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Frank Sinatra Has A Cold
Esquire.com (LComArchive)), by Gay Talese

Original Article

Posted By:LComStaff, 12/23/2013 1:19:36 PM

FRANK SINATRA, holding a glass of bourbon in one hand and a cigarette in the other, stood in a dark corner of the bar between two attractive but fading blondes who sat waiting for him to say something. But he said nothing; he had been silent during much of the evening, except now in this private club in Beverly Hills he seemed even more distant, staring out through the smoke and semidarkness into a large room beyond the bar where dozens of young couples sat huddled around small tables or twisted in the center of the floor to the clamorous

A Christmas treat from our archives (plus 6 other Must Read Esquire stories from he last two decades.)


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Reply 1 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 12/23/2013 1:34:39 PM     (No. 9665663)

It´s interesting to get a glimpse of that era. Unfortunately not only is Sinatra gone, but so are the nightclubs and supper clubs of that era, where he once thrived. A few of those places may be lingering on, but their moment has passed.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: KsGirl101, 12/23/2013 1:40:59 PM     (No. 9665670)

Sorry. Wrong generation. That weepy, croonie stuff always got on my nerves.
Want a REAL, heartfelt ballad, try "House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: mitzi, 12/23/2013 1:42:04 PM     (No. 9665673)

It is vivid storytelling.You could almost walk through the story.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Toledo, 12/23/2013 1:45:23 PM     (No. 9665680)

Don´t think this is about the generation but the writing style. This was the beginning of what became known as "New Journalism" for better or worse but it made the world a more interesting place. Thank you staff for this. It truly is a treat and I´m from the Maroon5 generation.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Redneck In NY, 12/23/2013 1:55:22 PM     (No. 9665690)

Not my generation either, but I have always loved the Rat Pack days. I grew up listening to my dad and uncle talk about their adventures in the 50´s before they settled down to start families. My dad kinda looked like Dean Martin (I however, do not), so he had a "blast" with the ladies and the places described in this story.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: ColoWapiti, 12/23/2013 1:55:52 PM     (No. 9665693)

After all the hippies have passed, "House of the Rising Sun" will be long forgotten, like almost everything from that generation (also my generation), but the work of greats like Sinatra will persist, and become more appreciated.

I never cease to be amazed by the arrogance of so many Boomers as they continue to overrate their positive impact on human cultural history. Their negative cultural impact, however, cannot be overstated.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: flatwater, 12/23/2013 2:00:49 PM     (No. 9665700)

´Tis the Season we can´t mention!

Fa-la-la-la-laaaa, la-la-la-la!

Saying "Christmas" causes tension!

Fa-la-la-la-laaaa, la-la-la-la!

Ban we now our celebrations!

Fa-la-la-la-laaaa, la-la-la-la!

Let´s end freedom in our nation!

Fa-la-la-la-laaaa, la-la-la-la!

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Reply 8 - Posted by: KsGirl101, 12/23/2013 2:23:35 PM     (No. 9665724)

#6, you are positively correct.
But, I think all tastes are generational.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: secondtimelucky, 12/23/2013 2:26:16 PM     (No. 9665729)

simply excellent writing. I could ´´see´´ all the characters...

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Reply 10 - Posted by: caddyjak, 12/23/2013 2:28:41 PM     (No. 9665736)

One time Sinatra was left speechless. A friend name Jack was very close to Sinatra´s second wife. Frank was trying his hand at portrait painting at this time. Jack approached Frank at a party before a group of Frank´s intimates. "Frank, I heard you do painting". Frank modestly says "yes". Frank, "I would like to have my garage painted this weekend." And ice, not stars, fell from Alabama.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: coyote, 12/23/2013 2:46:03 PM     (No. 9665751)

Attractive but fading blonds are the best kind.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: StormCnter, 12/23/2013 2:52:48 PM     (No. 9665757)

What a treat! Thank you, Staff. I´ve printed out Sinatra, Ted Williams and Junior Johnson.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: FL_Absentee_Voter, 12/23/2013 2:53:43 PM     (No. 9665758)

Thanks for posting, Staff. Quality stuff. Similarly, Dominick Dunne´s Vanity Fair columns were masterful storytelling. Vivid descriptions of every last detail - where Marsha Clark had dinner the night before and what she ate - always made for fascinating reading.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: tomanderson61, 12/23/2013 2:57:20 PM     (No. 9665760)

#6, it´s all a matter of perspective. I say the same thing about rap "music". I can usually find something by The Animals or other great 60s music on the radio dial in any major city. I rarely hear Sinatra, nor do I hear 90s rap. For what it´s worth.

My dad and mom thought Sinatra was ok, but this whole "Chairman of the Board" stuff and the adulation people were supposed to have, and the groupies and hangers-on was just insufferable to them. My parents are in their mid-80s, a generation that was from the Sinatra days but weren´t above appreciation for love ballads by The Beatles.

I wouldn´t walk across the street to see Sinatra if he was alive now, nor would I be a jerk to him like that overrated pee wee Ellison. I just don´t get into the groupie thing. I think people look at the old days with rose colored glasses.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: whyyeseyec, 12/23/2013 3:00:07 PM     (No. 9665764)

That was an era when liquor was booze and women were broads.......

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Rotten In Denmark, 12/23/2013 3:14:49 PM     (No. 9665777)

When men were Men and women were Women and both were glad of it. Life was living.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: 4justice, 12/23/2013 3:41:09 PM     (No. 9665800)

Sinatra wasn´t my style, but I love the era and the generations before...20´s, 30´s, 40´s, 50´s... While I can appreciate good 60´s rock and other genres, I prefer the old ballads, operetta and popular music. But I also loved 70´s (all genres and even R&B, Soul, and bubble gum schlock..for that was when I grew up.) I don´t think I look back with rose-colored glasses. I truly think that I would have preferred to live in my parents time or before. I miss the way people always tried to look their best in public and when sex and dirty words were not part of every day conversation and in every form of entertainment as they are now.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Mike PHX, 12/23/2013 3:51:18 PM     (No. 9665808)

Gay Talese was one of my favorite writers in my late teens/early twenties. I think I read everything he wrote. I know I read this story several times.
Thanks for posting and for the memories.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: terry_tr6, 12/23/2013 3:54:14 PM     (No. 9665809)

sorry, could not chew through the entire piece. Never was impressed by sinatra or the whole rat pack culture. leaves me feeling the need to shower

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Reply 20 - Posted by: tomanderson61, 12/23/2013 4:02:12 PM     (No. 9665816)

#17 people DO look back through rose colored glasses. 1965? This is when our kids were DRAFTED to go to Vietnam, a useless war. Imagine sitting there hoping your kid was not next. We had that idiot LBJ in the White House, starting up the whole generational warfare thing.

You´re a woman? Forget about running anything much above the typing pool. You were still mainly appreciated by most by your looks and breeding capabilities. Good luck starting a business, or getting a loan.

Black? Coon Chicken Inns had just closed a few years back, and your best bet for a job would be a train porter or driving a cab. Best of luck, oh, and stay away from the white women.

Guys used the F word just as much as they do now, just not in front of a mixed crowd. Your boss could be an even bigger jerk than the one you have now, unafraid of giving you ulcers and berating you and expecting sex favors if you want a promotion. Good luck suing him.

I could go on, but yeah, we DO look back with rose colored glasses.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: StuartL, 12/23/2013 4:56:00 PM     (No. 9665854)

Anyone who can listen, unaffected, to the Chairman of the Board singing "Angel Eyes" or "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" must be made of very dour stuff indeed.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: Japanorama, 12/23/2013 5:34:13 PM     (No. 9665873)

Yet another Weltschmerz-laden article, only with evocative detail.
The names could be changed and it would apply to any generation for the past 5000 years.

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Reply 23 - Posted by: coldoc, 12/23/2013 7:48:11 PM     (No. 9665970)

The saddest thing I have ever witnessed was FS at the Puyallup fair doing a feeble blotto imitation of his former self. He was gone shortly after.

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Reply 24 - Posted by: FormerNYer, 12/23/2013 8:33:33 PM     (No. 9666029)

Good article, thanks staff.
Love Sinatra, love the animals, ditto Beatles, Dean Martin, Johnny Cash, Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, etc. Why limit yourself to one type or genre of music? It would be like eating hamburger every meal.

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Reply 25 - Posted by: Ken M., 12/23/2013 8:49:15 PM     (No. 9666047)

Thank You LCom Staff !! Been a fan of Gay Talese, since the initial publishing of his book "The Bridge". Will keep these articles to savor later.

(Ken grew up in a steel mill town near Pittsburgh in the ´40s-´50s. Bethlehem Steel was on the other - east - side of PA; but that didn´t take anything away from his book. It was absolutely fascinating, and probably for any other Rust Belt readers as well)

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Reply 26 - Posted by: Tusker, 12/23/2013 10:17:48 PM     (No. 9666127)

Thanks Lucianne for reminding us that writing can be art.

Have a glorious Mass of Christ.

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Reply 27 - Posted by: Japanorama, 12/24/2013 4:38:26 AM     (No. 9666263)

However well written, gossip is only gossip.
This portrait of a controlling, empty man tells as much about Talese as it does about Sinatra. It was created in Talese´s mind, after all.

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