Jimmy Papa on creating the Bad Street USA song, WCW Slam Jam, living with Michael Hayes, and hosting parties for World Class Championship Wrestling wrestlers

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with Jimmy Papa
Host: JP John Poz
Twitter: @TwoManPowerTrip
Website: www.tmptempire.com
Interview available at Tmptow.podomatic.com

Jimmy Papa his first experience with World Class Championship Wrestling: I’ve never told this story. It was kind of a weird thing. Me and my girlfriend happened to catch wrestling on Channel 39 in Dallas. And one Sunday, completely by accident, it was on. And we watched it. And then the next week, we watched it again. And then by the third week, we sat down and watched it. And it was the FreeBirds and the Von Erichs. I was impressed. And I asked her. I said, hey, do you want to go to that wrestling show? They’re having a show, 17,000 people in Fort Worth. And she said, yeah. And so we went. They said they were sold out of tickets. And then we were walking out and the lady said, Sir, Yeah, I just found two tickets. I said, Where are they? I thought she was going to say nosebleed. On the third row. And I went, Sold. And so we went over there that night. And what I saw just blew me away.”

On creating the “Bad Street USA” song: “I ended up sitting down and going in the studio writing the song with the guitar player friend of mine, Larry Valez, and me. And Michael wrote the words up in my room one night in about 45 minutes, and boom, there’s Bad Street, USA. Michael’s singing was fine. I wrote Bad Street to where he could talk-sing it because that’s what needed to happen for him. After people heard the song and now everybody loves it and sings along to it, he really started surprising me. I took him to just about every one of his vocal lessons, and he was getting better and better.”

On WCW Slam Jam: “That happened a lot because of the Bad Street success and then the Off the Streets album. So me and my attorney flew to Atlanta. We met with higher ups at WCW. I went there with like maybe four or five demo versions of those songs. I think ‘A Man Called Sting’ might have been one of them, and I might have been played on an acoustic guitar even. So, I took that. They liked that. I want to make sure we get this deal. And so we went back a second time, and I went back in the studio and recorded a stronger version of all those songs. And I had ‘Don’t Step to Ron’ on there. And so I think we had like six of the eleven songs. Michael did words on several songs. So when we went back for the second meeting, putting that on and letting them see their guys actually come out to those songs, I think that’s what made them go this is it.”

On living with Michael Hayes: “It became synonymous with when a show was in town. And, of course, every Friday night they wrestled at the Sportatorium, which, coming back from the Sportatorium, go right past my house in Irving. It was a pretty big scene for guys that were in town, people that were close to the birds, would come over to hang. And I know Bruce Prichard, and I’m not sure the other guy’s name have that podcast. They were talking about it. Bruce was saying that was some of the most fun he had in wrestling. He said, going over to Jimmy Papa’s house. We wrestled in Dallas and having parties at his house afterwards. He goes, that’s where I met Bill Moody, Percy Pringle, and he said, and those parties at Jimmy’s house were just insane. So I guess they live on in infamy.”

Other topics include WCW, Ted Turner, Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, partying with the Fabulous Freebirds, Buddy Roberts, WCW Slam Jam Album, and more.


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