hearted interview.

The Rating: ****3/4

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