Harvey Wippleman and Dwayne Johnson have a relationship that goes back decades. The former manager was friends with Johnson’s father Rocky Johnson with the pair working together back in the 1980s.
When the star who would later become The Rock first moved to Nashville he was sent to live with Wippleman, who was charged with keeping an eye on the teen who had a habit of finding his way into trouble.
Harvey Wippleman Discusses Friendship With Dwayne Johnson
During an appearance on One on One with Teddy Long, Wippleman recalled first meeting the Hollywood megastar, and his relationship with his father.
“I’ve known Dwayne since he was a child. Rocky Johnson, who was his dad, was fundamental in breaking me into the business and getting me going in this profession that thankfully I’ve been in for 43 years going on 44. So, Rocky brought me to Hawaii in 19– I’m the world’s worst at years, but I think it was ’83…. [he] brought me to Hawaii to manage, and that’s how I started managing. Running around the ring, choking the guy when the referee wasn’t looking.”
Continuing on, Wippleman reflected on Johnson coming to live with him, which led to the WWE legend becoming his driver.
“Rocky had other plans when he came [to Memphis]. He brought his son with him, Dewey, Dwayne… He asked me to let his son live with me, and of course I know him from Hawaii and everything. I said, ‘Of course, Rocky.’ So, Dwayne came and lived with me. Never expected it…
“Dwayne lived with me at the Alamo Plaza, and he loved to drive. He was already 6′ 2″ or whatever. He loved to drive. Well, I loved to drink beer and back then I was a problem drinker, I ain’t going to lie. So we had an arrangement. At night out in the towns, we would drive to lower Broadway in Downtown Nashville.
Well now it’s all gentrified, back then it was nothing but old redneck honky tonks and beer joints, alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, guys singing in the street with a bucket in front of them, you name it. It was the worst place you could be. So naturally, that’s where me and Dwayne went every night out on the town. He would he would drive me, I’d drink beer. He’d stand behind me in the bar, he looked like he was 30 when he was that age. So anyway, we got real close.”
A number of years later Dwayne Johnson repaid his friend’s kindness from when he was just 15 years old by buying him a truck as a Christmas gift.
H/t to 411Mania