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Is Don Johnson still in the sport in any way?

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Old 09-03-2008, 02:44 PM
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Ritchie, The legends thing sounds great, the first party was a hit and it will be great to expand on it, but the celebrity thing? How many of the crowd that came for the celebs actually cared about boat racing? How many of the people involved with OPT continued to race? I clearly see it different. I don't see the hype really helping anything. I am for something to grow the sport, but I am still skeptical that the TV celebrity angle is a good one.
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:53 PM
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How about on saturdaybefore or after testing, you have the celebrity race of champions...like they do in car races..stuff them in bat boats, turn the rev limiters down a bit B or C listers shouldnt be to hard to get..Screech VS. Danny Bonaduce...suck MTV into it Tommy Lee vs. kid rock, Paris VS Lyndsy...Brittney VS K fed.... The Hoff VS. Simon.. Ernie VS Bert.. It will keep Dave busy doing paint/glasswork, but damn it wopuld be entertaining..
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:11 PM
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OPT tried the the celeb race with pro throttle man till one boat ran over another in SCARAB Excels leaving Nestor Torres in the hospital.......The few years in the OPT saw several Celebs racing....DownTown Julie Brown, Chuck Norris, Don Johnson, Stephen Stills, Kurt Russle, Vince Neil, Micky Dolenz, Bruce Jenner....and more. If all those people couldn't do the trick maybe we need to fix something else......celeb's ain't the answer.
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:25 PM
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The genuine personalities of offshore past are the celebrities of offshore. The focus should be on racers and racing not some TV celebrity.
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:04 PM
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Seems to me that having Celebrities to bring in money would have to help. Coverage of the sport is what it needs and celebrities brings in people and money. I like the idea , who cares if some would be their just for that. People like us know why we are there. I say bring it bring it on. What ever it takes to better our sport.
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:27 PM
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The genuine personalities of offshore past are the celebrities of offshore. The focus should be on racers and racing not some TV celebrity.
Somehow my point was missed. That was then, now is now!!!!!!. I am trying not to dwell on the past except to know it as it was. I get discouraged with these forums from time to time due to people who want to critisize and and make comparisons to the past, that was then and now is now.Since 1964 I was a member of APBA, UIM, and several local clubs, I have seen most of the phases in offshore around the world, the good , bad and ugly. A form of offshore racing will always exist as it should, it`s the people who should control the sport. But like Indy car racing, they split, formed two groups and that is history. If the racers don`t want to unite and dictate what majority wants, then they will be splinter groups, or club racers. My belief is when APBA offshore sold out, it was the end of a long standing era, and destroyed all alignment with the UIM world authority etc.
That`s when everyone started making there own classes, championships, rules etc. At least with APBA there was a national governing body that everyone answered to, and they in turn answered to UIM, now it`s gone. History, let it go and Offshore will be what it will be until the next era. Other forms of boat racing have gone through similar era`s Unlimited hydro`s used to be the ultimate spectacle, nowdays there are probably some 388 Skaters with 1,500 hp Sterlings that could hold there own with them, That should spark some controversy from the peanut gallery.
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:47 PM
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Let me preface this by saying that Mr. Powers is one of my favorite people...and a truly great racing talent, but our experiences have occasionally been different with joint acquaintances.

So we (The NNRT video crew) landed at Michigan to cover the race that Richie mentioned.........

Streisand's "ground security", approximately 5 burly guys, "ordered" our pilot off the landing pad as the diva was scheduled to fly in shortly thereafter. We left our helicopter where we landed it and basically turned our backs on them. Minutes later two more choppers landed.....carrying Barbra ( Mr. Johnson's squeeze at that time) and her "airborne security", approximately 7 more goons,......... The two security groups merged seemingly into one and hustled "Funny Girl" along a path through the very large marina....... basically pushing everybody they encountered out of the way (fortunately it was about 6:30 in the morning so the site was somewhat deserted.......but Babs needed her security squad).

The real drama occurred when this posse approached Don Johnson's motor home.......which was also surrounded by "security". Immediately sensing an approaching "army", Johnson's cadre took defensive action and intercepted with prejudice....... The resulting melee involved a couple of punches, some shouting, and frantic hand held radio communication, before cooler heads prevailed.

Our "Executive Producer", the unflappable Phil Lewis, inquired if we might have a pre-race interview with Mr. Johnson. The harsh response told us that he was "busy" with "prior commitments" and would be available later. Phil asked me if I thought we should wait while Don and Babs had each other for breakfast. My response was to walk toward the boats and look for real racers......... but I did whistle "People" as we departed.

Moral of this story....... If you are going to get interested in boat racing because some celeb(s) is/are involved........... you need to seriously think about getting a life.

P.S.--- Kurt, Goldie, James Caan, Bruce Jenner, Hulk Hogan, Chuck Norris and many others were very nice and very approachable...........(H*ll we even brought Steven Stills into it) but the sport needs to find its own identity....and attract people like that naturally........without using them as yet another cheap, trumped up come on.

As far as Narrating a "legends" event...it would be an honor..... just name the time and place......

T2x

Last edited by T2x; 09-03-2008 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:59 PM
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I heard awhile back he was selling his car collection off to pay bills.
Yeh I thought he was broke, but who knows?. I remeber all the reports on him being financially in trouble, but who really knows what was up
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 7xchamp View Post
I was Don`s T-man and team mgr. when we ran the 50` Revenge Cat with four 1,100 hp Coyote SC motors. I could write a book on the entire adventure, and maybe will someday, but for now I will try to lend some first hand info.
We had major sponsorship from Revlon, Trump, Samsonite, Perry Ellis, Mercury, and Brooke Yachts. Those sponsors basically covered the cost from boat, equip. and expense`s. Don had very little out of pocket, and when the boat was sold he got all the money from the sale, so he made out probably better than anyone in the history of the sport.
I still speak with him occasionally, he is done with boats, and has been for years, financially he is no problem.
As for when OPT was formed and why. It all started with the worlds in Atlantic city at Trump Castle ( our sponsor ). All the drivers and crews got upset over a small stupid thing which was reporting for physicals and drivers meetings @ 7:00 am in the morning, when everyone knew there was not going to be a race for at least next couple of days due to Hurricane like conditions. The biggest gripe was the officials who were acting like police and not giving info. as to the fact that we were not racing insisted on the same drill for two mornings in a row were physicals, and early morning drivers meeting with storm outside blowing a gale. The officials ( god bless them ) were only volunteers, but with the shirts were officials and acted as such, which upset most of the owners and drivers, because they had such control over them. That`s when it started with why do we have to take orders from volunteers, and an organizer/race chairman that was clearly not communicating with the teams, and making them jump hurdles for no reason . It could have been posted the night before, no race next day, no physicals, no drivers meeting, instead half the day was wasted waiting for drivers meeting, physicals etc. to be completed. In those days physicals alone for all the teams took several hours to complete. D.J., Copeland, Marks, et al got together and decided they wanted a professional organization like winston cup, Indy etc. with paid officials etc. so formed Offshore Pro Tour OPT. Rest was history. During that time Offshore made it`s way to ABC wide world of sports with Roone Arledge at the time as producer. ESPN etc etc. Say what you want but when the Movie Stars were racing the crowds were huge. I remember when Barb. Strieshand and Don were in Michigan for a race, it was impossible to get through the crowds, same when Kurt Russell ran with us as navigator and once as driver, we had Goldie, Melanie, all the kids, Chuck Norris and Reggie Fountain, all crowd pleasers. I remember awards ceremonies with thousands of people to see the stars and get autographs.
So everyone knows, Don was and is a great friend and was a very good guy around the race sites, always was one of the guys. He got a bad rap from people if he didn`t answer there requests for something, they thought he was an ******* because he would not sign autographs in the middle of a meeting or when he was eating, I saw both sides, and I saw how much he contributed to Offshore at the time. I will stick up for him anytime, anywhere as a good guy and one who loved the sport and the challenge. All for now, like I said many stories.

I agree with you Richie but like I said I am pretty sure he is done boat wise (not financially). I worked with him on Nash Bridges back in 2001 I believe and had plenty of time to speak with him about the sport and its (at that time) state he misses it but it just wasnt cost effective enough for him!!!

But I would have to agree with DaveP if we got you ,Brownie, Bobby Saccenti, and Mr Luhrs in the same room and sold tickets to that room.....wow now theres enough money to finance your own war on terrorism.

BTW Norty dont talk about old you're balding and short...I still have my hair and height buddy and still have the smallest tab at the strip club while pulling the chick off stage so there!!!

The yellow Donzi ???? I have no idea Bob Teague could probably shed some light but I dont think he does!!!

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Last edited by sean stinson; 09-03-2008 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by T2x View Post
So we land at Michigan to cover the race that Richie mentioned......... and let me preface this by saying that Mr. Powers is one of my favorite people...and a truly great racing talent, but our experiences have occasionally been different with joint acquaintances.

Streisand's "ground security", approximately 5 burly guys, "ordered" our pilot off the landing pad as the diva was scheduled to fly in shortly thereafter. We left our helicopter where we landed it and basically turned our backs on them. Minutes later two more choppers landed.....carrying Barbra and her "airborne security", approximately 7 more goons,......... The two security groups merged seemingly into one and hustled "Funny Girl" along a path through the very large marina....... basically pushing everybody they encountered out of the way (fortunately it was about 6:30 in the morning so the site was somewhat deserted.......but Babs needed her security squad).

The real drama occurred when this posse approached Don Johnson's motor home.......which was also surrounded by "security". Immediately sensing an approaching "army", Johnson's cadre took defensive action and intercepted with prejudice....... The resulting melee involved a couple of punches, some shouting, and frantic hand held radio communication, before cooler heads prevailed.

Our "Executive Producer", the unflappable Phil Lewis, inquired if we might have a pre-race interview with Mr. Johnson. The harsh response told us that he was "busy" with "prior commitments" and would be available later. Phil asked me if I thought we should wait while Don and Babs had each other for breakfast. My response was to walk toward the boats and look for real racers......... but I did whistle "People" as we departed.

Moral of this story....... If you are going to get interested in boat racing because some celeb(s) is/are involved........... you need to seriously think about getting a life.

P.S.--- Kurt, Goldie, James Caan, Bruce Jenner, Hulk Hogan, Chuck Norris and many others were very nice and very approachable...........(H*ll we even brought Steven Stills into it) but the sport needs to find its own identity....and attract people like that naturally........without using them as yet another cheap, trumped up come on.

T2x
Funny thing about that race is I was racing with Al Copland in the Goetz boat. I didn`t even know Don then. As for Don, he had a lgitimate love of the sport, and pursued it as a racer, the rest was his baggage, which went along with the territory. As far as Chuck Norris, that was all Copeland as only Al could do. Hogan was all Wellcraft hype, as was D.J. when it all started. Jenner was the idea of the Little Ceaser guy, as was Julie Brown. Why did they do it ?????????????? who knows, but it was idividual owners and companies who wanted to atract attention to themselves or to the product, I don`t believe for a second that it was to draw people to the sport of offshore, it was just for ego`s. OPT or APBA were not the ones who solicited the movie stars, when they appeared it was just a bonus in the eyes of the promoter.
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