Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dino havin' fun with Bob....Christmas 1975

Hey pallies, doesn't our Dino look wonderful in this 1975 clip from a Bob Hope Christmas special....our ever funny Dino looks so so cool with his pure white suitcoat and off white turtleneck.....only our Dino can does a little bit like this and make it so so Dinomemorable..... Enjoys this Dinoclip as we move toward Dinowinterday..... In our Dino, DMP

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Dino and the frankie sings 'bout a world full of marshmallow....

Hey pallies, here's 'nother Dinoversion of "Marshmallow World." This time it's done with the frankie, so not as truly Dinostellar as yesterday's Dinosolo Dinoversion...but still very nicely is cool to see how much the frankie loves hangin' with our Dino...and who in their right Dinomind wouldn't wanna be croonin' a tune with our great man. And as we slowin' approach the remembrance of Dinowinterday...the day that our Dinodeparted from our midst....we continue to celebrate the life and times of our Dino. Dinoproclaimin', DMP

dean martin, i don't care what an awful drunk you were. you make me smile.

Hey pallies, likes dudes Dinothanksday may have passed, but every Dinoday there are new pallies givin' thanks for our's a chick writin' in her Live Journal 'bout her Dinopassion....her journal proclaims...."I'm Not A Player I Just Crush A Lot"...well pallies th is chick certainly is Dinocrushed....ands loves the Dinotrib of "I Will" that she has chosen to express her Dinothankfulness...and all true Dinoholics coulda would will sing "I Will" 'bout our great man. So so refreshin' to find more and more pallies unashamed to express their true Dinodevotion... BTW, if you wanna see this in it's original format, likes just click on the tagg of this Dinopost... Dinodiggin, DMP

I'm Not a Player I Just Crush a Lot
oh dino
dean martin, i don't care what an awful drunk you were. you make me smile.

Friday, November 28, 2008

and he's set up a bona-fide shrine -- complete with a candle and a freshly made martini -- above the booth that Rat Pack crooner Dean Martin once favo

Hey pallies, we all knows likes that the martini was not our Dino's fav libation, that bein' somes J& our Dinoquiped...just booze, but how cool to read 'bout this livin' Dinotrib to our Dino and the booth that he favored....just showin' even more how honored and rested our Dino truly is. As usual, if you wanna read 'bout this in it's original form, likes just clicks on the tagg of this Dinogram. Dinohonorin, DMP

Nic's Beverly Hills: a shrine to vodka

Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

By Jessica Gelt
November 28, 2008
For Larry Nicola, owner of Nic's Beverly Hills, vodka is a way of life. His business card announces him as a "vodkateur"; the Shag-esque lounge in his restaurant serves close to 40 types of martinis (with punny names such as Last Mango in Paris); and he's set up a bona-fide shrine -- complete with a candle and a freshly made martini -- above the booth that Rat Pack crooner Dean Martin once favored.

However, the grandest aria in his oeuvre to fermented grain (and potato) alcohol is a small glass room at the back of Nic's called the Vodbox. Set to an icy 28 degrees, the Vodbox is outfitted with more than 80 varieties of vodka that guests can taste in flights, either for a happy-hour lark or between courses of a hearty meal.

Nicola and his son and general manager, Luke Nicola, describe it as an ode to what they affectionately call "martini culture." As Los Angeles slides into the thick of the frantic holiday season, that sounds like a culture we could all use a bit more of. How does it work?

"It's enjoying life to the fullest," says Luke, holding a classic vodka martini -- crystal-clear with two rotund green olives -- while his father, looking every bit the bohemian gentleman, sips a pinkish concoction garnished with a fat slice of juicy watermelon. "It's joie de vivre in your glass. It's where you relax and have fun, where everything good happens with a glass in your hand."

Although experienced martini hands know that plenty of not-good things can happen after too many concoctions, Nic's aims to curate your vodka experience -- appropriately spacing food and drink -- so you don't regret your choices.

"If you have too much fun, you're not going to enjoy your night," Luke says. "We've definitely got your back in this. We show you a whole other world, but we don't let you just dive right in there."

A typical night at Nic's might start in the martini lounge, where you order a What a Nice Pear You Have martini, made with Grey Goose poivre vodka and pear juice and topped with a slender slice of fresh shaved Parmesan (the pear of cheeses, you could say, as it possesses a similar crunch and tang). Then you might nibble on a hot lobster beignet (the cuisine of New Orleans distilled into a single dish).

When a slow-burning warmth begins to stoke itself in your belly, vodka impresario Allison Byrnes -- a vision in a faux-leopard-print jacket and hat -- will lead you to the Vodbox at the back of the room. There you don a jacket and hat similar to Byrnes' and, feeling tragic and majestic (like Anna Karenina), you enter the frigid room.

"We have over 80 bottles of the world's finest vodka," Byrnes announces as your breath clouds around you. "We're going to take you on a tour."

The next 15 to 20 minutes unravel in a languid, frosty haze as you toss back small, potent shots of Reyka Icelandic vodka, which Nicola describes as "a one-buttoned shark skin suit," and Snow Queen, a winter wheat creation from Kazakhstan.

"Unlike wine, vodka you taste on the back of your tongue and down your throat, so you shoot it," Nicola explains, before Byrnes turns to you holding the crown jewel of Nic's collection: Kauffman.

Made in Russia, Kauffman is 14 times distilled and retails for $45 a shot. "It passes right over your tongue and goes straight to your sex organs," Nicola says.

Maybe it's the Kauffman, or the pear martini or the filet mignon awaiting you back at your table, but rarely does a freezing liquor cabinet conjure such warm feelings.

Gelt is a Times staff writer.


Hey pallies, the winter holiday season is off to a start, and as all us pallies know, nobody and I means nobody sings winter likes our Dino. Pallies, to start of the Dinofestivities here at the ol' ilovedinomartin Dinoblog is our Dino doin'a stellar version of "It's A Marshmallow World" from a Bob Hope Christmas special circa 1974. To this Dinoholic this is simply one of the best videoed Dinosongs that I have ever seen and heard. Our Dino is in top Dinoform singin' this amazin' Dinowintertune.....our Dino is just so cool, hip, and prepared pallies 'cause I will probably post likes this same Dinotune several Dinotimes durin' this special Dinoseason leadin' up to Dinowinterday. Enjoys our Dino bein' is totally amazin' Dinoself........ Dinodiggin' to the Dinomax, DMP

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Hey pallies, on this eve of Dinothanksday, just feel the Dinourge to post this ever cool Dinoclip of the only Dinovid of our Dino. Our Dino spoke of "puttin' the accent on youth." And that is exactly what our Dino did with this hip and swingin' vid produced and directed by his boypallie Ricci in the year 1982. This ultra hip version of the Dinohit "Since I Met You Baby"is from his last album "The Nashville Sessions" released by Warner Brothers. This stellar Dinovid got lots of air play on MTV and introduced our great man to the youth of that day. Don't know of any other crooner who ever made it to MTV besides our Dino.

I loves this Dinosong and Dinovid so very very much 'cause the simple Dinotruth is that since I first encountered our Dino at a very tender age I was hooked and have been a Dinoholic ever since. Since I met our Dino I have been a different dude and I give total Dinothanks to our great man for all the changes he has made in my life. When I am feelin' down, all I gotta do is look at a pix of our Dino, listen to our Dino croon a Dinotune, or watch a clip of the Dinoshow or one of our Dino's great flicks and in no time I am like full of total Dinohappiness. So on this eve of Dinothanksday 2008 I wanna say my grateful thanks to our King of Cool for all he has done to bring such Dinopleasure to what otherwise is an ordinary and average life. Dino you have made all the difference in the world and likes the only world that I wanna be a part of is your Dinoworld! Dinoaddictely and so full of Dinothanks, DMP


Hey pallies, likes this is just so Dinogreat...just in time for Dinothanksday, a new holiday flick is opennin' today tagged "Transformer 3" and the main dude of the flick, a character tagged Frank Martin (played by Jason Stratham) declares in the flick that "the French should revere Dean Martin instead of Jerry Lewis." What a great trib to our Dino and 'nother way of bringin' more and more pallies to follow our great man. Below you will find a review of Transformer 3 written by Jan Sandberg for the Buffalo News. Thanks to Jan for includin' this stellar Dinomention in the review. As always, if you wanna read this in it's orginial form, likes just click on the tagg of this Dinopost. Pallies, likes this is one holiday flick that I have just gotta see.... Givin' Dino Thanks, DMP

11/26/08 06:41 AM
‘Transporter 3’ is more of the same
By Jan Sandberg
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Buzz up!
Noise, hostility, fighting. If Thanksgiving with the family doesn’t provide enough of those for you, “Transporter 3” is opening just in time to furnish more of the same.

That’s in keeping with the previous installments in this dumb-but-fun, over-the-top action series starring Jason Statham as Frank Martin, a ridiculously buff ex-Special Forces operative and sharp dresser in demand as an underworld driver-for-hire when a “package” needs safe delivery.

Little about Frank is explained for series newcomers, unfortunately, but those who have seen the first two films know that he has a strict set of rules: 1) no questions; 2) no names; 3) no passengers; 4) never look inside the package; 5) never change the deal; and 6) he drives his own black Audi.

Frank always ends up breaking his rules when he discovers the inevitably evil intentions of his clients — except for the one about the car, of course — or when he has no choice. Both happen in the convoluted-as-usual story (it involves toxic waste) by writers Luc Besson (the series producer, who directed “Transporter 2”) and Robert Mark Kamen.

Frank is back in Marseilles, fishing with his old buddy, Police Inspector Tarconi (Francois Berleand) . Just as Frank starts to argue that the French should revere Dean Martin instead of Jerry Lewis, the inspector gets both a fish on the hook and a call about a wild car chase in the city.

The driver, a fellow-transporter who has borrowed the Audi, ultimately crashes at Frank’s pad — literally. Badly injured, he leaves his pal with a sullen young woman, Valentina (Natalya Rudakova), who refuses to leave the car.

Frank had turned down the same job from creepy American criminal Johnson (Robert Knepper), whose thugs try to “convince” Frank to accept it.

In a confusing jump cut, Frank wakes up as Johnson’s prisoner, with no choice but to take over the job, since he and Valentina — the daughter of the Ukrainian EPA head (Dutch actor Jeroen Krabbe) — are now both outfitted with electronic bracelets that will blow them up if they wander more than 75 feet from the car.

Statham is the best thing about this franchise. One of the actors who has made balding sexy, he has a real presence that makes his quiet character compelling.

Ukrainian females seem to be “in” (“Quantum of Solace’s” Russian Bond girl is played by a Ukrainian actress), and it’s nice to see Rudakova’s wide face, red hair, freckles and blue eyes presented as sexy. However, Valentina is spoiled Eurotrash and often annoying. Frank deserves better, and Statham deserves a better series around him, but he’s still fun to watch in action.

Movie Review

“Transporter 3”


Starring Jason Statham, Natalya Rudakova and Francois Berleand.

Directed by Olivier Megaton.

100 minutes.

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action, violence, some sexual content and drug use.

Opens today in area theaters.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I’m Thankful For Dean Martin

Hey pallies, as we move closer and closer to Dinothanksday, will continue to provide all you pallies with more Dinostories of Dinoappreicato. Here's a very touchin' Dinoread from the blog "The Therapist" by Ron Giesecke. Mr. Giesecke shares how our Dino was important in his last conversation with his father before he died. Our Dino has touched so so many lifes and continues to do so, for which I am so so very very Dinothankful. As usual, if you wanna read this in it's original format, please click on the tagg of this Dinogram. Giving Dino Thanks, DMP

The Therapist Thursday, November 24, 2005
I’m Thankful For Dean Martin

Tomorrow at 5:00 AM, It will be four months to the day that I lost my father to cancer. I had a feeling last Thanksgiving, that I was looking at my dad across the holiday table for the last time.

I was right.

Due to some employment constraints on my part, as well, as some plain old logistical difficulty, we decided to have Thanksgiving dinner on Monday evening. Everything was normal overall, with the addition of an emotional assent to how much we all wished dad were here one last time. My dad was a restless soul, and my wife’s observations about his absence on one of the holiday deficits that will now be the most obvious: that wherever my dad was on Thanksgiving, he always managed to be wandering around the kitchen, chatting with whomever was cooking, and just plain getting in the way in the fashion that loveable old lugs manage to do so well.

How I would have paid millions to have my dad holding up the wheels of culinary progress, forcing my wife to jokingly threaten to run him over one last time. How I would have also paid millions, if it would have at least enshrouded the incremental knots of pain in my mother’s face, as the holiday realizations washed over the clock—all without my father—her husband. And no amount of ambient room chatter was going to change it.

I started thinking about the last two days in my father’s life. Those memories—the one’s where family members became strangers, enemies, and opaque silhouettes—The one’s that recall the fear of falling, the contortions of pain—believe it or not, still have some high points.

I arrived out at the house, and to his deathbed. The medications, along with his metabolic breakdowns had cajoled an otherwise meek man into a sometimes-belligerent stranger. I remember distinctly two conversations I had with him. The first was a bit adversarial—to start.

“Dad, I’m here.”

Dad looks over at me, gives me a once over, and says “so what?”

“Dad, you’re little granddaughters are here.”

“I don’t care,” said my dad, looking away in disgust.

Right about then, my four year old—one of two apples in my father’s eye, ran into the room with that hapless, four-year-old lack of understanding at the impending gravity. I picked her up, and held her over him, so that he was forced to see her.

“Oh yeah, Captain Belligerent? Try being mean to THIS.”

I watched dad, as the realization that Clara was there at Grandpa’s side. I watched as he forced his demeanor, focus, and grandfatherly adoration through the unwieldy veil that had hidden the rest of him from the rest of us.

“Hi Clara,” he said, through the most painful smile ever forged upon that face. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. My daughter made cancer take a back seat, if only for a moment.

As dad inched ever-closer to the precipice, his coherence, ability to communicate, and humanity started to fade. I wanted to speak with my dad one last time about his soul, so that I could again pray with, for, and about him. The in-home hospice visitors said he no longer knew where he was.

I looked straight into my father’s face. His eyes fixed on mine. I thought I saw a momentary window of clarity come across those pupils, and so I silently prayed for a sign that he knew it was me.

“Dad,” I said. “I’m here.”

Dad had this way of nodding with only his eyes, and I was certain I had just seen him do it. The room was calm, and mom had kept the room calmly brimming with familiarity—to include my father’s favorite music lightly playing in the background.

“Dad, “ I said grabbing his hand. “I’m only going to ask you to extend yourself one last time. I just need to know that you know this is Ron talking. If you know it’s me, please squeeze my hand.”

He immediately squeezed with a force that astonished me.

“Okay dad. One more thing,” I said, as he locked his eyes on mine. “I’ve got one more question. After that, I just want you to pray with me in your mind.” I nodded over to the cassette player at the foot of the bed.

“Who’s playing on that radio right now?” I asked him.

With all the accompanying pain, dad struggled to put those parched lips together. I couldn’t believe he’d actually pull it off.

“Dean Martin,” he said.

I almost passed out.

I knew then, that dad and I could talk, even if it was only me doing the talking for our last conversation. Those were his last words to me. We had already exchanged our “I love you’s” earlier. And yet nothing in that transcended the sheer force I felt when I heard the man who brought me into this world fight one last time to converse with me as he left it.

You bet I am thankful. Thankful for Dean Martin.

posted by Ron Giesecke @ 8:39 AM

Monday, November 24, 2008


Hey pallies, in honor of Dinothanksday comin' really Dinosoon, have made the Dinodecision to post some Dinopatter between myself and my pallie Keith that we did over at our humble little Dinopad also tagged ilovedinomartin. We tagged this GIVING DINO THANKS and you will Dinonote that we shared our Dinopassion back and forth as we worked through Dinodesciptive Dinowords for each of the Dinoletters. Hopes all you pallies will enjoy sharin' in our Dinothanksday Dinotrib as much as Keith and I enjoyed speakin; of our ever increasin' Dinodevotion. btw, if you wanna checks out the ilovedinomartin Dinodialogue Dinopad over at yahoo, likes just clicks on the tagg of this Dinopost. Also, still can get the hang of settin' links, so will just Dinoadd that you can find pallie Keith's Dinoblog of Dinodevotion at Dinothankfully, DMP


GENEROUS.... ..our Dino was very generous with charitiesINTOXICATING. .. ...our Dino was intoxicating to both women (who wanted to bed him) & men (who wanted to be him)
VALUABLE.... ..our Dino, even almost 12 years after his departure is hotter then ever and sales of Dinorecords, DinoDVDs, Dinoetc. continue to skyrocket makin' our Dino one hot and valuable property! All all true Dinoholics value Dino more then anythin' else in the entire world.INGENIOUS... ...our Dino's ingenious in that he would be original, resourceful, and clever in all that he did. He was ahead of the curve. He didn't wait for the ball to drop. He said his goodbyes and would move on to something new and refreshing. He did this his entire career. He departed from the Jer and became a bigger star. He saw what others couldn't see.
NATURAL..... ...our Dino is such a natural at everythin' he does.....singin' , jokin', actin'...lovin' the broads, drinkin' the booze, and smokin' the butts. The reason why our Dino is so great is 'cause every cool thin' 'bout him is so NATURAL..... he doesn't need to put on airs or work at bein' cool.....Dino is just NATURALLY COOL at every Dinothin'!!! ! GIFTED... ..Our Dino's gifted. He's gifted with talent (look at what he did on the nightclub stage, on records, in the movies, and on the tube), good looks (Dino was blessed with the dark handsome Italian looks), wit and charm (Dino could put anyone at ease, he knew how to crack a joke to make everybody feel comfortable and happy, he knew how to flirt with the chicks), style (Dino knew how to dress, whether it was a tux, a suit, or more casual wear....what fashion sense), and so much more.
DREAMY....Our Dino so dreamy....his amazin' life is so dreamy...... from humble beginnin's in Steubenville, Ohio to the fame and fortune of 'Vegas and Hollywood. Our Dino's rise to the stature of King of Cool is just like some fairy tale dream. And all true Dinoholics dream of sharin' in that Dinodream... becomin' more and more like our Mr. Wonderful. Women swoon and dream of makin' it with our Dino, men dream of bein' more and more like our great man. Dino is DREAMY and all his pallies dream of bein' with, dream of bein' more like our King of Cool!INCREDIBLE.. . ..The Dean Martin TV Show is incredible. Look at how NBC went after our Dino. He came up with what he thought were outrageous demands. NBC gave in to those and more. For years, the King of Cool rules over the tube with his incredible show. His incredible wit, charm, style, attitude, talent, etc. was on display week in and week out.
NONENDING... ...our Dino gives all his pallies nonending Dinopleasure. ....the talents of our Dino are nonending, so there is no end to the ways that our Dino brings his Dinopleasure into our Dinodevoted Dinolives... .and our love, admiration and devotion to our Dino is also nonending.OPTIMISTIC.. . ...our Dino's always optimistic. People counted our Dino out when he split up with the Jer. They thought he would fade away, becoming another has-been. Dino knew differently. He was optimistic, believing in himself and his abilities. Another example would be that nobody thought a middle aged crooner could knock the biggest band in the world out of #1. Dino was optimistic, going on to knock the Beatles outta #1.
TOUGH AND TENDER...... ..our Dino is such a tough and tender kind of guy. Remember this line spoken by a chick in one of those Dinosex Dinofarces.. ..speaking of our Dino..."So masculine, but so sensitive." In so many of his flicks our Dino shows both his tough and tender side....for example in the Matt Helm flicks our Dino models total toughness while takin' on the villians, but when he is wooin' the chicks he is like so tender. That's out true Dino, a tough and tender kind of guy!HORNY... ...We know that our Dino could be quite horny. Dino's one randy fella. Look at how he was always chasin' skirts. Girls were always falling all over him. Dino could flirt with the best of them. He always seemed to be on fire for some hot babe. He wanted himself a piece of action. Nothing wrong with that at all. He loved sex and knew how to get it.
ATHLETIC.... .our Dino is quite the athlete..... .boxin' in his youth and playin' a round of golf all most every day of Dinolife once he because rich and famous....think also that our Dino musta swam and played him so tennis as well. Dino loves his golf....his true passion in life!!!!NEAT... ...our Dino's a neat singer and a neat dresser. He has style and attitude. He's neat, he's cool, like no other.
KINETIC... ...our Dino has kinetic energy. Dino fed off the energy off his audiences and they fed off of his energy in return. Dino has sparks that fly all over the place. He's full of cool, hip, and randy energy. We see that from how he interacted with the fans. Also how he worked well off of others, whether it was in movies, music, etc.
SAVVY....... our Dino is so savvy in all his entertainment enterprises. .....we know that he knew when to join forces with the jer, and when to break it off. We know how he knew how important it was to make "The Young Lions"....willing to settle for a way small salary to do the part. And in our most recent meaty thread we know how Dino partnered with frankie in Reprise records, and how he formed Claude Productions so he could have total control of his creative activies. And, our Dino savvy was not just business focused....he was the dude of total savvy when it came to singin' a knock the Mop Tops off the charts, to develop a huge Thursday night followin' for his TV show, for how to win over the 'Vegas crowds....our Dino is the savviest of the savvy!!!!!!


Hey pallies, was lookin' at a blogger's Dinopost on "The Silencers" when I came 'cross this Dinotreasure that I thought all you pallies woulda groove to Dinowatch....a great Dinocompilation from the first of the Matt Helm capers...enjoys some pure Dinopleasure and congrats to the chick who created this Dinotrib....and if you wanna see it in it's original Dinoformat at youtube likes just clicks on the tagg of this Dinogram.... Dinoaddictedly, DMP

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mark Rutledge: Everybody loves Dean Martin and big-band music sometime

Hey pallies, just found this cool column written by Mr. Mark Rutledge of the Greenville Daily Reflector, Greenville, N.C. Reads how Mr. Rutlege turns on one of today's youth to our Dino...what a blast! Loves to see how it was Rutledge's 19 year old niece Adrienne who purchased Dino for her uncle. Doesn't get cooler then this pallies...and likes does trust the youngen in the other car was taught a very Dinovaluble Dinolesson and has come to his Dinosenses... As Dinoalways, if you wanna read this in it's original format, likes just clicks on the tagg of this Dinogram.... Dinodevotedly, DMP

Mark Rutledge: Everybody loves Dean Martin and big-band music sometime

By Mark Rutledge
The Daily Reflector

Friday, November 21, 2008

As I walked to my car in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant, the distinctively low bass notes from a teenager's car stereo vibrated my eyebrows.

Nothing makes you feel more like a crusty old man than being annoyed by the thump, thump, thumping of what today's youth have somehow mistaken for music.

It scares me that grocery stores are now playing a lot of the '70s rock that caused my own parents to shake their heads in disbelief. If tomorrow's grocery stores begin piping in today's license-tag-rattling rap, we can expect a lot more cleanups on the pickle aisle.

The closer I got to my car in that parking lot, the louder and more annoying the non-melodious vibrations became. The disturber of the public peace, as it turned out, was parked right beside me.

To further enhance my misery, the guy had backed in so that his opened driver-side window was directly in line with mine. I shot him a disapproving glance climbing into my car, but he was slumped too far down in his seat to notice.

My first instinct was to quickly put as much distance as possible between the thoughtless thumping and me. But as I shifted into drive it hit me that I would never again have such a golden — as in golden oldies — opportunity to offer a timeless testimonial to that musically misguided young man.

I moved the shifter back into park and began flipping through my own CDs.

For all of the auto industry's recently publicized failures, backsliding on car stereo technology is not among them. My factory-installed CD player can mount a formidable challenge against any teenager's custom dash-blaster — especially from 24 inches away.

I considered firing back with some George Jones. Perhaps a little “He Stopped Loving Her Today” cranked up all the way. Or I could put on a Willie Nelson classic from the “Red Headed Stranger” collection.

I might have witnessed to the lad with the gospel bluegrass renderings of Doyle Lawson, or taken him down to the crossroads with the raucous rock of ZZ Top.

But I needed something that would cut through the mind-numbing bass notes and get under that flat-billed ball cap of his. I rolled down my front and rear windows and let loose with some big-band boom-boom.

“How lucky can one guy be?” Dean Martin asked between high-frequency horns, “I kissed her and she kissed me.”

The loud one did not lower his volume or admit defeat, but as I slowly pulled away snapping my fingers and bobbing my head, he was sitting up a little straighter and smiling.

Ancient as I am, the big-band era was before my time. I never would have thought to purchase “Dino: The Essential Dean Martin.”

Mine was a gift from my musically diverse niece Adrienne, who offers hope that grocery stores might never thump or vibrate with piped-in rap music. Adrienne is 19.

As old Dino once said, “Ain't that a kick in the head?”

Contact Mark Rutledge at or (252) 329-9575.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Epic Sloth" Stan Cornyn's Liner Notes for Happiness Is Dean Martin

Hey pallies, likes here is just 'bout my fav Dinoalbum Dinocover and the liner notes by Mr. Stan Cornyn is so so totally Dinostellar and the tagg of this Dinoalbum speaks likes such Dinopure Dinotruth.....HAPPINESS IS DEAN MARTIN. Enjoys this cover pix and the great as Dinoalways, if you wanna view the liner notes in their original form, likes just clicks on the tagg of this Dinopost. And always remember, only Dino truly matters.... Dinohappily, DMP

And Cornyn's masterpiece, "Epic Sloth," from Happiness is Dean Martin
Nothing is more Dean Martin than Dean Martin.
"Of course, doing a really preposterously good job of being Dean Martin depends a lot on knowing the rules about what makes the best Dean Martin. Knowing the archetypal definition of Martinism: How is he different? Why is he individual? What is he driving at?
What Dean Martin is driving at seems to be to lead a Life Of Sloth. A Life of EPIC Sloth. Not just your common little ol' Sunday afternoon lazy Sloth, like you get with minor Erskine Caldwell Georgia darlins.
No, Martin now epitomizes EPIC SLOTH. Sloth like Joseph E. Levine would come up with. In big, 3-D letters, like in those Ben Hur movie ads, with all forms of EPIC EXHAUSTION draped over the letters. "Epic Sloth," starring Dean Martin, and then running around the bottom, instead of Mongol hordes and Jack Palance you find other things, for this is "Epic Sloth." Things like deflated innertubes. Like the ears of sleeping Spaniels. Like Kleenex ashes. Like all of Life's Most Unresilient Stuff.
And there, leaned up in Herculean-Scope against those giant letters, our Pop Star slumps. Dean Martin. Kind of half-eyed looking out at you, grinning "Hi ya, pally," like he hopes you haven't got anything heavy on your mind. "Dean Martin has been working at becoming an Epic Pop Art Object. He's been getting in a good deal of pop art hypnotizing. Avis knows, you don't get to be Number One by just sitting round. Some detractors have published this about Martin: that he sits round, trying to make spaghetti look tense.
"Pish tosh," we say, and "Yellow journalism."
You have to publicize to get to be Our National Epic Sloth. Martin has. His medium: the most popular art object of Our Times, meaning . . . your television set. (Breathes there a soul with fingers so dull he can't find his Vertical Knob blindfolded?)
The mind-boggling task which DM has accomplished in his upwards surge to Number One Epic Sloth in this: he has put other would- be number one lazy slobs into limbo. "Amos 'N Andy's" Lightnin, for instance, now is largely forgot. Shiftless and No-Account has moved to Beverly Hills, where dey got no deltas, chile. The other competition--those slothy Southern belles once played by Lee Remick and Joanne Woodward--are now minor league stuff.
Martin (few people have known this until this very minute; it has been a closely kept secret) was actually only Number Two until quite recently. The spot of Number One Epic Sloth was recently held by another performer. Not a human being, but a small dog. His name: Red Dust. He is (or was, for he has largely disappeared from our scene) part of a Vaudeville turn. His master would bark out commands: "Red Dust, Roll Over! Up, Red Dust!" But Red Dust was an utterly and irrevocably sag-boned hound. Red Dust never voluntarily moved anything, least of all a paw. The pooch looked permanently pickled. It was pretty funny stuff.
Dean Martin finally won out over Red Dust. Much of his triumph has been ascribed by some scribes to his ability to project an alcoholic aura from coast-to-coast, into millions of Puritan homes. Good, Puritan, beer-drinking homes. Martin has almost by himself established Booze-o-Vision as America's new Art Populaire. It's difficult to imagine any other object that would currently be more welcome in our historic nation's thousands of beer bars and juke joints. Nothing more popular than DM, slumped there, looking for his cue card, all brung to you in NBC's surrealist color. Martin and his--dare we say it?-- goopy baritone. Martin: the biggest sex symbol to hit neighborhood taverns since the heyday of The Rheingold Girl, may she in our secret imaginations requiescat in flagrante delicto.
Nothing should slow up his reign as our beloved epic boozer short of a sudden attack of dysphagia.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Hey pallies, likes was just Dinoperusin' photobucket for Dinotreasure whens I came 'cross this Dinofind...loves this Dinoquotation and loves how this "Krazy Kyle" dude that did this Dinocreation speaks the Dinotruth that our Dino is the "True Boss." To view "Krazy Kylies entire photobucket album, likes just clicks on the tagg of this Dinopost. Keep lovin' our Dino pallies and never ever forgets that our Dino is TRUE BOSS. Dinosharin', DMP

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tristan Doing Dino

Hey pallies, likes this is just so Dinostellar....a ten year old dude tagged Tristan Porter doin' some Dinoemulation. Yeah, this kid has a long way to go to gettin' the tune and the words to "Mambo Italiao" Dinocorrect....but loves seein' such Dinodevotion comin' from one so so young....obviously this youngen' has been raised to love our Dino...if you wanna see this in it's original form at youtube, likes just click on the tagg of this so refreshin' to findin' younger and younger pallies so turned on to our Dino....

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Thoughts On Dino Martin Jr.

Hey pallies, likes I tend to rarely share my personal Dino-opinions here at the ol' ilovedinomartin Dinoblog...besides my all comsumin' passion for our great man, but today on the anniversary of the birth of our Dino's beloved boypallie Dino Jr. I have decided to make a rare exception.

As all us pallies know Dino Jr. was the apple of our Dino's eye, and I believe that our Dino was hopin' that his name sake would follow in his footsteps as heir apparent to the King of Cool. Dino Jr. career started on with a real bang when he played in the teen band Dino, Desi, and it's time one of the most successful Rock and Roll groups to come out of America. Like his cool daddy-o, Dino Jr.'s looks, natural charm and musical ability captured the hearts of the youth of his day. But, at some time in his late teens or early twenties, Dino Jr. decided to go his own way....requestin' that everyone tagg him Dean Paul Martin instead of Dino Jr.....although mother Jeanne always tagged him Dino....and went from one thing to the next...wantin' to be a doctor, then a professional tennis player, then a airplane pilot...graspin' after one thin' and the other tryin' to make his own way in the world instead of bein' willin' to follow after his amazin' father. Many of us had high hopes that Dino Jr. woulda come to his senses and seek to be more like our Dino...and Dino's boypallie did do some TV...includin' starrin' in "Misfits of Science" and some actin' in movies includin' a acclaimed starrin' role in "Players."
It was especially after Dino Jr. starred in "Players" that it looked like he just might let go of doin' life his way and accept his given path of followin' the lead of our great man. But, that was not to be. It is understandable that Dino Jr. wanted to make his own place in the world, but if he had accepted the path so naturally laid before him, I believe that he woulda found the fame, fortune, and respect that he so much desired....and in my opinion would still be alive today and woulda be the natural person to have continued to spread the Dinomessage after his father's death. Everyone agrees his death was so tragic and hurt our Dino to the core of his bein'....and it is my believe that all this pain and heart ache coulda been avoided if Dino Jr. had just claimed his Dinodestiny and accepted the righta and responsibilities of bein' heir to the Dinothrone. These are just my Dinothoughts, but I share 'em with you on this day when we remember the birth of Dino Jr. Dinowonderin', DMP

On This Day In Dinohistory: November 11. 1951 Dino Jr. is born

Hey pallies, our pallie Mark from the Pop Culture Fan Culture blog reminds us that it was on this date in 1951 that our Dino's boypallie Dino Jr. entered the Dinoworld. You can read all the Dinodetails below or as usual, clicks on the tagg of this Dinopost to read it in it's original format.

1951 - Capitol Records artist Dean Martin, and his second wife Jeanne, welcome the first of their three children together, son Dean "Dino" Paul Martin, Jr., into the world. He would later become an actor and was a singer and guitarist in the group Dino, Desi & Billy. The depression caused by his death in 1987 (at age 35 in the crash of his Air National Guard plane) is attributed as the cause of his father's complete retirement, rapid health decline, and eventual death.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Hey pallies, here's 'nother cool piece of Dinoprose...I was followin' up on a google alert 'bout our Dino when it eventually led me to this way short, but way cool piece of prose that features our Dino. Written by a lady tagged Gayle Carline it's 'bout a dude who loses an ice cube tray used in Ocean's 11 and signed by our Dino. Our Dino is just so good to this pallie to lead me to 'nother cool story that is so so usual, if you wanna read "Dino Cubed" in it's original format, just click on the tagg of this Dinopost. Dinodelightedly, DMP

Third Annual SCWC*PS
Topic Award Winner
Each conference the SCWC has a writing contest in which all conferees are invited to participate. The rules are simple: Write a piece in any form you wish of no more than 250 words based on the topic announced Friday night. The topic for the SCWC*PS 3 event was "Ice." Gayle Carline of Placentia, CA is this year's winning author.


Dino Cubed
Gayle Carline

HE WAS THE kind of man who made you want to disinfect your eyeballs when you looked at him.

"You the private dick?" his voice oozed from the doorway.

"Private investigator," I corrected him.

The stranger slunk into my office and poured himself into a chair. Pale and thin, his wispy blond hair lay pasted against his head, making his ice-blue eyes look large and reptilian.

Taking a picture out of his pocket, he threw it across my desk.

"I lost something. I need you to find it."

I studied the picture. "It's an ice cube tray."

"Not just any ice cube tray," he told me. "It's the ice cube tray used for Dean Martin's drinks on Ocean's Eleven.

I stared at him, clearly unimpressed.

"It's signed by Dino! I paid $1500 for it on Ebay!"

"Okay, okay," I said. "I get $100 a day, plus expenses."

"Anything. Just find it for me."

Taking out my notebook, I got to work. "Where did you see it last?"

"In my freezer," he said. "It's still there somewhere, but I can't see it for all of the ice."

I sighed. Opening the bottom drawer, I pulled out my travel-sized hair dryer. "Give me your address," I told him.

What the hell, I figured. It's a paycheck.

The end.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Dean Martin of Oklahoma

Hey pallies, more and more our Dino is appearin' in today's literature. The lastest novel that spreads some Dinolove 'round is a youth fiction book tagged "The Spectacular Now" by Tim Tharp, which has just been tagged a finalist for the National Book Award. The main character of this novel is a dude tagged Sutter Keely, a senior in high school who loves his seven and sevens (one of our Dino's fav liquid libations) and is likes a total Dinowannabe. How cool that Mr. Tharp is introducin' our Dino to a new generation through his new book. Read all 'bout it below from this blog post by a guy tagged David Elzey. As Dinoalways, if you wanna read it in it's original form, just clicks on the tagg of this Dinopost and goes over to the Guys Lit Wire Blog. So loves seein' all the ways that the Dinomessage is bein' proclaimed to today's youth who are turnin' on to our main man is such way cool Dinoways.... Dinodiggin', DMP

The Dean Martin of Oklahoma

It's an odd, almost unsettling experience to finish reading a book, fire up the internet to see what sort of buzz the book has, and then discover that almost simultaneously the book was just named as a finalist for the National Book Award. That's exactly what happened a few weeks back, in one of those moments when you wonder if the universe is trying to tell you something important.

Cue eerie music for... The Spectacular Now.

Sutter Keely is a charmer. A senior without a care, he is an unrepentant alcoholic living in the now, willing to embrace the weird. The only problem is that his beautiful fat girlfriend Cassidy is getting tired of his shtick. He's late and constantly drinking Seagam's and 7-Up; he's fun but irresponsible; he's a good time at parties but he's selfish. When the last straw comes and Cassidy finally dumps him Sutter figures she'll eventually come back around to his wannabe Dean Martin swagger.

The problem is that Cassidy is looking down the road at life beyond high school and Sutter isn't there. And not just Cassidy, all of Sutter's friends seem intent on trying to figure out what comes next. After years of floating without a care Sutter doesn't see the big deal, or the need to plan beyond his current buzz. So when Cassidy shows how serious she is by picking up with a new boyfriend, Sutter redirects his energies toward hooking up his best friend Ricky with a girl of his own.

Wallowing drunk, he is found passed out on a lawn early one morning by Aimee, one of those withdrawn girls everyone walks all over. Taking her on as his own special project to help her grow a spine and realize her inner self, Sutter finds himself promising to take her to the prom, officially declaring her his girlfriend, and knowingly leads her on in an effort to build self esteem. But Aimee isn't like the other girls he's dated, willing to hang out with a party boy until it's no longer fun. Aimee has fallen in love -- deep, hard, and seriously -- and slowly begins to entangle Sutter into her plans and dreams, into their combined future together. She could be the girl Sutter has always needed, the one he never realized he'd always wanted, a girl who could change him for the better.

If Sutter doesn't first succeed in dragging her into his own dead-end spiral.

Will Sutter reform, confront his deadbeat father and clean up his drinking? Or will Aimee become his sloppy, drunken sidekick, the girl who abandons her dreams of college and NASA to stay by the side of the only guy that has ever bothered to give her the time of day?

Up until the final pages there's no way of knowing how this is going to turn out. Tharp does a nice job of having the characters remain true to themselves in such a way that every meeting is a quiet trial of wills. When Cassidy continues to get together with Sutter on Thursday afternoons after they break up -- and with the full knowledge of their new dating partners -- Cassidy makes no bones about the fact that she will probably always be drawn to Sutter's bad boy antics but cannot let him back into her life as anything more than a buddy. This suits Sutter just fine, but his unspoken longing for Cassidy seeps in and pushes him that much farther along. He's like a comet that gains velocity in her orbit, then spins wildly out into the universe seemingly with a lack of control, but he's always drawn back into her gravitational orbit when he reaches the outer limits with Aimee.

Tharp pulls a nifty trick in giving us the portrait of a charming young drunk well on his way toward becoming a pathetic one. But he doesn't judge -- Sutter's friends are more than willing to do that, and they do it with a large dose of tough love despite the apparent futility of their gestures. There were moments when I was almost afraid Tharp was romanticizing teen alcoholism in trying to present a realistic portrait, but Sutter's own aimlessness undermines anything remotely cool about being drunk. It plays as humor when Sutter goes to his sister's house for dinner and nearly sets himself on fire when he tries to secretly smoke a joint in her closet, but Sutter's empty apologies and quick judgments about his family members make the laughter ring hollow.

I wasn't as impressed with Tharp's last outing, The Knights of Hill Country, because there was something about it that felt stale. This time out Tharp returns to his Oklahoma soil with an approach that feels slightly on edge. Not edgy, but teetering at the brink of excess and charm -- much like its main character. It is unflinching in its handing of teen drinking, almost casual, but equally sober about what sort of dead end that leads to.

I don't think it's necessarily undeserving the National Book Award, but given the competition I'm having a hard time seeing this pull through as the winner. Then again, perhaps the universe was indeed trying to tell me something. We'll find out soon enough.

The Spectacular Now
by Tim Tharp
Knopf 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Iconic Player: Dean Martin

Hey pallies, likes I just loves to meet new up and comin' Dinoholics in our midst. Today's Dinodiscovery is Mr. Ricardo Rangel from Los Angeles. You can read of his amazin' Dinodevotion below. So refreshin' to find so many of today's youngen's who are turnin' on to our Dino and strivin' daily to be more and more likes our great man. If you would like to read 'bout pallie Ricardo in it's original Dinoform, as always, likes just clicks on the tagg of this Dinopost. Our pallie Ricardo writes...

Iconic Player: Dean Martin
Dean Martin was an actor, singer, comedian, mobster, and above all a Certified Player. This man was and will forever be known as the definiton of the word Cool. Very few film and television men can match his flamboyance on and off the screen. He drank, smoked, and partied on a regular basis. Women found him to be handsome. Men mimicked his moves. He was the life of the party, always cracking jokes at his expense. This icon was well before my era but his persona is so bright it reached my attention from the moment I saw him on television. My style is modeled after "Dino" in every which way I act in a public setting. Too bad I am fat at the moment but my "Dino" spirit makes me look like Brad Pitt in the eyes of most ladies I meet. Thank you "Dino" for giving me my swagger. "That's Amore" is my favorite song of Dean Martin. Cheers.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Christmas With Class...'nother piece of Dinohistory

Hey pallies, just came 'cross this great piece of Dinohistory where our Dino, the frankie, and the sam headlined a concert at the Thomas and Mack Center. Reads all 'bout it below and diggs that cool Dinousual, if you wanna read it in it's original format, just click on the tagg of this Dinopost. In our Dino, DMP

Thomas & Mack Turns 25:

No. 15: Ol’ Blue Eyes plays the Mack
By Rob Miech

Fri, Nov 7, 2008 (2 a.m.)

Justin M. Bowen

A poster for a "Christmas with Class" concert starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. hangs in the halls of the Thomas & Mack Center.
Special section
Thomas & Mack Turns 25
More Thomas & Mack 25th Anniversary stories
Click to see a PDF for every event held at the Thomas & Mack Center
Thomas & Mack's Top 25
No. 16: Big George wins bloody battle
No. 17: The Boss makes em scream
No. 18: Tark back at Mack
No. 19: Phish fans out in force
No. 20: ‘Trotting’ in family entertainment
No. 21: The Mack ‘Smackdown’
No. 22: Talking politics
No. 23: Fade pattern
No. 24: Pavarotti plays the Mack
No. 25: Let's play two
Beyond the Sun
Thomas & Mack Center
Editor's Note: In conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the Thomas & Mack Center's opening on Nov. 21, 1983, the Sun is celebrating the building's colorful history with a top 25 countdown - to No. 1 on Nov. 21, 2008 - of the biggest events held inside the arena located on UNLV's campus.

Who else would roll into the Thomas & Mack Center to entertain at one of its inaugural events but the Chairman of the Board?

Frank Sinatra also played the arena in one of his last public performances.

On Dec. 16, 1983, Sinatra sang at “Christmas with Class” with Dean Martin and Diana Ross. Among the 9,000 in attendance were Nevada politicians and business tycoons to dedicate the new building.

It was a benefit for the Nathan Adelson Hospice and UNLV, on whose Foundation Board Sinatra would serve for the rest of the decade.

Golden Nugget chairman Steve Wynn and his wife, Elaine, arranged the event. Gov. Richard Bryan praised bankers E. Parry Thomas and Jerome Mack for their foresight and dedication as pioneer builders in Las Vegas.

Martin opened. Sinatra sang. They exchanged jokes, then Ross sang. Martin and Sinatra then laughed about an incident two weeks earlier at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City.

They were playing blackjack with a dealer who was doling out cards to them, by hand, from a single deck. Seems that’s illegal in New Jersey.

Gaming officials there were investigating whether that dealer was doing so because Sinatra had been intimidating him to do so.

“It doesn’t happen here,” Sinatra told the Mack audience, “it happens in New Jersey.”

The audience rained applause down on Sinatra.

Nine years later, Ol’ Blue Eyes was back at the Mack to sing for 67-year-old Lee Iacocca at his extravagant Chrysler retirement party.

Sinatra, 76, serenaded Iacocca with “My Way” on Aug. 27, 1992, fresh off an engagement in which he sang to Princess Grace Kelly in Monte Carlo.

They were longtime friends. When Chrysler was ailing, Sinatra did commercials for $1. Iacocca once unveiled a Sinatra edition of the Imperial.

When Sinatra was driving his from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and it broke down somewhere in the desert, Iacocca sent a helicopter to whisk Sinatra and his small group to Las Vegas.

The gala was grand. Chrysler folks moved into the Mack 15 days earlier to build an enormous stage. There was a huge Chrysler logo with a platform in the middle for Iacocca.

Neon and fog machines surrounded the stage. Orchestra pits flanked both sides. Hydraulic lifts vaulted 1993 Chrysler models high into the air.

There were enough tables to seat 11,000, and dealers from all of Chrysler’s units, other employees and guests paid $700 each to send Iacocca off.

Singer Kenny Rogers and actor Ricardo Montalban also attended. After a two-hour stage show, Iacocca choked up during a speech.

Afterward, Sinatra, Iacocca and 145 others repaired to the top of the Hilton for a lavish dinner.

Sinatra played the Desert Inn, Sands, MGM Grand and Caesars Palace, among his other Las Vegas gigs. The two times he sang inside the Thomas & Mack Center, though, were extra special.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Dinoinsights collected from the internet by Raymond Embrack

Hey pallies, found these Dinocomments shared by a dude tagged Raymond Embrack at his blogsite "Coolboiled." How Dinodelighted I am to find more and more bloggers spreadin' the Dinomessage. If you clicks on the tagg of this Dinopost you can read Mr. Embracks collected words of Dinowisdom in it's original Dinoformat and see a cool Dinoclip from "The Silencers." Dinosharin', DMP

the crime leisure channel of Raymond Embrack paperback writer

Friday, September 26, 2008
Dino: The Art of the MF

(Collected from the Internet:)

On that same night of July 13, as Kennedy's nomination was being announced, Dean opened at the Sands."I'd like to tell you some of the good things the Mafia is doing," he said. There was a momentary hush, then a long, slow wave of rising laughter.

Dean Martin did what he wanted -- drink, screw around, play golf, make a bundle. He took plenty from everyone and didn't give back much but a kind of low-level radiance. He was a gambler, yes, but even more a dealer. I control your destiny and I don't give a damn.

In its way, Martin's is an exemplary American story: how to succeed without really caring. And America loved the ease with which he held an audience, even if he held it in contempt. But is this an exemplary life? Is Dino worthy of Nick Tosches' big, reckless new book?

Biography usually quests for an existence that makes a difference. Dean's specialty was indifference. His TV show was flash encircling stupor: the Golddigger chorines did their cooch; the cue-card girl had the script written on her bare midriff. And in the middle, so laid-back as to be supine, was Dino -- on the cutting edge of lumpen-American mediocrity.

This is just what Tosches sees as crucial in Martin's life: that he was the signal showman of an America that was "fulfilling its destiny as the chrome-crowned glory of post- literate, polyvinyl civilization." Dino was what we wanted and deserved. Just about everybody liked Martin but, as Dino warned a TV producer, "nobody gets to know me." Even Martin's most expert appraiser, his long-suffering wife Jeannie, says he's an enigma. "He's either the most complex man imaginable or the simplest," she tells Tosches. "There's either nothing under there or too much."

Those close to him could sense it: He was there, but he was not really there; a part of them, but apart from them as well. The glint in his eye was disarming, so captivating and so chilling at once, like lantern-light gleaming on nighttime sea: the tiny soft twinkling so gaily inviting, belying for an instant, then illuminating, a vast unseen cold blackness beneath and beyond. The secret in its depth seemed to be the most horrible secret of all: that there was no secret, no mystery other than that which resides, not as a puzzle to be solved or a revelation to be discovered, but as blank immanence, in emptiness itself.

First of all, Dean Martin was Italian and, if you don't think that's a big deal, you must be Sicilian. I learned a couple of very interesting Italian things from "Dino." Like, right here - I can't believe I never heard of this before - "Lontananza", that's the Italian word for the distance a guy keeps from other guys cause other guys . . . Well, what fuckin' good are they? Who the hell needs em?

"The sum of Dino's instinct had to do with the old ways, those ways that were like a wall, ways that kept the world lontano , as the mafiosi would say: distant, safe, and wisely at bay."I learnt another good Italian word from this book - Menefreghismo, the quality of a Menefreghista - "one who simply did not give a fuck"!

Dean Martin was the ultimate Menefreghista. "One wondered, watching Dean," a critic wrote "whether he cared whether his show went over or not." Yeah, who gives a fuck about these silly ass songs and this crappy show in this slimeball nightclub? How else could a guy as cool as Dean be in the same act as a doof like Jerry Lewis? "Yeah, go right ahead and come into the club dressed up as a waiter and spill a tray full of drinks right in the middle of my goddam song - I could give a rat's ass what you do."

Still, no one filled or fulfilled Dean; as Jeannie Martin notes, "He was always content in a void." Eventually the drunk act ceased to be an act. His chilling apathy is the only bodyguard he needs.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

on this day in Dinohistory...November 5, 1951

Hey pallies, likes thanks to our pallie Mark over at the popculturefanboy blog we learn this Dinohistory.....

1951 - Dean Martin records the tracks "Blue Smoke (Kohu Auwahi)" and "As You Are" which are eventually released in 2005 as bonus tracks for Collector's Choice Music CD re-release of Martin's first Capitol Records album "Dean Martin Sings"

The original Dinoalbum cover is at the top of this Dinopost followed by the Dinore-release Dinousual, if you wanna read this Dinoinfo in it's original Dinoform, likes just clicks on the tagg of this Dinopost. Dinolearnin' and Dinogrowin', DMP

our Dino liberates some young Alaskan chicks circa '50s

Hey pallies, loves how our Dino has been such an inspiration of Dinoliberation through the Dinoyears. Here is a way cool blog post tagged "Spreading Wings Makes For Turbulent Teen Years" from the blog "Redoubt Reporter" by Clalk Fair. Mr. Fair shares how two young chicks back in the fifties in Alaska went 'gainst the rules and took in the Dino and the kid flick "Jumping Jacks" and how their lives where changed for Dinoever. Checks out how our Dino liberated Arlene and Jackie. If you wanna read this in it's original format (which included some pixs), just click on the tagg of this Dinopost. Dinodiggin', DMP

Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Spreading wings makes for turbulent teen years

By Clark Fair
Redoubt Reporter

At the beginning of the 1950s, the village of Kenai was poised on the edge of modern life. In 1948, the Alaska Road Commission had connected Kenai to the new Sterling Highway. And during the ’50s, a new school would be built, a military presence would be installed at Wildwood, the village population would double, oil would be discovered on the Swanson River field, and statehood would follow close behind.

Times were about to change, but for some of Kenai’s teenagers, like teenagers today, the changes may have seemed ponderous and slow.

Young Arlene Rheingans knew something of the world outside Kenai. In 1950, the 11-year-old Rheingans — who had spent the first nine years of her life in Hope after her parents, Ervin and Joyce, had left California in 1937 to seek their fortune mining for gold up Resurrection Creek — had read books and magazines and “Archie” comics, and she had listened intently to the stories of life Outside, stories sometimes as transient as their tellers.

But in Kenai, most of that exotic life elsewhere was simply something to dream about while making do with what one had: typically little or no electricity, little or no indoor plumbing, no telephones or televisions, no local doctor or dentist, and only about 300 other residents with whom to share this fate.

Rheingans was a loyal playmate with friends, was close to her parents, participated in school dramas and musical events, and was an active member of the Kenai Bible Chapel. Once she finished eighth grade at Kenai Territorial School, she found a best buddy in Jackie Benson, and the two of them began spending as much time together as possible. They even taught Sunday school together.

With the advent of her adolescence, however, came what Rheingans called a “mildly rebellious” streak. Some of that rebelliousness was aimed at the Kenai Chapel, which had strict prohibitions on smoking, drinking, playing cards, attending movies and wearing anything more than the lightest trace of makeup.

Rheingans began wearing some lipstick and mascara. When she and Benson had sleepovers, the two girls often crawled under the covers with a flashlight to read Max Shulman novels about the silliness and awkwardness of youth.

Then one day, on a trip to Anchorage with friends, Rheingans and Benson were left alone for a while, and they risked “surefire heck and darnation” to stop along Fourth Avenue and catch a movie —“Jumping Jacks,” starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

Emerging from the theater 90-some minutes later, their sides aching from laughing so hard, they decided to adopt for themselves the names of the film’s main characters. Benson became “Chick,” the Dean Martin character, and Rheingans became “Hap,” the Jerry Lewis character.

“Early the next day, the (Kenai Chapel) missionary’s wife arrived at our house to read me the riot act,” said Rheingans. “Seems she had been in Anchorage the day before, walking down Fourth Avenue, when who should she see coming out of the movie theater but her two Sunday school teachers.”

Ervin and Joyce, who was the Kenai postmaster, were far from pleased. Still, the girls were not finished with their rebellion.

Hap, who went to modeling school and changed her name to Lisa Marie Graham at age 17 before beginning a 50-year marriage to Tom Augustine just prior to her 19th birthday, said that she and Chick had read somewhere that “a person could get drunk by combining aspirin with Coca-Cola.” So they decided to give that a try, especially since neither aspirin nor soft drinks were prohibited by the Kenai Chapel.

In her memoir of life in Hope and Kenai, “The Dragline Kid,” Lisa Augustine wrote: “For our daring experiment, Chick and I bought a bottle of aspirin at Kenai Commercial and headed over to Mrs. Miller’s (soda fountain), where we ordered two bottles of Coke, ensconced ourselves in the back booth and set about crushing aspirin as best we could and funneling it into the bottles.

“We sipped hesitantly at first, sure that the concoction was going to take immediate effect, then, disillusioned but still a bit apprehensive, drained the drinks just as Louisa’s husband, Freddie, approached to ask with a frown, ‘You kids aren’t up to something, are you?’

“‘Uh, no,’ we blurted, and fled, leaving behind twin bottles coated with aspirin residue.

“The experiment didn’t make us drunk, but it probably did irreparable damage to our kidneys or livers or whatever. On the bright side, I never had a headache for the rest of high school, either.”

But even such a bitter defeat didn’t apply the brakes to Chick and Hap’s string of escapades.

“I suppose we were a little preoccupied with forbidden fruits just then, because not long after that (Coke) episode, we decided to get the whole Kenai Chapel Youth Fellowship tipsy,” Hap said.

Using connections to some of the Army soldiers being stationed nearby, they procured a half pint of vodka and spiked the fruit punch at the KYF Friday-night affair. The most affected person at refreshment time, however, appeared to have been “one of the female pillars of the church, who was acting as chaperone,” according to Hap.

She was “smacking her lips and pronouncing loudly, ‘This is the best punch I’ve ever tasted!’ as she poured her third glassful.”

In 1953, the girls were exposed to even more GIs when the Wildwood Army Station was established. Soldiers regularly came from the base to attend church services and other functions, drawing the eyes of teenage girls weary of the regular male faces around Kenai. Many of the soldiers, some of whom were still teenagers themselves, began dating the village girls.

Then, in the fall of that year, after a variety of such “dates” by both girls, Chick “escaped,” Hap said. She had graduated early from high school, and left for business school in Seattle. “Hap” without “Chick” became Arlene again.

In quick succession, much to her parents’ chagrin, she began dating Walter Hotchkiss, a young soldier from Georgia who was seven years older than herself; she joined the Civil Air Patrol and became a second lieutenant; and, in June of 1955, 12 days after her 16th birthday, she became Mrs. Walter Hotchkiss.

Nine months later, Walter decided he wanted to return to Georgia, and Arlene, who was not quite 17, accompanied him. Five months later, they were no longer together.

Still, the story has a happy ending. Arlene’s faith and her strong personality overcame the limitations of her youth. She learned poise and fashion sense in modeling school, and as the wife of Tom Augustine she had two daughters; stints in modeling, secretarial and volunteer work; and a chance to live in several places around the United States.

Currently, she and Tom live in the retirement community near Sacramento, Calif. She has written a book of humorous poetry entitled “Cheer Up it could be Verse,” and she has talked about, but not committed herself to, writing a second memoir that tells the “rest of the story.”

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Shelia Variations shares on Tosches' stellar Dinobio

Hey pallies, this Shelia O'Malley in her blog shares deeply on the great Nick Tosches' Dinotome "Dino: Living High In The Dirty Business of Dreams." To read this in it's original form, likes just clicks on the tagg of this Dinopost.

"This race and this country and this life produced me, he said. I shall express myself as I am." -- James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
October 14, 2008
The Books: "Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams" (Nick Tosches)
Next book on my "entertainment biography" shelf:

Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams, by Nick Tosches

David Thomson, in his Biographical Dictionary of Film writes of Tosches' book:

Nick Tosches' Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams is one of the great showbiz biographies. Its research is not just thorough, but lunatic, and perverse - for, plainly, Dean Martin had led a life indifferent or averse to recollection, accuracy, or fact. Dino is brilliant on the Lewis-Martin assocation, and inspired in its evocation of the drift, the haze, the numbing futility of being Dino, or being alive.
Tosches' book, while it covers all the details it needs to cover (Dean Martin's start as a singer, his immigrant upbringing - he didn't speak a word of English until he was 6 years old - his meeting with Jerry Lewis and how their particular brand of lunacy made them two of the biggest stars in the world, the breakup with Lewis, and Martin's surging off into a solo career - his friendship with Frank Sinatra and the other Rat Pack boys - his sketchy friendships with underworld characters - his marriages - particularly to Jeanne, the woman who stood by him until the end, even after they divorced - his family-man lifestyle - his highly successful television show - the "roasts" - the tragic death of his son - an event that Martin never recovered from - and then, suddenly, Dean Martin walking away from it all) - does not stop there. The details are just the jumping-off point for Tosches' deeper ruminations, all embodied in the persona of the man that we know of as Dean Martin. You get a great overview of Martin's journey, what it was that made him so special (as a comedian and also a singer - not to mention his potential as a dramatic actor - you need only to see Rio Bravo to understand how good he could be) ... but Tosches is up to something else in his book. It weaves a spell. It ends up being about the entirety of American life in the 20th century - its glory, its seedy side, its reliance on the energy of immigrants - the development of television and what that would really mean to the culture at large - the boomtown of Las Vegas, a truly grown-up playland in the middle of a desert ... the criminal element married to the legit element ... bootlegging and movie stars, poker games and Sunday School ...

Tosches goes deep into the metaphoric resonances of our lives, our experiences as a collective ... and then ... he goes even deeper than that - into an ongoing meditation of what it is to be a human being, the most sophisticated of animals ... and yet the most tragic, with our awareness of our own mortality. What does it mean to live one's life KNOWING that it will end? How does that form us? How does it develop us? We are not cookie-cutters - everyone deals with the reality of death in different ways.

Tosches sees something in Dean Martin - that he had an awareness of death on a cellular level ... it is not intellectual with him, it is known, and understood ... and it was that that distanced him from, well, everyone. No one really knew Dean Martin (according to Tosches). He remained apart. That was one of the reasons why he could be so unbelievably funny. He hovered above the action, seeming to react to it off the cuff, and you wondered (or at least I do, when I watch him): what exactly is he doing that is so funny? It's hard to point to it - it's especially hard to point to it when you are falling off the damn couch with laughter. His humor is subtle, sophisticated, reactive, and deeply human. I would imagine that he was always that funny - and it wasn't Jerry Lewis, per se, who brought it out of him (although you'd never know that from listening to Jerry talk!) ... It was that Dean Martin reacted to whatever person he was standing beside - with gentleness, acceptance, and a ribald sense of the absurd. He made fun of himself, but he never came off looking like just a clown. He was, along with George Burns, the ultimate straight man. It's hard to do with Dean Martin does. Or - it was easy for him ... but what he does cannot be taught. You have it, or you don't. Being a good straight man is having gold in the bank. There's probably one genius a generation in that particular field of show business. It's that difficult and that subtle.

I don't know if Dean Martin would even recognize himself from Tosches' majestic melancholy book ... but like I said, Tosches is up to something different here than a straight biography. It is a rumination on darkness (you can tell that from the title), it is a contemplation of America itself, and the intersection of show business and the underworld. It is a deeply philosophical book, and if you go into it looking for something more traditional, you will be deeply confused. Just give up your expectations. There are other biographies of Martin out there, but this is the one to read. Not just because Tosches really gets Martin's talent and is able to describe it (although that is true as well) ... but because it is spectacular writing. Writing so thick and good you want to scoop it up with a spoon.

Here's an example of the kind of prose that makes up the whole book:

His schoolmates had never really known him. Even his loving familiy could not tell for sure what lay within this kid who moseyed around among them with a hat on, singing. There was a pin-tumbler sidebar lock on his guts that no one could pick. That was just the way he was, and it was just the way he always would be. Unlettered and rough-cut, Dino possessed both wiles and wisdom beyond his years - anyone trying to fuck with his mind or his body or his soul found this out forthwith. But the wisdom served by those wiles was an annihilating wisdom. It was the wisdom of the old ways, a wisdom through which the seductions of reason and love and truth and all such frail and flimsy lepidoptera would in their seasons emerge and thrive, wither and die. The sum of Dino's instincts had to do with the old ways, those ways that were like a wall, ways that kept the world lontano, as the mafiosi would say: distant, safely and wisely at bay. That was how he liked it: lontano, like the flickering images on the theater screen that gave him pleasure as he sat alone, apart from them and unknown to them, in the dark.
Those close to him could sense it: He was there, but he was not really there; a part of them, but apart from them as well. The glint in his eye was disarming, so captivating and so chilling at once, like lantern-light gleaming on nighttime sea: the tiny soft twinkling so gaily inviting, belying for an instant, then illuminating, a vast unseen cold blackness beneath and beyond. The secret in its depth seemed to be the most horrible secret of all: that there was no secret, no mystery other than that which resides, not as a puzzle to be solved or a revelation to be discovered, but as blank immanence, in emptiness itself.

There was a picnic in Beatty Park. Roozy had gotten hold of an eight-millimeter movie camera, and they were all going to be in pictures. No one who saw that movie ever forgot it. The camera captured the silent laughter of the Crocettis and the Barrs. It followed Dino's friends back and forth as they ran and fumbled, threw and jumped in a makeshift football game. There was merriment everywhere, but there was no Dino. Then the camera scanned to the right, to a tree off in the distance, and there he was by himself under the tree, away from it all, caught unawares and expressionless, abstractedly toying with a twig, sort of mind-whittling it. That was Dino, all right; the Dino inside the Dino who sang and swore and loafed and laughed.

He was born alone. He would die alone. These truths, he, like every punk, took to heart. But in him they framed another truth, another solitary, stubborn stone in the eye of nothing. There was something, a knowing, in him that others did not apprehend. He was born alone, and he would die alone, yes. But in between -- somehow -- the world in all its glory would hunker down before him like a sweet-lipped High Street whore.

This, obviously, is not a regular book. Tosches sprinkles the book with Italian words, it is as though he is trying to imagine himself into Martin's psyche - not an easy thing to do on a normal day - because Martin was resistant to analysis and to self-reflection. He did not talk about what he did. He just did it.

His singing came easy to him. And that's one of the things that really gets me about Martin ... the beautiful smoothness of not only his voice, but his persona. His solo songs on his television show are works of art. He sits on the edge of a desk, staring into the camera, and sings. He doesn't overdo anything. Simplicity like that, the ability to not do too much is deeply vulnerable. He does not protect himself, he lets himself be soft, open, and connected to us. His voice would make you swoon - and that's what he wants. In a way, his was the most generous of the talents of the Rat Pack crowd ... it was a direct communication with his audience, in a way that was singular and set apart. Who knows if he knew how much he was loved, and if that made a difference to Dean Martin, and his experience of being Dean Martin. Nick Tosches surmises that it did not make a difference, that Dean Martin had something in him - an existential loneliness, a solitary mindset - that kept him from joining the world at large. Regardless of whether that is true or not, watching Dean Martin sing is to be in the presence of true grace, in my opinion. You can relax. You can be with him. He demands nothing from you except that you enjoy your own life while you are here. It's remarkable. Baffling, almost. Generosity of that sort in a performer, without the accompanying subtext of "Love me, love me, love me" is so rare as to be almost unheard of.

The couple of times that Martin got a chance to really act (The Young Lions, Rio Bravo) showed that when he put his mind to it - he could move out of his comfort zone. This man was such a giant and easy talent that his comfort zone was obviously enormous - he could be funny, he could be sentimental, he could be absolutely insane, he could do a "ba-dum-ching" line like nobody's business - he could do slapstick, gentle situation comedies, he was sexy - This is not a man who had a narrow path in which he operated. But outside of that enormous comfort zone was the realm of dramatic acting, ensemble acting ... It is hard to say what was going on inside of Dean Martin when preparing for these roles, but we only need to listen to the people who knew him, who had hired him, directors, co-stars ... who reference what a good person he was, what a collaborator, no bullshit, and also how hard he worked.

Here is the section in Tosches' book where Howard Hawks speaks of the entire experience of Dean Martin being cast in Rio Bravo (his best performance as an actor):

"I hired him," Hawks remembered, "because an agent wanted me to meet him. And I said, 'Well, get him around here at nine o'clock tomorrow morning.' The agent said, 'He can't be here at nine.' So he came in about ten-thirty, and I said, 'Why the hell couldn't you be here at nine o'clock?' He said, 'I was working in Las Vegas, and I had to hire an airplane and fly down here.' And that made me think, 'Well, my Lord, this guy really wants to work.' So I said, 'You'd better go over and get some wardrobe.' He said, 'Am I hired?' And I said, 'Yeah. Anybody who'll do that ought to get a chance to do it.' He came back from wardrobe looking like a musical-comedy cowboy. I said, 'Dean, look, you know a little about drinking. You've seen a lot of drunks. I want a drunk. I want a guy in an old dirty sweatshirt and an old hat.' And he said, 'Okay, you don't have to tell me any more.' He went over, and he came back with the outfit that he wore in the picture. He must have been successful because Jack Warner said to me, 'We hired Dean Martin. When's he going to be in this picture?' I said, 'He's the funny-looking guy in the old hat.' 'Holy smoke, is that Dean Martin?'
"Dean did a great job. It was fun working with him. All you had to do was tell him something. The scene where he had a hangover, which he did in most of the scenes, there was one where he was suffering, and I said, 'Look, that's too damn polite. I knew a guy with a hangover who'd pound his leg trying to hurt himself and get some feeling in it.' 'Okay, I know that kind of guy,' he said. 'I can do it.' And he went on and did the scene with no rehearsal or anything."

For some reason, that makes me want to cry. "Okay, I know that kind of guy." He was an actor who was willing to listen, to give things a shot - even if they were scary or new to him - and who showed up when he needed to show up (by 'show up' I don't mean being on time, or being actually present - I mean "showing up" - with all your concentration and focus being put on the job at hand). Because Dean Martin was a guy to whom things came easy ... being put in a position where he might not know what to do or how to do it ... was daunting. He didn't do it often. There are stories of him before going to shoot The Young Lions and saying to a friend, "I'm so scared. I'm so scared." So what did Martin do? To deal with those nerves? He went and talked with Marlon Brando, his co-star, just to get some tips on ... you know ... how to act. Brando was generous with him, telling him to always make sure he was listening - to not plan too far ahead, to try to stay in the moment - and above all else: LISTEN. I love Brando's generosity there, but I also love that Martin, a GIANT star, knew that he was a bit out of his element, and instead of struggling in silence, or trying to fake it - hoping we would buy it - OR not even realizing he was out of his element, and doing a bad job blithely - thinking it was awesome ... Martin went privately to talk to the greatest actor at the time, and said, "Hey, man, can you help me out?"

That's a pro.

Another thing that I love Dean Martin for is how he put his own career on the line when Marilyn Monroe was fired from Something's Got to Give - a movie he was co-starring in. This was in the last couple of months of Monroe's life, and large forces were at work in the studio (which was in the process of collapsing) - and Monroe was one of the ones who took the fall. Martin had signed on to do the picture with Monroe, and when he heard she had been fired, he walked off the picture. Nothing anyone said could dissuade him. The big-wigs begged, pleaded, cajoled, threw money at him. Nope. Nope. Nope. It was a PR nightmare for everyone involved ... the studio knew Monroe was beloved by the public, and it did its best to paint a picture of her as a drugged-out mess ... regardless of whether or not that was the truth ... and so they needed Martin to shut the fuck up, and be a good team player, and continue on to do the movie with Lee Remick - the replacement. But Martin would not budge.

He had been friends with Monroe for years, obviously - but more was going on than that. Marilyn Monroe was still one of the biggest stars in the world. Yes, she had some problems, but didn't we all? Martin was kind to those who were weaker (in whatever ways). Monroe was a damaged girl, sure, but she was box office gold, and he was going to do the movie with her, or with no one. Martin put the studio execs in a hell of a spot. I love him for it. In Marilyn: The Last Take, the book that describes those final two months of Monroe's life, the authors, Peter Harry Brown and Patte B. Barham, write:

Snyder approached Martin, who was still in golf clothes from a noon game at the Los Angeles Country Club. "Dean, I think they've fired Marilyn," Snyder said.
"What?" Martin said.

"Then Dean had his assistant run to the production to verify the story," Snyder remembered.

A few minutes later, the assistant was back. "Yep," he said. "Monroe has been fired and Lee Remick's going to be your leading lady."

Martin put his putter down, grabbed his coat and headed for the Fox parking lot. Snyder walked part of the way with him. "Whitey, I made a contract to do this picture with Marilyn Monroe," Martin said. "That's the deal; the only deal. We're not going to be doing it with Lee Remick or any other actress."

When Martin arrived home half an hour later, Vernon Scott, the Hollywood reporter for United Press International, coaxed a brief interview out of him. Martin told Scott that he had walked off the set and didn't plan to return. "I have the greatest respect for Miss Remick as an actress," Martin continued. "But I signed to do this film with Marilyn Monroe."

Shortly after 6 pm, the UPI wires broadcast this bulletin: "Dean Martin quit the Twentieth Century-Fox film because Marilyn Monroe was fired."

... Dean Martin never elaborated on his reasons for putting his career and his future on the line for Monroe, but it was typical of a man whose on-screen image as an easygoing good guy was identical to his off-screen persona. An ex-prizefighter and ex-cardsharp, Martin had been laboring in a steel mill when he began singing nights and weekends in small clubs. After he teamed up with frenetic comedian Jerry Lewis in 1946, he assumed the role of a handsome, not-so-bright straight man. The Martin and Lewis partnership endured for ten years, eleven films and a thousand appearances in nightclubs.

When the partnership collapsed in the mid-fifties, many Hollywood producers thought Maritn wouldn't survive as a solo act. But half a dozen number-one hits, including "Volare" and "Memories Are Made of This", smoothed his way to film and television superstardom. In 1958, his role in Some Came Running opposite fellow "Rat Packers" Sinatra and MacLaine proved his value as a dramatic star.

However predictable, Martin's loyalty to Monroe was far from popular. "Nasty sayings were scrawled on his dressing-room door," production secretary Lee Hanna remembered. "By insisting on Monroe, it seemed as if the film would shut down for good - with the loss of one hundred and four jobs."

Hedda Hopper warned the actor in her Los Angeles Times column. "The unions are taking a dim view of Dean Martin's walkout," Hopper wrote. She quoted a union official as saying, "Dean's putting people out of work at a time when we are all faced with unemployment." ...

Levathes, who flew back to Los Angeles on Sunday, was determined to change Martin's mind but, just in case, had Ferguson begin drafting a $5.6 million lawsuit "for breach of contract".

The three-hour meeting among Feldman, Levathes, Frank Ferguson, Martin and Herman Citron was an exercise in frustration. The executives were determined to sell Remick to the increasingly skeptical actor.

When Feldman tried to verbally recap Martin's "rejection of Remick," Martin interrupted him, saying, "I didn't turn down Miss Remick. I simply said that I will not do the film without Marilyn Monroe. There is a big difference between the two statements."

Levathes countered, "What kind of position does that put our investment in?"

Martin answered, "That's not a fair question to ask me. I have no quarrel with anyone."

Levathes forged ahead. "We think Miss Remick is of adequate stature," he said. "After all, she has appeared with Jack Lemmon [in Days of Wine and Roses] with James Stewart [in Anatomy of a Murder], and with Glenn Ford [in Experiment in Terror]."

Martin patiently explained that he had taken the role mainly because "the chemistry between Miss Monroe and myself was right." The actor also said that the whole point of Something's Got to Give was Martin's desertion of his new bride, Cyd Charisse, for Monroe, which was something which wouldn't happen, Martin said, "with Lee Remick."

The production chief disagreed. "This story is a warm situation in which the husband, with his children, loved his former wife, but was caught in an embarrassing position because he had remarried," said Levathes. "This is not the case of a man who chucks one woman for a sexpot."

Martin shook his head.

The situation went round and round, a total impasse. It was never resolved. It might have been, had Monroe lived, there were rumblings that she would be re-instated - but it was not meant to be. She died in August, 1962, a mere 2 months after she had been fired. In those crazy last months, as her friends fell away (and as she fired her staff, left and right, trying to get rid of the sycophant suckers all around her) - Dean Martin stood up for her. He put his career and reputation on the line.

He could not be swayed.

Tosches, in his book, seems interested most of all in that part of Dean Martin that could not be swayed. It was that element of Martin's character that drove his friend Frank Sinatra up the wall. Sinatra (at least in Tosches' version) always needed more from Martin than Martin could give. Sinatra was baffled and hurt when Martin decided to stop performing (in the middle of a tour!) - how could he just walk out? How could he not realize his obligations - not just to the tour but to their friendship? Martin did not recognize those obligations. He was done. His heart had been shattered by the death of his son. All he wanted to do in his old age was sit on the couch and watch Westerns on television. And that's what he did.

But that implacable element of Martin's personality was always there - it was what made him such an acutely funny and perfect straight man ... it was what made him a heartbreaker to the women who loved him ... and it was what made him a star.

The excerpt I chose today from Tosches' brilliant book has to do with the Martin-Lewis dynamic, particularly their first live shows - which were legendary. Martin and Lewis would take the show out into the parking lot - and the entire audience at a nightclub would follow them outside, and watch as the two of them went absolutely insane in the parking lot - messing with cars, valet drivers, chasing each other - whatever - these were electric shows. No record of them exist. But that's okay. There's no record of Edmund Kean playing Richard III or Shylock, either. Doesn't mean I don't believe it was a great performance - just because I personally didn't see it. What happened between the two of them in the live shows was one-for-the-ages ... and it transferred to radio, to television, to movies ... in an unstoppable juggernaut. An amazingly successful collaboration - and Tosches, in that way that he has - a prose styling all his own - really is able to capture what it was in that dynamic that was so resonant, so deep.

Below the jump, I have included an image of the bill the famous night in Atlantic City, 1946, when Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin met. Jerry Lewis was doing impressions, and Dean Martin was singing. There they are on the bill - their names separate - having no idea (although it became apparent immediately) what they would be to one another.

I have also included below the jump one of my favorite clips from Dean Martin's TV show: him and John Wayne singing "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime". Those two guys loved each other, that is obvious - I love how funny Wayne is, how generous Martin is with Wayne's funniness - giving him the props when deserved - and also how he sets Wayne up to look like a million bucks. Not that that is difficult - Wayne was another guy who seemed comfortable wherever he was ... but watch how Martin HANDS the entire sketch to Wayne, letting Wayne be the funny one, letting Wayne take it away. It's glorious!! (I love what Wayne does with his body and his face at around the 1:20 mark ... it makes me laugh out loud. So stupid!!) But even with the silliness of it, even with the goofball nature of these two big swaggering guys singing a love song to one another - not to mention the fact that John Wayne - John Wayne! - is LIP SYNCHING ... there's a beauty here, a real slice of Americana ... the innocence and pleasure of our entertainment, the thing that more jaded cultures sneer at us for ... the open-faced enthusiasm of who we can be, at our best ... something that I will never feel shame about. I think it is our greatest asset. And here it is - in Wayne and Martin - writ large.

And finally, I will end this post on Dean Martin - one of my favorite entertainers of all time - with some words from my brother Brendan. Brendan has a way of capturing what it is, what it really is, about a performer ... the essence - not just in who the performer is - but the response the performer engenders in an audience - and I love his words here.

I remember seeing the Dean Martin roasts and being scared, like a drunk friend of a drunk uncle had showed up unannounced at a dinner party and started shoe-horning everyone into singing along to perverted folk songs. I didn't know what he was famous for and those roasts seemed to hint that he didn't really know why either.
Then, years later as a grownup, I heard "Ain't That A Kick In the Head" in some movie, or in a bar. That's really all you need to do...just listen to that song a few times in a row. It all seems like a joke. Then you start to hear how well he sings the song. Then you realize that someone could have completely fouled the song up. It isn't a very good song, actually. Think about all the classic standards. Everybody does 'em. But is there another famous version of that song? If there is, I haven't heard it.

How does he turn a mediocre song around? He doesn't sound all that invested in the heartbreak aspect of it, there isn't irony dripping all over the place. I still can't quite place what makes the song work so well. But I'm going to try:

His presence and personality are so evident that you don't even need the song. He has sung the song out of existence. All you want to do is hear him make a rumble in his throat and roll his eyes about how much trouble a broad can be. You also somehow realize that no broad ever caused him too much trouble. He causes them trouble. And they love it.

It is almost a taunt. What could be a stupid jokey brushoff of heartache turns into a come-on. It is a magic trick.

Another thing that strikes me about Dean Martin is that you get the sense that he would have behaved exactly the same had he been a truck driver, a grocer, a whatever. Most of the other stars of that era seem to have been transformed in some way by fame and what came along with it. This guy could have strolled around the streets of Rome with his jacket over his shoulder and 10 bucks in his pocket and it would make no difference to him.

The most underrated of all time.

EXCERPT FROM Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams, by Nick Tosches

The Desert Inn was still several months away from opening when Dean and Jerry arrived in September 1949. The Flamingo was still the jewel of that stretch of Highway 91 that came to be called the Strip. The Rex Cigar Store, the Jungle Inn, the 500 Club, the Riviera - the great and gaudy neon cathedral of the Flamingo was all these joints exalted. Here, married by God and by state, anointed in the blood of Bugsy Siegel, Unterwelt and American dream lay down together in greed.

Martin and Lewis by now were among the beloved of that dream, embracing and embraced by the spirit of a post-heroic, post-literate, cathode-culture America. The Flamingo was the pleasure dome of the new prefab promised land: a land of chrome, not gold; of Armstrong linoleum, not Carrara marble; of heptalk, not epos of prophecy.

Martin and Lewis were the jesters of that land. Time magazine, then as always the cutting edge of lumpen-American mediocrity, the vox populi of the modern world, celebrated the dazzling appeal of their hilarity. The heart of their audience, the nightclub clientele whose reduction to a quivering mass of thunderous yockers Variety attested again and again, was sophisticated, white-collared, and well-heeled. The sophisticated, white-collared, and well-heeled New York Times itself, in an article published while Martin and Lewis were in Las Vegas, hailed their "refreshing brand of comic hysteria," their "wild and uninhibited imagination".

And yet, these few years later, the nature of that appeal is as alien and as difficult to translate as the language, syntax, and meter of Catallus. There are no films or tapes of their nightclub act. Only secondary fragments have survived to be judged: glimpses of routines reworked for pictures, such as the "Donkey Serenade" scene in My Friend Irma, and for pale renderings on radio; a few rare kinescopes of television broadcasts, none of them predating 1952. Those fragments convey almost nothing of the dazzling appeal of that hilarity proclaimed in contemporary accounts. And yet the howling laughter present in many of those fragments, in the radio shows and television performances, all done before live spectators, is unanswerable. Those spectators, who had lined up for free shows at network studios, were not the same urbane nightclub-goers who howled at the Copacabana or Chez Paree or the Flamingo. Their sense of yockery was perhaps homelier; but, on the other hand, it was less primed by booze. Jerry was right: Martin and Lewis appealed to everyone. But why?

"Let us not be deceived," the New York Times had declared in April 1947, while Dean and Jerry had been playing at the Loew's Capitol; "we are today in the midst of a cold war." Now, in September 1949, while they were in Las Vegas, President Truman, the first president to have a televised inauguration, revealed that the Soviet Union had set off an atomic-bomb explosion. A week later, on October 1, Chairman Mao Tse-tung would formally proclaim the Communist People's Republic of China. In January, Truman would order the development of the hydrogen bomb. Six months later, United States ground troops would invade South Korea. "Let us not be deceived" -- but America wanted nothing more than to be deceived. Martin and Lewis gave them that: not laughter in the dark, but a denial of darkness itself, a regression, a transporting to the preternatural bliss of infantile senselessness. It was a catharsis, a celebration of ignorance, absurdity, and stupidity, as meaningless, as primitive-seeming, and as droll today as the fallout shelters and beatnik posings which offered opposing sanctuary in those days so close in time but so distant in consciousness.

Those days were the beginning of the end of timelessness. Homer's Odyssey spoke throughout the ages; Kerouac's American odyssey, On the Road, would have a shelf life, and would prove after a handful of years more outdated and stale than Homer after thousands. But like the detergent on the shelf in that other supermarket aisle, it was for the moment new and improved; and that is what mattered. And that is why the dead-serious pretensions of Kerouac today seem so droll while the comedy of that same necrophiliac era seems so unfunny.

Dean, of course, had no use for any of this shit. He did not know the new and improved from the old and well-worn. Homer, Sorelli the Mystic: it was all the same shit to him. The Trojan War, World War II, the Cold War, what the fuck did he care? His hernia was bigger than history itself. He cared as much about Korea as Korea cared about his fucking hernia. He walked through his own world. And that world was as much a part of what commanded those audiences as the catharsis of the absurd slapstick; and it would continue to command, long after that catharsis, like a forgotten mystery rite, had lost all meaning and power. His uncaring air of romance reflected the flash and breezy sweet seductions of a world in which everything came down to broads, booze, and money, with plenty of linguine on the side. There was a beckoning to join him in the Lethe of the old ways' woods that appealed to the lover, the menefreghista, the rotten cocksucker, the sweet-hearted dreamer in everyone.

Mickey Cohen, a brutal killer who "got kind of friendly with him," said that "Dean would've been in the rackets if he didn't have the beautiful voice that he has. He probably would've ended up a gambling boss somewhere. I'd say Dean had the perfect makeup to be a racket guy, although he is a little too lackadaisical, if you know what I mean."

Love was Dean's racket. The traits he shared with the Fischettis and the Anastasias - that lontananza, that dark self-serving moralita - were never far beneath the surface of whatever sweet spell he meant to cast. Whatever talent he had, whatever he worked at, whatever was God-given and whatever manufactured, that much, that darkness beneath the spell, was immanent and intractable and ever-there.

Frank Sinatra, who had sung at the Nacional during the Havana yuletide gathering of 1946, was a malavita groupy, a scrawny mama's boy who liked to pretend he was a tough guy. He cultivated the company of, and catered to, men such as the Fischettis. But it was Dean, so aloof and yet seemingly so kindred, to whom those men themselves were drawn.

"They loved him," Jerry said. "But they knew that he wasn't the one to talk to on a business basis. He had his way of getting that clear to them. I would say he was the most brilliant diplomat I've ever known. I used to hear things like 'Talk to the Jew,' 'Talk to the kid,' 'Talk to the little one.' "