jimmy hart
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Jimmy Hart Was ‘The Hood Ornament On The Cadillac,’ Explains Who Inspired His Trademark Attire

“The Mouth Of The South” Jimmy Hart recently spoke with WrestleZone about his longevity in the wrestling business and how he’s been able to remain an endearing figure over the years. One reason Hart is still well-known and loved by fans is for his trademark ring jackets and megaphone, often airbrushed with fun graphics that caught attention at ringside.

Hart explained how he first got his megaphone and jackets, then shared his inspiration behind creating some of his signature looks.

“Well, the megaphone, I’ll tell you a quick story if I may, the megaphone, when I first left Memphis to go up to New York, I used to carry a cane down there but when I got to New York, Mr. Fuji had the cane. I wasn’t going to mess with Mr. Fuji because you know where that would’ve ended up, so one day I was up in Poughkeepsie, New York getting ready to do TV shows and Vince came back from Japan and goes ‘Here, I wanted to give you this, this is going to be your new gimmick,’ and I said ‘okay, thank you. Can I paint it?’ and he said ‘just know when to use it and when not to use it and you can do whatever you want with it,’ and that was such a huge break for me because it turned out to be such a great part of my career up there. We used it in so many different matches there back in the day.

“But with my jackets, I tried to make everything for my guys. I’ve always thought manager-wise, I love Paul Heyman, even though he says he’s an advocate, but I love him. I’ve always loved Jim Cornette, of course up there, Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, Mr. Fuji, ‘Classy’ [Freddie] Blassie, everybody. I was lucky to be part of all that but I’ve always felt like doing the manager thing, if it was all about me, me, me, me, me — it’s not, it’s about who you’re managing. So, that’s why a lot of my jackets I’d always have them done with a guy’s pictures on them or something that had their name on it to make them special because I was lucky just to be on the ride with them.

“I always thought I was the hood ornament on the Cadillac, they were the Cadillac and I was the hood ornament, you know? But with all the jackets, if I went out three times that night, I wanted to make sure I had three changes and I’ll tell you why real quick. When I was in the rock ‘n’ roll business with the one-hit-wonder The Gentry’s, ‘Keep on Dancing,’ Dick Clark one night put us into a room before we had a show. It was The Beach Boys, us, Chuck Berry was there, I think Steppenwolf — there were a lot of groups back in that era — and he said ‘Look, when you go on stage, you’re there to be entertainers and entertaining the public. Remember one thing — some nights you might be sick and you can’t help that, but dress-wise, if you dress like the audience, one day you’re going to end up in the audience,’ meaning don’t go out there in a t-shirt with blue jeans on. That might be OK for a while if you want to be cool or hip, but people pay big money to come see you sometimes and they want to go ‘Wow! I like that jacket! I like that coat!’ When I’ve gone to rock shows or been part of them, I’ve always looked at some of the attire that some of the people wear. So, that’s always been a big part of my career, the jackets, the megaphone and hopefully being able to talk and be entertaining.”

Jimmy Hart’s jackets have been recreated in merchandise over the years, including his Money Inc. jacket that is now available on Chalk Line. Check out our full interview with Jimmy Hart at this link.

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