Little Joe Sure Can Sing!

Last year I caught Jersey Boys, the film about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The story is also a hit Broadway musical and is now touring. I absolutely love films based on musicians. Some of my favorites include The Doors, The Temptations, Walk The Line, Straight Outta Compton and Hated: GG Allin & the Murder Junkies. Well, Hated is more of a documentary but it’s still awesome.

One of the cool things I noticed in Jersey Boys is the fact that they introduce Joe Pesci (played by Joseph Russo) as a childhood friend of Tommy DeVito who played guitar in The Four Seasons. Now, if you are a fan of Goodfellas, you will remember that Joe Pesci used the name Tommy DeVito for his character as the hot-headed gangster in the film. Joe Pesci’s character was a real-life gangster named Tommy DeSimone, but for the movie they changed his name to Tommy Devito. Which I thought was cool; he used his childhood buddies name in one of the most epic films ever made.

Years ago I stumbled on this record by a singer named Joe Ritchie (aka Joe Pesci) from 1968 called Little Joe Sure Can Sing! So many actors try their hand at singing after their career has blown up, but Pesci gave it a run before he was an actor. After watching Jersey Boys I understood Joe Pesci’s early music career a lot more. His best friend played in one of the biggest bands of their era.

Here is a sample of Little Joe covering a Beatles tune:

I am also a little partial to his cover of Got to Get You Into My Life. It's a little rough, but being such a Joe Pesci fan, I find myself jamming this all the time!

 

Though Pesci moved on from music, he obviously still had a passion for it, and in 1999 he released Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You. The name was based upon his character in the classic movie My Cousin Vinny. Though the album is mostly a comedy record with songs like Take Your Love And Shove It, Yo Cousin Vinny, and a Christmas song where he threatens Santa Claus called If It Doesn't Snow For Christmas, there is still some pretty good big band styled tracks. Picture a Louis Prima feel, such as the cover of the classic tune Robbie Hood.

But the coolest part of the record goes to his song called Wiseguy, set to the Blondie classic tune Rapture. There is an official video but a fan made this version, and even though this is the radio friendly cut (Yea they made a clean version) the video is still badass.

While we are on the Joe Pesci thing, a fun fact is that I noticed  Catherine Scorsese, totally unaccredited in Rodney Dangerfield's classic Easy Money as Joe Pesci's mom. I've seen the film a thousand times and never noticed. She obviosuly went on to play his mom again in Goodfellas. 

 

On a final note, I have been reading all kinds of stoires in regards to the murder of Tommy DiSimone. One was that Gotti's crew did the job. Recently, the FBI was digging up Jimmy Burkes property looking for his remains because of a tip that Jimmy "The Gent" (Played by Robert De Niro) actually did the job. Here is a link to the FBI DIgs article. 

I also read a whole different article that mentions Richard Kuklinski (The real guy Iceman is based upon) had something to do with it. Here is the New Details Surface article. 

Either way, Joe Pesci is the man and quite the music fan!

A sample from my latest book To Make Matters Worse.

     "Would you believe that wasn't the last time Mr. Richardson called the house? He seemed to call and rat me out over everything. One time I took a Land O'Lakes Butter box, you know the one with the Native American broad on three of the sides, and I cut out just her knees. I took an exacto knife and carefully cut the butter in her hands pictured on another side into a tab and taped the knees behind it. The humor behind it was to flip up the tab and you could see her what looked like her titties. The knees were shaped like big jugs and it was a hit in school. That was until Mr. Richardson caught me showing it off and called my mom again......."

Be sure to grab a copy in the webstore! 

SkaterCon tears up Phoenix March 11-12

I am very excited to be at SkaterCon in north Phoenix this year! I will be bringing all my books, along with the audio book of my latest titled To Make Matters Worse. I may have a few North Side Kings goodies on hand as well. For a show like this I usually have specail pricing!

The show runs Saturday and Sunday and I will be with the vendors on Sunday afternoon.

Phoenix SkaterCon is a fan driven skateboarding experience. The show features skateboard legends, signings, Q&A panels, vintage board swaps, vendor floor, artist alley, concerts, and more. Bands like JFA and The Ziggens will be preforming and skate legends such as Spidey, Bill Danforth, Billy Ruff and Chuck Treece will all be in attendance. 

The event is located at the Paradise Valley Skatepark 17402 N. 40th St. Phoenix, AZ 85032 Doors Open at 11AM each day. For tickets and information go to SkaterCon Official Site and follow their Instagram and Facebook Pages. For advance tickets you can purchase them from Brown Paper Tickets.

 

Tucson Comic Con Nov 4th - 6th 2016! I am also hosting a panel with David Ellefson of Megadeth!

This year I will be a guest at the Tucson Comic Con and will be in Authors Alley. My booth is located in A-10. You can go here for more information: TUCSON COMIC CON

On Saturday afternoon I will be stepping away from my booth to moderate a discussion with David Ellefson, legendary bassist for Megadeth as we discuss his career and all his crazy adventures and business ventures. It starts at 12PM to 12:50PM in the Mojave and Maricopa Room and fans will also get a chance to ask questions. It's going to be a lot of fun and not to be missed! For more info check out David Ellefson.

In Effect Hardcore Review of To Make Matters Worse

I have been getting really good feedback from people who have purchased either the print or audio book of To Make Matters Worse. I really enjoy hearing people tell me that they can relate to a specific story in the book. 

 

For example, in the book I talk about this t-shirt I wore in gym glass that said Aruba across the front. I really get my balls busted with an acronym a girl and her friends turned it into. A buddy named Jacob hit me up and told be he had a similar story about a shirt he wore in gym that said Egypt. I felt for him!

Plus there are these messages that make me laugh:

I am starting to get some reviews in from different outlets of press. J-Spec of In Effect Hardcore, which is one of the best websites that detail new and old hardcore and punk bands, gave me a sold review of my new book. Be sure to click on the picture below to take you right to the review.

"This gave the feeling as if you were sitting and listening to him telling the story in person. I listened to this while driving and I warn you in advance you might start laughing which could lead to you looking insane or swerving. Drive with caution if you do."

J-Spec from InEffectHardcore.Com

 

 

 

When I Played Guitar for Cause For Alarm -Footage from 1998 in Hungary!

One of my favorite things about the internet is YouTube. I can sit and watch silly videos, classic concerts, behind the scenes movie stuff and more silly videos over and over.

It also helps bring people from all ends of the world together. Like this video I stumbled upon recently of a band called Cause for Alarm I played in from around 1996 to 1998. Someone graciously recorded the show and posted it online.

I'm the chubby guy on guitar on the right and I was around 21 years old. What an experience; I was able to travel all through Europe playing music and hanging with my friends.

 

 

Check out a deleted chapter of To Make Matters Worse (Audio book)

This is a deleted chapter of my new book titled To Make Matters Worse which will be available July 22nd 2016. 

The story didn't fit the general theme of the book and I didn't want to upset anyone that may be offended by this crazy quest for the ultimate BBQ. 

To Make Matters Worse will be available cd and download for pre-order IN MY STORE July 13th. The book will be available in print on Amazon and other retailers. The audio book will be available on Audible, ITunes, CD Baby.



Recorded at Arcane Digital Recording Studio in Mesa AZ - Photo by Eye Photo Photography

A recent podcast I did with Cult Film in Review about the movie My Science Project!

I got to sit down and chat with the coolest bunch of guys and talk revenge movies and about the cult classic My Science Project. It's a fun show please go check it out!! Download the new episode now at Cult Film Review or on iTunes or Google Play!

This is one of my favorite film podcasts. These guys love movies and the dynamic between the four of them is awesome. I hope to be able to join them again in the future. Be sure to check out their website for all their past episodes and future ones as well. You will enjoy it!

Be sure to add them on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook!

Here is an excerpt from my new book called To Make Matters Worse...

One of the worst problems of not wanting to use a public bathroom is that you are always answering the call of the wild burrito. I’m that guy that was assigned the hottest chick in gym class as a partner, and while she was holding my feet down as I was doing sit ups - a fart slipped out. I did everything in my power to not let that happen but when I just stopped moving and the gym teacher yelled at me to move my ass, I literally did just that. Of course, she made a big scene about it and no one wanted to hold my feet for the entire four years of high school.

Strangely, even though I still didn’t want to place my naked butt on the same spot someone else just did, I had no problem launching a brown missile in the oddest places. For example, there was this kid, Ed, that I didn’t get along with at all. I must have snuck out and hung my ass off his diving board in the middle of the night while releasing a chocolate submarine into his pool at least five times.

I collected an entire leaf-sized garbage bag of dog shit and threw it inside the clubhouse of these mean girls’ who used to bully my sister. They lived on our street. My mother believed that their family were Nazi’s. I covered their clubhouses entire floor, table, anything I could find until everything was covered in shit. It was so bad, I almost barfed during the act. I spray painted a swastika, then crossed it out on their clubhouse door for good measure.

Shit Heil!

My sister and the Nazi family.

 

Of course, I did the “burning bag” of shit at another girl’s house. That’s when you shit in a brown bag, light it on fire, and ring the doorbell. Usually the person that answers the door stomps out the burning bag of shit. They get burned up, mushy shit all over their feet and doorstep. Unfortunately, no one answered the door and we watched a bag of shit slowly burn. This wasn’t the Nazi house, no, this was actually one my sisters few friends. She only lived two houses away from us. I wasn’t one to venture too far, and I’m sure you know why by now....

COMING IN JUNE ON PAPERBACK AND AUDIO BOOK FROM TOTAL GAVONE PUBLISHING!

This is How a Film Studio Market's A Film to White and Black Audiences With Separate Promotional Materials

 One of the most disturbing underground revenge films out there is a gritty and sometimes uncomfortable film called Fight for Your Life. Also known as Stayin' Alive, it was released in 1977 and it takes extreme to a whole new level.

In Fight for Your Life, William Sanderson stars as a redneck racist named Jessie Lee Kane who, along with two other escaped convicts, takes a black family hostage while hiding out. Their plan is to get across the border at nightfall, but before they do they torment the shit out of this poor family in quite possibly one of the most uncomfortable films in my book The Mega Book of Revenge Films Vol. 1.

The movie’s dialogue consists of some of the most stereotypical racist comments ever and what I found intriguing is that there are two different trailers for this film. One depicts the movie as a rise up and fight back against whitey Blaxploitation film and the other depicts it as your typical seventies drive-in Exploitation flick. They are trying to gain both audiences with slick trailer editing and I think that is ingenious.

Here is the Blaxploitation Marketed Trailer:

Now for the Drive-In Grindhouse Exploitation Style trailer:

Just by cutting a trailer differently you can make a film more appealing to a different audience. That isn't an uncommon practice but it still blows my mind!

Things I should point out: that there is a hanging, a kid gets killed (which was a bit bothersome for me), and it has a rape scene that is uncomfortable. Other than those things that may make you cringe, Fight for Your Life has one of the greatest endings in revenge history and makes up for all of the sour facial expressions you will make throughout. Seriously, the last five minutes will really leave you satisfied. 

Which trailer do you like better?

Awesome Stuff # 2

A Visit to My Book Shelf!

When I was younger I collected cards. Not baseball cards like the majority of my friends; I was addicted to Film and TV Cards. I was obsessed with Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages. I collected E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, The A-Team, Star Wars, ALF, Batman and any other card I could get my hands on. I still have quite a few in large books taking up tons of space and hardly ever pulled down to look through. Forget about the ones below that I own in which you just don't want to even open up!

FullSizeRender (4).jpg

Now with EBay and Comic Conventions I started picking up fill in cards I needed and it’s become a little easier to find the ones I need. Regardless, they go into the books and are long forgotten.

Topps has made the nostalgia of looking at these old collections fun again my putting together a series of books filled with the cards and a way to look through then all again and again without the fear of damaging a collection or loosing cards. The books are filled with the first few editions of the cards and all have brief introductions to the series with trivia and information in regards to the creation of each.

I absolutely love the books. I currently own the book collections of Mars Attacks, Garbage Pail Kids (Which has all the cards from Series 1-5), Star Wars Volume 1, and Wacky Packages (Series 8-14).

I recommend you check them out if you’re a fan of reading though and enjoying the classic artwork in a collection that is timeless. 

Other collections available include Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Wacky Packages (Series 1-7) and even a collection of Bazooka Joe and His Gang! I would love to see more collections of these.

You can pre-order Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Two which comes out in April this year on AMAZON. 

I have a feeling the force will be strong with this one as well.

Here is a sample of the first chapter of my new book that will be out in May 2016.

 It's a book full of the craziest stories from my early childhood through adulthood and the most embarrassing moments that one could only wish weren't true. I'm very proud of this book because I can't even read it without laughing. This is just a tiny taste of the introduction. 

 

Chapter One: My First Steps Towards Idiocy  

 

     My mother brushed my teeth until I was eleven years old. I’m not kidding; she literally put me in a headlock and scrubbed my teeth to perfection. I can attest that her technique was solid because my childhood was cavity free.

     Finally, when I was in my teens and old enough to do the job myself, my mother turned into an investigator. If I skipped brushing my teeth she knew. Even if I ran my toothbrush under the water she still was able to figure it out that I didn’t brush. You would think after going through the time to run my toothbrush under the faucet, I would just brush my teeth.

         I would leave the house and within minutes she would yell out the window, “Dannyboy, get back here and brush your teeth.”

       It was a great feeling to have all the neighborhood kids know I was lazy.

     Once or twice she actually drove to the bus stop and forced me into the car to go home and brush. Her strategy ended up working and I eventually became an adult in the oral hygiene department.

     I always found it amusing that my parents were so strict with certain things and so lenient in others. For example my mother didn’t like me watching horror movies but she let me go terrorize our peaceful neighborhood of Whitehouse Station, NJ for “Mischief Night.”

     Mischief Night was what some call Devil’s Night depending where you live in the U.S. It fell on the night before Halloween. Armed with toilet paper and eggs, my friends and I destroyed our neighborhood and made the biggest mess. We toilet papered trees and hosed them down, we threw dog shit at moving cars, spray painted horrible things on street signs and caused a fair amount of damage to local property. It didn’t matter if it was public or private property, we were equal opportunity vandals.

     My mom and my friend’s parents actually encouraged this behavior. Maybe not to the extreme we took it, of course,  but it was my mother that gave us the eggs. The spray paint and dog shit was our little addition.

     If a kid tried to pull that sort of hooligan behavior today, he would be up a creek without a paddle. Can you imagine what kind of trouble a kid in this day and age would get into if he lit a dumpster on fire or got caught throwing glass bottles at trains?

    I was lucky to grow up with amazing parents, a typical pain in the ass little sister, and the most loving and generous extended family. My parents spoiled me, but to their credit, they also taught me humility. My mother was sort of a hippy and my father was a straight-up badass.

    While my mother was dragging me to anti-incinerator protests and teaching me how to question what I thought was right and wrong in the world around me, my pop was teaching me how to field dress a deer. It was survival of the fittest, smartest, and those with the cleanest teeth.

     They were complete opposites, but they wanted us to grow up the right way. My parents provided a great life for my sister and myself, and did a great job raising us.

   So please, whatever you do, don’t blame them for what you are about to read.


copyright Total Gavone Publishing 2016

Awesome Stuff # 1

 This is one of the cool things I found recently and wanted to share. Recently I stumbled upon  Adam West .Com  It's the official website of Adam West (The original Batman of course) and he sells all kinds of cool stuff on the site. Some of which he personalizes. 

Lately, I have been on a Batman binge. I re-watched all of the original series episodes on TV, then the 90s movies, and I am about to go through the Christian Bale films. I guess you can say I'm getting ready for the new Batman Vs. Superman film. I'm hyped to say the least. I'm not even angry about Ben Affleck. Shit, it's even got Wonder Woman. I'm into it.

I was driving down the road a month ago and looked to my right and out of the corner of my eye I noticed a Bat symbol in the window of the Barrett Jackson Showroom Window. Mind you, it's not on the street; the building i at least 20-25 feet from the front sidewalk. But I saw what looked like the Batmobile and I had to stop. 

It was a Sunday and unfortunately the showroom was closed. The window had a sign that stated this was the original car that George Barris designed and was used in the show. I was hyped!

So that evening I went online was was reading more about George Barris' cars. In addition to all the amazing cars he designed I knew he designed both cars from The Munsters (Munsters Koach and Drag-U-La) but he also worked on the cars for Knightrider and Dukes of Hazzard. Plus he designed that silly ride in Supervan.

While stumbling around online I found West's website and ended up purchasing is book Back to the Batcave for $35.00 Not to mention, he signs the book! If you click on the picture below it will take you to the link.

Here is my copy signed by Adam West!

There is no way you don't know someone who would want a book signed by Adam West. Last year he was at The Phoenix film Festival and he was charging $80 for a picture. Totally crazy. But a biography, memoir and episode guide totally rules. The book is really cool I loved it.

Oh and I went back to Barrett Jackson when they were open while I was on Christmas break. I swear I didn't plan wearing this shit it just happened. As i said, I am on a Batman kick.

I just need five million to drive it off the lot!