Friday, December 11, 2020

Arn Anderson and the Significance of the Anderson Boots

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

"I was an Anderson before I was a Horseman."
- Arn Anderson

Anyone who has hung around this website for any length of time knows what a fan I am of the Anderson family in wrestling. It was Gene and Ole, the Anderson Brothers, who captured my fascination as a 13-year old fan in their epic feud with Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel back in 1975. And it was the match where Ole sacrificed his brother Gene to win the tag titles on television that hooked me as a fan for life.

One of the trademarks of the Anderson team was their unique maroon-and-gold striped boots they always wore in the ring. Gene and Lars Anderson (the third Anderson brother, before Ole came along) wore those boots back to the mid-1960s in Georgia. Once Ole became a member of the family in 1968, I don't think he ever wore any other style of boots in his entire career, a career that stretched across four decades.

When Ole made up-and-comer Marty Lunde an official member of the Anderson family in April of 1983 and gave him the name Arn Anderson, Lunde's career was seemingly made at that point, although I'm sure he had no idea then how significantly that name would impact his entire career, a career now entering its fifth decade.   

Arn Anderson understood the significance of the gift Ole had given him, having been a fan of the Anderson brothers himself as a teenager. When Ole took Arn as his partner in April of 1985, Arn ordered dered his own pair of "Anderson boots" and the transformation to a full blown member of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew was complete. 

Arn has talked about the boots before and their significance to him, and recently did so again on his Westwood One podcast ARN. Executive producer and co-host Conrad Thompson asked him about boots in general, and wondered if any particular color combination was a particular favorite to him.  

I love hearing Arn talk about the Anderson boots. Here is that one-minute audio clip, with a transcript below.




CONRAD THOMPSON: Tell me about the boots. You had quite a few different color combinations - - the red and the black, black and silver, the white and the red. Is there a favorite pair or a favorite color combination, that you were really feelin' yourself, like aw sh*t, these are my best ones?

ARN ANDERSON: I felt like when the Horsemen were in their infancy . . . first of all, I have a pair of Anderson boots that will always be special, which means when Ole Anderson made me a member of his family, which made me a member of Gene's family, that's about as strong as it can get for a kid with my aspirations at that time. And the fact that I was allowed to copy his boots and for us to match was a big deal for me.


ARN: And that's the boots that I hold nearest and dearest to my heart because that's when I was given my career. I was an Anderson before I was a Horseman. And for them to accept me as equals at the point of my career I was at, they'll always mean the most.

(from the episode Ask Arn Anything #29 of ARN podcast on Westwood One.)