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Tannhauser 03-15-2012 04:16 PM

Arnold, Weider and Dave Draper
Poor old Dave Draper. The whole article is well worth reading. Here's an extract:


In 1965, as foretold by Weider's magazines ("Look out, Mr. America and Mr. Universe. he comes!"), the "Weider-trained" - as the
magazines called him -Dave Draper won the Weider-sponsored Mr. America contest. In 1966 he won Mr. Universe. Dave's body was now a
shredded 235-pound testament to fevered training. He'd become an exemplar of the classic three-quarter-back pose (those flaring lats!), as well
as the overhead-biceps shot (pecs and delts, ten-hut!) ; all across America and beyond, the pimply-faced masses were standing on their tiptoes
in front of the bathroom mirror, emulating the man Joe Weider had dubbed the Blond Bomber. Though Hollywood was decades away from
viewing a muscle as something not akin to a tumor, Dave Draper garnered screen opportunities never before afforded a bodybuilder: host of a
year's worth of TV Movies of the Week, guest roles in episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies and The Monkees, and an eccentric turn as Sharon
Tate's heartthrob in the zany Tony Curtis-Claudia Cardinale vehicle Don't Make Waves.

Which, to Dave, was great. He could've quit right there. He wanted to quit right there. He hated cattle calls; he hated competing, period,
and gave the trophies away as fast as he won them. (Except for the Mr. Universe trophy, which his wife, Penny, hurled at him during a
domestic set-to.) What Dave loved was the gym and the sweaty, honest, individualized missions undertaken there. When the pressure built for
Dave to enter the 1967 Mr. Olympia contest- the previous winner, Larry Scott, had dropped out, telling some he knew he couldn't beat Draper -
he descended into a funk and his training habits faltered. "What the hell's the matter with the guy?" Joe Weider would say. "He's got a chance
to be something!"

Dave hated the pressure from Weider, who kept demanding more of him, when all Dave wanted was what he'd already been promised.
Though, according to Dave, the original deal included a salary, car, housing, and royalties for the use of his image, Dave received only one
hundred dollars a week in exchange for working full-time in Weider's office, selling and inventorying products. ("We made less than the guys
working at JC Penney's around the corner," recalled one of Dave's coworkers.) For supplemental in- come, Dave took up woodworking, in
which his muscles would actually be of some use to humanity. He also took up vodka and PCP, or angel dust. His training for the '67 Mr.
Olympia contest was half- assed. Upon entering, he took one look at top contender Sergio Oliva's pyrotechnic musculature, knew he'd screwed
up, and with- drew after the prejudging. Though Oliva won, he was a black Cuban with a radical physique, so Dave Draper remained Joe
Weider's cover boy for a while longer. But the writing was on the wall: Dave was only keeping the throne warm for a newer, hungrier prince.

"He shook my hand the day I arrived and said, 'Welcome to America,'" said Arnold Schwarzenegger. "I'd seen this guy in the magazines
on the beach with all the girls, and he ended up being quite the opposite. Dave was an extremely sensitive man. He gave me such a warm
feeling -a feeling in my heart I' d never felt before: I really am welcome here. Weider welcomed me, too. But he'd fallen in love with me
because I filled this vision of a Germanic machine destroying and conquering. I became a kind of exterminator for him.
"But with Dave, it was all on a human level. He helped me lease my first car. And got me a PO box, a phone number, silverware, dishes,
posters for the wall. And when I made my first money, I saw Dave's woodwork and I thought it would be such a pleasure to have this man I
admired so much make me a bed. And he made this powerful bed, six hundred pounds -so big, he had to take it apart to get it into my room.
And he did it one day, and I came home, and there was incense burning in my apartment and all these candles lit and this bed so big that I could
only walk into the bedroom side- ways against the wall. I still have that bed. I'd never get rid of it. "

The extraordinary thing was that Arnold had arrived literally at Dave's expense. In 1968 Weider imported him from Munich, along with
two of Arnold's friends to keep him company, putting the three of them up in an apartment, giving them a car, and paying Arnold two hundred
dollars a week for the use of his image. The new kid in town did not have to sell barbells or vitamin packets at the distributorship. He did not
have to do much of anything, except train. As a prominent bodybuilder told me, "Arnold got every- thing Dave hadn't gotten." And in the
meantime, Dave's weekly one-hundred-dollar checks came to an end.

"Joe is a star builder," Arnold told me. "If you let him, he will create you and turn you into something very special. Dave didn't have that
killer instinct. I will go until the end, until everyone drops. I will use the personality; I will give the speech to the judges -I will do everything
necessary to be a winner. But Dave wasn't really that interested in being in front of five thousand people and saying, 'Look at my naked body.
Isn't that great?' Why did he train in dark dungeons in the early morning with all those shirts on, never showing his body and not running
around the beach like the photo- graphs showed? That wasn't Dave's reality. That was Joe's reality."

No one could fault Weider for his investment in Schwarzenegger, whose genetic gifts were boosted by a furious work ethic and who
would dominate the Mr. Olympia arena from 197 through 1975 before leaving for the movies. Said Weider, "Arnold was able to express what
bodybuilding was. " And when Hollywood instructed him to lose the last name, the muscles, and the Austrian accent, Arnold's reply was, You
'ii be back. He feared nothing -not competition, not pain, not failure, and certainly not Joe Weider.

Dave, in the meantime, had become the picture of alienation. He grew his hair out and took up woodworking full-time, though even that
would become too high-pressure. "He could've made a fortune in furniture," said his older brother, Don. "He had a two- year backlog. But he
no longer enjoyed making it, because people would call and say, 'Dave, when's this going to be done?' and it wasn't fun anymore." He worked
out at dawn and was out of the gym by nine. The few who would see him there would notice, as Frank lane did, that "he was already loaded
and totally out of it. " Dave had given new meaning to his moniker. The Blond Bomber was drinking two fifths of vodka a day, and on the rare
occasion that he would attend a bodybuilding exhibition, "he'd be so shit-faced he couldn't find his butt with both hands and I'd have to collect
his money from the promoters," said Bill Pearl.

He'd nearly blown up his house in Marina Del Rey trying to manufacture PCP. As a crowning ignominy, when director George Butler
visited Dave's home in 1974 to persuade him to participate in Butler's forthcoming bodybuilding documentary, Pumping Iron, he found a fit
and handsome Dave Draper- but one who couldn't talk. "My jawbone was paralyzed from doing drugs," Dave said. The filming proceeded
without him.

In 1972 Dave had sued Joe Weider for fraud. His case was strong, despite the fact that Arnold showed up in court as a defense wit- ness.
(Asked about Weider's reputation among bodybuilders, Arnold testified, "It is not too good.") Weider telephoned Dave and offered to settle, a
move that would liberate Dave's image from Weider's control. Dave agreed just as the jury was returning with its verdict. The settlement
awarded Dave $17,500, enough to cover attorneys' fees and other trial-related costs. After the deal was struck, the judge requested the jury's
verdict for the record. It had found in favor of the plaintiff and had intended to award Dave Draper compensatory and punitive damages totaling
$892,350. The money would stay with Weider.

Dave sent each juror a handcrafted cheese board anyway.

Tannhauser 03-15-2012 04:17 PM

Full article here:

BendtheBar 03-15-2012 06:00 PM

Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

BendtheBar 03-15-2012 06:10 PM

Interesting Shawn Ray quotes in the PDF.


"It's chemical warfare out there," Shawn Ray, the perennial Mr. Olympia contender and self-made franchise, explained to me over lunch at a Santa Monica bodybuilder's haunt one afternoon. "A drug-driven, freaky industry. Everybody's doing something. The question is how far you're willing to push the envelope. When you look at my physique, you don't see me playing with fire, pushing it too far."

The short, egregiously hard-bodied African-American went on about the sorry state of his sport -biased judges, zero camaraderie among the athletes -but in the end, he could hardly com- plain. "You reap what you sow," he stated in his smooth, learned voice. "1 just bought a $650,000 house. I've had every car in the world, from a Lamberghini to a Ferrari Testarossa, Corvette, Porsche, four or five Mercedes. I've had the material things." He ticked off the means: prize money, Weider endorsement contracts, video sales, posters, Shawn Ray weight-lifting gloves and hats, guest appearances, seminars. "It has everything to do with being market- able," he said.

bamazav 03-15-2012 08:43 PM

Great article.

BigJosh 03-15-2012 10:17 PM

That's pretty messed up. It seems to me that generally speaking, Joe Weider really funked up a good thing.

Kuytrider 03-16-2012 07:00 AM

Thanks for uncovering his gem of an article Tann. Nice to see Draper seems to be doing well for himself at last. That court case was an almighty kick in the balls. Mind you, considering he was on narcotics and booze at the time, maybe it's better that he didn't get the money in some odd way.

bamazav 03-16-2012 07:43 AM

Had a moment to read the entire article. I am almost afraid to say that Dave Draper was bodybuilding to me. Even before I started lifting, Draper was the ideal, not Arnold or the others. It is good to see the man that is Draper and not the machine we see in so many today.

Tannhauser 03-16-2012 12:24 PM

I'd really like to meet Dave Draper: such an interesting, human, complex, self-effacing guy. It's good to see that he survived those troubled times.

Weider may have done a lot for bodybuilding, but he was also a ruthless b*stard. Cast those guys aside like used tissue paper the second he couldn't make any more money out of them.

I remember an interview with Arnold where he said that other bodybuilders often didn't understand Weider and mistook 'looking after his product' for friendship. Arnold was always savvy enough to see through that.

Off Road 03-16-2012 03:08 PM

I became a big Dave Draper fan later in life. I remember he used to come on to a forum I was part of and he would often contribute some great advice to younger lifters. Seemed like a caring and genuine individual at that time. He was much, much older then. He has also kept himself up (physically) into his older age much better than many of the bodybuilders of that era.

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