Reinvention. A word commonly used when describing an entertainer's ongoing metamorphosis throughout their careers. Some people are able to constantly reinvent themselves, some are only able to adopt new looks that aren't exactly from the heart, and others are never able to change with the times and adapt to new circumstances and accurately reflect the current social climate. It happens with musicians, actors, stage performers, and wrestlers. Reinventing oneself is all too often a publicity stunt, or worse yet, copying someone else's originality.
Whether you know him as Handsome Jimmy Valiant or "The Boogie Woogie Man" one thing is for certain, Jimmy Valiant has been reinventing himself his entire life. That heartfelt continual transformation is so emotionally and entertainingly laid out in his fantastic autobiography, "Woo....Mercy Daddy! The Handsome Jimmy Valiant Story" (available at www.jimmyvaliant.com)
Let me start off by saying that I don't generally endorse products of any kind, of course on the show we mention certain things or events that our guest are promoting, and while there may be things that I like personally, I try to let the fans decide if it's something they want to check out. With that said, I, like many long time wrestling fans, ordered Mr. Valiant's book. I have to tell the people, this is not only one of the best wrestling books written, this could be one of the greatest autobiographies ever written. I have read other books where you get the feeling of being talked at, instead of to, you feel that the author is arrogant and unappreciative, or worse yet, is bitter and has spewed only venom. Let me assure you that Boogie's book will give you a feeling of serenity and joy, excitement and hope, and ultimately help you to understand why this man was beloved by all who met him.
This was one of the only books where I actually didn't want the story to end. You feel almost as though you are in the midst of a conversation with Boogie. Mr. Valiant tells each story in a unique and loving way. If we all were one tenth as passionate about life as the Boogie Woogie Man, I think a lot more people would be happier with their lives. Jimmy Valiant is no saint, which he readily admits, but he's not self deprecating either, which I think is an important lesson for people who've lived on the edge. I could empathize with many of his lifestyle choices and I think that anyone who's ever been a hard partier can gain valuable insight into that lifestyle from reading this book.
Jimmy teaches that beating yourself up doesn't work nor does it help, and the best thing you can do is learn from your mistakes, improve upon yourself and set goals. We are at this moment in time the sum total of our experiences, good, bad, or indifferent. What we've lived through makes us who we are at this exact moment, to change anything would mean to regret the past. I took away from this book that regret is useless, and knowledge of one's self is the most important reinvention tool one can use.
This book is part biography, it's part wrestling history lesson, it's a family chronicle, but I feel, that most importantly it's a love story. A love story of passion for one's career, one's family, and the love of an Angel that changed a hard living man into a loving and devoted husband. In this book, you will get everything, from his start to his finish, everything in between and then some. It's an almost surreal feeling, as though, one man were telling the life stories of several men, weaving them together with such care and dedication that you really do feel as though you are privy the thoughts and activities of an amazing cast of characters. And believe when I say, that if you are a wrestling fan, hell, if you are a person with any emotion whatsoever, you need to read this book.
That's the best thing, yes, it's a wrestling book, but in so many ways it isn't. It's a story about a man coming to terms with himself, accepting himself, finding love and salvation, Someone who even has a cursory knowledge of wrestling would love this book.
So I encourage anyone and everyone to visit www.jimmyvaliant.com to order your copy now.
As I finished the book, I sat back, reflected on what I had just read, and
only one thought came to mind...."Wooo... Mercy Daddy!....what a
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