Name: Louis “The Rocket” Re
Hometown: Long Island, New York
Claim to Fame: Motorcycle Firewall Crash (with pine wood, not “those cheap Styrofoam ceiling tiles”) & “The Best Hair in the Stunt Business.”
Injuries: Broken collarbone, shattered scapula, burnt eyebrows.
Off-Season Work: Government security officer.
Web Site: http://www.myspace.com/teamdangerusa
Growing up in a “protective family,” Louis Re knew his parents wouldn’t be thrilled about his dreams to become a daredevil.
“I was the kid going to school in the sixth grade wearing that big yellow raincoat with the hood on it,” Lou recalls. “My mother saw Evel Knievel as someone who did something extremely dangerous. And I guess she didn’t want the action figures to put thoughts in my head. But when you tell somebody they can’t have something, they want it even more.”
As a gag, Lou now always travels with an Evel action figure in his pickup truck.
Although he sometimes performs at his own shows, Lou is most often referred to as Doug Danger’s # 2, a description he claims to welcome. “Everybody’s got to know their role to have a successful team or show,” he says. “And I know Doug Danger is the star of the show. He’s the Guinness Book of World Records holder, he’s done all these tremendous things and he’s paid a tremendous price along the way. So for me to be called Doug’s sidekick, I’m proud of that.”
Outside of Doug’s shadow, Lou has carved his own niche as a firewall specialist – smashing his bike through burning panels of pine. After a performance, he will sometimes jokingly encourage children to stay in school so that they don’t have to crash through fire for a paycheck.
“There is no trick to it,” Lou explains. “Except that you’re going as fast and as hard as you can, taking that impact, looking up, getting your bearings about you, maybe throwing off burning wood and keeping your composure and bringing the bike back to control.”
Not too much to remember, huh?
Last summer in Montana, Lou upgraded his Evel action figure for the real thing. He crashed through a record 12 burning firewalls in a row at Evel Knievel Days — the last tribute festivities Evel enjoyed before his death.
The fire stunt broke the previous record of 10 set by the Minnesota daredevil known as Nine Toes.
“Some kids grow up and they want to be the centerfielder for the New York Yankees or they want to be a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys and most people never get close to having a taste of their dream,” Lou says. “I’m out there pretty much living my dream. I wanted to be like Evel Knievel and when I strap on that helmet or even line up for the national anthem, I feel that in me. “