Rowdy Roddy Piper on Charlie Sheen and staying in the ring
RP: Well I've been around a lot longer than the '80s. I started in 1969, left home when I was 13. I lived on the streets for two years. When I was 14, I was 5th in the world playing bagpipes -- that's how I got the name Roddy the Piper, and then, you know, eventually it just became "Roddy Piper."
It was by accident I got into wrestling. Somebody didn't show up, and I just filled in. I was an amateur wrestling and boxing champion at the YMCA. My first match lasted 10 seconds, and I lost. And I got beat up every day, I mean systematically, at like 8 o'clock, I got beat up every day. You got to understand, I was 16 years old, 167 lbs, and these guys I was fighting with, they'd all come off the Gorgeous George era and they'd all got cheated off the bench a lot, so here's this 16-year-old kid in the locker room, and they didn't want me there. They didn't want me. So they beat me up. Every night at 8 o'clock, because I always had the first match, they just beat me bloody, to try to make me quit. They'd throw me in the trunk naked and beat the shit out of me -- true story.
They had serious rules, and they enforced them - there was no WWE, no WWF, there was no WW-anything. I'm as real as they come. I've been stabbed three times, I've had cancer, I've been electrocuted, I've been in three car crashes. But I come from a very real, real place.
WW: And all these years later, you're still wrestling professionally. I mean, you've got to be, what, fifty-some years old now, right?
RP: Yeah, I had a match last Friday. I mean, I couldn't do it every night anymore, but that's what I do. I'm not sure what you guys think when you see that, but I want to do it til I die. It's like, you're a writer. At what point are you going to stop writing? But I see what you're saying, there's physical element -- I mean, I'm two inches shorter than I used to be.
I just love it. You ever heard 100,00 people screaming your name? You can't buy that. You'd pull your heart out for just that moment -- no amount of money in the world could buy that moment.
WW: I didn't mean to imply that it was a negative thing -- I actually think it's impressive. I mean, of all the guys from that golden age of '80s WWF wrestling that I remember, all those guys, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, you've outlasted all of them.
RP: You know why? Because I'm the best. I've always been the best of them. I've got angels around me. I got something inside me, I can't describe it to you -- and I sound like a 15 year old here, I sound like Peter pan on testosterone -- but I just love it. I think if I were to quit I'd die.
Rowdy Roddy Piper appears Thursday through Saturday at Comedy Works. For showtimes, tickets ($28) or more information, call 303-595-3637.