HULK RULES

by Jesse Krakow

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about

In 1995 Hulk Hogan & The Wrestling Boot Band released an album called "Hulk Rules", a collection of 10 songs that ran the gamut from rap-rock to rock to yet even more rap-rock. It's a concept album, the concept being he rules. This fact is stated many times over the course of 29 minutes by The Hulkster (real name Terry Bollea), his wife Linda Bollea, his friends Jimmy "Mouth Of The South" Hart & J.J Maguire, and two uncredited backup singers.

I first heard this album in 2003 when my brother handed me a copy and commanded that I listen to it immediately. For a former Hulkamaniac like myself that first listen was quite the experience. It immediately raised many questions, the main one being "Why is Hulk Hogan rapping?" Sadly I had no answer. I still don't. To this day I remain baffled as to why this album was recorded, let alone recorded a decade after the height of Hulkamania. But I'm happy it was.

The overall consensus of this album is that it sucks. It has been labeled "a disaster", "a train wreck", and "a horrible assault on the eardrums". It has achieved cult classic status by being "so bad it's good". Personally that's a theory I disagree with. Eating a rancid egg salad sandwich is never good. Diarrhea isn't ironic. As such, I think these songs are interesting, in many different ways and for many different reasons. For example:

1) In "Hulk's The One" a woman sings about how Hulk's the only man for her. That woman is Hulk's real-life wife Linda. She doesn't call him Terry, she calls him Hulk. They are now divorced.

2) Hulk's voice doesn't appear on most of the tracks - the nameless backup singers do all the heavy lifting - but he's credited as playing bass on all of them. Apparently the people who made this album thought the public would buy it because of their interest in Hulk Hogan's bass-playing. I am an incredibly nerdy bass player and never once have I contemplated how Hulk Hogan would play such and such part.

3) In "Hulkster's Back" Hulk utters the line "Ooh, look at that new vein in my tricep!" In addition to being revolting, that's an odd thing to brag about. Do you know anyone who brags about their veins, let a single, solitary one? Well Hulk does. (Also, he rules.)

4) In "Hulkster's In The House" the 3rd verse is as follows:

We're rocking down the house
The band is playing loud
We're blowing off the roof
And we're gonna rock and roll.

For all you literary types, that stanza features the seldom used ABCD rhyme scheme.

5) In "Hulkster In Heaven" Hulkster laments that a young dead British boy will never see him wrestle in Wembley Stadium. Poor kid.

My point is that this is an unforgettable album. No one kinda remembers it. No one forgets it. Everyone who hears it has a strong opinion about it. As time goes by we seem to form more opinions about, opinions that grow stronger and stronger. I'm one of those people.

Which is why I was compelled to re-record it.

Without going into too much detail about my own life - this is about The Hulkster goddammit - I think all art is equal. To me the work of Hulk Hogan is the same as the work of Salvador Dali or Kate Bush or Oscar Wilde or Bobby Flay. To paraphrase Chris Rock, I'm not talking about quality, I'm talking about legitimacy. We watch "good" and "bad" TV with the same pair of eyes. We eat "good" and "bad" food with the same set of teeth. And we listen to "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "I Want To Be A Hulkamaniac" with the same pair of ears.

Which brings me to "Hulk Rules". For reasons only my shrink can explain, l once again started listening to it obsessively. In doing so I got to thinking about other ways these songs could be presented, different genres/instruments/chords/lyrics/sections that I felt could have or should have been there in the first place.

I wasn't trying to be disrespectful of these songs and the people who wrote them. No way, brother. Moreover, I'm sure there are people who love these songs as they are and see no need to redo them. (I urge all of you who have never heard it to go buy a copy and judge for yourself) But since I don't know the listening habits of Hulkamaniacs past and present I can't say for sure if they like Bob Marley or Minor Threat. I certainly hope that they're into other music than rap-rock, because I really tried to see if these songs had legs outside of that genre. And if they didn't then by God I was gonna try and give 'em some. They might be scarred and uneven but they'd be legs. Interesting ones, worthy of a leg drop.

It must be noted that I do not in any way, shape, or form own the publishing rights to these songs. I will not make a cent off of them, nor should I. That would be illegal, and I would very much not like to get sued or have 24 inch pythons wrapped around my throat. It is a completely unsanctioned, unauthorized, & unapproved recording, made purely for the fun of it. Again I cannot stress enough that you should go and purchase the original album immediately. Then listen to mine and see how I did. Hopefully you and the people who created it - Hulk, Jimmy, J.J, Linda Hogan, & the other two - will appreciate it for what it is: a love letter to those of us who forever love rock 'n wrestling. And you know, vitamins.

Actually, I have no real idea why I remade this album. But that makes sense. If I remain confused about the very existence of "Hulk Rules" I should also be confused about my proactive reaction to it. 'Cause it never stops being interesting. When Armageddon comes my brother and I will still be talking about it. I have written a lot about it and could write a lot more. A lot has already been written by others about it, and i'm sure they could write a lot more too. I see no end in sight.

But I can tell you what I do see. I see me watching Wrestlemania II on closed circuit TV at The San Diego Sports Arena. I see me desperately trying to stay awake so I can watch "Saturday Night's Main Event". I see my brother and I renting WWF matches on Betamax. I see me buying "The Wrestling Album" on cassette the day it comes out.

And mostly I remember sitting with my nose inches from the TV as Hulk takes on the bad guy. He is losing. My Dad is sitting on the couch and saying "I don't know Jess, Hulk might not pull through this time", and I am near tears. But then, a shaking of the head, a puffing of the cheeks, a wagging of the finger, an enormous roar of the crowd, a big ol' boot, and the winner of this bout and STILL Heavyweight Champion is Hulk Hogan. How did he do it? The answer is as simple now as it was then.

Hulk rules.

credits

released October 15, 2018

Produced, arranged, & performed by Jesse Krakow

All songs written by Terry G. Bollea, Jimmy R. Hart, & John J. Maguire
Additional music & lyrics by Jesse Krakow.

Recorded September 2018 at Exploding Note in West Orange, NJ

Dedicated to Verne Gagne.

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about

Jesse Krakow Brooklyn, New York

Hi, I'm Jesse. I've worked w/ Shudder To Think, The Shaggs, Bootsy Collins, John Zorn, Jello Biafra, Ruins, Kate Pierson, Bill Laswell, Paul Rudd, Julee Cruise, Nona Hendrix, The BK Philharmonic & many more - recorded for Sony, Atlantic, Tzadik, Alternative Tentacles, TeamLove, New Amsterdam, Cuneiform, Relapse, Crucial Blast & many more -performed in 15 countries - and change a mean diaper. ... more

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Track Name: HULKSTER'S IN THE HOUSE (PART 1)
Well the Hulkster's in the house
Check him out now check him out
Get up off your seat
He's got a brand new beat
Well don't you know the beat won't stop
'Til' he hits that big legdrop
He will leave you in the mud
Like Captain Lou and Big John Studd
When the going gets tough, the tough gets rough
Hey he ho ho come on
Hey hey ho ho come on, let's go!

Well the Hulkster's in the room
You know he's on the move
I can feel in my feet
We're moving to the beat
When he's with his buddy Jimmy Hart
Brother you know you don't want no part
He'll rip, rock 'em, beg your pardon?
He will pin them in The Garden
When the going gets tough, the tough get rough
Hey hey ho ho come on
Hey hey ho ho come on

He will rock and roll you
If you call him a pencil-necked geek
You'll get pinned like The Iron Sheik

We're rocking down the house
The band is playing loud
We're blowing off the roof
And we're gonna rock 'n roll
Well we'll point you in the right direction
The rock and wrestling connection
So put on your boots and red bandana
And tag into Tito Santana
'Cause when the going gets tough, the tough get rough
Hey hey ho come on
Hey hey ho ho come on, let's go!

Hulkster!
Yeah, eat your heart out Rick Springfield
Track Name: AMERICAN MADE
He's got the red, white, and blue running through his veins
He was born and raised in the U S of A
He's got to be inspected, he's US grade
If you mess with the flag, it's like a slap in the face
He's made (in America)
(Real America)
He's made (in America)
He's American 'merican made

He's got the stars and stripes running through his veins
He was born and raised the American Way
He wears the heart of his country on his sleeve
He'll fight for your freedom if you really believe
He's made (in America)
(Real America)
He's made (in America)
He's American 'merican made

Bring it, bring it, bring it, bring it back
Be a, be a, be a Hulkamaniac
Get up, get up, get up, stand back
Be American Made and take no flack

He's got the red, white, and blue running through his veins
He was born and raised The American Way
He's got to be inspected, he's US grade
If you mess with his flag, it's like a slap in the face
He's made (in America)
(Real America)
He's made (in America)
He's American 'merican made

Drink your milk
Say your prayers
24 inch pythons
Track Name: HULKSTER'S BACK
I was born, I was bred, I was Southern-fed
Had a crazy idea running through my head
California is the place I had to be
Venice Beach and the pit really set me free
Hey check the pythons baby
Whatcha think of that?
Hey check out the pythons baby
The Hulkster's back back back

I was hanging, I was banging, I was turning it on
Everyone at the beach knew it wouldn't be long
The belt was Flair's, I don't really care
In the hands of The Maniacs we all share
Hey check out the pythons baby
Whatcha think of that?
Hey check out the pythons baby
The Hulkster's back back back
The Hulkster's back back back
Yeah the Hulkster's back back back

Fortune and fame was his middle
As high as the sky he remained the same
Training and prayers and vitamins too
Don't mess with us or we'll beat you too, yeah
Hey check out the pythons baby
Whatcha think of that?
Hey check out the pythons baby
And that's a fact
Hey check out the pythons baby
Whatcha think of that?
Hey check out the pythons baby
The Hulkster's back back back
Track Name: WRESTLING BOOT TRAVELING BAND
Packed up my boots, and I jumped in my car
And I headed for The Sunshine State
And when I got there I gave her call
She said everything was
I needed some time with the boys
And she needed some time and space

So we laid on the beach and get us a tan
And listened to the music with the boys in the band
And I'll send her a postcard whenever I can
Sincerely,
The Wrestling Boot Traveling Band

Met a girl on the beach yesterday
She looked a lot like you
She heard the band play late last night
And she thought the bass player was cute
She was down here on her vacate
'Cause she needed some time and space

So we laid on the beach and get us a tan
And listened to the music with the boys in the band
And I'll send you a postcard whenever I can
Sincerely,
The Wrestling Boot Traveling Band

Ba, ba ba ba, ba ba ba
Track Name: BAD TO THE BONE
Come on baby, we're going for a ride
Just put your arms out and hold on tight
If you're a heel or a babyface
Brother you've come to the right
Turn up the music 'cause we wanna play it loud
The girls all know it's a boys night out
'Cause we're bad bad bad, to the bone
Bad bad bad to the bone
Bad bad bad it's so bad
To the bone, to the bone, to the bone, to the bone

Get on the Harley let it rip and roar
Down on the throttle baby give it some more
Oh Hollywood or Thunderlips (The Ulimtate Male)
Mr. Nanny always Rips (No Holds Barred for sale)
Turn up the fire, 'cause we wanna like to rock 'n roll
The girls all know we're outta control
'Cause we're bad bad bad (Oh what a rush?)

Who's gonna get on the Hulk Train?
Are you ready?
How about that fella who's big and dead?
Can you see him when you're not looking?
Hell yeah!
Can you smell what The Hulk is cooking?
In the AWA
Have a nice day

Bad bad bad
Bad bad bad
The Hulkster rules

He's gonna tag in to Diesel
He's gonna tag in to Razor Ramon
He's gonna beat up The Weasel
Grab them cakes from Jake "The Snake"
Eat a turnbuckle like a bone
Bad

Who's gonna take on The Hulkster?
Who's next?
How 'bout that Meanie who's big and Blue?
'Cause to the be the man you gotta beat the man
Do you understand?
In the NWOCW
Well if you ain't down with that, I got one word for you
Bad bad bad
Bad bad bad to the bone
Track Name: I WANT TO BE A HULKAMANIAC
If you wanna be a Hulkamaniac
I can tell you how to stay on track
Train, say your prayers, eat your vitamins too
These are the things that the Maniacs do
Positive thoughts and positive deeds
These are the things that make you succeed
Be good to your family and friends
They're the ones who be there in the end

I wanna be a Hulkamaniac, have fun with my family and friends
I wanna be a Hulkamaniac, have fun with my family and friends
I wanna be a Hulk
I wanna be a Hulk
I wanna be a Hulka Hulkamaniac

When you're looking for something to do
Just pick good friends to be with you
You better watch out where you are at
'Cause you might be judged where you hang your hat
Can you feel the music? Can you feel the beat?
You don't need drugs to move your feet
When the dealer tries to push
Just tell him whatcha gonna do

I wanna be a Hulkamaniac, have fun with my family and friends (Psycho Sid)
I wanna be a Hulkamaniac, have fun with my family and friends (The Heartbreak Kid)
I wanna be a Hulk
I wanna be a Hulk
I wanna be a Hulka Hulkamaniac

Don't give up like Terry Funk
Speak your mind like CM Punk
Backhand it like Jim Cornette
Drive like Gino in your Corvette
Well be The Dream like Dusty Rhodes
Talk the talk like Jericho
Like Bulldogs and The Killer Bees
Bring the heels to their knees

Try to be good each and every day
Don't give 'em nothing bad to say
Always go swimming with a buddy
Work real hard and always study
If you wanna be real real cool
Don't be stupid and play the fool
Get your education every day
These are the things that the Maniacs say

I wanna be a Hulkamaniac, have fun with my family and friends (Big Booter)
I wanna be a Hulkamaniac, have fun with my family and friends (Sharpshooter)
I wanna be a Hulk
I wanna be a Hulk
I wanna be friends with Mr. T
I wanna be a Hulkamaniac, have fun with my family and friends (like you)
I wanna be a Hulkamaniac, have fun with my family and friends ("Mean" Gene too)
I wanna be a Hulk
I wanna be a Hulk
I wanna be a Hulka Hulkamaniac
Track Name: HULKSTER'S IN THE HOUSE (PART 2)
The Hulkster's in the house
The Hulkster's in the house, check him out
Get up off your seat,
He's got a brand new beat, check him out
Watch out when he drop that big ol' leg
'Cause he's gonna crack you like an egg
When the going gets tough, the tough get rough
When the going gets tough
Hey hey ho ho come on
Hey hey ho ho come on

The Hulkster's in the room
You know he's on the move, check him out
I can feel it my feet
He's got a brand new beat, check him out
We're gonna be loyal to our friend that's true
So don't let us run wild on you
When the going gets tough, the tough get rough
When the going gets tough
Hey hey ho ho come on
Hey hey ho ho come on

The Hulkster's in the house
The Hulkster's in the house
The Hulkster's in the house
Better watch out

Big boot
Goddamn!
Are you looking for a body slam?
Big boot
Goddamn!
Don't wanna be a Macho Man, McMahon

We're rocking down the house
The band is playing loud, check it out
We're blowing off the roof
And we're gonna rock 'n roll, check it out
When the going gets tough, the tough get rough
When the going gets tough
Hey hey ho ho come on
Hey hey ho ho come on

You know I'd never….
Track Name: BEACH PATROL
I was walking down the street, looking for some action
Had my radio set to a rap-rock station
Saw a girl in trouble, a sticky situation
She wanted me to give her mouth to mouth recitation
We are the beach patrol (we wanna party!)
We are the beach patrol (we wanna party party party)
(Party with The Hulkster)

We were cruising down the beach, checking out the action
Had my radio rocking to a heavy meta station
Putting on some shades, trying to catch some rays
When I caught the lifeguard messing with my babe
We are the beach patrol (we wanna party)
We are the beach patrol (we wanna party party)

Whoop there it is,
Check it out check it in
You'll be six feet deep if you touch my girlfriend
You know this homeboy could lose control
If you just don't mess
You just don't mess
You just don't mess with the beach patrol

Brother

When you're hanging at the beach you can see so much
Look all you want but you better not touch, no
Take it from me, don't lose control
""Cause you're gonna have to deal with the son of a son of a beach patrol
(we wanna party)
We are the beach patrol (we wanna party party party)
We are the beach patrol (we wanna party)
We are the beach patrol (we wanna party party party)
Check it out

(We wanna party)
(We wanna party) Uh…yeah, King King Bundy?
(We wanna party) I'll tell you who's Number One-dy
(We wanna party) Hulk!
Track Name: HULK'S THE ONE
They say your heart is made out of stone
You got me hanging by a string
My friends tell me that you're bad to the bone
Please be bad to me

You're the one, the only one
Hulk's the only one for me
Yeah, he's the man, the only man`
Hulk's the only man for me

You had me hooked from the very first look
You had me down on my knees
Turned on the charm, I heard the alarm
I shoulda called the police

You're the one, the only one
Hulk's the only one for me
Yeah, he's the man, the only man`
Hulk's the only man for me
You're the one, the only one
Hulk's the only one for me
Yeah, he's the man, the only man`
Hulk's the only man for me
Can't you see?
Whoa oh oh oh

My friends tell me that I'm under your spell
That's I'm too blind to see
Come on so strong, then you are gone
You turned the lights on me

You're the one, the only one
Hulk's the only one for me
Yeah, he's the man, the only man`
Hulk's the only man for me
You're the one, the only one
Hulk's the only one for me
Yeah, he's the man, the only man`
Hulk's the only man for me
Can't you see?
Whoa oh oh oh
Track Name: HULKSTER IN HEAVEN
I read it in the papers, I saw it on TV
I guess they'll be one empty seat when I wrestle in Wembley
I used to tear my shirt, but now you've torn my heart
I knew you were a Hulkamaniac right from the very start

You were my friend
I'll see you again
When the Hulkster comes to Heaven
We'll tag up again

The world just lost another Hulkamaniac
I wish Hulk's love could bring you back again

When I climb back in the ring I know we'll win this fight
I wish you were here at ringside to cheer me on tonight
The spotlight now grows dim, but it's not on me
The prayers were said together are still our guarantee

You were my friend
I'll see you again
When the Hulkster comes to Heaven
We'll tag up again

The world just lost another Hulkamaniac
I wish Hulk's love could bring you back again

The world just lost
The world just lost
The world just lost
Track Name: HULK RULES
When he steps into the ring
He's ready for a fight
His 24 inch pythons are loaded up tonight
Everybody's talking trash
But he knows that talk is cheap
If you mess with The Hulkster
He'll rearrange your teeth

Whoa oh oh The Hulkster rules
Whoa oh oh The Hulkster rules

If you ever get in trouble and need a helping hand
Just call on The Hulkster
And he will be your friend
He'll stand up for freedom
He'll stand up for your rights
United you will stand
Together you will fight

Whoa oh oh The Hulkster rules
Whoa oh oh The Hulkster rules

The Hulkster rules
The Hulkster rules
The Hulkster rules

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