Monday, September 10, 2007

Baby's first book report

Viz-a-viz Tony Bennett's smash engagement at Radio City Music Hall last weekend, I just finished reading The Good Life, his 1999 autobio, written in conjunction with Will Friedwald. One of the best entertainment bios I've read in a while. A real nuts-and-bolts look at the world Bennett came up in. Very few punches pulled, including at least passing references to mob fealty and Bennett's one-time substance abuse problem (without wallowing in it).

Somehow I have just always assumed that Bennett's stint in WWII was spent in one special services unit or another. And while he did conclude his stay in the armed forces in just such an outfit, there were---I learned from the autobio---at least four months spent on the front lines with bombs going off all around him and comrades getting blown away right and left. A perfect prelude to five or so years getting a post-war start in show biz, which Mort Sahl once pointed out is the only animal that eats its young. Someday I would love to just shake Tony Bennett's hand. . .if I live long enough.

No comments: