Tales Of The Hunt: Meeting An Idol

Nick from Brooklyn is back with another Tales of the Hunt. You’re going to like this one, but Don-Lucky, it’ll break your heart.

Tales Of The Hunt: The day I met my IDOL!

Like I have mentioned in previous Tales of The Hunt, I used to send postcards to record companies, etc, with these Tales of The Hunt. I had found a great rock instrumental and the BMI publishing company was in a residential area of Brooklyn, so I sent a postcard to the address requesting records. Around a month later I received a phone call wanting to know why I had wrote him. I explained that I found this record and that I sell records and wanted to know if he had any more of them left. He said he might and we set up an appointment. When I arrived at his house his wife answered the door, she greeted me with a big smile and invited me in, we had coffee and were talking about the music business, he then pulled out a few boxes of 45 RPM records and told me to take what I could use. I asked him how much and he waved his hand as to forget it. He then pulled out some records

that he had made in Italy, popular music with huge big bands, his name was not Italian so I asked him and he told me he had changed his name in the music business because in the early days, being Italian in the music game was hard, and I heard this mentioned to me so many times over the years. He asked me what I did for a living. I told him I worked at the New York City Transit, he said oh that’s a good job, can you get my son a job. I told him well he has to take a test and then I told him what to tell his son to do.  After talking for a little bit, I left and he said to stay in touch and we said goodbye.

Around three months later he calls me and asks me could I get a Dinah Washington record for him. He gave me the title, so I went to Greenwich Village and picked him up a copy, called him, went by the house with a box of pastries and had coffee, we chatted for a while and I left. A few months pass, I get a call on a Tuesday and it is him, asking me what are you doing on Friday. I said nothing, he tells me come over I want you to meet a good friend of mine. Again I stopped by the pastry shop and picked up a box, when I arrived his wife again greeted me with her warm smile, she took my jacket and then invited me into the dining room. As I entered the room he is sitting there with another guy and as I looked I said to myself NO, and he said Frankie this is the guy I been telling you about, and he was putting a meatball into his mouth and he nodded to me and then shook my hand. I was still in a trance, Frank Sinatra in this house in the middle of Brooklyn, eating. I sat there for close to an hour in this trance as they chatted, my favorite singer, I didn’t say or do anything. Frank left before me, he shook everyone’s hand, kissed his wife and left. At this time I woke up and I said to myself, why didn’t you talk, you could have asked him Frank you got any connections? That way I could get some records, calling myself a moron over and over. Oh well. And I didn’t even ask him for his autograph.

6 comments

  • Nick… Let me start by saying that your chance encounter with Frank is worth more than any autograph in my entire collection ! That has got to be the most amazing meeting I have ever heard, espeially since it was in the most unlikely of places. Thanks for sharing that one with us, and Al is right, I always wished I had the opportunity to meet Frank… Not to mention Billie, Miles, John, Ella and Mel… If only we ould go back in time and do it all again.

  • Nick – thanks for these stories. I can only hope to have a tenth of the fun you are having in your life….

  • Nick, one question for you: Approximately how long ago did this chance encounter with Frank take place if you don’t mind me asking ?

  • don-lucky
    If my memory serves me correctly a little less then an hour, and I have also met a few others this way Clark Terry at Lincoln Center library while I was there I asked the libarian a question and he heard me, excuseing himself and told me where to look, I knew who he was and we chatted for around 10 minutes another great guy. I also met Jackie McLean by chance while working in the correction, he was talking to x drug addicts, I had a nice chat with him too, also very nice to chat with, and there are others when you run around the city like I did looking for records, tracking down producers, record companies, arrangers and musicians you meet alot of people and yes I would say I had a great time doing it and I met alot of interesting people over yhe years.

  • don-lucky,
    I thought you said how long, I missed the ago, thats what happens when you get old, I really don’t remember, maybe in the mid 1980’s, Frank use to come to Brooklyn alot, especially to a Italian Restaurant called Bemonte’s which is in Willliamsburg, a few friends told me they saw him there alot when he came into New York, my impression of him was that he was a down to earth type of guy

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