Freeway – Freeway’s Beard
I currently have chronic, sleep-disrupting toothache, and resultantly am subsiding entirely on Ibuprofen and Relentless at the moment. This track, and the fact that I was able to finish the Indie’s cryptic crossword on only three hours sleep, are the only things that have provided me with any joy these past 24 hours (“Royal Mail employee showing anxiety after leaving motorway (12)” is a great clue, fwiw).
Not gonna lie: I’ve always ignored Freeway. In fact “Philadelphia Freeway”, and a copy of “How I Learned To Write Backwards” by the Aislers Set, were the two CDs we used to throw about our student newspaper offices when we wanted to, y’know, throw non-lethal but still smarting objects at people on deadlines. We eventually moved on to a DVD copy of “Down with Love”.
Anyway, Narrowcast counted down the top 30 Freeway joints of 2009 the other day, and this just stands out. There’s a kind of goofy honesty about taking a throwaway Eminem line about your facial topiary and turning it into a three-minute long concept track that features a shout out to Kenny Rogers that’s admirable, like Joell Ortiz minus the teddybear resemblance. I would write more about it, but that’s for dudes who actually have a decent grounding in Freeway’s career to do. Instead, I’m just gonna count down my top 5 pro-wres beards of all-time:
5. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
When you’re the man that even Marty Jannetty makes Andrew Ridgeley, you need a back-up schtick. Neidhart’s streamlined take on the ZZ Top fitted the bill perfectly, especially when paired with some chemist’s counter sunglasses and the knowledge that despite being trained by Stu Hart, you’ve somehow managed to live past the age of 40.
4. Ox Baker
Is Ox Baker dead? I always think Ox Baker is dead. He’s not, although he was in Escape from New York. Admittedly more of an extended moustache than a beard, but when you consider that Ox Baker has twice taken the credit for “killing” opponents who happened to die from heart attacks during his match, and in 1981 was a contestant on The Price Is Right, then you have to figure he’s earned his beard ghetto pass.
3. Ole and Arn Anderson
Ole’s “Radio 1 DJ circa 1983” look is probably a 4/10, but Arn’s “yeah, I’m comfortable with my sexuality, so comfortable I can look like this” is a 10, so as a team they balance out at a 7 folically. I get the impression Arn has won a lot of games of gay chicken.
2. Captain Lou Albano
Missed a trick by not having the Captain Lou on his shirt wearing a Captain Lou on his shirt. The progenitor for the “scruffy fuck” school of wrestling beards, but whereas Mick Foley just looked like a dude who wears sweatpants to go to the cinema in, Albano had a swagger about his trampiness. True fact: Mick Foley and Tori Amos are good friends.
1. Giant Haystacks
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