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Jersey City's Frank Vincent - The Man Next Door
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2004/9/15 19:03
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Excerpt from

The Man Next Door
Frank Vincent

Why is he famous?

Man?s man: It?s a title many would like to have, but a distinction for which few possess the life experience and street smarts -- Frank Vincent, for the record, falls into the latter category. A familiar face to anyone who enjoys good movies (especially those with gangsters in them), Vincent started his showbiz career as a musician (where he hobnobbed with Sinatra), moved on to acting (where he hobnobbed with Scorsese), and has now moved on to writing with A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man (in which he tells you how to hang with Sinatra and Scorsese). Featuring a manly group of contributors, including his Sopranos costars James Gandolfini, Steve Van Zandt and Vincent Pastore, as well as Hollywood heavyweights like James Caan, A Guy?s Guide is filled with humorous and informative insights into the core pillars of North American masculinity.

Frank Vincent Gattuso was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, on August 4, 1939. Raised in the Greenville section of Jersey City, New Jersey, Frank was introduced to showbiz at an early age by his father, an amateur actor. Although Frank did participate in many school plays during his youth, it was music that he was most drawn to, and he went on to become a professional drummer. Frank toured the nightclub circuit for much of the ?60s and ?70s until his desire to perform pushed him back into acting. After his role in the 1975 gangster flick The Death Collector, Frank?s acting quickly caught the attention of Martin Scorsese, who cast him in Raging Bull (1980), which led to a relationship between the two men that has lasted through such classic films as Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995). Seen most recently on The Sopranos, Vincent has now taken his years of experience as part of the male elite and condensed it into A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man, an essential guide for any aspiring, well? man.

Q-1:First off, who are the men that you look up to?

Well, I have a list of my favorite "men?s men" in the book. Obviously, my favorite is Sinatra; then it's Dean, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Miles Davis, Elvis, Louis Armstrong, Mick Jagger, James Brown, Bono, Springsteen, Steven Tyler, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Dylan.

Q-2:You have actually had the opportunity to meet these guys; how was your experience with Sinatra?

Frank used to come to New York quite often, and when he was working around in the area, he would always come to a place called Jilly?s. Jilly Rizzo was Frank's right-hand man, and he owned a bar in New York City on 52nd and 8th Avenue. Frank would frequent that bar whenever he came to New York, and when he was in town, everybody in New York knew it -- all the ?in? people knew.

I would be playing in my club -- in New Jersey or wherever was within driving distance of the bar -- and because Jilly's used to close at 4 a.m., we would work until 2 a.m. and then say we were coming over with 15 people. We?d make the trip over, eat some Chinese food at three in the morning, and Frank would be in the room. And a couple of times we were introduced to him and we would just stare.

Despite having played some of the most memorable gangsters in cinematic history, Frank has always wanted to play a cowboy.

Q-3:Going back to your list, it might seem odd to pair Frank Sinatra and Steven Tyler together. What do the two men have in common?

They?re both excellent performers, both have a wide clientele and people love them. Tyler is a very hard-working guy, and he?s from Massachusetts, my home state. I?ve worked with Steven; we?ve done a video or two together. I have a lot of respect for him; I've even introduced Aerosmith at Madison Square Garden.

Q-4:With the book now in stores, you have become an authoritative source on masculinity. How do the men of today compare to the generation that you grew up with?

I think they?ve lost some tradition. The youth of today are so computerized and individualized that a lot of the stuff men used to know is lost on them. That?s what we?re talking about: loyalty, respect, manners, and honor. You have got to have a good sense of humor, you have got to be tough and you have got to know how to dress. A lot of the youth today don?t even know how to comb their hair.

Frank opens up about his gangster image and what he thinks of metrosexuals...

Read more at this link

Posted on: 2006/9/27 11:08

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