Champion MMA Fighter/ Beatles Controversy

Champion MMA Fighter/ Beatles Controversy


HostGeorge Knapp

GuestsFrank Shamrock, Chuck Gunderson

Before Frank Alisio Juarez III (aka Frank Shamrock) was known as "The Legend"—winning almost every mixed martial arts (MMA) title in existence—he endured a childhood marred with abuse that led to a troubled young adulthood. He joined George Knapp to discuss how this created a fighter who would go on to dominate the sport for the next two decades. His mother was single when he was born and soon after, met a Vietnam vet who began exacting harsh discipline on Shamrock, who reacted by getting into trouble, which landed him in the juvenile justice system. Moved to a series of foster and group homes, by 17 he was married and had a son. At 18 and with seven felonies on his record, he was sent to prison as an adult for three years. At that time he decided that he "had to get a life plan" and looked to a future in the ring as a professional fighter.

After prison, he found himself in Japan training in a Japanese style of wrestling and fighting that was completely different than anything he had experienced. George commented that the training and spectacle sounded like "gladiator school." Shamrock recalled at that time he would imagine moves in his dreams and write them down when he woke. He used them to win his first major fight against a much more experienced opponent. He said that he suddenly "went from walking the yard at Folsom [prison] to walking around Japan being followed by 100 Japanese women." After many years in the sport, and helping to make it a multibillion dollar industry, Shamrock retired because "in the last 4 or 5 fights, I won, but I would end up in the hospital." He has since become a entrepreneur and consultant to the MMA industry.


Beatles expert, Chuck Gunderson, discussed the 50th Anniversary of the ground breaking album Revolver and the group's three world tours from 1964 to 1966. Gunderson recalled the controversy surrounding John Lennon's "Bigger than Jesus" statement which had the KKK protesting their appearances as well as a series of embarrassing public apologies that resulted from the gaffe. Lennon made the statement to the British press months before the tour, but American outlets picked up on it and fanned the controversy. Because of this, as well as the difficulty filling 30-40,000 seat stadiums for rock concerts in 1966, much of the tour was played to half-empty venues. Gunderson said that the average ticket price on the tour was $4.85, and there was no merchandise sold at concerts like there is today. Profits for the tour were nevertheless record-breaking. In Detroit, the band cleared $100,000 for two 30 minute shows.

Their last live concert took place on August 29th, 1966 in Candlestick Park, San Francisco. 25,000 tickets were sold for a venue that had 40,000-seats. Many people (including a caller in the last segment of the program) figured that the Beatles would continue to tour and they could see them the next year. Gunderson said that one of the main reasons that the touring ended at this time was that the band was producing technically advanced sounds on studio recordings that they could not reproduce in a live show. Revolver, which was released three weeks prior to the Candlestick concert, was so different from anything that had come before. "They didn’t want to sing 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' any more," Gunderson said. Recently, Gunderson says that a representative for Apple records (the Beatles company) requested four copies of his book. He assumes that these were for Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and the surviving widows of John Lennon and George Harrison.



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