FAN2FAN Podcast: Craig Zablo Talking Stallone Interview Part 1

The Fan To Fan (F2F) podcast with hosts Bernie Gonzalez, Peter Charbonneau and Doug Ziegler takes a simple idea and does it well.  Each episode of F2F features a conversation between fans.  The subject could be movies, comics, TV, video games, toys, cartoons, or anything pop culture! Bernie, Peter and Doug pick a fan with a love and/or knowledge of the episode’s topic and then do a deep dive.

Recently, the F2F team spoke with me about Sly Stallone.  When I was approached to be a guest, I explained that there are Stallone fans with greater knowledge and bigger collections than mine.  Still, they were interested in how I became a Stallone fan, the creation of StalloneZone and more.  I was already a fan of  Bernie’s Midnight Mystery, so I checked out F2F and became a fan of it as well.

Talking to Bernie, Pete and Doug was a blast.  It was truly fans hanging out.  Here’s part one of the conversation.  I hope you enjoy it half as much as I did.

Sly Stallone is Posting on the StalloneZone… Now.

Sly Stallone is posting on the StalloneZone message board.  How this all came about is kind of funny… now.  You see before everything was worked out, I actually blocked Sly’s ability to post here even after he had posted a few messages.

No, I’m not crazy.  Let me explain.

On April 12th a SZ message board member using the screenname “Barney Ross” posted a couple of messages signing off as Sly Stallone.  Over the 25 years since I started the StalloneZone this has happened from time to time.  Someone will come on the message board and claim to be Sly, one of Sly’s personal friends or business partners.  We’ve always blocked these imposters’ posts.

That’s not to say we haven’t had contact with Sly, Frank, Sage or Kevin King.  We have, but they have always made it clear it was them and we verified the info before we posted it.  Heck, I was even asked by Sly’s team to run the Official Rocky Balboa Movie Blog and I gladly did that.

But back to April 12th…

After seeing the posts, I private messaged “Barney Ross” and asked him to not sign off as if he was Sylvester Stallone.  I then see him post again signing off as S. Stallone.  So I checked his profile.  “Barney Ross” had been a member for over a decade and never posted.  There were a few other reasons that made me think he was an imposter.  I sent him another message to not sign off as if he was Sylvester Stallone  or he would be blocked from posting.  “Barney Ross” then posted a public message saying, that he really was S. Stallone and I could ask him anything.”  At that point, I was like, “I’ve been down this road before” and blocked him from posting.

The next morning I see this message from Sly’s Official Twitter account: @craigzablo you blocked me from the site, s stallone???? I was under the name BARNEY ….

You can imagine how I felt.  I also had an e-mail from one of my official Stallone contacts.  He asked why I had blocked Sly from posting.  

Of course I unblocked Sly immediately and explained to everyone the situation.

When I started the StalloneZone in 1996 my goal was to create a place for Sylvester Stallone fans to get the latest news and interact. We’ve weeded out the trolls and those who want to be negative.  I’ve made every effort to not post rumors and to verify sources.  

And that is why I blocked Sly from posting.  Yeah, I’ve been getting the business from friends and family for blocking the very man I created the site to honor.  But no harm, no foul. 

Sly is posting on the StalloneZone… now.  ; )

“Rambo: First Blood, Part II” – Mission Knife and SZoner, Randy Rousseau Featured in Blade Magazine!

I wanted to give SZoners a heads-up that the latest issue of Blade magazine features an article about Rambo II‘s Mission Knife.  Eagle-eyed readers have probably noticed that SZoner, Randy Rousseau on the cover with Sly!

Randy said that…

Blade magazine asked for a retrospect on the Mission Knife used in Rambo First Blood Part 2 for the 35th anniversary of the film & Jimmy Liles knifes. Similar to the anniversary we did for First Blood.

Thanks to Randy for the update! – Craig

SZ Exclusve Report: Rambo Premiere

SZoner, SlyStalloneFan sent in these pictures and the report that follows:

I just got back from the Red Carpet Premiere of RAMBO in Las Vegas. I had such a great time there and was honored to see Sly “my idol” again. I had the chance to see many of the stars playing in the Rambo film including, Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden, Graham Mctavish, Jake La Botz and others. I also saw Jason Bigs, Jenna Jameson and Tito Ortiz. Then the TERMINATOR himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was there. I totally did not expect to see him but it was really great. And of course the main man himself Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was really nice to the crowd. He answered a lot of questions and took his time with the press. He was in incredible shape and so was his beautiful wife Jennifer Flavin. Anyway, thats just a little story of me being at the Rambo Premiere. I hope you like the pictures.
Thanks to SlyStallone Fan for the great report and photos!! – Craig

SZ Exclusive: PH Opening Coverage

StalloneZoner, Randy Rousseau was able to attend the recent Planet Hollywood opening in Las Vegas. Not only did he and his family get to go, but they also met several celebrities including Sly!
Randy was especially excited to hear that John Rambo will premiere at the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood on January 24th! Hopefully Randy will be able to attend and send us back pictures and a report!

Randy’s kids were able to get a photo with former N’Sync band member, Dancing with the Stars celeb and host of The Singing Bee, Joey Fatone!

Criss Angel was on hand for the festivities.

The great Sugar Ray Leonard posed for a shot with Randy and his son!

Milio Ventimiglia [“Rocky Balboa” and tv’s smash hit Heroes] signed autographs…

… and posed for photos!

And of course Sly was there to kick off the festivities [He introduced Earth, Wind and Fire before their concert]…
… posed for photos with fans…

… spoke with friends and fans…

… and signed tons of autographs…

Thanks to Randy for another great StalloneZone exclusive! – Craig

SZoner @ AFI "Rocky" Screening

SZoner, Joshua Tapia sent StalloneZone an exclusive summary of his experience at the AFI “Rocky” screening:

Hi Craig, Just wanted to write in and share my incredible experience at the AFI 40th Anniversary screening of Rocky. Sorry I could not provide some photos but they were restricted and security was very tight. If we were caught with a camera we would be ejected from the theater.

So after sitting in line for hours and finally getting into the theater lobby we were able to get our hands on a AFI 40th Anniversary collectors book. Finally as we all sat down in our designated seats a member of the AFI entered the room to tell us that all the Film Legends were in a theater for a photo shoot and that they would soon be coming in for the presentation. It was at this time he told us of the surprise guest who would introduce Mr Stallone….none other than Talia Shire. The crowd responded with cheers and applause.

Finally around 7:30pm Talia Shire entered the room to applause. She took the stand and talked about how while making the film they never really said it but they all thought they were making something special. After a few more words she introduced the man himself Sylvester Stallone. As Stallone emerged from the entrance the crowd stood up to give him a standing ovation. Stallone took stepped up to the podium and thanked everyone for coming. He shared a few stories from the production about how when they showed up for the Ice Rink scene that he was told all the extras were not available, he also told us about how Talia Shire had the flu and he knew when he went in for that first kiss he knew he’d be sick the next day but he was so lost in the moment that he just forgot everything and kissed her.

Stallone finished his speech and thanked everyone again as we applauded him. As he made his way out a gentleman ran out of his seat with a copy of Stallone’s last book SLY MOVES. This caused several other people to jump from there seat with stuff to autograph. Stallone being the great guy he is stopped and signed everything that was put in front of him. I saw this as my chance, i got up from my seat and made my through the crowd. As I did this the theater started to lower the lights so that people would sit down. Right before he exited i was able to walk up to him. As i approached him he looked at my hands as if he expected me to have something for him to sign. I just stuck out my hand and said “I would just like shake your hand and thank you for coming.” Sly shook my hand and thanked me.

The lights went down and we watched the film. This was one of the best film going experiences i have ever had. Second would be last year when thanks to StalloneZone I got to see Rocky Balboa a week before it was released in Tampa and if not for StalloneZone I would of not of known about the AFI screening. Thanks Craig and keep up the good work. Joshua Tapia
Thanks for the write-up Josh. What a cool experience! – Craig

Ultimate Fan Contest Winner

I recently received an e-mail from Dan Nobel who had this to say:

I just wanted to say thanks for the Rocky fan site contest and selecting my website as the winner. I am a huge Rocky fan and the autographed boxing gloves are awesome. These are my first pieces of Rocky memorabilia so I am very excited. Just need to figure out how to display them. I attached a picture of them. Thanks so much!!

Daniel Noble

Thanks to Dan for the “thanks” and for sharing the photo with us! Dan’s collection is off to a great start. It’ll be interesting to see how it grows. – Craig