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Sunday, 11 September 2011

Flash Gordon says Night of the B Movie saved his life

Fresh off a near sold out Saturday night performance and rave reviews legendary super hero and matinee idol Flash Gordon credits the show with bringing him back from the brink.
We caught up with the man in silver underwear in his dressing room post show and found him in a uncharacteristically reflective mood.

"I hadn't worked in a long time, well I guess that's no secret, so when Alan tapped me to join the cast of Night of the B Movie, I said to myself - Flashy this is your last chance, pull it together or go into the abyss."

Gordon of course didn't go into the 'abyss' he's been a big part of making Night of the B Movie the huge hit it's become, however what drove the once popular performer of radio, TV and the silver screen to such a dark place?

"It's the same-old story we've all heard before, the fame, the parties, women throwing themselves at me, the drugs, perhaps my rise and fall was more spectacular than most but just the same it's all the same trajectory in the end."

But why? Why does this familiar story play out again and again with mega stars like Gordon? We asked him if now looking back if he has gained any insight as to why this happens?

"It's the bubble, you're inside it and you think it's going to go on forever - the money, the fame, the babes, there's no sense of reality."

One of the things fame does give you however is access to other great performers and to see them in their personal moments. Gordon, famously spent a lost weekend partying it up at Graceland with Elvis in the mid-seventies. So what does he recollect from that encounter?

"Well a lot of it is kind of a haze (he goes into one of his trademark long baritone laughs) but ooooh ya that was one for the history books. The King, man I tell you that man could party (more laughter)."

But was it all just booze and babes?

"Not at all, in fact there were moments, when all the groupies had passed out and we were still up wired on speed that Elvis would get downright philosophical. We talked about everything, we were both big martial arts enthusiasts so we got into a lot of the Eastern philosophy that goes with that. That was a magical time, my little predawn talks with the King."

So knowing what he knows now, would he do it all again?

"Definitely. I mean sure towards the end I was living on Jack Daniels diet and bouncing from one seedy motel to the next. But let me tell you it was one wild ride. At some point you gotta stop or it stops you, but if you're saying was it all worth it? Oh ya."

His long time nemesis Ming the Merciless passed away last year, did that play a part in his new found sobriety?

"That was part of it. Everyone thought Ming would live forever so when he kicked it, and I don't mean to be glib I miss the old guy, but when he died you get a sense of your own mortality. Then Night of the B Movie came along when no one else was offering me parts and you just think - hey I guess the universe is trying to tell me something."

You can catch Flash Gordon and the rest of the cast of Night of the B Movie at the Cultch from now until Sept 17th.

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