Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Madness! Tjia, Ahlers, Bidini, Leggat, Holmes Set for Macho Man Randy Savage Tribute

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Macho Man Randy Savage Tribute

On Saturday, November 12th, local writers and artists will celebrate the life and likeness and spirit of Randy Macho Man Savage who died in late May of this year. (Savage’s birthday is November 15th.)

“Well, in Macho Man’s honour, I’ll be reading the 10-bell salute called ‘10 Bell Salute’ from Parts Unknown,” says poet Michael Holmes, in regard to his upcoming appearance. “In professional wrestling, a 10-bell salute is given to honour a wrestler that has died, especially when that wrestler is a current member of the promotion or a distinguished former member of the promotion. It is the professional wrestling equivalent of a 21-gun salute. It is typically given at the beginning of a card, with the current members of the promotion either in the entranceway, in the ring or around the ring. Both wrestlers and audience observe a moment of silence during the tolling of the bell.”

In addition to Holmes, Alexandra Leggat (author of Animal) not only has a painting in the show, but will be reading a special poem excerpt that is fitting for such an auspicious occasion. “This subject matter really inspired me. Because I paint on glass, I wanted to take an opposite and abstract approach to the theme of Macho Man, and when I saw a picture of his late ex-wife/manager Miss Elizabeth she became my focus, her perspective. I saw her as the macho man, the strong one, and Randy Savage as the more abstract element of what macho symbolizes.”

Author of the brand new You Are A Cat, Sherwin Tjia’s piece is a subversive remix of an iconic photograph of Savage’s first wife and real life manager Elizabeth. “I watched wrestling growing up. My favourite was the Ultimate Warrior, but Miss Elizabeth and her legs always caught my eye. The piece is meant as a kind of alternate universe where she decides to become the Macho Man after Randy Savage is killed in the 'squared circle,' where she works out and trains and becomes a kind of Wonder Woman amazon super-hero and carves out a place for herself in that world wrestling constellation. His death gives birth to a new kind of life for her. If Batman dies, Robin will take on his identity to keep Gotham safe. This is similar, I think.”

Add some collage and text madness from Sonja Ahlers (Temper Temper, The Selves), artwork by Emily Holton (Dear Canada Council), Vicki Nerino and Amanda Sampson, wrestling author Greg Oliver, sports writer and musician Dave Bidini and curator and lifelong fan Nathaniel G. Moore, plus the new blood rising from Ferno house’s Spencer Gordon and Mat Laporte and well, to quote Mene Gene Okerland, “You’re talking Macho Madness.”

The event is PWYC and starts at 7 p.m. at 277 ½ Augusta in Kensington. Raffle tickets will be on sale for five dollars. A Macho Man Randy Savage prize pack will be raffled off consisting of related and unrelated books, a copy of Legends of Wrestlemania videogame, DVDs, Randy Savage toys, vintage wrestling magazines and more. Some of the artwork will be on sale and there will be a large birthday card the public is welcome to sign that will be sent to Savage’s late brother Leapin’ Lanny Poffo.

A look back at the Macho Man:

Preview of show


Related item from our archives

JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications


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