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OL' BLUE EYES

YOU EITHER LOVED SINATRA, HATED HIM, OR NEVER COULD FIGURE WHAT ALL THE FUSS WAS ABOUT. COUNT ME SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE LAST TWO CATEGORIES. MANY CALLED HIM UNEQUALED AS A SINGER AND STYLIST, BUT TO ME, HE ALWAYS SOUNDED LIKE A GUY WITH LIMITED RANGE WHO ENJOYED TALKING INSTEAD OF SINGING A SONG. BUT WHAT DO I KNOW. ANYWAY, I’M ONLY SAYING THIS BECAUSE I ASSUME NONE OF HIS NORTORIOUS GOONS ARE AROUND NOW TO CALL ME ON IT. YOU KNOW THE ONES, THE GUYS THAT COULD TURN ANY PIPSQUEAK INTO A TOUGH GUY, AS LONG AS THEY’RE STANDING RIGHT BEHIND HIM.

BUT ALL THAT’S BESIDE THE POINT---FOR WHAT REALLY BUGS ME ABOUT OLD BLUE EYES--ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT WE’LL NOW HAVE SINATRA TRIBUTES AND IMITATORS ON A SCALE THAT’LL MAKE ELVIS SEEM LIKE LIBERACE, IS THAT FOR YEARS I’VE HAD TO PUT UP WITH CHEESY PICTURES OF THE GUY IN EVERY ITALIAN RESTAURANT IN AMERICA. IF THESE PROPRIETORS ARE TO BE BELIEVED, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD MUST’VE EATEN IN ABOUT 20,000 PLACES IN HIS LIFE. IN QUALITY, QUANTITY AND BELIEVABILITY, THIS PUTS HIS THUGSHIP PRACTICALLY IN WILT CHAMBERLAIN-LAND.

AS FOR ELVIS, THE OTHER OTHER VEGAS HERO, HIS IDEA OF GOURMET FOOD WAS A FRIED PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA SANDWICH. IN MY BOOK THIS NIXED HIM AS A CULTURAL ICON LONG BEFORE HE CHOKED TO DEATH ON A QUAALUDE.

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NOW ITS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE, AND IT’LL BE EVEN HARDER FOR ME TO BLASPHEME THESE GUYS FOR PROBABLY KNOWING AS MUCH ABOUT FOOD AS I DO ABOUT MUSIC. BUT THE TORTELINNI TESTIMONIALS ARE BOUND TO QUADRUPLE NOW THAT SINATRA’S GONE, SO BEWARE. AS FOR ME, I WOULD’VE TAKEN LIBERACE OVER THE PRIDE OF HOBOKEN ANYDAY AS A RESTUARANT RECOMMENDER. BELIEVE ME, THE TINKLING AND TWINKLING ONE PROBABLY KNEW A LOT MORE ABOUT FOOD, AND MOST ASSUREDLY, HE NEVER DECKED ANYONE FOR SPILLING HIS DRINK.

THIS IS JOHN CURTAS

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