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Dpreview can be SOOOO funny sometimes

 
 
Robert Coe
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      04-05-2009
On Wed, 25 Mar 2009 23:33:40 -0700, Savageduck <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: and then there was "The Real Rocky" Rocky Marciano, still the only
: heavyweight to have won every fight in his professional career.
: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Marciano

Good as Marciano was, the "Real Rocky" was Rocco Barbella, who fought under
the pseudonym "Tommy Rocky Graziano". He (and his autobiography, "Somebody Up
There Likes Me") was undoubtedly the inspiration for "Rocky Balboa" and at
least the original of the series of "Rocky" movies.

Barbella's book was a hoot in many ways. It was under-edited by today's
standards, so the real person shows through more than in most other jock
autobiographies. Example: For a time the teen-aged Rocky and his friends would
hang out at the headquarters of a communist cell near their New York
neighborhood. Rocky remembers, "We used to bang the communist broads. They
believed in free love, and we didn't believe in paying for it either."

Bob
 
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ASAAR
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      04-05-2009
On Sat, 04 Apr 2009 22:07:45 -0400, Robert Coe wrote:

> On Wed, 25 Mar 2009 23:33:40 -0700, Savageduck <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> : and then there was "The Real Rocky" Rocky Marciano, still the only
> : heavyweight to have won every fight in his professional career.
> : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Marciano
>
> Good as Marciano was, the "Real Rocky" was Rocco Barbella, who fought under
> the pseudonym "Tommy Rocky Graziano". He (and his autobiography, "Somebody Up
> There Likes Me") was undoubtedly the inspiration for "Rocky Balboa" and at
> least the original of the series of "Rocky" movies.


What makes one the "Real Rocky" and the other not? Graziano's
name wasn't Rocco Barbella, it was Tommy Rocco Barbella, and the
other Rocky's name was Rocco Francis Marchegiano. If Graziano's
autobiography inspired anything it was the only the name "Rocky",
and even that's doubtful, as Rocky Balboa's "character" was nothing
like Graziano's. Rocky Balboa was an undistinguished club fighter
(44 wins, 20 losses) that eventually aspired to being a world class
boxer. Graziano was a world class punk and thug that aspired to
staying one step ahead of the cops. Stallone identifies the true
inspiration for Rocky :

> Early in my acting career I realized the only way I would ever
> prove myself was to create my own role in my own script. On my
> 29th birthday, I had $106 in the bank. My best birthday present
> was a sudden revelation that I had to write the kind of screenplay
> that I personally enjoyed seeing. I relished stories of heroism,
> great love, dignity, and courage, dramas of people rising above
> their stations, taking life by the throat and not letting go until
> they succeeded. But I had so many ideas in my head, I couldn't
> focus on any one. To cheer myself up, I took the last of my
> entertainment money and went to see the Ali-Wepner fight on
> closed circuit TV. Chuck Wepner, a battling, bruising club fighter
> who had never made the big time, was having his shot. It wasn't at
> all regarded as a serious battle. But as the fight progressed, this
> miracle unfolded. He hung in there. People went absolutely crazy.
> Wepner was knocked out in the 15th and final round, almost
> lasting the distance. We had witnessed an incredible triumph of
> the human spirit and we loved it.
>
> That night, Rocky Balboa was born.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Balboa_(character)


> Barbella's book was a hoot in many ways. It was under-edited by today's
> standards, so the real person shows through more than in most other jock
> autobiographies. Example: For a time the teen-aged Rocky and his friends would
> hang out at the headquarters of a communist cell near their New York
> neighborhood. Rocky remembers, "We used to bang the communist broads. They
> believed in free love, and we didn't believe in paying for it either."


Barbella was a real hoot as well :

> Around this time Rocky saw kids on the street riding scooters. He went
> up to a kid and told him to give him the scooter but the other kid denied
> him. Enraged, Rocky went a couple blocks up, found another kid,
> punched him in the face, and came back down to where the other kids
> were. He sped down the street and attempted to do a spinning stop.
> However, he was hit by a car, breaking his leg and spending two months
> in the hospital.
>
> When Rocky got out of the hospital, he met up with his old crony and
> continued his mischievous ways. One of Rocky's biggest money-makers
> was robbing gum machines in the subways. They would visit different
> stations to avoid suspicion and being caught.
> . . .
> One morning he woke up early and stole fifty cents from his grandfather.
> His grandfather confronted him, advancing on Rocky with a shaving
> block. Rocky jumped out the window and ran down the fire escape, then
> continued to run to Brooklyn to his old house. There he told his father
> what had happened and was beaten anyway since he didn't let his
> grandfather do it.
>
> He spent the next couple of days at his old house. He saw his brother
> playing in the street one day and stole his brother a bicycle. His brother
> unknowingly rode the bicycle toward where Rocco had stolen it from.
> His brother was arrested and confessed to police that Rocky had stolen the bike.
> . . .
> But he also thought that stealing and ripping apart houses was a better
> idea, although trainers who saw him fight thought he could make a real
> mark on boxing. A couple of weeks into amateur fighting he was picked
> up for stealing from a school.
> . . .
> After Rocky got out of the Reformatory he headed back to the gym to
> make money. There he met Eddie Cocco who started his professional
> career. He entered the ring under the name of Robert Barber. A couple
> of weeks later when he was making good money he lent out a car to
> friends who robbed a couple of bookies and shot them in the chest.
> Rocky was charged with a probation violation and sent back to reform
> school. There he started a minor riot between the "East Side Gang"
> and the "Blacks". He was sent to Rikers Island.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Graziano


> The right pronunciation of Marciano should be mar-CHA-no,
> not mar-SIA-no or mar-CIA-no. This pseudonym, in fact, was
> originally intended to make the pronunciation of last name
> Marchegiano easier for the English-speaking audience, since
> Marchegiano should be pronounced as mar-keh-JAH-no.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Marciano

 
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Robert Coe
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      04-05-2009
On Sun, 05 Apr 2009 06:06:21 -0400, ASAAR <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: On Sat, 04 Apr 2009 22:07:45 -0400, Robert Coe wrote:
:
: > On Wed, 25 Mar 2009 23:33:40 -0700, Savageduck <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: > : and then there was "The Real Rocky" Rocky Marciano, still the only
: > : heavyweight to have won every fight in his professional career.
: > : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Marciano
: >
: > Good as Marciano was, the "Real Rocky" was Rocco Barbella, who fought under
: > the pseudonym "Tommy Rocky Graziano". He (and his autobiography, "Somebody Up
: > There Likes Me") was undoubtedly the inspiration for "Rocky Balboa" and at
: > least the original of the series of "Rocky" movies.
:
: What makes one the "Real Rocky" and the other not? Graziano's
: name wasn't Rocco Barbella, it was Tommy Rocco Barbella, and the
: other Rocky's name was Rocco Francis Marchegiano. If Graziano's
: autobiography inspired anything it was the only the name "Rocky",
: and even that's doubtful, as Rocky Balboa's "character" was nothing
: like Graziano's. Rocky Balboa was an undistinguished club fighter
: (44 wins, 20 losses) that eventually aspired to being a world class
: boxer. Graziano was a world class punk and thug that aspired to
: staying one step ahead of the cops. Stallone identifies the true
: inspiration for Rocky :

IMO, the similarity between the names "Barbella" and "Balboa" could hardly
have been coincidence. It suggests at least a familiarity with Barbella's book
on Stallone's part. Stallone's character lacks the seedier aspects of
Barbella's early life, but the scrappy club fighter scrambling to reach the
top is integral to both narratives.

: > Early in my acting career I realized the only way I would ever
: > prove myself was to create my own role in my own script. On my
: > 29th birthday, I had $106 in the bank. My best birthday present
: > was a sudden revelation that I had to write the kind of screenplay
: > that I personally enjoyed seeing. I relished stories of heroism,
: > great love, dignity, and courage, dramas of people rising above
: > their stations, taking life by the throat and not letting go until
: > they succeeded. But I had so many ideas in my head, I couldn't
: > focus on any one. To cheer myself up, I took the last of my
: > entertainment money and went to see the Ali-Wepner fight on
: > closed circuit TV. Chuck Wepner, a battling, bruising club fighter
: > who had never made the big time, was having his shot. It wasn't at
: > all regarded as a serious battle. But as the fight progressed, this
: > miracle unfolded. He hung in there. People went absolutely crazy.
: > Wepner was knocked out in the 15th and final round, almost
: > lasting the distance. We had witnessed an incredible triumph of
: > the human spirit and we loved it.
: >
: > That night, Rocky Balboa was born.
:
: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Balboa_(character)
:
:
: > Barbella's book was a hoot in many ways. It was under-edited by today's
: > standards, so the real person shows through more than in most other jock
: > autobiographies. Example: For a time the teen-aged Rocky and his friends would
: > hang out at the headquarters of a communist cell near their New York
: > neighborhood. Rocky remembers, "We used to bang the communist broads. They
: > believed in free love, and we didn't believe in paying for it either."
:
: Barbella was a real hoot as well :
:
: > [Details of Barbella's misspent youth omitted]
: > . . .
: > After Rocky got out of the Reformatory he headed back to the gym to
: > make money. There he met Eddie Cocco who started his professional
: > career. He entered the ring under the name of Robert Barber. A couple
: > of weeks later when he was making good money he lent out a car to
: > friends who robbed a couple of bookies and shot them in the chest.
: > Rocky was charged with a probation violation and sent back to reform
: > school. There he started a minor riot between the "East Side Gang"
: > and the "Blacks". He was sent to Rikers Island.

He even stole the name "Graziano". When filling out his first professional
license application, Barbella realized that his criminal record might not go
down well with the Boxing Commission. So he appropriated the name of the
Graziano brothers, two acquaintances from the gym. The latter never made it
big in boxing, but their name did!

: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Graziano
:
:
: > The right pronunciation of Marciano should be mar-CHA-no,
: > not mar-SIA-no or mar-CIA-no. This pseudonym, in fact, was
: > originally intended to make the pronunciation of last name
: > Marchegiano easier for the English-speaking audience, since
: > Marchegiano should be pronounced as mar-keh-JAH-no.

People of Italian extraction are found all over the U.S. and in particularly
large numbers in eastern Massachusetts. And the rules of Italian orthography
are actually pretty simple (much simpler than those of English or French, for
example). So I've never understood why so many New Englanders find Italian
names hard to pronounce. New England sportswriters were fond of pointing out
(in print) that Marciano's real name was "Marchegiano", but I don't recall any
of them actually trying to pronounce it. In fact it was often passed off as
merely the "original spelling" of Marciano.

Bob
 
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ASAAR
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      04-05-2009
On Sun, 05 Apr 2009 09:41:45 -0400, Robert Coe wrote:

> IMO, the similarity between the names "Barbella" and "Balboa" could hardly
> have been coincidence. It suggests at least a familiarity with Barbella's book
> on Stallone's part. Stallone's character lacks the seedier aspects of
> Barbella's early life, but the scrappy club fighter scrambling to reach the
> top is integral to both narratives.


I think that your opinion errs in assuming probability instead of
possibility. Many people make that leap which allows them to
believe what they want to believe, regardless of improbability. I
think it's fair to assume that Stallone has a good familiarity with
the history of boxing, the many boxers that fought as "Rocky", and
even "Somebody Up There Likes Me". I see more coincidence in the
first letter of Barbella and Balboa than you because (as I hinted)
Stallone gave Balboa a character that would have been quite
tarnished had it been associated with Graziano/Barbella. What about
the possibility that Rocky Balboa's quest for gold (championship)
had something in common with Vasco Nunez Balboa? A weak theory to
be sure, but no weaker than yours based on a 'B'.

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/exp...b/balboa.shtml

 
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