FROM THE 1998 FILMFAX ARCHIVES: THE RAT PACK

An old friend recently contacted me via social media about a question she and her husband had been pondering during dinner. It had to do with the infamous Rat Pack and instead of searching Google, she contacted me to ask about the group’s inception. I wrote her back based on what I remembered and the result pleased both her and her husband.
Of course, it also got me to thinking, how DID I know the answer to her query? The senior moment passed when I realized I had, albeit many years ago, written a rather tongue-in-cheek article about that very subject for Filmfax’s sister publication, Outre Magazine.
It was a favorite piece of mine as the subject is a favorite. Even though the articles are all done on spec, I didn’t have to sell this one very hard at all. A simple query was all it took. One of the many reasons I loved writing for the magazine was just that: They liked what I wrote and I liked their subject matter. A perfect fit. Besides, it allowed me to keep my chops up while I continued to research Lee Marvin Point Blank.
And so without further ado…..Oh, one more thing. The cable show I referenced but did not state by name was Mystery Science Theater. Very funny show in it’s day but I didn’t want to risk legal action….or something like that.
So NOW, without further ado, my homage to (please hold your applause until all names have been completed) Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and supporting players Shirley MacLaine, Humphrey Bogart, and Lauren Bacall. I give you, THE RAT PACK!
Rather appropriate for this Good Friday, don’t you think?

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 1

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 1

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 2

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 2

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 3

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 3

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 4

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 4

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 5

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 5

 

 

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STEVE ALLEN INTERVIEW, PART 2: FROM THE ARCHIVES

Steve Allen proved to be such an intriguing interview subject, I took it upon myself to interview him on subjects beyond what I orginally intended. In fact, When he found out I was in the midst of researching Lee Marvin Point Blank, it resulted in a great anecdote that didn’t quite make the book, but will be a great subject for an upcoming blog entry.
My decision to go beyond my intended subject of questions must have paid off as it resulted in the following letter to the editor (“Smock Absorber”) in the next issue of Outre, penned by film make Don Glut (a practice that his highly encouraged by yours truly, even on blog posts!) :

Letter to the editor by filmmaker Don Glut.

Letter to the editor by filmmaker Don Glut.

It’s worth noting that during our conversation, Steve Allen’s wife, Jayne Meadows, kept poking in to get her husband to sign some paperwork. Each time she did that, she would look over my shoulder to see the notes I was taking. Luckily, my handwriting is so atrocious she couldn’t make out what I was writing, forcing her to look exasperated each time she left. On the third attempt, she dropped all pretense, tapped my shoulder and blurted out, “Young man, what are you writing?!” I looked at her husband who give me the internationally accepted sign of “It’s okay, go ahead and tell her…” So, I did. We were in the midst of discussing Lenny Bruce, prompting Ms. Meadows to tell me on record her anecdote about  Lenny that is included the interview.
As you’ll also see below, once we discussed Steve Allen’s influence in dragging the American populace kicking and screaming into the age of modern pop culture, I took full advantage of the situation by asking him about popular music, his landmark TV series, Meeting of Minds, his best and worst guests, and so much more. Below are the results which I thought made for great reading. Enjoy…..

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 1

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 1

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 2

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 2

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 3

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 3

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 4

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 4

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 5

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 5

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 6

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 6

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 7

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 7

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 8

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 8

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 9

Steve Allen, Part 2, Page 9

 

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STEVE ALLEN OUTRE INTERVIEW, PART 1

Steve Allen
Steve Allen being a personal hero of mine, I was over the moon when he agreed to be interviewed by yours truly for Outre’ Magazine back in 1997. I  met him and his wife Jayne Meadows at one of those Hollywood Collector’s Shows at the Beverly Garland Hotel in which Ms. Meadows worked the room and Mr. Allen was suprisingly subdued. I was there to collect as well, mostly interviews for my book, Lee Marvin Point Blank (which for the record proved a great source, such as Robert Vaughn, Clint Walker, John Dennis and Ms. Garland herself!)
Mr. Allen, I later was to discover, was subdued due to the fact that he didn’t want to be there. When I discussed the possibilty of my interviewing him, he lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree. We exchanged contact info and I checked in with Outre’s publisher Mike Stein, who loved the idea. The dilemma then became what the hell do I talk to him about? I need not have worried since Mr. Allen was a wealth of stories and anecdotes — from Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan to Lenny Bruce and Jack Kerouac — all of which provided me with a natural theme for the interview that practically wrote itself, title included. He even went so far as to give me an anecdote about Lee Marvin! The man was something else!

Steve Allen interview, page 1

Steve Allen interview, page 1

Steve Allen interview, page 2

Steve Allen interview, page 2

Steve Allen interview, page 3

Steve Allen interview, page 3

Steve Allen interview, page 4

Steve Allen interview, page 4

Steve Allen interview, page 5

Steve Allen interview, page 5

Steve Allen interview, page 6

Steve Allen interview, page 6

Steve Allen interview, page 7

Steve Allen interview, page 7

 

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