What started as a backyard barbecue two decades ago for just a handful of friends has grown into so much more for Jamestown's Grey Brothers.
This year, as they mark 20 years of their rocking summertime party, the Greys are bringing former World Wrestling Federation superstar Brutus ''The Barber'' Beefcake to Jamestown to help them celebrate. They also are continuing their tradition of bringing top local bands to the Morton Club on Pratt Avenue for the event, and inviting all of Jamestown to come party with them.
At ''Two and a Half Greys - Celebrating 20 Years of Winning'' on Friday night, the festivities will go from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., with fun and music planned throughout the night. Total Chaos will perform for the Party on the Patio from 6 to 10 p.m., followed from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. by the Porcelain Busdrivers.
Brutus ‘‘The Barber’’ Beefcake will be in attendance at the 20th annual Grey Brothers Party at the Morton Club on Friday night. He will also make a guest appearance at Salon One on Foote Avenue today from 3 to 5 p.m.
Cost of admission to the event is $20, with $15 pre-sale tickets now available at Jamestown Bowling Company's Gametime Sports Bar and Grill as well as at Salon One in the Southside Plaza. Cost of admission includes draft beer all night long, so all attendees must be 21 years of age or older. All proceeds raised by the event will benefit the Southern Tier Kidney Association and the United States Flag Football Association Tournament, which will be held in December in Frewsburg.
Anyone purchasing a pre-sale ticket will also be entered into a drawing to win a flat-screen television set donated by event co-founder and -organizer Randy Grey. Food will be available for purchase during the event courtesy of Classic Occasion Catering.
'THE BARBER' TO ATTEND
Brutus Beefcake (real name Ed Leslie) will be at the party to help the Greys celebrate 20 years and raise money for the causes. Beefcake said that while he's still active in the world of wrestling - in fact, he tore a muscle in his leg at a recent event in Pittsfield, Mass., requiring surgery, and will be on crutches during his visit to Jamestown - he travels to participate in fundraisers continuously.
''When they said they were going to be raising money, I said I would do everything I can,'' Beefcake said in a recent interview with The Post-Journal. ''When Randy asked if I could make an appearance in a barber shop, I said, 'No problem.'''
In advance of the party tomorrow night, Beefcake will be in Jamestown today in a special appearance at Salon One, 748 Foote Ave., in the Southside Plaza. From 3 to 5 p.m., he will be at the salon signing autographs and taking photos with fans. Cost to meet ''The Barber'' will be a $5 donation to the Southern Tier Kidney Association.
Beefcake earned his nickname at WrestleMania III in 1987 when he shaved the locks of fellow wrestler Adrian Adonis. Beefcake was a high-card participant in each of the first six WrestleManias, and says he still is in contact with old friends from those days including Greg Valentine, Tito Santana, the Nasty Boys, ''Hacksaw'' Jim Duggan and Rick Martel. He also maintains a close friendship with Hulk Hogan, he says, with whom he teamed throughout his career in both the WWF and World Championship Wrestling.
When he sees today's wrestling superstars on television, Beefcake said, it's hard to compare them to what he remembers from the business' heyday. Saying he doesn't closely follow today's WWE, Beefcake said that the wrestlers of yesterday were a different breed.
''We didn't have writers scripting every move of our matches, scripting every word,'' he said. ''We were all professionals, very good at what we did - responsible enough and trusted enough to go out on live television on Saturday Night's Main Event and pay-per-views in front of millions of people and have the ability to make sense, speak and act and put together matches that weren't all scripted out and directed.''
He also said that wrestlers in the past had a respect for each other and a camaraderie within the locker room that he doesn't believe exists in the modern industry.
''Everybody was working together toward a common goal,'' he said. ''Now it's dog-eat-dog, nobody caring for each other - when somebody gets hurt, somebody else is happy because it's a chance for them to get ahead. It wasn't like that my first 20 years in the business.''
Beefcake has traveled the world as a professional wrestler and been a part of some of the largest sports entertainment events in history. Looking back, he says it's been a thrilling ride.
''I've been on top of the world for 20, 25 years, which is a tough thing to do,'' he said. ''There are only a handful of people alive who can really say that.''
Sharing stories such as these from his wrestling career, Beefcake will be in living it up with all who attend the Grey Brothers' 20th annual party Friday night at the Morton Club on Pratt Avenue. For more information about the event, visit one of the supporting businesses or search for ''20th Annual Grey Brothers Party'' on Facebook.