Monday, December 26, 2011

Zoogz Rift

Zoogz Rift (July 10, 1953-March 22, 2011) was a musician, painter and professional wrestling personality.

The Trouser Press describes Zoogz Rift as "an iconoclastic original" who is "as imaginative and stimulating as he is irritating and vitriolic." Rift was influenced by Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart as well as Salvador Dalí and Ayn Rand. He began his recording career with the album Idiots on the Miniature Golf Course, released by Snout Records in 1979. His long-time collaborators include Richie Häss and John Trubee. Rift released several albums through SST Records during the 1980s. Keyboard Magazine, in a special "Experimental Music" issue, described Rift's album The Island of Living Puke as "moments of outstanding free-form rock, sandwiched between scrupulously obscene interruptions."

Zoogz Rift booked the UWF (Universal Wrestling Federation) in 1993. He left the promotion in March 1994, but returned in May 1995 to become Vice-President, alongside founder Herb Abrams. After Abrams died in 1996, the UWF promotion closed and Zoogz was left without a job. He hosted an online wrestling show, entitled Puke-A-Mania that provides a weekly assessment of WWE and TNA promotions, with Zoogz giving insight on wrestling issues. His rants on the show included the pushing of former WWF superstar Warlord, and his fascination with possibly training 60-year-old Vince McMahon to become a main-event wrestler. With Zoogz' former experience in wrestling, he claims he can train any man, via the techniques of the Golden Crab, as stated in Episode #3 of Puke-A-Mania.

Zoogz Rift died peacefully on March 22, 2011. His death was due to serious complications from diabetes which he had been battling for well over a decade.

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