Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Frank Sinatra Had The Perfect Message For Señor Trumpanzee


I was just starting to think about what high school would be like when Frank Sinatra started Reprise Records... as a refuge for himself and for his pals from the tyranny of the major record labels. Reprise was a label founded on the basis of real artist freedom. I only met him a couple of times and never got to know him at all, but I was the next CEO of Reprise after Sinatra-- after a long interregnum. By then it was a owned by Warner Bros which, in 1987, decided to revive it as a full-fledged label. I never for a minute lost sight of Sinatra's original intent and did my best to always keep it as a refuge of artist freedom for artists like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Enya, Green Day, Depeche Mode, The Smiths (and Morrissey), Chaka Khan, the Barenaked Ladies, Yaz, The Replacements, The Fugs, Nick Cave, Rickie Lee Jones, Erasure, Lou Reed, Wilco, Cher, the Tom Tom Club...

So I was proud to read in The Independent over the weekend how Sinatra once told Señor Trumpanzee to go fuck himself. Trumpanzee was trying to get Sinatra to reduce his fee for performing in 1990 at the opening two weeks at one of the crooked Trumpanzee casinos in Atlantic City. He told Elliot Weisman, Sinatra's manager and the author of a new book that talks about the episode, that Sinatra's costs were "a little rich." Trump is a notorious cheapskate who has always been delighted in offering second and third-rate everything wherever he's been in business.
According to Weisman’s book, Mr Trump also cut the support acts including Sinatra’s dying friend Sammy Davis Jr.

Weisman managed Sinatra from 1975 to 1998 and recounted the incident in his book The Way it Was, released this month. He said Sinatra was due to perform at the opening of Mr Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City and had a deal in place with the new venues original operator Mark Grossinger Etess, who died in a helicopter crash.

[Trumpanzee] then stepped in to take over the deal which is when he questioned how much Sinatra expected to be paid for his 12 performances. According to Weisman, Mr Trump began the new negotiations by saying the cost for the 12 dates Sinatra was slated to perform was “a little rich.”

Mr Trump then also decided he did not need to book the other acts included including Sammy Davis Jr, who had just been diagnosed with cancer, and husband-and-wife pop duo Steve [Lawrence] and Eydie [Gorme]. When challenged by Weisman, Mr Trump asked “Who’s Steve and Eydie?” Weisman says he then tried choking the future president by his tie, but that his son restrained him.

He said he then called Sinatra to tell him what had happened, and singer told him he had two choices; either tell Mr Trump “to go fuck himself” or give the reality show star’s phone number to Sinatra so that he could do it himself.

Weisman says he returned to Trump’s office and told him “Sinatra says go fuck yourself!”  Sinatra ended up playing at the Sands in Las Vegas instead.

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At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And God bless Reprise Records for holding onto The Kinks when they might have just as easily canned them for low sales/no sales (except to me). Yeah, I understand that there was a 5-year contract, but still.

I didn't know, until this post, that you were connected to that label. You were always pretty shiny, in my estimation; now, you've got a halo that's almost blinding (but in a good way).

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous innocent bystander said...

I hate blogger. That's my post. I'm not Anonymous

At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never that big a fan, but my estimation of him just rose a couple of ticks. He could have been my hero if he would have had his pals "handle" the douchenozzle.

At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for Frank. A lawyer I know worked with Micky Rudin for a number of years. Said Frank was "not a nice man." But this was a lol story.


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