Friday, March 30, 2012

Diego O' Bolger

Born James Bolger in New York, this torero came to Mexico on a motorcycle in an attempt to learn bullfighting and learn it he did. Becoming Diego O' Bolger, which he felt to be more colorful, he embarked on a career as a novillero after some early appearances in amateur capeas and eventually took the alternativa in Tijuana in 1968.

As a matador de toros, Nogales was his stronghold, where he appeared numerous times in both the Plaza Monumental and the ill-fated Guadalupe arena on the outskirts of town. In fact, O'Bolger inaugurated the short-lived Guadalupe ring along with Jesus Solorzano in 1976, in a spectacular Cinco de Mayo corrida that saw each of them cut ears.

In 1977, O' Bolger offered the greatest showing of his life in the Guadalupe ring when he shared the bill with the retiring Eliseo "El Charro" Gomez. Gomez cut four ears and a tail that day. O' Bolger cut two ears and a tail.

O' Bolger also appeared numerous times in the Monumental bullring in Nogales and triumphed there as well.

As far as style was concerned, O' Bolger was an enigma. With the capote and muleta he varied hsi performance to match the mood of the  audience. He would drop to his knees for frightening passes if he  sensed that was what the public wanted and would perform standing in artistic form if he sensed that was what the audience desire instead . He was especially  skilled with the banderillas and often placed the cortos el quiebro, where he broke down the shafts of the sticks to an incredibly short length and let the bull come to him  rather than running to it. He usually killed well.

Oddly enough, O' Bolger's closest brush with death came in a bloodless bullfight in Kansas where he was knocked down and gored in the mouth, with several teeth needing to be capped afterward.

O" Bolger is retired and now lives in Tucson.

Rocky Moody

This American novillero who got is start by jumping into rhe ring as an espontaneo and trying to cape a bull belonging to Rafael Rodriguez, was known for crude valor, but a lack of knowledge of terrain came back to haunt him. Ironically enough, it was Rodriguez who later helped to train him fro action, in spite of their questionable first meeting and help him gain some contracts.

Moody was especially stylish with the banderillas, but so-so with the capote. he was frightening with the muleta and prone to passes on his knees that showed more raw nerve than control. Yet his courage was one of a do-or-die nature and he was determined to succeed or be gored in the process. Sadly. it was the latter in Juarez that ended his career in 1958.

The torero had been better than average with the capote, had placed the banderillas with his usual flash and predictably, started his faena on his knees by the fence. As he arose, he took the bull standing with a few testing muletazos and was gored in the groin.

Damage to the arteries and blood loss was so severe, his leg had to be amputated.

Not to be outdone, Moody did the incredible. he attempted to return to the bullfight and perform while walking on an artificial leg.

His labors were appreciated, but not successful and he had to call it quits for good.

He retired to Texas and lived there until 1991, when he died from a  heart attack.

Silviano Tanori

Silviano Tanoriof No gales, mexico, started off as a protegee of Jose Antonio Gonzalez "Chilolin" and through him gained a number of novilladas in the pueblos from the late 1970s into the earl;y 1980s.

His Nogales debut in the suit of lights came after he already had several appearances within he interior to his credit, when he was allowed to act as a sobresaliente in a novillada with Chilolin and Raquel Martinez. After the official novllada with the billed attractions, eh was given a smaller novillo to face and did well enough with it, though he cut no ear.

In the years that followed, Tanori would stick closer to the border and in some cases promote his own novilladas in Nogales and in the lienzo charro in Agua Prieta.

Two of his best showings came in Nogales in 1993. The first was a novillada with Chilolo and Antonio Diaz, in which he gave a magnificent faena to his second animal of the day and cut an ear.

In a return novillada the following month he would be seen with Chilolo and Carlos Gonzalez, where he would again cut an ear from his second adversary.

In recent years Tanori only appeared before the bulls as an active participant in festivales, but has been invovle din the business end of the corrida. He was sentimental in the push of rising Tijuana star, Pepe Hillo. He has also worked several years as a para-legal.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Manolo Arruza Book

The story of Manolo Arruza as told for the first time in English in the book, Manolo Arruza, orderable at for $10.65 and mailing.

The book is not the fanciest, but contains loads of data and materiel not covered in book form before, while offering a look at one of Mexico's most beloved toreros.

Sections include chapters on the lives of Carlos and Manolo Arruza, plus accounts of Manolo's varied corridas.

The corridas accounted for include the Siete Grandes and Golden Sword corridas from Texcoco in the 1980s, the presentation of Arruza in Nogales alongside Gilio, a Tijuana corrida with Mayito, Arruza and Sanchez, the indulto of Buen Amigo, another older Tijuana corrida with Arruza, Rafaelillo and Leduc, plus the Mexico City Despedida.

There is also a section on the Capetillos. Guillermo and Manuel are half-brothers to Manolo Arruza.

Worth having.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Masters Of The Weird

Masters Of the Weird is not a fancy book and is not on bullfighting itself, but something I designed to sell at lectures or horror film fests.

It may be ordered at

Lugosi, Ed Wood, Karloff, Rathbone, Naschy, DeOssorio, Morricone, Goblin, Jiohn Ireland, Dillman, Davis, Piquer. They are all here.

There ism, however, some bullfighting material.

There is a long profile on Guillermo Capetillo and his acting as well as bullfighting.

There is a bio on the late Mario Cabre.

Sections devoted to the cast of the Indy film, Museo Taurino,  abound.

There is a bio on the late Laird Cregar, the corrupt critic Natlio Curro in the one Blood & Sand film.

There is a section on the late Nacho Martinez who played Diego Montes in Matador.

Not a bullfight book, but enough bullfight material for most aficionados.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Padilla Returns

On March 4 if 2012, Padilla returned to the bullring just  months after the goring in the face that caused him to lose vision in his left eye.

With a patch over his eye and looking like a pirate in a traje de luces, he showed he had lost none of his previous courage since this goring obtained when he slipped placing a pair of banderillas.

Padilla demonstrated his trademarks of old, including placing the sticks again and the execution of his kneeling passes with the capote.

In the end he left on the shoulders of the crowd.

Not much more to say on this blog.

Padilla has spoken for himself.