Frank Nitti was born in Sicily in the 1880s. He emigrated to New York City after the end of World War I, and later moved to Chicago, where he set up business as a barber, with a profitable sideline as a small-time jewel thief and fence. Nitti built an extensive network of associates in the Chicago underworld, and eventually came to the attention of Chicago crime boss John "Johnny The Fox" Torrio.
Under Torrio's successor, Al Capone, Nitti's reputation soared. Nitti ran Capone's Prohibition-busting liquor smuggling and distribution operation, importing whiskey from Canada and selling it through a network of speakeasies around Chicago. Nitti was one of Capone's top lieutenants, trusted for his leadership skills and business acumen.
In fact, Capone thought so much of Nitti that when he briefly went to prison in 1929, he named Nitti as a member of a triumvirate that ran the mob in his place. Nitti was head of operations, with Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik as head of administration and Tony "Joe Batters," "Big Tuna" Accardo as head of enforcement.
Despite the portrayals of Nitti in movies and TV, Nitti was more about brains than brawn. Though I loved the scene in the 1987 Untouchables film... It was pure fiction. Nitti committed suicide... he wasn't tossed off a sky scraper.
Despite his nickname "The Enforcer", Nitti used Mafia "soldiers" and other underlings to commit violence rather than do it himself.
Not that Nitti was averse to using firearms - he had, in earlier days, been one of Capone's most trusted personal bodyguards - but as he rose in the organization, his business instinct dictated that he must personally avoid the "dirty work" - that was what the hitmen were paid for.
In 1931, both Frank Nitti and Al Capone were convicted of income tax evasion and sent to prison. However, Nitti only received an 18-month sentence while Capone was sent away for 11 years. Nitti was not a troublesome prisoner, but he found the year-and-a-half confinement in a cell horrifying because of the closed-in space. When Nitti was released in 1932, the media hailed him as the new boss of the Capone Gang.
In 1943, Nitti was indicted for extortion. The Outfit was accused of trying to strong arm some of the largest Hollywood movie studios, including MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, and RKO Radio Pictures. The studios had cooperated with The Outfit to avoid union trouble stirred up by the mob.
At a meeting of Outfit leaders at Nitti's home, Underboss Ricca angrily blamed Nitti for the indictments. Ricca said that since this had been Nitti's scheme and that the FBI informant, Willie Bioff, had been Nitti's trusted associate, Nitti should take the fall for the Outfit and go to prison.
A severe claustrophobic as a result of his first prison term, Nitti dreaded the idea of another prison confinement. It was also rumored that he was suffering from terminal cancer at this time. For these or other reasons, he ultimately decided to take his own life.
Nitti shared breakfast with his wife in their Riverside, Illinois home at 712 Selborne Road. As his wife was leaving for church, Nitti told her he planned to take a walk. After his wife left, Nitti began to drink heavily. He then loaded a .32 caliber revolver, put it in his coat pocket, and walked five blocks to a local railroad yard.
Two railroad workers (William F. Sebauer and Lowell M. Barnett) spotted Nitti walking on the track of an oncoming train and shouted a warning. They thought the train hit him, but Nitti had managed to jump out of the way in time. Then two shots rang out.
The trainmen first thought Nitti was shooting at them, but then realized he was trying to shoot himself in the head. The two bullets went through his hat.
Nitti finally sat on the ground against a fence and, with the railroad workers watching from a distance, shot himself in the head. Frank Nitti died on an Illinois Central railroad siding in North Riverside, Illinois on March 19, 1943. He should have hired one of his own hitmen...
Last year I received this huge book in the mail for Christmas from my pal Heather Harris. She sends me the absolute coolest stuff!
This year I was in a reading jag and pulled this giant book off the shelf and read every word in it. Canyon of Dreams by Harvey Kubernik, looks like a "coffee table book" but it is not! It is packed full of stories on the life and times of Laurel Canyon from the 1920s until present. This book was addictive. After reading one story I just moved to the next one and so on. Fascinating behind the scenes look at Hollywood and the music business. So interesting I give it 5 stars!
Laurel Canyon was a huge foundation of art and music. Just like the famous sounds coming out of Detroit, Philadelphia, and New York, Laurel Canyon was a very unique enclave tucked up in the hills around Los Angeles where the biggest party started.
Canyon of Dreams
So many bands lived, partied and created legendary music from Laurel Canyon. Groups like The Doors, The Turtles, Canned Heat, Monkees, Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Eagles, Sonny & Cher and Carole King all cultivated their phenominal music in this L.A.-based musical celebrity community.
Just like the amazing collaboration between musicians from my favorite Detroit bands, the Laurel Canyon bands interacted with each other, joining, quitting and rejoining each other's bands. All of course with high drama and lots of party favors to boot.
Canyon of Dreams is a fantastically illustrated inside look at over 75 years of music and the unbelievable culture of Laurel Canyon, California.
Written by Harvey Kubernik the ultimate insider who knows them all, Canyon of Dreams traces the history of the canyon and its enduring legacy.
The only thing I would like to add to Harvey's book is a dvd tour of Laurel Canyon. Wouldn't that be fun? This video below shows Laurel Canyon but I would love a guided tour.
In 1958, Bob Bogle and Don Wilson formed the nucleus of the original music group, The Ventures. The duo was joined a few years later by Nokie Edwards to record "Walk, Don't Run". The song hit Billboard's Singles Chart on July 18, 1960 and peaked at #2. The rest, as they say, is history. The band became one of the most popular and biggest selling acts of the 1960s, and was prolific during the 60's in terms of touring and recording, particularly albums.
* Don Wilson - Rhythm Guitar - (co-founder in 1958) * Bob Bogle - Lead and Bass Guitar- (co-founder in 1958) * Nokie Edwards - Lead and Bass Guitar- (joined in 1960) * Gerry McGee - Lead and Bass Guitar- (joined in 1968) * Bob Spalding - Lead and Bass Guitar- (joined in 1981) * Mel Taylor - Percussion - From the Rock Hall of Fame:
The Ventures are the most successful instrumental combo in rock and roll history. They also rank among its most prolific bands, too. They’re best remembered for a pair of Sixties smashes, “Walk – Don’t Run” (My favorite) "The Lonely Bull" and “Hawaii Five-O.”
Yet their most impressive feat was charting 38 albums from 1960 to 1972. The Ventures’ “big guitar sound” made them the instrumental institution in the Sixties, Guitar Player magazine called them “the quintessential guitar combo of the pre-Beatles era, [who] influenced not only styles, but also a generation’s choice of instruments.” The Ventures’ influenced all of the bands in Detroit. Even the Mighty MC5 played instrumentals in their early incarnations.
This was my Mom's lp that I grew up hearing and I love it to this day. Hey I think I'll go buy from I Tunes!
During their first years (1958–1963), the Ventures played Fender guitars (typically a Jazzmaster, a Stratocaster, and a Precision Bass) for both their live performances and their recording sessions.
These instruments are prominently visible on the covers of three early albums: "The Ventures", "Bobby Vee Meets the Ventures", and "The Colorful Ventures."
Then, in the early 1960s, California guitar manufacturer Mosrite designed and marketed a uniquely styled, futuristic-looking electric guitar called "The Ventures Model." The band adopted these guitars (which included a bass model) and first used them on The Ventures in Space (1963), one of their most influential albums because of the unique, unworldly guitar sounds it contained.
From 1963 through 1968, a statement on their album covers announced that The Ventures used Mosrite guitars "exclusively" (The Ventures and designer Semie Moseley were partners in the distribution of these instruments). After the expiration of their contract with Moseley, the Ventures returned to playing mainly Fender guitars. Only rarely have they used Mosrite guitars since that contract ended.
In the mid-1990s, Fender issued a limited edition Ventures Signature Series of guitars consisting of a Jazzmaster, a Stratocaster, and a Jazz Bass, all with specifications determined by the band.
"You know, this is one of the great ones."That's what Charles Lindbergh once said to Joe Sutter. He was talking about the 747. He might just as well have said it about Sutter himself, the Boeing engineer who spearheaded the design and construction of the legendary airplane.
On February 9th, 1969, the first flight of the Boeing 747 took place, and this was called the -100 series. . The new versions have winglets, as well as an "all glass" cockpit, meaning computers and screens, eliminating the need for a flight engineer, with about a third of the instruments, indicators, dials etc.
Boeing flies its 747 model for the first time. The jumbo jet, christened the City of Everett, is the first new Boeing transport not painted in Boeing's traditional prototype colors of brownish-copper and yellow.
Crowds of people gathered at Paine Field in Everett that morning to witness the flight of the largest transport plane in the world. On board were pilot Jack Waddell, co-pilot Brien Wygle, and flight engineer Jess Wallick. The weather started off bad, but at 11:00 a.m. the clouds began to thin.
Waddell eased the throttles forward. The superjet accelerated down the runway, its nose lifting. Halfway down the field the giant plane took flight at 164 m.p.h.
Accelerating the craft up to 184 m.p.h., Wadell ascended to 2,000 feet, circled the airport and began climbing to 15,500 feet. Following the 747 was a North American f-86 chase plane, its pilot acting as an observer.
The 747 model has a wing span of 195 feet, 8 inches and a length of 231 feet, 10 inches. This makes the plane 53 feet greater than the 707-300, and 79 feet longer. The 747, at 735,000 pounds, weighs almost twice as much as the 707.
With a cruising speed of over 600 m.p.h., the 747 has a service ceiling of 40,000 feet, and a range of about 6000 miles. The plane can carry up to 450 passengers, up to 270,000 pounds of cargo, or a mixture of both.
In order to build the 747, Boeing built a new facility in Everett. At 472 million cubic feet of space, it is the largest building in the world.
In the early 1960s, airlines started thinking about larger jetliners to accommodate the growing number of air passengers Boeing's market research showed that air-passenger growth would be dramatic and concluded that only a plane that could hold more than 300 passengers could manage this increase.
Pan American Airway's president Juan Trippe was especially interested in such a plane, first talking about it with Boeing's president William Allen in the fall of 1965 and pushing to make it a reality. The two signed a letter of intent in December to develop what would be the 747.
Trippe formally ordered 23 passenger and two freight versions in April 1966, an order totaling $550 million. And once non-U.S. airlines realized that Pan Am planned to dominate the international airline market with the 747, they also ordered some.
Nevertheless, building the plane was a highly risky undertaking for Boeing, both financially and technically. It stretched both airframe and engine technology. The company committed to an ambitious development schedule and also required Pratt & Whitney, the company that would be providing the engine, to quickly come up with a turbofan engine powerful and dependable enough.
The massive airplane required construction of a new plant. This 200-million-cubic-foot (5.7-million cubic meter) assembly plant—the world's largest enclosed space, large enough to hold 43 football fields—north of Seattle, cost $200 million and put the company in debt right from the start. From the time the company decided to proceed with the project, $2 billion were invested in the project. Daily expenditures in 1969 reached $6 million per day.
EVERETT, Wash., Nov. 15, 1999 -- The only airplane with a name that's a household word - the Boeing 747 - has added yet another award to an already crowded trophy case: its own postage stamp.
In an employee celebration in the Everett factory where the world's fastest subsonic jetliner is built, the U.S. Postal Service today unveiled the new 33-cent "Jumbo Jet" postage stamp, which goes on sale Thursday at post offices nationwide.
"Being honored with a stamp is especially meaningful because our 747 is included with two other very significant events in aviation history also receiving stamps - the Wright brothers first flight in 1903 and Charles Lindbergh's crossing of the Atlantic," said Phil Condit, Boeing chairman and chief executive officer. "I think that's pretty good company."
As the most glamorous wife of an American President (John F Kennedy), Jacqueline Lee Bouvier remained one of America's most glamorous First Ladies. Having established herself as the style icon while in the White House, Jackie's, courage and dignity following the public assassination of her husband on November 22, 1963, won her admiration and respect across the world. Though some of her detractors thought her copying Abraham Lincoln's funeral ceremony was a bit over the top. The eternal flame was another of Jackie's dramatic ideas.
After moving with her children from the White House into an apartment on Fifth Avenue NYC, Jackie and her children kept a very low profile. Jackie was terrified that attempt on her life or her children might be in the works.
Jacqueline Kennedy marries Aristotle Onassis
During that time she was seen with a number of escorts.. Then the unthinkable happened... Bobby Kennedy was also assassinated. Now Jackie was totally in need of escape. Following the death of Robert F Kennedy in June 1968, Jackie, Edward Kennedy and her children were invited as guests on board the palatial yacht "Christina" by it's millionaire owner Aristotle Onassis...
It was a whirlwind engagement. The world was in shock! America's princess was marrying a much older man. Onassis wasn't handsome but he certainly was wealthy. Jackie would feel safe under his protection.
Onassis bought his bride-to-be an astonishing 40-carat Marquise Lesotho III diamond ring – sold at auction for $2.59 million in 1996.
On October 20, 1968, Jackie married 'Ari' in a small Greek Orthodox ceremony on Onassis' private island of Skorpios. Among the guests were the Jacqueline's mother and her step father, two of President Kennedy's sisters and her children.
As a result of the marriage, the former First Lady lost the Secret Service protection entitled to her as a widow of an American president. She was also given a new name in the media – one by which she is arguably now best known – Jackie O The marriage was difficult as the media revealed every sordid detail daily. Rumors of Onassis cheating with his old flame Maria Callas and rumors of Jackie having other escorts as well filled the tabloids.
Jacqueline divided her time between NYC, The Island of Skorpios and her husband's home in Paris with her children until Aristotle's death on March 15, 1975. The constant topic back then was rumors of an iron clad prenuptial agreement being in place. But we all knew our Jackie would win out in the end.
Though Onassis' daughter Christina despised Jackie she reached an amicable agreement with her step mother and Jackie was free to follow her own personal dreams.
Now just 46 years old and a widow for the second time, she returned to New York where she began to work as a book editor.
This is Veronica Lake by Niagara Detroit. A lovely gift from my friend Heather Harris in Los Angeles. Veronica is mesmerizing and such vibrant color. See more giclee prints in Niagara's Gallery Thank You Heather!
Heather also sent me this fabulous print by Marijke Koger-Dunham of the Fool Design Group. My daughter Lesley really wanted to abscond with this print! It is wonderful and now framed on my wall. Thank You Heather and Marijke!
Lovely Marijke signed it for me...
Finally got my autographed Question Mark and the Mysterians poster framed too! Fantastic gift from Bass phenom Skid Marx. Skid got the band to sign it for me in silver marker which doesn't show up too well in the digital photo. Thanks Skid and Carrie!!
Oh I just love this poster! It is really rare and a gift from Dennis Thompson. It is made on really heavy paper and the colors are so vibrant. In the frame store I saw this frame and just knew it would fit this poster. It did! Thanks so much MGT!
Bought this FANTASTIC poster on Ebay! Dennis signed it for me and it is huge! Thanks MGT!
This Arminski poster is from the screening of the MC5 movie in Detroit 2003. I attended the film premiere with my old friend Dan Hyatt and he really pushed me into to taking these items to a frame shop the next day. Otherwise I might stash them in the closet and never frame them. It cost 218.00 to matte and frame the three items but I am so happy Dan talked me into doing this! Thanks Danny! I also have a signed handbill too, you can get one HERE
Autographed card and two ticket stubs framed with the poster. So my happiest moments this holiday season were spent with drummer Al King hanging out at Michael's Craft Store buying frames. Thanks ALEX!
Recently I finished reading Brett Callwood's book MC5 Sonically Speaking. One thing that popped out at me from Brett was his favorite MC5 song is "Over and Over" written by Fred Sonic Smith. Honestly... I didn't know that song.
So I dropped the book and hopped in front of my computer. I have a very good collection of all the MC5 tunes gifts from Dennis Thompson, Carlton of Easy Action UK, and fans. Searching through my long list of songs I found "Over and Over" and clicked it on play.
The song was from an MC5 rehearsal and it was just Fred playing his part of the song. I fell in love with it and have been playing it everyday this month. Made a cd for the Jeep too.
Riding in the Jeep Christmas shopping with drummer Al King, the instrumental Over and Over came on. Al turned it up and began softly singing the lyrics over it. It was so cool!
Don't have much back story on the song except that Dennis laughed and told me that Rob had to really work to keep the fast pace and sing higher than normal. I am censoring the rest! LOL
Thursday December 30th @ 7PM Callahans MILLIONAIRES HOLIDAY PARTY & JAM featuring Jim McCarty ...
Jim McCarty, the legendary rock guitarist from Detroit is sitting in with the Millionaires!
Jim hit it big in his teens as a founding member of The Detroit Wheels, Cactus, and The Rockets. He was friends with Jimi Hendrix and jammed with him after shows into the wee hours of the morning. He knew everybody and played with everyone! Still does!
Jim won a Grammy award (2005) when Les Paul recorded one of the songs he wrote with the Buddy Miles band. I have seen Jim in the past year 3 or 4 times. What strikes me most about him is his true love of the guitar. Not celebrity, not fame, but the music...
We've been lucky to see him do just about everything. Except play with a 10-piece big band!
That changes tomorrow night. Jim is going to get on stage and jam with The MILLIONAIRES at their Holiday Party and Jam. McCarty backed by a ten piece band! Something you don't see ever and something you don't want to miss! The place gets jumping around 7 pm and cover is just $5. Avoid the NYE crush or just get started a day early!
Just finished the gigantic memoir of Keith Richard's called "Life". I really enjoyed the book and all the emotions behind the creation of the world's greatest rock band. Actually I came away with feeling that I wanted to meet Keith and hang out for a bit. Read online recently that someone said that the great love of Mick Jagger's life was Keith. That bond is a river running through the entire book.
Keith Richards "Life"
"By turns earnest and wicked, sweet and sarcastic and unsparing, Mr. Richards, now 66, writes with uncommon candor and immediacy....He gives us an indelible, time-capsule feel for the madness that was life on the road with the Stones in the years before and after Altamont; harrowing accounts of his many close shaves and narrow escapes (from the police, prison time, drug hell); and a heap of sharp-edged snapshots of friends and colleagues...
But Life...is way more than a revealing showbiz memoir. It is also a high-def, high-velocity portrait of the era when rock 'n' roll came of age, a raw report from deep inside the counterculture maelstrom of how that music swept like a tsunami over Britain and the United States.
It's an eye-opening all-nighter in the studio with a master craftsman disclosing the alchemical secrets of his art. And it's the intimate and moving story of one man's long strange trip over the decades, told in dead-on, visceral prose without any of the pretense, caution or self-consciousness that usually attend great artists sitting for their self-portraits....
Mr. Richards has found a way to channel to the reader his own avidity, his own deep soul hunger for music and to make us feel the connections that bind one generation of musicians to another. Along the way he even manages to communicate something of that magic, electromagnetic experience of playing on stage with his mates, be it in a little club or a huge stadium." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times )
First heard "Thru and Thru" on an episode of "The Sopranos". Haunting and beautiful, honestly I had no idea it was a Stones tune. Found this great video of Keith singing it. I love a lot of the Stone's songs that feature Keith on vocals. Loved Keith's turn as Captain Jack Sparrow's father too. See a clip HERE Keith sure made a great gnarly pirate!
THRU AND THRU (M. Jagger/K. Richards)
You know that we do take away We deliver too Open 24 hours babe Just waiting on a call from you Waiting on a call from you
Well I'm in the yellow pages You just take a look Look me up under services You know it's just an open book Babe it's just an open book It's just an open book Well baby
Any minute, any hour I'm waiting on a call from you And you know this heart is constant I'm your lover, baby Thru and thru Lover, baby, thru and thru
I only found out yesterday I heard it on the news What I heard really pissed me off Cause now I got those fucking blues I got those awesome blues Babe I got those nothing blues
Any minute, any hour I'm waiting on a call from you And you know this heart is constant I'm your lover, baby Thru and thru Lover, baby, thru and thru
You know that we do take-away That we deliver, too We're open 24 hours, baby We're waiting on a call from you But any minute, baby, any hour I'm waiting on a call from you You know that this heart is constant I'm your lover, baby Thru and thru Lover, baby, thru and thru Lover, baby, thru and thru Lover, baby, thru and thru