Welcome to part 10 of
In which Ted Locke "The Handless Engineer" finds he is far from the only victim as The Human Fly shows Ted his own scars and asks for Ted's help via a stirring speech whilst in the shadow in this next recreated page:-
If you was with me last week I shared the second part of "The Rocketman" aka Ky Michaelson's story of his experience building a rocket powered motorbike for the Human Fly , a story which appears in full on his own website http://the-rocketman.com/human-fly.html
Where Ky found out a large Life Insurance Policy had been issued for the Human Fly (who Ky names as Rick Rojatt), but nonetheless built the ordered rocket powered motorbike - a modified Harley Davidson XL-1000 boasting 6,000 HP!
Let Ky continue…
"I let Rick know the bike was ready, so we delivered it to Montreal. We all met up the day before the big event, delivered all the equipment, and met with the promoters to discuss the plans.
They had hired contractors to put the jump equipment together for us, which I wasn't real happy about, but finally agreed to. We went over the stunt as thoroughly as possible, and much to my amazement, Rick didn't want to do any practice runs at all. He just sat on the bike, admiring it, determined to just wait until the time came. I gave him step-by-step detailed instructions on how to operate the rockets, and he just took it all in, nodding as I went along. I knew he understood what I was saying, but I hardly slept that night because I was always so safety conscious, and typically rehearsed stunts many a time before actually performing them.
I was uneasy with this particular situation."
No practice runs flys completely in the face of both The Human Flys own CBC interview as shown earlier as well as the professional stunt persons typical approach, there would have been plenty of practice, building up to the biggest jump bit by bit…
"Jim Deist, Dar Robinson, and I arrived at the arena bright and early. Much to our surprise, we could clearly see that the blueprints for both the jump and receiving ramps were obviously not adhered to, as there were major flaws in both of them. The jump ramp was much too steep, which would cause the rocket bike to come off it at the wrong angle and stall. I was even more concerned about the receiving ramp, though, as the last ten buses were supposed to be covered by plywood extending to the ramp. What we found instead was a plywood ramp that was about six feet above the buses, with exposed steel cross members. I told the promoters that their contractors, or whoever it was that built these things, obviously didn't follow the blueprints we'd provided, and I was not going to fuel up the rocket bike until major changes were made to the receiving ramp. I won't go into a lot of detail here, but it did turn into a major ordeal by the time we did our last safety inspection, which forced the Showtime to change quite a bit."
The ramp was also completely flawed, so it appears it is not just The Human Fly who may have been unprofessional, but also his arrangers…
Next week The Human Fly attempts the rocket powered jump, how bad will it get?!
As before I would like to remind you all that the following appears with very kind thanks and much appreciation to Bill Coffin
You can read the entire article here http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2011/11/07/tragic-tale and of course it comes highly recommended
Take it away Bill Coffin!:-
"Where Shooter noticed this most was the ease and frequency with which Mantlo created new characters. Until Shooter got Marvel to implement a policy that gave writers a small percentage of any licensing for characters they created, any new intellectual property belonged to Marvel. While Shooter was working on that incentive, he told his writers to not create any new characters, to ensure they got a piece of whatever they would be worth. There was substantial money to be had once the incentive program was in place—$30,000 checks for the action figure rights on a single character were not unheard of. This is why Shooter had wanted the writers to hold off for a bit.
“Not Bill. Are you kidding? He was making characters like they were going out of style. He was irrepressible. He was a font of ideas. There was no limit to his creativity,” Shooter recalls. “I appreciated it on behalf of Marvel, but I felt bad for Bill that he had created these things that if he had waited a little while, he would have owned a piece of them. You know what his attitude was? ‘I’ll make more.’ I really admired that.”
By the mid-1980s, however, Mantlo’s writing assignments were dwindling. The days of lax deadline management were long gone, and most writers were doing their own fill-ins. Plus, Mantlo had locked horns enough with Shooter and Marvel top brass (including Stan Lee) that new editors were not particularly willing to work with him. Mantlo did not help matters with a failed attempt to unionize his fellow Marvel writers. He spoke his mind with such freedom and bluntness that he earned the nickname “Boisterous” Bill Mantlo, or merely, “The Boisterous One.”
NEXT WEEK: How do you land a rocket powered bike and more Tragic Tale