Interviews

Published on July 28th, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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Jake “The Snake” Roberts On Love, Gratitude, Travel, Hobbies, Diamond Dallas Page & More

If you spent a lot of time watching professional wrestling in the 1980s and/or 1990s, odds are that Jake “The Snake” Roberts was one of your favorite wrestlers. A WWE Hall Of Famer that worked with just about every wrestling company that ever matter in his 30-plus years as an in-ring competitor, Roberts was the rare sort of performer that could main event a wrestling show without being a champion. He was convincing whether he was working as a “good guy” or a “bad guy,” as further evidenced by Roberts’ employment as an actor on projects outside of the wrestling business.

Thanks to the Diamond Dallas Page-produced The Resurrection Of Jake The Snake documentary, as released in 2015, Roberts has been experiencing a renewed interest in his career over the past few years. Roberts not only continues to do wrestling-related appearances, but he also gives seminars about the wrestling business and performs one-man shows in comedy clubs. He works steadily, still hitting the road regularly, yet chooses to only work on projects that interest him.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Jake “The Snake” Roberts by phone in advance of his July 27th appearance for PCW Ultra in Wilmington, California, and below are highlights from that conversation. More on Roberts can be found online at www.jakethesnakeroberts.com.

It seems like that this is the best your life has ever been.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts: It is.

For starters, as you said earlier, you are only doing the projects that you want to do. You also seem to be healthy and moving around great. Also, you are arguably as famous now as you’ve ever been.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts: Yeah, absolutely, man, this is the best time of my life. My relationships with my kids are the best they’ve ever been. It’s wonderful to be feeling like a man, like a contributor to society, like a father, because I never felt like that before. Back in the day I didn’t feel like a father, I knew what I was, I struggled. I knew when I wasn’t showing up, when I wasn’t doing what I should be doing. That’s what sucks about being an alcoholic and a drug addict, it’s not like you forgot what you had to do, it’s just that you can’t get it done, you know?

Besides Dallas’ encouragement, what was it that got you through all of those obstacles? Was there any influence from music, movies or entertainment?

Jake “The Snake” Roberts: Not really, just Dallas being so damn hard-headed, and the fact that he wouldn’t give up on me. I tried him, I tried to get him to give up a few times, because that’s what drunks and druggies do. We want you to give up, that way we can continue doing what we want to do. He wouldn’t give up, man.

The bottom line is that I started to see love a different way. I started to understand it a little better. When you’re drinking and drugging, love is not something you deal with much, because all you love is drugs and alcohol. That’s your only love. So to have a passion for another human being…

Once I got to a point where I was starting to contribute to other people, the reward was so high. I’d thought the best high in the world was having a great match. No, the best high in the world I’ve had is helping another human being. That is an incredible high.

People knew this chapter of your life, your redemption, the wrestling portion of your life, and that you are very family-oriented. But what else is to your life in terms of hobbies and what you wish more people knew?

Jake “The Snake” Roberts: I’m going fishing this week, tuna fishing, and taking one of my sons out. Tomorrow I leave, I go to Newark, go out from there and go tuna fishing. I love to fish, I’ve always loved to fish, but for many years I never got the opportunity because I was always on the road or was always busy with my addictions.

I love to do wood-working, people don’t know that about me. I like to build furniture and re-finish furniture. I don’t know, man, I dibble and I dabble and move around a lot, I guess.

Can everyday people buy any of the furniture you make?

Jake “The Snake” Roberts: There might be a time. I’ve thought about doing that. I like to make unique pieces and I like to re-finish old stuff, so there might be a time that I do that. I’m just not there yet. I need more room. (laughs)

As somebody who used to travel upwards of 300 days a year, do you still enjoy traveling? Do you ever vacation when you have free time, or do you prefer to stay home whenever possible?

Jake “The Snake” Roberts: I’m at home, man. My family is starting to get me out of that. They’re doing a lot of hiking, I haven’t quite gotten to that yet. My idea of a good time is not walking 40 miles. (laughs) It’s just not me, man.

A lot of it has to do with my health, too. My body is beat up pretty bad, I’ve had many parts replaced and fixed and removed. Time goes on, man. I’m 63 years old, I’m not a spring chicken, I didn’t take care of myself for a lot of years. I make the joke that if I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself. There’s a lot of truth in that.

So finally, Jake, any last words for the kids?

Jake “The Snake” Roberts: Don’t do as I did. Follow your own life, man. Don’t be afraid to explore what you want. Don’t be ashamed of anything that you do, but if you do something wrong, take your punches. If you have one coming, take it and move on. That’s the thing, move on. Deal with it and move on. Forgive yourself.


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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident (and Long Island native) with over 15 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his favorite band Superdrag. In the years following, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer.Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Format Magazine, Businessweek, The Improper, the L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. He is a member of the SATW and the IFWTWA organizations as a food and travel writer.Darren is also the host the recently-launched "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio.


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