Recent Random Remembrances of Gene Anderson
Collected and Edited By Dick Bourne
George South and I once agreed that we could be happy sitting under a bridge in the rain as long as we could talk about Mid-Atlantic Wrestling. The same is true for me listening to Brad Anderson reminisce about his Dad; I just want him to keep going, never stop. And it's not just the exploits of the Minnesota Wrecking crew in the ring that I like to hear about, it's the little day to day stuff.
With that in mind, I relay to you what Brad posted on a online message forum in response to a fan asking why Gene Anderson never signed autographs, and some discussions with others that followed:
I remember ever since I was little kid when fans would come up to my dad and ask for an autograph, the answer was always NO! Depending on who was asking, the answer could many times be more like "I DON'T SIGN AUTOGRAPHS, GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!"
I used to always feel bad for the people and think my Dad was mean. That is exactly what he wanted them to think also.
Later when I was breaking into the business he explained the psychology to me (back in the days when psychology existed.) He said "You're a f*****g heel you don't sign autographs, that's how you kill you're f*****g heat. If the f*****g marks like you, why are they going to pay to see the babyface kick your ass?!" That is as edited as I could make it.
When dad started talking about how to get "heat" and how you "kill your heat", an excitement came over him that is indescribable. That is all that mattered - "getting heat". And equally as important - not "killing heat".
- Brad Anderson, Message Forum Post
I can remember only one time seeing Gene sign autographs, but then again, not too many people would come around him to ask. I remember him and Ole both signing autographs in Anderson, SC as they were at the Kentucky Fried Chicken waiting on the tow truck to come get Gene's Cadillac. Someone had knifed all four tires, and we waited across the street at the restaurant. I remember some kids coming up and getting Ole's autograph and when they came over to Gene, he stormed out at them and scared them half to death, then he laughed and called them over and signed their program. I don't remember seeing him give out any more autographs than that, but I'm not sure if it's because he didn't want to, or no one had the guts to ask him.
-Peggy Lathan, E-mail to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Browsing the Anderson Brothers website tonight and came across the message board stuff about your dad not signing autographs. Well, he signed for me!
There used to be an old Pantry convenience store in Matthews across from where the Post Office is now. Around 1983 or so, I stopped in there in the wee hours of the morning, 2 or 3 oclock, and lo and behold, who did I see there but your dad and Paul Jones. I'm sure they were coming back from a show. Your dad was playing Ms. Pac Man and I think Paul was flirting with the cashier. I hung around until they finished and asked them to sign one of my photo albums, and both did!
Now why I had a photo album in my car at the time, I don't know. But I'm glad I did.
-Greg Price, from and e-mail to Brad Anderson and the Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Brad's response to Greg, joking of course - Dad loved to play Pac-man. He even bought the book on how to beat it. So he probably signed your autograph so you wouldn't screw up his game and you would leave him alone. Or, he wondered who would let this retarded kid roam around at 3:00 o'clock in the morning and felt sorry for you.
Reading about Gene's love for playing Pac-man made me recall part of a message to fans on George South's website:
A few years after working for Jim Crockett, Gene and his wife owned a Putt-Putt golf and games place off of Independence, down below the old Charlotte Coliseum. He invited me alot to bring my kids down. What a wonderful site, to see one half of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew playing video games with my kids. I loved Gene Anderson.
- George South, June 2005 on GeorgeSouth.com
Brad's response: The place George is referring to was called Goony Golf and it was right across the street from the Independence Arena (Coliseum). Al Mandel actually owned it, my mom worked there and Dad would go hang out all the time. They were there so much everyone thought he owned it.
- Brad Anderson, E-mail to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway
These online and e-mail exchanges took place during November-December 2006.