When Renzo Gracie was a 14-year-old bouncer in a brothel
Actor/stuntman/fighter Paul “The Mauler” Lazenby has an awesome new Facebook page – When We Were Bouncers. Every Monday he presents a crazy new story from former security personnel who went on to become became actors, fighters, comedians, pro wrestlers, stuntmen and other standouts in their chosen fields.
Recently he interviewed Renzo Gracie.
WHEN I WAS FOURTEEN YEARS OLD, I was a bouncer in a whorehouse in the Amazon.
This was in the city of Manaus, in Brazil, where me and a very good friend of mine were living. I was fourteen and he was sixteen, and we raised some money to go to the “ladies’ house.” But when we get there and we sit down to wait for a room to be vacant, a huge problem arise.
A guy, he didn’t wanna pay and it was a mess. He started pushing the ladies around, so the bouncer came in, an older guy. And when the bouncer came in, the guy head butt him and knock him out! And I just think, “Oh, man, this is it! I was able to put the money together to come here and enjoy a good time, and now this guy’s gonna ruin everything!”
So I look at my friend and I say, “You shoot on the legs, I am gonna choke him out”. So my friend shot on his legs and grabbed them, and I jump on his back and choke him out! And after I choke him, I grab his wallet and I pay the lady what he owe, and then I wake him up and kick him out. Tell him not to come back.
When the bouncer woke up, he saw what happened, and right away he ask us to work there with him. So we did work there, helping him. In reality it was a great thing, because before that I didn’t [have anything] to eat, anywhere to sleep, and they hook me up with everything. I stayed there for three months and a half, and I not only work as a bouncer in a nice house, but they even give me the ladies’ service for free! It was unbelievable! (laughs)
A few years later, I was working at a huge concert in Rio called “Hollywood Rock”. I was taking care of the sound tower, and as I’m sitting up there, I heard a huge discussion down [below me]. I look down, and I recognize the guy who the bouncers are having a problem with, so I go down to solve the problem.
As I get down there, I see they don’t wanna let the guy come in. The guy keeps telling them, “I have to come in to fix the sound! I’m gonna play next and I have to fix this!” And the bouncer goes, “You don’t have the credentials, you can’t walk in! I don’t care who you are!” But the guy is pleading with him, “I have to come in, I’m playing next, I have to do this!”
So I come over and I say, “Guys, we have to let him in”, and the bouncer goes, “Renzo, you’re too nice with everybody all the time! We can not! The orders is not to let those in who don’t have credentials!”
And then I say, “Guys! BON JOVI has to come in to fix the sound!” It was Jon Bon Jovi, the singer of one of my favourite bands! (laughs) So I grab Bon Jovi, I bring him in, and he took care of, and then they played an unbelievable show.
On the same concert, we had a guy at one of the entrances who was insulting everybody and spitting at the bouncers, but because the press was there to witness everything, nobody could do anything about the guy. So the head of security call me on the radio and say, “We have a problem at Gate Six.” At the time, I was working at Gate Four, so I leave my gate without my shirt, without credentials, without nothing. I [arrive at] Gate Six running, and right away I get into a fight with this guy and I beat him up. Then I run back to Gate Four and put my shirt and credentials back on! (laughs)
Whenever I work in that place, that was my job — when a problem had no solution, I would come [wearing no identification] to beat them up and leave… and even the other security guys didn’t know what happened! Only the head of security knows, because he was a very good friend of mine and I was always giving him a hand. (laughs) Some unbelievable moments I had!