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Matadores by Dale Pierce

by - -

June 2008

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Orderable direct from Floricanto Press - -, as well as available or orderable in major book stores and other locations.


Dale Pierce is known mainly for his graphic horror novels and for articles on film or interviews with indy cinema people for this page. With a plan for multiple books on multiple topics coming in 2008-2009, the most recent release is different from the norm for him. While the topic may not be for everyone, those interested in bullfighting or a violent world of blood and death, this text may well be for you.


Originally, Matadores was released only as an E-book titled Ruedo-The History Of the Juarez Bullring by prolific author, Dale Pierce. Two weeks into the marketing of the book, it was pulled when reprint rights were bought up by Floricanto Press as part of a three book deal. Though the title was changed to Matadores to give it more universal appeal, the content remains much the same. The addition of several photos, however, where the E book was simply text, also make for a vast improvement.


This is part of a three book deal, with others afterward pending by Pierce, coming from this Northern California based publisher, known for books with Hispanic cultural or historical themes. Pierce’s next two books on deck with them are The Garden Lives, on wrestling at the defunct Phoenix Madison Square Garden and Haunted Bullring, which again places focus on the bullfighting world, but runs with weird incidents, urban legends and superstitions of the same.


Matadores covers the history of the old Plaza Monumental in Ciudad Juarez and the various toreros who appeared there over the plaza’s five decades in operation. The text selects some 200 plus biographies of matadores, novilleros, rejoneadores, picadores, banderilleros and even a handful of writers who were regulars in the plaza. There is an ample selection of both famous and not-so-famous names.


Among the toreros dealt with in the text, with bios covering high points of their careers and of course showings in Juarez are Calesero, Luis Procuna, Carlos Arruza, the Armillita, the Capetillos, Fernando Dos Santos, Finito, Inclusero, Garcia Higuras, Francisco Ruiz Miguel, Cordobes, Mario Sevilla, Caleserito, Marian Ramos, Manolo Martinez, Eloy Cavazos, Curro Rivera, Curro Leal, Geno, David Renk, Jesus Solórzano, Fabian Ruiz, Jaime Bravo, Guillermo Montes Sortibran, Jose Antonio Gaona, Berardo Valencia, John Fulton, Rogelio Leduc, Fabian Barba, Gaston Santos, Pavli Hermoso De Mendoza, Pepe Luis Vazquez, Pepe Luis Hurtado, Charro Gomez, Joaquin Bernado, Glison, Sidney Franklin, Leonardo Manzano,

Mauro Liceaga, Armando Soares, Eduardo Liceaga, Cesar Giron, Alejandro del Hierro, Joselito Mendez, Tomas Abaroa, Venus Pacheco, Coca Cola, Francisco Doddoli, Gripa, Jesus Belmonte, Chinanas, Chato, Felipe Zambrano, Manolo Urena, Antonio Lomelin, Alf redo Lomeli, Oscar San Roman, Guillermo Montero, El Estudiente, El Queretano, Raul Garcia, the Silvetis, Mario del Olmo, Raul Ponce De Leon, Miguel Villanueva, Marcelino Librero, Alejandro Otero, Jaime Rangel, Jose Ramon Tirado, Zotoluco, Antonio Urrutia and many others.



“I grew up in Arizona,” commented Pierce, “Thus I saw most of the bullfights in Nogales, rather than Juarez, but my parents would make a trip there about once a year, then alter, as an adult, I would fly or drive there myself. Thus, I have a load of fond memories of La Monumental and the Juarez bullfights stuck in my mind, plus several of them captured on old 8mm movie film to keep my recollections sharp. I hated and still hate the thought of La Monumental being torn down like they did. All that history was destroyed.”


Well, not entirely, for the stories live on in Matadores.


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“There is one story I didn’t put in there,” said Pierce, “It involves Jesus Solórzano. We used to see him all the time in Nogales. By chance, whenever we went to Juarez, he just happened to be on the cards. When he saw us there, he was flattered as he thought we were making the 8 hour drive from Phoenix to Juarez just to see him on the cartel. In reality, it was just luck of the draw.”


Pierce also pays note to what may well have been one of the greatest days in the Monumental bullring during the 1979 season, when a rejoneador and three mediocre toreros gave the showing of their respective lifetimes to the dreaded Casablancas, the bull ranch owned by the empresario. Large, difficult to handle by inexperienced matadors and with unshaven horns, no figures would face examples of the herd. Thus, the lesser-knowns with something to gain would take chances with them. Gaston Santos, John Fulton, Bernardo Valencia and Rogelio Leduc did so, cutting a total of 7 ears before the afternoon was over. Hurtado, several years later, would become so disgusted with the star toreros and their lack of willingness to face these bulls, had the ganaderia sold for beef.


Matadores is orderable also at $23.95 direct from Floricanto Press - -, 650 Castro Street-Suite 120-331, Mountain View, California 94041-2055 or for shipping fees. It will also be stocked in many book or orderable via them. It may also be ordered in book stores not already stocking it, by the use of the number ISBN 978-1-888205-07-75395


While Pierce will be doing a set of lectures and book signings upcoming, Juarez itself is oddly not on the list as a safety issue. Juarez is the location of a horrible drug war with over 400 killings since January.


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