John Alexander is a name most everyone in Nashville’s country music industry is familiar with. During his 20-year career in Music City, Alexander held respected positions at GAC (Great American Country), Black River Entertainment and most recently, Bandtwango. Additionally, Alexander managed country singer Sarah Darling, was instrumental in jumpstarting the career of the legendary Patty Loveless, and discovered country music superstar Kelsea Ballerini. Now, with country music in his rearview, Alexander is opening up about his time in Nashville and beyond. On April 6, 2021 via ECW Press, Alexander drops Mat Memories: My Wild Life in Pro Wrestling, Country Music, and With The Mets.
“My life has been a roller coaster ride involving high profile jobs in the high profile industries of country music, professional wrestling, and baseball,” explains Alexander. “There are twists and turns, financial peaks and valleys, and many amazing relationships which shaped who I am today. My story features a who’s who in the industries I have spent time in, and even interactions with billionaires, and a former U.S. President whom I ‘fire’ on national TV. It is a good read!”
What may be most interesting to the Nashville music community is that John Alexander wasn’t born John Alexander. His birth certificate reads John Arezzi: a name that is well known within the world of professional wrestling as well as Major League Baseball’s The New York Mets.
John Arezzi was a lifelong Mets fan who dreamed of a job in baseball. In 1981, he took a job with the Mets Class A team in North Carolina. But Arezzi had another love: professional wrestling. He ran a fan club for the villainous “Classy” Freddie Blassie as a teenager, then progressed to wrestling photographer, and finally even stepped into the ring himself as John Anthony. Eventually he escaped to pursue a new life in an altogether different world: country music. After adopting a new name, John Alexander, he made his mark as a music marketing executive and artist manager.
In the 1990s, Arezzi hosted the pioneering radio talk show Pro Wrestling Spotlight. He also ran the first major conventions, assembling a wrestling who’s who to meet with fans. He promoted shows, both at home and abroad, and was a key figure behind importing lucha libre into America.
Co-authored by Greg Oliver, Mat Memories is Alexander’s chance to hold the mic, and he holds nothing back — he names names and tells the untold behind-the-scenes stories: from the ring, the stage, and the diamond.
“Having the opportunity to share my life story in a memoir is truly life changing,” says Arezzi. “So many have told me for years that I needed to write a book on my life, and I am grateful to ECW Press, and my co-author, Greg Oliver for giving me that opportunity.”