RIP Captain Lou
Saddened to hear about the passing of legendary manager Capt. Lou Albano, 76, one of the most entertaining personalities in the WWF in the ’70s and ’80s. The Captain was one of those larger-than-life characters I followed for years in the Apter mags; I was fascinated over this apparent wicked genius who had a knack for guiding teams to the WWF tag championship. With the advent of cable and the expansion of Vince Jr.’s circus tent in the mid-’80s, I followed along as the Captain played a major role in perhaps the most memorable angle of the era with Cyndi Lauper and the marriage (for better or for worse) of rock and wrestling: “the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection.”
As Dave Meltzer pointed out this week, Albano deserves a lot of credit for the success of Bob Backlund’s run as WWF champion, as the heat was often on the controversial manager bringing in his latest challenger to test the rather bland “All American Boy” titlist. Along with the late Freddie Blassie and the Grand Wizard (the late Ernie Roth), Albano represented the three wisemen of WWF villains who usually served as the mouthpieces for every major heel to pass through Vince McMahon Sr.’s territory in that era. Supposedly before passing, Vince Sr. instructed his son to take care of the Captain, despite the fact that the elder McMahon occasionally clashed with Albano, whose heavy drinking was a problem over the years. Of course, Vince Jr. eventually fired him anyway.
Rest easy, my captain.
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up–for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You””ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead