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"That's kooky Kid. We're going in."
March 25, 2013 6:12 AM   Subscribe

Sinatra, His Molls, and Me. Paul Anka riffs on his early days in Las Vegas, and a certain song.
posted by timsteil (28 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
That’s kooky, kid. I'm going in.
posted by mazola at 6:31 AM on March 25, 2013


Well I feel dirty for having read that.

Thank you!
posted by mazola at 6:45 AM on March 25, 2013


Then we’d go to the hotel’s health club, where we wore robes Frank had given us, with our nicknames emblazoned on them: Sammy Davis Jr was Smokey the Bear, Dean Martin was Dago

Stay classy, Mr. Chairman.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:53 AM on March 25, 2013


Classy, yes.
posted by timsteil at 6:56 AM on March 25, 2013


Did the guys ever get those shirts?
posted by evilcolonel at 7:01 AM on March 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


He once had some wannabe mobsters beat up two comedians just because they’d made fun of him.

I wonder if this was the real-life basis for this classic Don Rickels bit:

Frank Sinatra saved my life once. Two hoods were beating the shit out of me in an alley. Frank walked by and said "okay boys, he's had enough".
posted by dr_dank at 7:07 AM on March 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


(This account of a supposedly genial, very powerful guy humiliating those around him with unpleasant nicknames reminded me of someone I couldn't quite place, and then it hit me: George W. Bush.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:24 AM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Frank calls the shots for all of those guys.
posted by thelonius at 7:37 AM on March 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's nice that Paul Anka waited for all of his male pals to die before putting out this book yet doesn't care about the "molls" who are still living, like Angie Dickinson and Barbara Sinatra.

Stay classy, Paul.
posted by kimberussell at 8:09 AM on March 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Well, Angie Dickinson isn't going to pay some goon to have him killed. Presumably. And he doesn't say anything bad about her, does he?
posted by pracowity at 8:13 AM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


By pure chance, Paul Anka's bandleader in Vegas is my (now-retired) next-door neighbour. It is funny to hear tales of antics with Sinatra and Dean Martin from a genial, grandfatherly type.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:19 AM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


a genial, grandfatherly type

In my case, it's the 'fatherly' type. My dad held the baritone sax chair in the orchestra at the Cave Supper Club in Vancouver through the late sixties and seventies. A whole lot of Vegas acts used the Cave as a place to 'warm up' and to try out acts, as they knew there was an excellent orchestra there (run by the late great Fraser MacPherson), that could handle anything they threw at it.

To my dad (still telling tales) Sinatra is nothing short of God. He just doesn't care about all these back stories of repulsive hoodlum behaviour - in his mind the 'Voice of the Century' was exactly that, and nothing else can get in the way of the music.
posted by woodblock100 at 8:26 AM on March 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


In my case, it's the 'fatherly' type.

Nice! (And I suppose strictly speaking, 'fatherly' is a closer descriptor for the guy next door as well -- I think of him as grandfatherly, but he is only three years older than my dad. I suppose it is part of the ongoing denial about my age.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:02 AM on March 25, 2013


In the steam room, we’d sit around talking for hours, naked as the day we were born. Suddenly, a couple of giggling showgirls — also stark naked — would tiptoe in or, occasionally, Frank would have ladies of the night brought in. Then he’d disappear to a little massage room to have sex with them. He wasn’t the only one who did this, though I didn’t. We all knew what the wild and horny senator John F. Kennedy was up to when he came to Vegas. Even the comedian Bob Hope had a massage every day and women stashed all over the place.
Rrrriggght.
posted by unSane at 9:03 AM on March 25, 2013


I'm shocked, shocked, to find that the drunk, violent, philandering mobbed up singer was drunk, violent, philandering and mobbed up.

Not a halfway bad actor tho, but only when he's being beat up.
posted by The Whelk at 9:10 AM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


He would've been good in The Godfather.
posted by mazola at 9:14 AM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find it hilarious that Sinatra was bitter about not getting a role in a film in which there is a character who uses his mob connections to get a role who is based on Sinatra. I have never heard that Sinatra wanted to play Don Corleone until reading this, and I am seriously tickled to death.
posted by padraigin at 9:22 AM on March 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


There was no one like him, nor will there ever be again.
It even has a happy ending.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:37 AM on March 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


Frank Sinatra is the picture in the cliche dictionary to illustrate "quit when you are still ahead".
posted by bukvich at 9:52 AM on March 25, 2013


I would agree, but if there is a heaven and you get there to find an old Italian dude waiting with a bat, that'll be my grandfather. Please tell him I said hi. I promise he's GREAT otherwise.
posted by mintcake! at 9:58 AM on March 25, 2013


1) I can't even come close to getting around the shitty parts of his personality.
2) Nat Cole kicked his butt all over the room for "voice of the century."

Somebody said: The band swung Frank; Nat swung the band.
posted by Trochanter at 10:08 AM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Even before I hit my teens, my fantasies centred on hanging out with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. In my dreams, I was living in Las Vegas. And then, bang, I was actually there.

Oh, yeah, hey, saw this for the first time on the weekend. Didn't see Anka in the credits, though.
posted by maudlin at 10:50 AM on March 25, 2013


Now I want to go to Quark's holosuite and hang out with Vic.
posted by dr_dank at 11:36 AM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


See also: Esquire's 1966 Frank Sinatra Has a Cold. It's not as explicit as Anka, but damning in its own way.
posted by not_the_water at 12:35 PM on March 25, 2013


I was going to make a Fallout:New Vegas joke or express my love for Sinatra, but I saw it was a Daily Mail link. Could we not link directly to them, considering what they just did and have done in the past? There must be a mirror somewhere.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:51 PM on March 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Over lunch one day, he started obsessing over old regrets. One of his biggest, he said, was not playing the part that Marlon Brando made famous in the mafia film The Godfather.
‘I don’t know why they wouldn’t give it to me,’ he moaned. ‘I called everyone — I mean I’m him, that part was me.’ Barbara, who must have heard this lament a thousand times, said soothingly: ‘Yeah, I know, Frank — it should have gone to you, baby.’
I saw him again a few times, and on each occasion he’d be like a cracked record, talking about the Godfather role.


This is so meta, since there was a big subplot in The Godfather about Sinatra getting a movie role 'cause of his mob connections. Guess there was no horse head in real life. I remember reading a slim black book of Sinatra anecdotes by a New York Daily News writer, but I can't remember the name. I've heard all this stuff before, but even the horrible stuff humanizes Frank, makes him more than just the King of Cool. 'Course, 'In The Wee Small Hours' does that too.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:58 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


(This account of a supposedly genial, very powerful guy humiliating those around him with unpleasant nicknames reminded me of someone I couldn't quite place, and then it hit me: George W. Bush.)

GW Bush isn't fit to lick Old Blue Eyes boots. Speaking of, my Dad says Sinatra tipped him $50 for shining his shoes when he worked at a hotel. I can't see Bush doing that.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:00 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Late to the thread, but did you know Paul Anka wife was a major celebrity in Sweden about two years ago? She's swedish, and started out as the main star in a reality soap called "Hollywood wives". From there, she rapidly became our Paris Hilton, entertaining the country by despising the poor, promoting strict vaginal hygiene measures and gnawing on cartilage (brrrrrrosk, with a rolling throat-back r). Even her name - Anna Anka - was entertaining, because Anka means Duck in Swedish (Donald Duck is called Kalle Anka). Paul filed for divorce somewhere along the way, but by then she was famous in her own right and kept going with anti-ergonomic exercise videos and what not.
posted by springload at 5:28 PM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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