10 Things You Didn't Know About The Honky Tonk Man

9. He Was Basically Forced Into The Gimmick

On the rise as a singles star in the South-East, Farris initially pushed back whenever the idea of impersonating the King was presented to him. "Some wrestling fans mentioned to me about doing this Elvis thing and I said 'Of Course not, I like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I grew up in Memphis and we were force fed these movies of Elvis so it was not something I wanted to do." But the fans were determined. In Birmingham, Alabama, a dedicated wrestling fan called Linda Marx gave Farris a unique Christmas present, a gold jumpsuit that she'd made for him to wear on his way to the ring. The look stuck. The guitar wasn't his idea either. Instead, it was given to him by one of the local promotors of the time, Robert Fuller who told him 'take this and just go out there and hit someone with the damn thing.' It took off and the image of a dark-haired, jump-suited Tennessee boy hitting someone with his guitar became an enduring one. The Honky Tonk Man was born. (sidenote: Robert Fuller eventually appeared in WWE in the late-nineties as a character called Tennessee Lee and started managing Jeff Jarrett, a wrestler with a country music gimmick. Shortly after, Jarrett began hitting his opponents over the head with his guitar. A good idea once is a good idea forever, it seems.)
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Adam is a sports writer, comedian and actor, currently living in London.