Friday, November 30, 2007
We met Evel Knievel at Caesars Palace
We met Evel Knievel in Las Vegas, at the entrance to Caesars Palace, where 25 years earlier, he had attempted to jump his motorcycle over the fountains, but came up short, landed on the safety ramp, tumbled over the handlebars and skidded into the parking lot of the Dunes, crushing his pelvis and femur, fracturing his hip, wrist and both ankles and receiving a concussion that kept him in a coma for 29 days.
In 1965, Bobby Knievel found a sponsor for his motorcycle daredevil show in Bob Blair, a distributor for Norton Motorcycles, agreed to provide motorcycles for Bobby Knievel's daredevil show, but he wanted the name changed from the Bobby Knievel and His Motorcycle Daredevils Thrill Show to Evil Knievel and His Motorcycle Daredevils.
Knievel didn't want the image of a Hells Angels rider, so he convinced Blair to allow him to use Evel instead of Evil.
The first Evel Knievel daredevils show was on January 3, 1966, at the National Date Festival in Indio, California. The show was a huge success. The next performance was on February 10, in Barstow, California. Knievel attempted a new stunt where he would jump, spread eagle, over a speeding motorcycle. Knievel jumped too late. The motorcycle hit him in the groin, tossing him fifteen feet into the air. Knievel ended up in the hospital. When he was released, he returned to Barstow to finish the performance he had started almost a month before.