Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: William Bogart/Pocket Money

Ned Fleming (
Sat, 08 May 1999 04:05:36 GMT M-T wrote:

>Sandra Hess:
><<So, what happens if you mention Sinatra?>>
>Sandra, you're putting me in one hell of a situation. I am resigning as
>temporary keeper of the egg so that there's no conflict of interest with
>being a Sinatra fan. I hereby appoint Ned Fleming as new tally-man and
>general storekeeper - from now on, he's the man with the iron arm.

Tanks, but no tanks. Fuggedaboudit.

I read, a couple of months ago, Nick Tosches's biography of Dean Martin
(_Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams_). Dean was a
cipher, at best. The man was completely and utterly self-centered and
shallow. Amazingly shallow. Jerry Lewis was the "monkey" (to Dino's
"Organ Grinder") and nothing more than a dollar sign to old Dean. Dean
practically sleep-walked through life, if the bio is in any way
accurate. Dollars and broads were his motivation.

The string of women willing to, uh, **** the varnish off his, ahem,
***** was practically endless. His first wife, a drunkard of Dean's
making, was badly misused. His second wife, a stunningly beautiful woman
when in her prime years, endured Dean's philandering over a period of
two decades. Call her: Hillary Lite.

There was enough included about Sinatra to put me off my lunch for a
month, but no, Old Blue Eyes intrigued me enough to pick up Randy
Taraborrelli's biography of him (_Sinatra: Behind the Legend_). Frank
was a cantankerous freakazoid, a kind of low-grade manic-depressive that
had it "his way" far too often for his own good. The guy plowed through
booze and babes.

Reading these men's lives is like watching sausage being made. If you
enjoy the finished product (and for me that's the Capitol years for both
men) then perhaps it's best not to know what all went into the recipe.

But I'm a bit of a masochist, and the biography _Rat Pack Confidential:
Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Showbiz Party_ by
Shawn Levy interests me. One web page said it's written in a faux-James
Ellroy style -- fast-paced and entertaining.

And speaking of Ellroy . . .

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