Muscle Builder, Vol 17, Num 2, Page 43, February 1976
On Thursday, September 25th, Joe Weider handed me the list of athletes selected by the staff at MUSCLE BUILDER and the lucky men were informed that the magazine was springing for their airfares to New York City to compete in the 1975 edition of either the AABA/IFBB Mr. USA or Mr. World contests to be held in the legendary sports pavilion, Madison Square Garden. All belonged to Gold's muscle factory in Venice Beach and naturally they figured to be top contenders for honors in the eastern fray. However, Joe wasn't satisfied and he devised a way of stretching the allotment money by shopping the travel inducement plans of the various major airlines, and came up with a neat solution. American Airlines offered a night coach flight which saved plenty of bucks over the regular fare. Opting for this allowed two more western based stars the opportunity of going east. Dave DuPre, Ed Giuliani, Robby Robinson, Denny Gable and John Isaacs already made the list. Carlos Rodriquez, formerly of Puerto Rico and now based in Tucson, and the sensation from St. Louis, Roger Callard now became a part of the devastating western contingent. Kent Kuehn, also from Gold's, made his own arrangements and further beefed up the "team."
I decided to surprise my wife Rosie and take her to the "Big Apple" for the weekend. When I asked her to dive into the closet and drag out the luggage and prepare for a trip, she gave me a rather lackluster reply. She asked, "Not another muscle trek?"
"Of course," I answered.
"Can't you ever think of anything original? This is only about the twenty fifth contest we've been to this year."
"It's actually the twenty seventh," I corrected. "But this one is in New York City."
"Well," she smiled coyly, "when do we leave?"
The night of our departure, I was late leaving the office and as a consequence, Rosie and I arrived about forty-five minutes later than the scheduled meeting time which had been arranged with the monsterously menacing musclemen. I speak of them this way, because there was only a few minutes to flight time, and I was supposed to have their tickets. Luckily, I did, because my wife is too young to be a widow.
I really dig LA International Airport. It turns me on. What an exciting place! On any given day you might see Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Clint Eastwood or some other famous celebrity arriving or departing. The hustle and bustle is further enhanced by ravishing airline stewardesses so beautiful, you wonder why they're not actresses.
From the moment we boarded the plane, the story telling and enjoyable comraderie between the expansive and talkative bodybuilders enlivened our section for hours. Denny Gable and Ed were early retirees, and when they conk out, only the usual twelve hours of sleep, or a provocative and aromatic perfume close to their nostrils can revive them. John Isaacs was seated next to me and we conversed at length on his globe-trotting exploits relating to bodybuilding, antiques, and his vociferous denial that his relatively unknown British brother-in-law, Reg Park, rumored to be of massive size, had nothing at all to do with the Lochness monster legend. This affable conversation turned into a sleepless bull session.
At Kennedy International, I limped from the jet-liner, because the cross country hop without sleep had drained my energy. Tail Lag had begun to set in.
Denny and Eddie seemed to be alert and rested, and this was unusual. They didn't get their accustomed amount of sleep. I wondered how close that foxie stewardess got to them?
Wayne DeMelia, one of our east coast editors, met us as did a ferocious rain. He was accompanied by his girl friend, Karen Clark, who had borrowed her mother's large Buick four-door in order to drive us to the Ramada Inn, some twenty miles from the airport. By no stretch of the imagination could all of us get into the car comfortably, and Karen decided to take the local bus home. She was the lucky one. By the time all of the doors were shut on all the wide shoulders and luggage, the car sprouted some new bulges here and there, and the decided list reminded me of it wounded battleship. This made all the obstacles found in the Fun City streets a hazard to the car's stability. The rush hour traffic had been in progress for some time as we emerged from the airport: What a traffic jam! From my front seat vantage point, the speedometer was hard to overlook, though I noticed that sometimes we exceeded five miles an hour and could keep up this average for over fifty yards or so. Most of the time it rested on zero and the engine began overheating.
Eddie Giuliani picked one of these long lulls to jump out of the car and do a spirited take-off on Gene Kelly doing his bit from the picture, Singing In The Rain. Our carload was entertained as well as dozens of other occupants in the clogged lanes. He had to cut his act short when our car surged forward another ten feet, and it was just in time, because one of the late sleeping residents nearby was about to get after Ed with the dreaded hook.
A bit further on our way, the car began to crap out, and the boiling beast gave us ample warning. Though it finally expired in a "No Parking" zone, the contraption intuitively selected its stopping point right in front of a restaurant. We had our first meal in New York.
After the less than gourmet-like respite, we returned to the car and tried to figure on a solution about getting water into it. Where do they hide the gas stations in Gotham City? With the hood up and all of us thinking, a couple of official vehicles passed, and "Tow away" was written on the faces of the passengers. But after they surveyed the outlandish size of our Herculean group, they decided that they really weren't interested in early morning suicide, and let us be.
We must have looked odd ruminating about the car, but what does one think of appearances during a crisis? The issue was, how to get water into the radiator. Repeated trips to and from the restaurant with, brimming cups of water occupied one of the guys for a while, but his determination dimmed as the monotonous walking only seemed to get him more thoroughly soaked than the radiator ever would. Another brilliant mind conjured up a real winner. A derelict disposable beer can was placed upright on the sidewalk, and it was hoped that the downpour would eventually fill the container through its tiny pop-top opening. Such optimism helped build America. On the verge of expounding my own hastily conceived, near genius theory on how to get water into the tub with so much outside of it, was interrupted by a generous cab driver who evidently runs into the same predicament daily. Since he too was blocked up in the traffic, he calmly stepped out of his own vehicle and slid a water filled plastic jug down the walkway to us. With the coolant in the radiator, we were soon rolling again.
In case you were wondering about my idea, here it is. Wayne's umbrella would be inverted while opened. and thusly forming a giant funnel capable of absorbing enormous gobs of rain droplets and the downward flow, would be guided directly to the mouth of the radiator by the point of the umbrella. Elementary!
The arduous journey took over four hours to reach the hotel.
That afternoon, after 2 hours sleep, I made it over to Tom Minichiello's Mid City Health Club, the contest headquarters. This was the first glimpse of it I'd ever had, and it impressed me. It has to be one of the best equipped "pure" bodybuilding gyms I have ever seen. Contest activities had the place hyped-up with an extra amount of spectators, but that still left a good forty to fifty bombers loading their own charges.
My primary purpose for making the trip was to be essentially a chronicler of the impending events, but I felt it necessary to bring my camera gear along for the ride. Also, I had made an arrangement to interview my longtime friend, muscle immortal, Larry Scott. He was making his first posing appearance in over nine years. Tom and his partner Peter Vita-co-producers of the epic show-in their efforts of putting on a super spectacular, had lured Larry out of retirement and added his name to the marquee as one of the stellar attractions.
The interview turned into a rewarding three hour photo session. The photos were taken at a place with the incongruous name of, SCOTT PHOTO STUDIO. Through an oversight on my part, I ran out of indoor color film, and the outdoorstuff I had wouldn't be satisfactory, so I thought a short stroll to the nearest drugstore could be easily made in order to pick up the sort of film my Rollie's and Mamiya's are nourished on. Well, this was a Saturday afternoon, and mid-city Manhattan is buttoned up tight business wise. The only film available was of the tourist variety, e.g., Porno film, Brownie film, and of course, Instamatic and Polaroid--none of which I could use.
The film problem was solved after 3 miles of walking before I found a camera store. I finished the important session with Larry a bit before three. From there we caught a cab to the Garden.
On the way, we discussed some of the vagaries of life in the big city, and much of it had to do with New York's finest. While searching for film, I had come across "The Finest" on virtually every corner: one hooker and one cop. If a guy did get in trouble, and needed help, the call for aid must be precise, for nowadays, everything in New York City can be misinterpreted by most anyone.
The mugging problem is as bad as rumor had it, and, Central Park is downright dangerous, especially for the athletic individuals who think they can evade the rascals by speeding through the greenery on their trusty ten-speed in high gear. Loss factor for ten-speeds is one. hundred percent. The cops tried to make it safe for the bikers, and sent an armed detachment of undercover patrolmen into the area dressed in typical bicycle garb. The dastardly kleptos responded by taking the bikes, guns, badges and the glutes of the embarrassed Bike Squad.
Arriving at the Garden with the pre-judging already underway, I was informed that the results wouldn't be revealed until the evening. This gave me a few relaxing.. moments in which I began thinking of the hallowed arena's illustrious past and its place in the annals of sports history as the premier indoor stadium for staging classic athletic confrontations. Joe Louis, Willie Pep, Sugar Ray Robinson, Bill Conn, Mohammed Ali, the Knicks, the Celtics and hundreds of other "Greats" had exploited their singular gifts of balance, grace, strength, stamina and even .fury before the eyes of countless millions of spectators. Nowhere was the sport of bodybuilding making inroads toward reaching parity with the other more publicized sports, and maybe the cheers for muscledom's superstars will begin to mingle with the diffused and scattered atoms of the roaring accolades voiced decades before in appreciation of stupendous athletic accomplishments.
Joe Weider had Artie Zeller and Jimmy Caruso, two of the world's greatest physique photographers, flown in for film coverage of the show. Rarely can anyone equal their work, let alone surpass the quality photos they turn out. I felt like extra baggage while in front of the stage, so I went backstage and put my own cameras to use.
Immediately, I was astounded by the many perfect bodies backstage, some of which belonged to the male athletes. One of Tom's delightful twists in staging the spectacle was the inclusion of the Miss Americana Pageant that would be run concurrently with the men's competitions. Two men would pose, and then one of the gorgeous women would mount the dais. Though this was entertaining, the idea still might not work on other occasions.
Young bikini-draped scoops of taffy really spiced the backstage drama. With a few pockets of film left, I got Tony Roma to pose with his knockout looking girl friend, Natalie Reposo, and got some nice pictures of the couple. Studying their pics now, I still feel she was slighted by the judges and should have placed in the pulchritude contest.
Nevertheless, the picture taking of the couple started something, and before long, I had all of the muscle guys grabbing up one of the dolls in the arms that seemed to be trained especially for girl lifting, posing for me. It got so out of hand, our east coast editor, George Kaye, protested, "Hey, aren't there" any groupies available for muscle writers?" To his delight, one of the girls volunteered for a picture with him, but that steamrolled into all the babes wanting in on the action. It ended up with Georgie's highest hopes answered. Three of the busty legion scooped him up in their arms. and the pose is now 35mm history.
After a persuasive sales talk, I finally got my boss into the session, and he posed with the ultimate winner of the women's contest, April Nicotra. It's nice to report that she works out with the weights regularly, and her body is absolutely one of the best I have ever seen in one of these bikini festivals.
I ran into Larry again backstage, and asked him how many poses he was going to hit He replied that he would give one of his nine or ten pose routines just as he used to when competing almost a decade ago. Interesting, because 1 had measured his arms at nineteen cold (and that's something at 183 lbs.) earlier in the day, and I felt that the audience had a pleasurable surprise in store for them.
Still browsing back stage, I made acquaintances with friends whom I hadn't seen for years, and my inner consciousness kept being bombarded by how wonderful and rewarding this business I'm involved in. Every contest has its surprises, and this dictum makes the witnessing of contest after contest a new experience. The surprise was in the form of the five foot three inch, 175 lb. Dan Padilla. Good grief! 18½" arms, 17" calves and a 28" waist on a 5'3" frame??? Here was a guy that had been having problems with AAU politicking. How in the hell he hadn't won some of their major contests has to be a mystery. Luckily, this time out, he was in an event that the IFBB nine-judge panel of experts was scoring where prejudiced, shortsighted treatment of contestants never plays a part, and Mr. Padilla at last was accorded his due.
A part of all contests these days are the tactics and strategy that entrants go through, trying to place themselves in the most favorable class, or if a multiple contest affair is involved (this one had Mr. USA and Mr. World), the event offering the best chance of picking up a trophy. Nowadays, all the height classes in the AABA/IFBB contests are tooth and nail, and the best today might be unplaced the next show. Good judgment and sometimes pure luck plays a part in the outcome.
Being a shrewd and crafty manipulator, Eddie Giuliani wanted a little bit of contest insurance going for himself. He made a deal with Carlos Rodriquez. The upshot of it was, Eddie offered his beautiful eighteen year-old-daughter, an accounting major at Santa Monica City College, as an inducement for Carlos not to enter against him. Ed said, "Look Carlos, you marry my daughter, and when you do that it'd be rotten of you as a son-in-law beating your poor father-in-law." Ed's sense of humor always is enlivening.
Carlos was in super shape for the show, and Dan Padilla admits that after seeing Rodriquez pumping before pre-judging, it almost scared him enough to switch to the Mr. World event. However, Dan realized that all of his training and goals had been aimed toward the Mr. USA crown, and to back down at the last minute just wasn't Dan's way. It paid off spectacularly for the unassuming young man of might and brawn. In a very close contest, he nipped the balanced and massive physique of Carlos. When the M.C. announced the result, Dan was surprised. "I still can't believe it," he remarked after the festivities. Well, it was an unbelievable night for a man with an unbelievable body.
The M.C. continued announcing the results that gave Roger Callard the Medium Class, and Denny Gable the Tall Class hardware. Then another surprise for Padilla, he was announced the overall winner of Mr. USA. He clapped a full fifteen seconds himself, thinking that the tremendous Denny had won. Then more shock set in when it dawned on him that it was actually his name called as the winner.
Here is a more concise rundown of the placings:
SHORT CLASS, MR. USA
Nobody foresaw the tremendous debut of Dan in an IFBB musclefest, and his unexpected upset victory over the more well known favorites. Carlos Rodriquez was superb, but couldn't deny the. slight edge owned by the winner. Another AA U defector, Anibal Lopez improved sharply since his appearance in Los Angeles when he tried for AAU Mr America honors. Eddie Bates, a native of Trinidad, was an impressive fourth, and Dave Mastorakis showed improved definition and collected the 5th place trophy.
MEDIUM CLASS, MR. USA
Top laurels went to, "Roger the Rocket." (He's a 9.6 sprinter). During the past year he has honed himself into a contender for "Most Muscular" in any prominent contest. Mike Mentzer was more massive than Roger, but Callard's super definition and better paced posing display spelled a close defeat for Mike. Rock Stonewall, one of the top musclestars of the late sixties is still amazing. Joe Ugolick has more going for him than just being cataloged as, "Mike Katz's training partner" His good showing enabled him to capture fourth place, which attests to his progress. The Boston Kid, Tony Roma hung in there for a plated statue to take home with his "statuesque" girl friend.
TALL CLASS, MR. USA
Another contentious class, but a clear edge belonged to the ex-gymnast from Cedar Rapids. Denny also was awarded "Best Poser" and "Most Muscular." The spectators applauded Denny's every move, and there was a large contingent in the audience that thought he should have had the overall win instead of Padilla. Joe Nazzario is another of the hard training goliaths from Tom's Mid City ironworks. Joe has gained steadily since the Mr America show. Len Archambault, Mr East Coast was a formidable foe, and could be right at the top if he continues to improve. A real surprise was Dave DuPre being only able to notch a fourth in this class. He reminds me of a black Steve Reeves, and has tremendous symmetry. In the L.A. contest, he defeated these same men, and has not lost any of his sharpness. Barry Blenis gave a good account of himself in a class that was competitive from top to bottom.
This concluded the Mr. USA, arid during the interlude between contests, another special event was scheduled. It involved a matched competition between muscle stars representing Team Europe, and a similar group of Americans forming, Team America. A problem developed in the european ranks and they defaulted. The promoters tried valiantly to replace them with Team Canada, but this failed too. Canceling the presentation didn't bother the sophisticated audience one bit, and it is a good example of their polite conduct throughout the evening. Though boisterous and aggressive when pleased, displeasure didn't bring out the expected tomatoes, bananas, or the classier kazoo.
The Mr. World event turned into a romp for the "Talahasee Flash," Robby Robinson. He's an all around athlete, having lettered in four sports at Florida State University, and included in his accomplishments, is an official 9.5 hundred yard dash. Switching to bodybuilding hasn't dulled his speed afoot, but his speedy development of muscles soon put him far ahead of his contemporaries in Florida. A move to California has given him new fields to conquer, as well as being closer to his main training influence, Joe Weider. Absolutely sensational in muscularity and bulk, there are no weak links in Robby's 5'-7", 208-lbs. physique. His magnificent upper-arms measure a phenomenal 20½". He harmoniously balances a monstrous upperbody with enormous legs, and the two halves are tied together by a slim washboard-like, 28" mid-section.
Some people criticized him for his explosive routine which unfortunately fused together only four blockbusting poses. The audience should've been treated to a longer stay under the spotlight by Robinson. Possibly, he was trying to be merciful to those competing against him. When he returned to the backstage area after the abbreviated performance on the dias, I asked why he hadn't used his "double biceps" shot and the devastating "most muscular" pose. He confidently admitted, "I didn't need them." Whether they were needed or not was of no consequence; what he flaunted was sufficient for the judges to stack in front of him, the trophies for: Most Muscular; First place, Medium Class; Overall First Place, Mr. World.
Here is a more concise rundown on the Mr. World placings:
SHORT CLASS, MR.WORLD
Pre-contest jockeying and jocularity were dispensed with by Giuliani, and under the spotlight, determination, plenty of veins-cuts arid shape appeared, which was enough to elevate Ed to head of the "Class." Loftus Roach, a native of the West Indies was absolutely tremendous, and he barely missed. Recent Mr. Eastern America winner, Bill Mitchell, impressed everyone with his muscle density. John Issacs vascularity and muscularity has to be seen to be believed; it's almost unreal. A Jamaican, Earl Sandiford nabbed fifth with rugged muscularity.
MEDIUM CLASS, MR. WORLD
Although Robby "blitzed" the card, he had to squeeze by some tremendous opposition. AAU defector, Ken Covington was a rippling sensation, and possessor of the deepest gouges of muscle under his pecs that I've ever seen. Kent Kuehn the former Mr. USA crown bearer was in fabulous form, and it was very close on all of the scorecards between him and Covington for second place. Adding to the international texture of the muscle festival, Alex Baez from Mexico garnered the fourth place trophy. Stan Blinder, A Gothamite, nailed down fifth place solidly in a very contentious division.
TALL CLASS, MR. WORLD
This turned into a clash between a pair of Caribbean Titans; Darcy Beccles, and Franklyn Greene. Darcy's astonishing physique is reminiscent of the French superstar, Serge Nubret. Beccles muscle density and muscularity were exceptional, as was his posing. Darcy now owns the "Best Poser" award. Franklyn is known as the "gentleman bodybuilder," and though in an outstanding state of muscularity, couldn't top Darcy. Louis Sa another well built New Yorker, was third. Earl Katwaroo bears watching in the future. John Romeo was very popular with the audience, and placed fourth. I don't wish to quarrel with the judges, but Charlie Fautz deserved fourth according to my unofficial scorecard.
This concluded the contest, and all of the men competing in both events comprised one of the greatest panoramas of amateur bodybuilders seen in one evening, and it should have been enough entertainment for even the most jaundiced of the muscle afficionados present. But, there was more to come. Franco Columbo, Larry Scott and Lou Ferrigno pumped up in preparation for adding refined perfection to the muscle symposium.
Consummate showman and a box office favorite in New York, Franco was first up, and his superlative posing worked the crowd into such a delirious state, they demanded three encores, and he complied.
Finishing these encores, Franco returned to the dressing area, but the tumultuous cheering and uproar increased. What transpired next is probably a prelude to the antics of the upcoming Democratic convention to be held in this same arena. Chanting and stomping, all to the refrain, "FRANCO FRANCO - FRANCO," etc. For sixty exquisite seconds his ego was charged with the decibelic splendor. A fast wind sprint back to the dais, and the elated throng absorbed the effervescent Sardinian visually through another combination of unexcelled poses.
It is a wonder he had any energy left, be cause before the start of the muscle flexing, he performed some feats of strength from his strongman act. This included the bending of a two-foot length of three-quarter inch thick steel into a hairpin configuration.Also a thick; rubber hot water bottle became a stand-in for a balloon when Columbo's lungs inflated the elastic object almost to the size of the Goodyear Blimp. The explosion that followed has launched a screenwriter into writing a sequel of a sequel. It will be called, "The Curse of Godzilla's Breath."
After Franco, the curtains were closed, and upon reopening, the astonishing, almost specteristic pose of Lou Ferrigno emulating the mammoth beast in the 1933 thriller, KING KONG, shocked the crowd into a new chanting refrain, "God help us!" At 6'-5" and 275, he strikes the fear of something into all of us. The fans really went overboard for Lou as he went into a repertoire of his best stances.
Many people in attendance had come for the specific reason of glimpsing Larry Scott go through his tastefully woven tapestry of classic poses, and it was now his turn to do just that. Even the contestants backstage scrounged for good vantage points in their efforts to view him. Iii his prime, he carried almost thirty pounds more bodyweight, but he still looks fantastic!
He gave a short speech after about three minutes of the well received poses. The talk touched on the past glories of his career, and the world traveling included in quest of his many conquests. Having competed in front of spectators on all of the major continents in his lifetime, Larry singled out the New York City fans as the most responsive and appreciative "muscle audience". in the world. The oratory also touched on the inspirational aspects of the sport, and the men associated with it. Joe Weider, in particular, was singled out as the one person that most inspired Scott in weight training, and much of his success was an advent of Joe's advice and training concepts which Larry heeded in the long course of his rise to immortality. After the speech, urging from the multitude got him back on the platform for more posing.
Larry gave a short speech and talked of the past glories of his career and the world traveling It involved in quest of his astounding .triumphs throughout America, Australia, the rewarding trek, he had never come across audiences as responsive and appreciative of musclemen as the New York fans. Continuing with the talk, he touched on the inspirational aspects of the sport and the men involved. In the process, Joe Weider was singled out as the man that most inspired and helped Scott in his spectacular career. Ben Weider was commended for his contribution in building the sport into one of rising international importance. After this, the audience called Larry back to the dais for another splendorous posing performance.
This ended the activities in the enormous hall. My mind conjured up thoughts that the size of the fabled arena's "Felt Forum" probably diffused some of the spontaneity and electricity charging the climate inside. Perhaps the Brooklyn Academy of Music may never see the likes of Sergio, Ferrigno, Scott, Arnold, Franco or Ken Waller again, but the smaller size might have been more advantageous for a muscle event. Leaving the auditorium, again indicated staunchness and dedication of the Gotham fans. At least five hundred of them waited at the exit for a last glance at the stars of the show, a few autographs, or maybe a judge or two. I myself, had to sign ten autographs in order to get out of the gentle commotion.
My wife and I walked with the seven men that had flown in from the west, and between them, they had a total of twelve of the enormous trophies from the spectacle. All of us decided on walking the entire eighteen blocks to the hotel, and we became the first people in recent history that have been able to walk that far in the Big City without getting mugged. Our procession astonished the staid viewers on the route, but eventually fifty or sixty stragglers joined in our march before we finished. Some were legitimate autograph seekers, but many in the rear that couldn't see the front of the caravan thought we were marching to a "burn the bra" rally or something of the sort. Later that evening at the hotel, we got a message from the local Barney Miller precinct that any future safaris would have to be covered by a parade permit. By the way, I wonder if the people we left milling around the entrance to the Ramada made it back home safely?
As you can interpret, the weather had improved almost as much as some of the musclemen recently seen, and it was a shame that we couldn't have lingered around for some sight seeing. The exigencies and responsibilities of getting this particular issue of the magazine out, required me to catch the earliest flight back to Los Angeles. On the way, however, Franco and I stopped at some of the most historic and impressive landmarks available on the way to Kennedy. Franco posed for me in front of the skelectical Global shrine that commemorates the 1939 World's Fair, and also I got terrific shots of him in front of the Washington Monument. These were made more interesting by the convenience and consent of a large squad of uniformed cadets from the Merchant Marine Academy, who stood at attention behind the shirtless Columbu.
With all of this going on, we got to the airport only minutes before the flight was to leave. Franco initiated another first for me, he rushed us to the loading ramp of the soon to depart jet, and I bought our plane tickets right there and had the baggage checked. Ohhhh, what a promoter the inimitable strongman is.
The bubbling charm of the man from Sardinia caught the efficient and cheerful stewardesses unexpectedly off guard, for he upstaged their "have a nice day" putonmanship. They didn't know what to make of it at first, but were soon won over by his genuineness, and once they found out who he was, all of them wanted his autograph. The flight back was nice, but the weather we arrived home in, contrasted with the beautiful environment we left. This was kind of a turn around, because when departing for the trip to the east, we had left a sultry and lurking heatwave, and arrived in thunderous maelstrom of wetness. As Tom Minichiello said, "I'm glad you guys came in from the west, you brought the sun." However, we got zonked with a rainstorm the next day in Los Angeles when we landed at LAX
In retrospect, I'd like to express my pleasure at renewing acquaintances with a few of the persons that make this game of muscle building a very healthy and satisfying sport to be making a living at. Ben Weider the dynamic and forceful President of the IFBB and his capable assistant, North American Secretary Winston Roberts, and the honorable Ralph Johnson, head of the American Amateur Bodybuilding Association are a few of the men that deserve special thanks.
Though the year is not finished, and other contests will continue surface this annum, the fortunate winners, and the less fortunate men suffering defeat have all combined to make this a banner year for bodybuilding.
- Short Class winner Ed Giuliani (left) and Tall Class champ Darcey Beccles, raise Robin Robinson's arms in a congratulatory victory salute on his smashing Mr. World win.
- Height Class Champions in the Mr. USA contest, (from left) Roger Callard (Medium), Denny Gable (Tall) and Dan Padilla (Short). Dan Padilla was the surprise overall winner.
- In a moment of relaxation backstage, Denny Gable and Roger Callard laugh at Dave DuPre's sarcastic wit. It helped break the tension.
- Champions past and preset - Robin Robinson, 1975 "Mr. World" winner, and Larry Scott, former Mr. Olympia, are seen with IFBB President Ben Weider and Muscle Builder Publisher Joe Weider after the pre-judging.
- Robin Robinson's sensational back helped him outclass 40 rivals and gave him his biggest win ever.
- Roger Callard's phenomenal improvement earned him the Medium Class title in the Mr. USA.
- Massive, ripped-up muscularity in poses like this made it a run away for robin robinson.
- Ben Weider congratulates Franco Columbu for the outstanding job he did in presenting the American Bodybuilding Championship last July in Los Angeles.
- Dnny Gable, Tall Class winner in the Mr. USA, discusses his posing with his trainer, Joe Weider - Denny barely missed the overall title.
- Co-meet director Tom Minichiello helps lineup the Mr. World entrants for the judges.
- The secon place Height Class winners in the Mr. USA - (from left) Joe Nazzario (Tall), Mike Mentzer (Medium) and Carlos Rodriguez (Short).
- The third place Height Class winners in the Mr. USA - (from left) Len Archambault (Tall), Rock Stonewall (Medium) and Anibal Lopez (Short).
- Mr. World Height Class Champions - (from left) Ed Giuliani (Short), Robby Robinson (Medium) and Darcey Beccles (Tall). Robinson also was Most Muscular.
- The very tough lineup of the Medium Class in the Mr. USA gave the judges a headache - Roger Callard (in front) emerged the winner.
- The Tall Class was also formidable with a terrific lineup of stars. Denny Gable (fourth from left) was clear-cut winner with his superb physique.
- A panorama of muscle stars in the Mr. World go through a series of compulsory stances for the judges. Competition was fierce!
- The Short Class competitors in the Mr. World battle it out in a group posedown for the IFBB jury of experts.
- Medium Class posedown. The top three men in this class: (from left) Mike Mentzer (2nd), Rock Stonewall (3rd) and Roger Callard (1st) zoom a lat spread.
- Short Class Mr. World contenders (from left) Eddie Giuliani, Bill Mitchell, and John Isaacs display sharp abdominal muscularity.
- (far right) Robin Robinson dazzles the audience with his fabulous winning lat spread.
- (right) Ed Giuliani made the return to his hometown successful by winning over 10 tough foes in Mr. World.
- (below) Massive Dave DuPre could only capture 4th place in the Mr. USA Tall Class. He should have been higher.
- Giuliani was ripped! His dense muscularity and excellent posing put him at the head of his class.
- (left) AAU defector Ken Covington was super but couldn't overhaul Robinson. He had to settle for 2nd in the Medium Class.
- (far left) Denny Gable's near-miraculous improvement moved him into first place in the Tall Class.
- (below) Dynamic Darcey Beccles of Barbados out-muscled the other men in the Tall Class with great poses like this - he won "Best Poser".
- Carlos Rodriguez of Tuscon, Arizona, shows a balanced and massive physique that few Short Men in the world can equal.
- Former Mr. USA Kent Kuehn had to settle for 3rd place in the hotly-contested Mr. World, Medium Class.
- Loftus Roach another muscular sensation form the Caribbean, amazed the crowd with his definition.
-Roger Callard's sensational muscle density, vascularity and super shape earned him Medium Class honors. He'll be tough in this year's "Mr. America".
- Ken Covington's great back matches the rest of his fabulous body. He'll win plenty of big ones before he's through.
- Franklyn Green continue to improve and it won't be long until he cops a big title.
- "I always knew he was full of hot air," laughed Joe Weider as Franco Columbu blows up a hot water bottle for the thrilled audience of muscle fans.
-Egad! The man that looks like he has snakes squirming under his Saran-wrap like skin is none other than 45-year old John Isaacs!
- (left-above) New York hasn't seen anything like massive Lou Ferrigno since the 1933 movie "King Kong" was filmed there!
- (center-above) Amazing Franco Columbu's dynamic posiong display reqiured four encores before the audience let him retire from the stage.
- (above-right) Mr. USA winner Danny Padilla won with his massive, symmetrical development. Look at those 17½" calves!
- (left) Darcey Beccles has one of the greatest physiques ever for a West Indian; he resembles the great Serge Nubret in shape and muscularity.
- The seven beautiful finalists in the "Miss Americana" contest were all dolls! The winner was April Nicotra (far right). Luscious Natalie Repozo (third from left) failed to place. Can you believe it?
- Another view of the sensational lineup of girls in the "Miss Americana". All these beauties used weight training to develop their gorgeous bodies.
- Nitza Maldonado whips a "hip shot" at the highly pleased judges who know a good posterior pose when they see one.
- (top left) April Nicotra (left) repeated as "Miss Americana", having also won it in 1974. Joanne Rougeau was first runnerup.
- (above) Joe Weider happily presented the awards to the "Miss Americana" winner April Nicotra (left) and "Miss Shapely", Rosemary Hradek.
- (left) Joe Weider congratulates the Mr. USA winners - Roger Callard (left), Denny Gable and Dan Padilla (right). These new stars are the "greats" of the future.
- Third place winners in the "Mr. World" contest - (from left) Kent Kuehn (Medium), Lou Sa (Tall) and Bill Mitchell (Short). All three are destine for more titles in the future.
- Robin Robinson (far left) and Denny Gable each won three giant trophies - Roger Callard, along with Robin and Danny were all sponsored by Joe Weider and Muscle Builder Magazine and they came through in winning style.
-The Mr. USA and Mr. World Height Class winners assemble on stage for the presentation of awards along with Ben and Joe Wieder, Tom Minichiello and Peter Vita (far right), and Franco Columbu.
- Sixty-eight top bodybuilders battled for trophies valued at more than $2,000 as 4000 wild cheering fans applauded the proceedings. It was one of the greatest muscle shows ever seen in New York.
If you find these articles interesting and useful, please