When I was growing up, we had all kinds of heroes. I’m 64 so a lot of younger people would know his name, but not understand why he was famous. I’m talking about Evil Knievel. I was probably 8 or 9 when this kid said to me ”Have you heard about the crazy guy who is jump the grand canyon on a motorcycle?” Well, from then on, I was, like a lot of people, fascinated by his story. They did a movie about him an it was great. George Harrison played him and it made me an even bigger fan. He did all kinds of stunts on bikes and of course, the jumps were always incredible. His crash at Ceasars makes you cringe every time.
Little trivia…the actress Linda Evans from the TV show “Big Valley” was dating John Derick who made the movie “10”. Evil hired him to shoot the video and it was actually Linda who shot the famous jump and crash at Ceasars. Every time he jumped, it was news. He did at least 75 that I know about. All on Harley Davidsons that had basically stock suspensions. Amazing. I never got to meet him, but his son Robbie took over the family business and did a bunch of jumps (and crashes) as well. I had him on my radio show and he was a great interview. Evil dies a few years ago at 69 from Hep C. Probably from blood transfusions that were tainted.
He is forever associated with anyone who does some dare and that is dangerous. He was worth 30 million at one time and was such an influence, he had to come on TV and tell kids not to jump stuff with Mini bikes or bikes. I had a Honda Mini trail 50. Red and White with Blue stars on the gas tank. I jumped a bunch of stuff…and have the scars to prove it.