Tuesday, 26 March 2013

* "Navarro's Notes' "Never Forgotten" 13Th Installment: A Canadian Wrestling Classic: *

Growing up as a Wrestling fan in The 1980s, I had many chances to watch and take in a lot of different programming. Of course there was WWF and there extensive programming and there was some of the other companies surrounding them. But one thing that I was always greatful for as a fan was to be prone to TSN's "Pro Wrestling Plus" Hosted by Ed Whalen here in Toronto.

The show carried many matches from various territories such as The NWA, AWA, Stampede Wrestling, Montreal's IWA, UWF & more. It was from there that I was hooked on the goings on with the other companies and to me were just as enjoyable and entertaining as the Fed. During the late 1980s when this show aired, I was glued to the set absorbing as much as possible from the show including Ed's answering fan mail

I remember him addressing at least it seemed every show, the question of why was WWF not apart of the show and showcasing some of there matches on the program. It didn't matter to me, because this show despite working with the other big territories at the time, was an independent non-WWF owned show and that for many reasons made this iconic show so much apart of my growing up and being a Wrestling fan.

Speaking of Ed addressing subjects, here he offers some advice to would be Wrestlers who wrote in. He explains the truth about Pro Wrestling. I never forgot this segment even until this day and was happy that I found the exact same clip. Have a look:

It's a shame now that most of the footage that aired on the show is now owned by the company that never wanted to participate in the show: WWF.

It would have been great to see the 2 years on some sort of official DVD compilation. Especially before the unfortunate passing of Ed. It would have been great to see him even host it. Wishful thinking but hey...

* Ed & Pro Wrestling Plus will Never be Forgotten *

Pro Wrestling Plus Intro

Oh, and before leaving, don't forget Ed's famous catchphrases during his broadcasts for Stampede Wrestling & Pro Wrestling Plus which added a bit of familiarity for all Canadian Wrestling fans: "In the meantime and in-between time.", "Malfunction at the junction" & "Ring-a-ding-dong dandy". Until this day, when I hear those phrases, I still say: "Whoa, Nellie!" - JN

* Until Next Time, *
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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

* "Navarro's Notes' "Never Forgotten" 12Th Installment, A Dancehall Legend: *

The Legendary Dancehall Reggae Artist, Super Cat was born on June 25Th 1963 in Kingston Jamaica's Seivright Gardens neighborhood. Born by his birth name William Maragh to a Indo-Jamaican Father & Afro-Jamaican Mother, and eldest brother of Dancehall star, Junior Cat. After a quick stage name change from "Cat-A-Rock" to "Super Cat" & a stretch of incarceration, Super Cat jumped to Worldwide super stardom throughout The 80s & 90s

From his first-ever single in 1981, produced by Winston Riley, "Mr. Walker" Cat made his mark from the start, that he was on the rise and going straight to the top of the charts. Check out Cat's debut track below:

Super Cat - Mr. Walker


After his incarceration {Cat went to prison for being apart of the 1980 riots during the Jamaican general elections. Cat has apparently never hid his political affiliations with The People's National Party {The PNP}. He shared a cell block with future Dancehall star, Junior Reid. As a matter of fact, Cat was in the cell next to him.} Super Cat then joined with his mentor & the man that gave him the nickname "Wild Apache", Early B, to begin work on his debut album which would be titled "Si Boops Deh!". 

The album would be released in the mid-80s with the lead tracks that would be classics, "Boops" & "Cry Fi De Youth" {his foray into establishing himself as a conscious Dancehall artist with a conscious style of music} & "Big and Ready" Check out the cuts below from Cat:

Super Cat - Boops


Super Cat - Cry Fi De Youth 



Super Cat - Big and Ready


Following the success of his debut album, he then released in 1986, his sophomore album titled after one of his first hits from his previous album, "Boops!"

Besides the re-release of the hit "Boops" on the album Cat had some cool cuts such as what you can have a listen to below:


Super Cat - Vineyard Party


Super Cat - Jamaica Jamaica


In the late 80s, Cat started his own label titled "Wild Apache Productions" {which is still around today}. 

The first album to come from his label was "Sweets For My Sweet" released in 1988. The album was his 3rd album.

Included in the album were some classic cuts such as "Come Down" & "Bubble and Wine" which are found below:  

Super Cat - Come Down

Super Cat - Bubble and Wine  

Super Cat's 4Th album overall & 1st collaborative effort came when he teamed up with Nicodemus & Junior Demus for 1991's "Cabin Stabbin" album. The album was the 2nd under Cat's label, Wild Apache Productions.

The album's title lead track was of the same name and is a crowd pleaser to this very day amongst old school Dancehall Reggae aficionados. Check it out below

Super Cat, Nicodemus & Junior Demus - Cabin Stabbin



A few things that was of note for Cat in 1991 was him being suspected behind the murder of popular Jamaican singer, Nitty Gritty. He was later cleared of the charges but it certainly was a trying time for Cat during the entire ordeal.

Then another note worthy moment in 1991 came for Cat in the form of a still talked about Legendary Clash during 1991's STING annual concert held in Jamaica with Clash King, Ninjaman. View the clip below:

Ninjaman VS. Super Cat


Battle tested both in & out of the Dancehalls, Super Cat made history shortly after moving to the United States and signing to a major label deal with Columbia Records. He became one of the first to ever release a Dancehall album on a major label. That album was the first of 4 that he released through Columbia and became arguably his most successful album of his career. That album, was titled "Don Dada" released in 1992.

It was this album, that I personally became the biggest fan of Cat. One of my favorite if not thee favorite Reggae track of mine is "Ghetto Red Hot" {The Hip-Hop Version}. But instead of me telling you, how about, I give you a listen to my favorite tracks off this classic album:

Super Cat Feat. Heavy D. 

- Dem No Worry We

Super Cat 

- Ghetto Red Hot (Hip Hop Mix)


Super Cat 

- Dolly My Baby (Original) 


Super Cat - Don Dada

 Super Cat Feat.

Heavy D

& Frankie Paul 

- Big and Ready

In 1992 & 1993, Super Cat was featured on many prominent remixes & killer tracks, here is some of the more notable tracks from the "Don Dada" below:

Kris Kross - Jump (Super Cat Mix)

Kris Kross - Alright Feat. Super Cat

Super Cat - Dolly My Baby 

(Bad Boy Extended Mix)

Cat was everywhere in the early 90s then as he was blowing up into the mainstream and becoming a bigger star than ever, he dropped his 6Th Album, 2nd collaborative album & 2nd for Columbia titled: "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly & The Crazy" with younger brother, Junior Cat & his old crew of Junior Demus & Nicodemus in 1994.

The fierce foursome dropped some jewels including some old re-done classics such as "Vineyard Party" from Cat & his classic with Junior Demus & Nicodemus, "Cabin Stabbin". But, my favorite was the crazy track, "Scalp Dem":

Super Cat - Scalp Dem


Super Cat then in 1995 dropped his 5Th solo album and 7Th Album overall which was his 3rd album for Columbia titled "The Struggle Continues". 

The standout cuts I pulled from the album were some of my personal favorites as well. Which are found below

Super Cat - Girlstown


Super Cat Feat. Jack Radics 

- My Girl Josephine


The "Don Dada" seemed to have disappeared for a few years after recording "Fly" with Sugar Ray in 1997. Then with India.Airie on her song "Video" in 2001. He, then re-appeared having dropped his 8Th Studio Album & 3rd collaborative album with Mad Cobra in 2003 titled "Take 2". He appeared on tracks with Jadakiss & The Neptunes {"The Don Of Dons"} & with 112 {"Na Na Na"} also all in 2003.

2004, he released his last album which was his 9Th & final album to date titled "Reggaematic Diamond All-Stars" which was a tribute to his then recently deceased road manager, Fred "The Thunder" Donner. The album was released under his own label, Wild Apache Productions

Then, fans such as myself, lost track of Super Cat. He disappeared. I had heard back in 2005 that he was on the receiving end of an arrest & alleged beating from the Police. But, it's not something that I can really confirm, but I am sure that the Cat did of course bounce back hence his appearance{s} a few years later. Then imagine my surprise when I saw this on Toronto's own Kardinal Offishall's official YouTube channel back in early 2007:

Clipse, Pharrell, Super Cat, Timbaland & Kardinal Live in PR 



Man, was I happy to see Super Cat burst back onto the scene in a big way having signed with another major label with The Neptunes. He had that crowd in Puerto Rico rocking and his patnas on stage in awe of him. Since then, Cat's supposed contract with The Star Trak crew never went anywhere and was only announced to those in attendance that night in Puerto Rico

Throughout the years, Cat has shown up here and there doing shows and rocking the stage with the stars of today. Including, most recently, the track below from 2012, with Nas sampling Cat's 82' classic "Dance Inna New York" for his hit tune "The Don" off his album "Life Is Good". The Cat added some vocals to the track as well. Have a listen:

Nas Feat. Super Cat

- The Don


Oh, before I close off this great look at one of the most influential Dancehall artist ever, did I mention, Super Cat is an incredible Live Performer? Well have a look at some of those moments over the years where what you got on record was nothing like seeing him live:

Super Cat - Ghetto Red Hot - Reggae at the Apollo


Super Cat - Don Dada - Reggae at the Apollo


Super Cat Live In Atlanta (03.01.08)


Super Cat. Born from nothing and becoming one of the greatest musicians that I have ever had the pleasure of following. His story is one that can only be told by those that know him best. Me? I am just a fan, I grew up listening to his music and watching him dominant Dancehall music for over 30 years.

At 49 years of age, Cat can still pack them in. He a few years ago did Madison Square Garden in New York and even was a feature guest in a huge Reggae show in Japan. He is truly international and a house hold name.   

God bless The King of Dancehall, William "Super Cat" Maragh. He is alive, well and still kicking ass whenever he feels like it. But for those that love him and cherish the legacy he has left:

SUPER CAT Will Never Ever Be Forgotten!!!

* Until Next Time Everyone, *
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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

* "Navarro's Notes' "Never Forgotten" 11Th Installment, An 80s Childhood Memory: *

A throw back to my earlier childhood living in the West end of Toronto. When ever I saw this box of cards back In 1989, whether be in The Smoke & Gift Shop or it be at the Comic Shop in Albion Mall, I was never short of excitement taking my hard earned dollars and buying up as much of these cards as possible. Since the movie had come out and I had seen it, I was already a fan again of Batman even watching The 60s series on Television in the evening. 


When I would walk Into The Albion Mall Smoke & Gift Shop, the exact same thing that I saw Is what you see In the image above. It was In all It's glory just staring at me, waiting for me to pick up a handful of glossy packs. It was a joy to just seem this way In such a cool little display by the cashier. It's funny, somethings seem so trivial to a lot of out of touch people, but the simple pleasures when you were a kid you hold forever. This may seem trivial to you, but to me this was apart of the experience of being a kid and being a Card Collector.

Would you believe I still have my cards too. At least the various versions of the series. I have the complete series and haven't parted from the set even taking a look at them whenever I am digging into my belongings. I must say that the best version of these cards, as yes, there was two versions, was the Topps version. It was more glossier and more sleek looking than that of the O-Pee-Chee version. The O-Pee-Chee version seemed to be almost a poor man's version of the Topps version. Their cards were cool and everything, but as a Card Collector at the time, I knew which one I wanted more and knew that would be worth more later on down the road. Although, right now, I think that both are in my opinion equally as valuable since the O-Pee-Chee version wasn't as popular back then and Is a bit more of a rare find amongst the Card Collector's of today.

As you can see some of the select cards that I chose to show you here, I can tell you, that I really did not like the yellow border around the O-Pee-Chee cards but I suppose that's what made them different from Topps' version. You can see that the cover cards above and just below are Topps but have different borders. I have all the ones that you see below Including the white cover card below. The one above, I actually don't remember every seeing It as a Topps card. I remember seeing It as a O-Pee-Chee cover card with "O-Pee-Chee" Implanted on It, not "Topps". Anyways, have a look at some of the cards In a little collage I have provided below.

The card on the far right titled "Dark Knight Detective" Is one of my favorite cards of the set. My favorite Is the white cover card. There were a lot of cool little cards that I favored more than others when I was collecting. Keep having a look before  this week's post Is wrapped up.

I must admit, that from the O-Pee-Chee cards version, they did try to separate themselves by having little quirky cards like sketches for how they created certain scenes In the movie. They were little story boards If you will. As I mentioned above, the yellow border, I did not like, but I guess It was what helped to distinguish themselves as different as well. The puzzle was there of course where you collect certain red border cards and form a puzzle. There were stickers as well with red borders. I remember they did try.

As long as I shall live, the time period of collecting these cards will forever live with me. It's one of the few things that I hold dear to my heart, just trying to be a kid in those days during The 80s. What helps too, is holding the movie up as one of my favorite movies of all time as well. Be sure to check out more of my thoughts about these cards and my memories of my growing up in The 1980s, the greatest decade ever by going to the side under "Popular Posts" and looking up my extensive piece on my favorite decade {"Never Forgotten" - 7}. In enclosing, my favorite card of the 1989 Batman Trading Cards set? The one below:

  These cards will Never Be Forgotten.

* Until Next Time, Check Back For More *