Thursday, July 30, 2009

Harlan Ellison vs. Frank Sinatra

I've heard the story from Harlan but just came across this. Gay Talese remembers the incident:



That night I’m sitting at a bar around ten o’clock, watching people, and sure enough I notice Frank Sinatra sitting down the corner of the bar with two blondes. Sinatra goes to play pool and I witness a scene between Sinatra and a guy named Harlan Ellison, and I write it down on a shirt board. But I don’t get it all, so I go up to Ellison and ask him if I can talk to him the next day. He gives me his phone number and address. When we speak in person I ask him not just what everyone said, but what he was thinking. I always ask people what was on their mind. Were you surprised by Sinatra? Had you me him before? Did you think he was going to hit you, or did you want to pop him?


From what I recall, Sinatra made a Jew crack at Harlan. From what I recall, no one created a petition to protest the matter.

9 comments:

Pete P said...

Cliff, on the subject of Harlan, Wikipedia makes no mention of the work he did writing for Marvel. Does Harlan have any opinions (positive, negative or otherwise) ref his tenure @ the house of Ideas?

CLIFFORD METH said...

Wikipedia is hardly the source for everything Harlan or even *accurate* Harlan; much of it was written by his detractors. There's a reason professors and teachers don't allow their students to source Wiki for research papers.

I only know that Harlan speaks highly of Stan Lee to me, and Stan of Harlan. And I'm aware of a lawsuit that was resolved with Harlan receiving, for the rest of his life, every Marvel comic ever printed. I've been at his home when the boxes arrive.

I am only aware of a few Marvel comics that Harlan actually wrote, but I am hardly the source of everything Harlan either. I would urge you to post your question to him at his website. Unless you're pulling his tail, he doesn't bite.

Mike said...

Clifford what did Ellison tell Talese about the incident....what was the alleged "Jew" crack?

CLIFFORD METH said...

I have a hard time remembering things that happened before I was born.

Mike said...

so why print the above story?

CLIFFORD METH said...

Mike--The story was interesting. In fact it continues to receive hundreds of hits here long after I printed it. I have no idea what Harlan told Talese. I'll ask him next time we're burying a body together.

Mike said...

Clifford..I've discovered through the Ellison Webderland website that Mr Ellison will not discuss the 'full story' of what occured that night at the Daisy, though eh did recount the entire story to bioth Talese and Kitty Kelley as well off the record......but obviosuly the incident was even more unpleasant that Talese's article would lead one to believe...thanks for the response

CLIFFORD METH said...

Mike--Harlan is a very dear friend who I love and admire and speak with regularly and see too infrequently and would do just about *any* goddamn thing for. I'm not now nor have I ever been his press secretary nor publicist nor apologist nor biographer. Just a pal. I'm entertained by every facet of my friend's life and mention only that which warrants mentioning here. Everything else, you can presume, is stuff I'm either ignorant of or is (you'll excuse the expression) nobody's business but his.

Mike said...

understood....Thanks Clifford and Happy New Year!