I started with FLEX. It was something to look forward to in the month. At times, I would walk out of the shop with 2 issues to catch up on. I wonder who it is the kids look up to today. Kai Green is pretty lumpy.
For me, several years back, Dennis James, Nasser El Sonbatty, Markus Ruhl and Orville Burke spring to mind. Orville Burke had the highest & widest lats known to man. Get ready for his nickname – The Walking Eclipse. I think I heard that he passed away (or, as Clive Barker would put it, turned a corner up ahead of us to be out of sight for a while) but a quick Google search has failed to conclude this avenue of presumption.
No matter. Past or present tense, he was, or is, a FREAKAZOID. In the bodybuilding community, this is a term of endearment. Which leads me to my next point – MD magazine.
If FLEX is a comic, MD magazine is a scientific journal. I flicked through it for years before deciding to buy it. I thought only FLEX existed. I was wrong. Once I went MD, I never went back. MD stands for muscular development. It’s a monthly bible for serious iron shifters. They don’t brush stuff under the carpet. Other magazines won’t even mention the word steroids. In MD, Dave Jumbo Palumbo gave you cycle advice.
It was there where I encountered GREGG VALENTINO, aka THE RAMBLING FREAK. Aw man, this guy. I gotta tell ya. He’s like an explosion of personality and mind. He says what he thinks and he thinks what he says. There’s no messing about with him. He’s blunt. He’s honest. He’s improperly jocular. He’s that guy at the party making everyone laugh. That guy who doesn’t take life too seriously. That guy with the biggest arms in the world.
You’ll never see a column like his. HE WRITES IN COLOURFUL BOLD CAPS AND ITALICS. You can all too easily imagine a stereotypical meathead banging his keyboard with his too-big forefinger, but like Stephen King, the best-selling author of modern times says, writing is emotional, not technical.
I cherished Gregg’s column. I incorporated it into my own writing style whenever I could, and like the old dogs say, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Then, when his documentary aired over here, THE MAN WHOSE ARMS EXPLODED, everyone was raving about him but I was like wow, I’ve already adored this dude for years, get with the program already...