February 18th marked the 30th anniversary of the death of Kerry Von Erich from suicide. Back in 1993, I covered the sad news on my New York based radio shows Pro Wrestling Spotlight (WEVD AM New York City) and Pro Wrestling this Week (WNYG AM Babylon Long Island), breaking the news to my listeners on those shows.
For this week’s podcast reviewing those shows from 30 years ago, I was able to get a rare interview with Kevin Von Erich to discuss his brother. While it was not the easiest to schedule, and I was not sure Kevin would even log on at the designated time, I was happy when he did.
The conversation with Kevin revealed much about the sole survivor of the Von Erichs.
Nothing was off limits, and while I was mindful of not wanting to focus on the tragedies of the family, Kevin put me at ease and we had an hour conversation covering several topics. His philosophy on life, his inner peace, and way he lives his life today were the focus during much of the conversation.
“I didn’t know it had been 30 years,” Kevin said early on. “For me, it seemed like maybe 10. 30 years, that sounds right. Kerry was a great guy… I’m a Christian and raise my family this way. And I’m not afraid of death. That’s just kind of the difference in a Christian I suppose and other people, I’m kind of looking forward to being in heaven to tell you the truth. But it’s not that I want to die. I love life. I love my family. I love everything but death is not something scary for me at all. That’s a great day, but today is the day and to do your best every day. And that’s life. That’s what’s good and fun. I’m so happy right now, I’ve never been this way. So peaceful and happy. I’ve got all my kids, my children around and grandchildren… That’s a blessing, man. That’s as good as life gets. If I could pass that along to your listeners.”
I asked Kevin about the upcoming film The Iron Claw by A24 entertainment (a major release coming out by the end of the year) and while being diplomatic, you can tell he was concerned about the way his family will be portrayed. And, we talked about his boys, Marshall and Ross, and their current expiring MLW contract, and made a pitch to Tony Kahn, putting over AEW and wanting them to bring the Von Erichs to the promotion.
It was a wide-ranging conversation, at times challenging for me to keep him on topic. But, it was probably one of the most personal interviews I have ever conducted, and my takeaway from it was that Kevin Von Erich is living his best life now, Kevin is a survivor. How he’s been able to overcome the incredible personal heartbreak and forge ahead, at peace, is truly remarkable.
Former World Class Championship Wrestling referee James Beard also appears on this weeks podcast for his memories of Kerry and the Von Erichs. He has a rich history in the business and knew the family well.
The podcast also features the original audio from February 20, 1993 which had other guests that day, who were Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heyman) and Cactus Jack (Mick Foley), plus callers weighing in on the Von Erich death, and other topics.
Here is the video podcast of the episode.
The podcast will also be available on all major podcast platforms this Thursday, February 23rd.
To hear the entire archives of the Pro Wrestling Spotlight (currently 191 shows covering 1989-1993, with a new show from 30 years ago added weekly), go to patreon.com/johnarezzi.
TOP PHOTO: John Arezzi interviews Kevin Von Erich.