|The Chairman of the Board|
Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Frank Sinatra's Last Concert at the United Center which I attended with my buddy Dutch and two English au pairs. Part II will be about the concert.
|Esquire Magazine April 1966|
Frank Sinatra Has A Cold is widely considered to be the greatest magazine profile ever written which Esquire published in April 1966. The author was a fellow Italian-American from New Jersey, Gay Talese. The subject matter was gathered during the previous December just as Sinatra was turning 50. Sinatra had recently won Grammys for Best Album and Song (September of My Years/It Was A Very Good Year) and would do the same in 1966 with Strangers In The Night. He was dating 20 year old Mia Farrow. Already in his rear view mirror was an impressive and underrated movie career (he was superb in The Man With The Golden Arm and The Manchurian Candidate).that included an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in From Here to Eternity. Late November 1966 would see Frank take his now young bride Mia to Truman Capote's Party of The Century: the Black and White Ball at The Plaza Hotel. Everybody who was anybody was there...or wanted to be. As the magical night wore on, Capote sensed his great triumph was about to turn into a pumpkin as Frank motioned to Mia that it was time to head over to his favorite watering hole Jilly's Saloon. In a panic, Capote raced over and jumped in front of Frank with arms outstretched while pleading...begging Frank not to leave as he knew his departure would suck all the energy out of the room. Sorry Tru, Frank Sinatra Has An Itch.
|Frank & new bride Mia Farrow arriving at Truman Capote's Black & White Ball November 1966|
Frank Sinatra was America's first Pop Idol. These days he is often thought of as a style icon from those boozy Vegas Rat Pack shenanigans that haven't aged well on youtube videos. I can see how it was novel, spontaneous, and fun to see live (while also drunk) but I prefer to think of him primarily as an Artist who was the best interpreter of the Great American Songbook with his volatile temperament and eventful life giving him a very close acquaintance with heartbreak, loneliness, remorse, and triumph and our knowing of his ups and downs makes these songs far more than clever lyrics, rhythm, and melody.
|Frank with The Love of His Life: Ava Gardner|
My own personal connection with Frank Sinatra is primarily from sitting with my friend King in Ranalli's Pizzeria listening to the old standards; mostly just the two of us after the crowd had cleared out. There was no chatter; just King having Frank take him back to someplace or someone from long ago and me marveling at a perfect collaboration between a Cole Porter, Nelson Riddle, and the 20th Century's Greatest Singer and wondering about all the other tortured souls who listen to these same songs trying to make peace with their past.
**Editor's Note: GSL mistakenly thought Frank's last concert was October 24 (the knucklehead was looking at the date of the review) but in fact was October 22, 1994. Since we missed the actual anniversary anyway, the post about the concert will be this Monday.