Legendary Apache Martial Arts Master Pens Memoir
Californian Tom Bleecker, who has written numerous books and has had dozens of TV and film writing credits since the late 1960s, has finally tackled a project which long appealed to him.
Bleecker co-authored The Jet (The Benny Urquidez Story) along with Urquidez, Apache, who is a legend in the international martial arts community. Bleecker has previously written books about iconic martial artists, including Bruce Lee. He co-authored his first book, The Bruce Lee Story, with Linda Lee, Bruce's ex-wife, who Bleecker later married (the couple has since divorced).
ICTMN interviewed Bleecker about The Jet, which was published in March.
Q. Why did you decided to write this book?
I always wanted to write Benny's book. I think there is only a handful of living legends and icons, and Benny is one of them.
Q. You've known Benny for quite a long time. Why now?
We were at a fundraising event in California in 2012. There were a lot of celebrities and hundreds of people there. No one knew that Benny was coming. We were about 15 minutes into the cocktails and everybody was talking rather loudly. Then you could hear the noise level just die down. I thought somebody had fainted. I thought why did everybody stop talking. And I looked and Benny had come in and was standing there. He's a living legend. It was at that moment I thought his story needs to be told.
Q. Were any topic off-limits?
I don't think so. The one thing I liked about Benny was that he was open to anything. You could ask him about anything. I've done a lot of interviews and some people just want to talk about their glory days.
Q. Was there anything you were surprised to learn about him?
I was really surprised to see that he had been incarcerated. And I was surprised about his suicide attempt.
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