In Bolters and Coolers, Noel Watson tells true, rough-and-ready stories about the art of street fighting. At seventeen, he trained with Zen Do Kai martial arts and learned if you wanted to survive on the street, you needed to know more than how to fight. He was one of only two white belts to receive a black gi, a highly privileged bushido cross, and the nickname “Crazy Horse” by Soke Bob Jones.
He travels across the Nullarbor Plain with best mate, Rod Stroud, to build a security business while bouncing in some of the roughest pubs and clubs in Perth, Western Australia. His recollections of violent club brawls and street fights motivate him to seek an easier way to make a living.
Catch a rare glimpse to life on the road with Australia's rock legend and front man for Cold Chisel, Jimmy Barnes when he takes “Crazy Noel” on the road as his personal security and karate instructor.
Noel becomes a self-taught cook and opens a Hawaiian cafe in Byron Bay. His kitchen becomes his dojo as he seeks inner peace and turns his back on violence and the hardcore lifestyle of his past.
It takes a certain person to be a doorman. You have to be able to stand up for 12 hours or more while being confronted by all walks of life. You can be spat upon, verbally abused, hit with objects like rocks, knives, bottles, baseball bats, and sometimes even cars. Most seasoned doorman can never live a normal life because of what they have seen or heard. Some sleep all day, and only feel comfortable socializing with their own kind. You have to think is it really worth it when nine times out of 10 you will be found guilty if taken to court because of your already tainted police docket. The case could be as simple as refusing entry to a law clerk and then he can make your life hell on court day. Anything can happen. Your health and fighting ability starts to fade and that is normally when shit hits the fan in the wee hours of the morning. That's why if somebody asks you outside in this day and age Don't GO! It is no longer a bad boxing match and nearly always can end in a tragic way. An awkward punch, the other fellows head hits the pavement and then that's a lethal contact. Take a leaf out of my book; nobody wants to be in that situation 20 years jail for what, he called me a dirty rat. It takes a bigger man to walk away, talk to any seasoned fighter and he'll tell you it's not worth it. If you want to be a good doorman there are a few basic rules you should know. Take three deep breaths before you make a decision. Keep your level of fitness strong, always have good posture, use focus and discipline, have good communication skills. And in extreme situations disregard all of that and make sure you can fight like hell. But you are what you are. I never planned to leave the security lifestyle and go into cooking. During the 1980's I was working with bands like Cold Chisel which was then one of Australia's premier rock and roll bands. In 1983 Jimmy Barnes left the band to go on his own and asked me to do his security. As Jimmy's bodyguard--cum--karate trainer there weren't many places we didn't go together. He was touring with ZZ Top at the time as the opening act and I went with him on his American tour. He had a special nickname for me 'Mo Fo'. It was a much better name than 'Crazy Noel', the nickname that followed me like a plaque since I started training in 'Zen Do Kai' with 'Soke' Bob Jones. As a 6th degree black belt we toured in New York, London and Tokyo and to practically every country town and capital city in Australia and New Zealand. Being a cook in a restaurant was the farthest thing from my mind. Those were the days of an amazing race; airport check-ins, excess baggage, hotel lobbies, eating $25 hamburgers at the Waldorf Astoria while making sure Jimmy and his family were safe. Every six months or so the tour would come to a grinding halt, Jimmy would take a break and I would return to help my mate, Rod Stroud in the security business. Gobbles was an average venue with black painted walls, loud music and aggressive drunks. These were not places for the faint hearted. It was a good life for about ten years. I would work the tour, make some money, unwind and then work the nightclubs with Rod and the Zen Do Kai boys. However, there was never a time to actually unwind.
Noel Watson grew up street fighting in Brisbane, Queensland. His training and teaching martial arts continued while bouncing doors in pubs and nightclubs around Perth, Western Australia. Jimmy Barnes took Noel on the road as his security coordinator and karate instructor. Noel lives in Hawaii with his wife and family.