On December 1, 2015, I had the pleasure of interviewing David Eckler aka “Krazy Dave,” formally of Tru Television’s Lizard Lick Towing and Recovery, on his experiences serving in the United States Marine Corps, starring on the show, and his other projects.
Tell me where you got the name Krazy Dave.
Ah, that started off at a very young age. I was in private school in Australia, and spent years over there. When I came back to America I was 14 years old. I would talk about didgeridoos, and wolmaroos, and duck-billed platypuses. I would call peanut butter peanut paste. I would call the hood of a car the bonnet and the trunk of a car a boot, and they all just said I was crazy. And basically, it started right there. And, of course, at graduation my senior year, I volunteered to go into the Marine Corps and the Vietnam War. So, once again, that just solidified the fact that I was crazy.
So, you were in Vietnam?
No. I volunteered to go to Vietnam, but I didn’t have to do that. We were pulling out in ’74, when I went in, and I actually ended up with my helicopter squad over in Lebanon. We rescued the Americans when the PLO threatened to take over the Embassy. My helicopter squad went in, and we got all the Americans out. We told them they could have the building; it’s just a building. They could practice car bombing or whatever they were doing over there.
I know that when a lot of soldiers came back from Vietnam they did not receive a warm reception here at home. Was that your experience?
No, not at all. People had warmed up a lot. I think folks have an even better understanding of what our troops do for us now. You know, it’s all come full circle. A lot of the guys coming back from Vietnam didn’t get a fair shake, but now, it seems like our soldiers are being more appreciated. We’re understanding a little better now. I mean, this is the 2010s. In the 70’s and 80’s, we didn’t quite get it as a whole.
Tell me how your life has changed since you joined the Lizard Lick Towing show.
Actually, my life has slowed down a little bit because of doing that show. I was honored. The TV crew came and asked me if I would do that. I asked them what all was involved and they said, “Just be yourself, and we’re going to pay you a lot of money.” I had to do that. I mean, you know.
I can understand that.
But I never did quit my day job.
What has been your favorite part of the experience?
Actually, working with a girl named Jennifer Ducker who is the producer of the show. She’s from England, and she is just so fun to be around. She makes it so easy to work for her. She made it the incredible experience that it turned out to be.
What has been the most challenging part of being involved with the show?
Oh, having to deal with the owner of the company. He’s somebody who’s not a real people person, and sometimes very challenging to get along with. That was the biggest challenge.
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the cast of the show. How do you deal with those so-called haters and remain grounded in the midst of all that drama?
I kind of shut my ears and eyeballs to all of the drama, because a lot of people really don’t understand what goes on behind the scenes. I mean, haters, they’re everywhere. You just have to learn how to deal with them. There’s a lot more likers and lovers out there than there are haters, in my book.
I’ve noticed that you have a lot of young fans. Do you feel it’s your responsibility to always be a positive role model for them?
Oh, most definitely, yes. My fan bases is like 8-14, and the kids are what it’s all about. When you see their faces and what it means to them to actually meet you… They make me feel special. It’s actually them that are special.
What advice would you give to a young fan whose dream is to make it in the television industry?
Pick up a guitar and start practicing and go for the music industry.
West: Speaking of music, I understand that you have been playing and making music for quite some time.
What has that experience been like?
Oh, it’s phenomenal. It’s a release. Anytime you have a bad day, or you see something on the news that just really turns your stomach, if you can sit down and write about it, and put some heartfelt words and music to it, and turn it into a song, maybe you can help everybody be aware of what needs to be done.
Who were your major musical influences early in life, and how did they shape your musical tastes?
My early days started with Deep Purple. Black Sabbath. I like The Guess Who. Uh, the Grass Roots, back in the day. I’ve stuck with Ozzy all these years. I’ve always been a hard rocker.
Do you have any new projects going on?
Yeah, actually, we have a few things going on. Bobby (Brantley) and I are doing the Bad Dog Nation thing on Monday nights. We do live video chats. I’m still writing music. I was just working on some pieces. I’ve got my Rocky Cross Project, which is the name of my music project. Rocky Cross is where I live. I’ve got enough songs for another record album, and I’m pondering the thought of going into the studio again. So, that’s something to look forward to.
I have one last question for you. When you leave this Earth, what do you want people to remember most about you?
That I was honest. That I set them straight. I mean, I didn’t pull any punches, and I told them the truth whether they wanted to hear it or not. Basically, that I was an honest guy and I treated everybody the same, the way that I like to be treated. I mean, we’re all in St. Peter’s line, and I believe in treating the first person in line as good as the last person. If everybody would live by that motto, this would be a fine world.