Tom Hankins con The Mat, the Mob & Music (English Edition)
In 1963, I got into a fight with a kid my age when he took offense to me cheering for Bulldog Lee Henning. He took the first swing and I wrestled him to the ground. The police noticed the commotion and grabbed him, just as he pulled out a knife! I wasn’t even in the business yet and I had someone trying to beat and stab me.
— Excerpt from "The Mat, the Mob & Music"
To most people, Tom Hankins is not a recognizable name in the world of professional wrestling. Having no relatives or contacts in the business, he was one of those guys who spent years trying to break in, but as someone with a strong work ethic (and somewhat of a rebel against the establishment), he parlayed his talents into three careers: wrestling, music, and working for a mobster named Fat Eddie.
In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Tom formed a band called The Untouchables and they became the house band at Danceland, better known as the "Midwest's finest ballroom." For several years, they backed or opened for well-known acts like The Dave Clark Five, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Everly Brothers, The Doors, Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs, Chubby Checker, Marty Robbins, The Turtles, and many more.
From 1965 to 1973, Tom trained hard with his friend, Dan Daniels, and made contacts in the world of pro wrestling until they were finally given a break by promoter Nick Gulas in Nashville. Billing themselves as the Reid Brothers — Crazy Charlie & Psycho Perry Reid — they found a spot for themselves in small promotions around the U.S. For the next decade, Tom split his time between wrestling, music, and managing a warehouse for Fat Eddie. The stories he tells of all three occupations are wild and filled with incidents involving women, alcohol, drugs and violence, many of which involve the infamous Dr. Jerry Graham, one of pro wrestling's most colorful characters.
In this narrative filled with personal anecdotes, Tom takes us behind the scenes to demonstrate just how much pro wrestling, rock 'n' roll, and the underworld have in common. Many of the stories are hilarious and he pulls no punches when writing about both friends and enemies. He talks about his interaction with wrestling legends — Andre the Giant, Lars Anderson, wrestling impresario Jack Pfefer, Moose Cholak, Jack Brisco, Gentleman Saul Weingeroff — and how he wound up as a guest on The Phil Donahue Show in the midst of the WWE sex scandal.
Crowbar Press is proud to present the story of one of the unsung characters of pro wrestling as he follows his dream.