[extropy-chat] In Memory of Joe Gold of Gold's Gym and World Gym

natashavita at earthlink.net natashavita at earthlink.net
Tue Jul 13 14:09:55 UTC 2004

"LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Joe Gold, a bodybuilding pioneer who
founded a beachside gym made famous by then-bodybuilder Arnold
Schwarzenegger, has died. He was 82."

"Gold founded his first gym in 1965 in the Venice area of Los Angeles."

Joe Gold was clever, witty, and illustrious.  He was also a flirt, puckish,
and hard-nosed about anyone misbehaving in his gym.  I remember many
occasions when Joe wheeled himself over to some guy who was bothering me
and gave him what for.  I also remember him having long conversations with
the fiercely loyal bodybuilders who were far beyond graying at the temple
and cavernous skin.  I enjoyed spending two, or so, years at Joe's new gym
in Marina del Rey, California - saying hi to him several times a week and
knowing that I was in the presence of a real icon.

"In 1968, when I came to America, Gold's Gym was the gym where I first went
to work out. Joe looked after me and encouraged me, and his dry sense of
humor was a daily feature of the gym," Schwarzenegger said.

I also remember Arnold at the gym.  I know that at one time they - Joe and
Arnold - had a falling out.  But they made up.  I'd often scan the parking
lot to see if Arnold's car was there so I could witness a few-in-a-lifetime
situation - Arnold and Joe chatting about the past.  I worked out next to
Arnold one time.  We had a few words back and forth - he was kind,
charming, and all too fabulous, really.

It also reminded me of the day Max and I goofed off with Dana Carvey -
pitching ideas to him about stem cell cloning and the "Church Lady."  But
that is another story ...

Joe Gold's personal gym in Marina del Rey, "World Gym" (not a franchise
like the Gold's Gym he sold for franchising) – is a “one and only."  Yes, I
do miss going there, being among the old-timers and the new-timers, men and
women who are serous about their athletics.  Yet  it all this stays with me
-- being in the environment of such excellence in form and knowledge -
fitness and strength I could not have learned elsewhere and to such a

Part of that excellence of character was instilled in Dr. Roy Walford, a
committed "World Gym" advocate (who preferred it over the Venice Beach
Gold's Gym once owned by Joe Gold before the franchising).  Roy Walford
encouraged his friends to go to World, if not only for a special experience
of Mr. Joe Gold himself! 

Joe Gold was a tough guy and a sweetheart - always looking for a smiling
face and matching it.

Natasha Vita-More


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