Cool Like That, by Michael Davis

Michael Davis

Master Of The Universe, Lord Of All Media, Most Interesting Black Man In the World, Sexiest Man on Earth, Mentor, Writer, Artist, Producer & Uppity.

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6 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Years ago, I got to sit in on an editorial board meeting for my local paper and they were discussing a Sinatra concert which was taking place that night. Sinatra was past his prime, but the lead editor said, "It doesn't matter how he sounds, this is Sinatra – he gets a good review."

  2. Howard Johnson says:

    I think I can go you one cooler than Frank: Dean Martin.I think it was Joe Mantegna who said it best: "Every man in the world wanted to be Frank. Except Frank. Frank wanted to be Dean."

    • Mike Gold says:

      Understanding Dean's act — which Joey put across brilliantly in the Rat Pack bioflick — really does make him the Jack Nicholson of the 1960s. A man both complicated and straight-forward, Dean Martin put cool on like it was a suit, knowing exactly when to turn it on and how to turn it up. He never broke character; his appearances on Johnny Carson are classics.But there are different categories of cool. Frank and Dean and Jack were actor cool. Sun Ra and George Clinton were music cool. As for comics cool…

  3. Russ Rogers says:

    Sinatra was cool. But he knew it. This is part of what made him cool and part of what made him so UN-cool. It's like the high school cheerleaders who know they are pretty. Their own confidence makes them more attractive. But that same confidence can make them conceited and thus very unattractive.Sinatra was in bed with the mob. Uncool. Sinatra was a pre-fab star in the same mold as Britney Spears. There was a large machine marketing him far before he had paid his dues. Uncool but not unforgivable."Come Fly with Me," is considered by some as the first concept album. Judge that cool or uncool as you wish. Personally, I say "cool."Check out some of Sinatra's lyrics to "Mack the Knife":Ah, old Satchmo, Louis Armstrong, Bobby DarrinThey did this song nice, Lady Ella tooThey all sang it, with so much feelingThat Old Blue Eyes, he ain't gonna add nothing newBut with Quincy's big band, right behind meSwinging hard, Jack, I know I can't loseWhen I tell you, all about Mack the Knife babeIt's an offer, you can never refuseWe got George Benson, we got Newman & FosterWe got the Brecker Brothers, and Hampton's bringing up the rearAll these bad cats, and more, are in the band nowThey make the greatest sounds, you ever gonna hear Only Sinatra would have the balls and the conceit to butcher a classic song like this! The rhymes are shallow. The meter is forced. It doesn't swing where it must. So uncool.Then there is that Sinatra classic, "New York, New York." Here Sinatra flubs the lyric:New York, New YorkI want to wake up in a city, that never sleepsAnd find I'm A-Number One, top of the list, king of the hillA-Number OneThe original lyric is: "king of the hill, head of the list, cream of the crop, at the top of the heap.""A-Number One" isn't even in the original lyric. That's pure Sinatra. I've always heard the repeating "A-Number One" not as an emphasis but as choking on the lyric. He misses the internal rhyme (crop-top) and can't get to the final rhyme (sleep-heap). Sinatra forgets the lyric (which he was prone to do) and then didn't have a willingness to go back and fix the recording. You can judge whether that slacker-mentality and the fact that his version IS definitive makes him cool or uncool. I vote for uncool on this one. But it's Sinatra's version that's on Karaoke machines, not Liza's. Sinatra's mistake defines the song.Frank Sinatra was originally cast in the Movie version of "Carousel." When he found out on the second day of shooting that he would be redoing all the scenes they had shot the day before for the Cinemascope 55 version of the movie, Sinatra walked off the set. He is quoted saying, "I was paid to make one movie, not two." This left the producers in the lurch. They desperately asked co-star, Shirley Jones, who she thought could step in and to the role. She suggested Gordon MacRae, who was singing in Vegas and had worked with Jones on "Oklahoma!" On this one, score cool for Shirley and Gordon. And uncool for Frankie.Sinatra was a good actor. But he was classically a one take kind of guy. He wouldn't or couldn't re-shoot scenes if something technical got messed up. I offer The Manchurian Candidate as evidence. He was too cool to be a perfectionist. I think this kept him from being a GREAT actor. I think Sinatra skated on his cool for most of his acting career. I vote uncool.The Rat Pack is for some the definition of cool. They made alcoholism, smoking and casual sexism bordering on misogyny cool for a generation. Uncool.Sinatra worked with the best musicians without any bias for race. Very cool.Sinatra was one of the first artists to form his own record label. A big step forward in the name of creators rights. Very cool. "One of the label's founding principles under Sinatra's leadership was that each artist would have full creative freedom, and at some point complete ownership of their work; including publishing rights.": from Wikipedia. VERY, VERY cool.Sinatra was nominated for an Oscar for "The Man with the Golden Arm." The film was controversial for its time; the Motion Picture Association of America refused to certify the film because it shows drug addiction. The film was released without the MPAA's seal of approval, a maverick approach that no doubt bolstered the film's mainstream appeal. Very cool. And very similar to the story of the Comics Code Authority and the Amazing Spider-Man #96-98 (May-July 1971). The story in the comic dealt with a drugs. The Comics Code forbade the plot because you weren't allowed to talk about drug use in a comic. So Marvel published the story anyway without the Comics Code Seal. Cool for Stan Lee. Cool for Sinatra.

  4. Shane Kelly says:

    Ahhhhhh Mike…Now, you went and did it. You went and baited me, and now here I am… Frank Sinatra. This is a subject very near and very dear to me. Hell, Frank's been part of my life on a fairly regular basis since the day he passed away, and he is the reason that I know Mr. Davis as I do. Why? Well, I suppose I should expound a bit…(not that I want to bore you, but I should fill in the gaps). The day Frank Sinatra passed away was the very first time that I ever did 2 things…1. Ordered and drank Jack Daniels (JD over a few rocks, like Frank would have it). Which, was eye opening unto itself. But, that liquid courage allowed me to do…2. Sing a Sinatra song at a karaoke bar (which I had never done before)That one evening, in honor of his passing, led me down a brand new road that I am still proudly, traveling down. Now, the reason, I never sang a Frank song before was because I was terrified of what I would do to it. The last thing I wanted to do, was butcher (which happens fairly regularly at karaoke bars) a song that was made iconic, and embarrass myself in the process. This was after all my Grandmother's favorite guy. She would tell me that "Frankie, was the end!"Funny thing happened that night though…As I raised my glass in toast, from the stage, in honor of Frank leaving this mortal coil I said, "This goes out to you Frank, you've inspired many, and your voice is immortal. So, I apologize in advance…But, I want to sing one of your songs in front of a live crowd at peace, knowing that if I butcher this song you can't come after me!". I sang "I've Got You Under My Skin" and part of my career was born.Which leads me to where I met Mike, and why it's Frank's fault… Picture if you will, a scuzzy dive bar in Van Nuys, CA (aka "The Valley") not in the greatest of neighborhoods, where the decor hasn't changed since at least the 70's, and if you were there on a weeknight (which it was), there was very good chance that you were a regular (i.e. family). Now, this was before the smoking ban became a big deal and folks picked up "candy dishes" for their table, and a plume constantly hovered in the air. It was about as old school and throwback as you can get, with the caveat being, that had karaoke 7 nights a week. It was called "The Red Chariot", and that was where I met Mike (and loads of others, that became an extended family to me). Mike was holding court in the center of the bar, among several friends and acquaintances gathered around several tables pressed together. Whereas I sat alone (I didn't really know anyone, since I had just recently moved to the area), at the end of the bar itself, wearing my fedora, writing in my notebook, drinking a coke, and awaiting my turn to sing.I heard the host, Dolly (I swear, that is her name) call up a singer by the name of "Sexual Chocolate" and he sang "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and he had about as much fun as you can have doing it (which is precisely the point of karaoke in the first place). I was called up shortly thereafter and did one of my signature Frank Sinatra songs (I believe it was actually I've Got You Under My Skin…again). After the song, "Sexual Chocolate" (aka Michael Davis) called me over, by shouting "Hey! Hey Frank!". Used to this response I walked on over and we talked about Frank, and what the hell I was doing singing Frank at my age (I was 26 at the time), and I went through the whole thing. He then demanded that I sing "New York, New York" as my next song. I told him I would, and wrote it down. He then invited me over to sit at his table (which was packed) and offered to buy me a drink. What was so funny, is that this was wayyyy before I even knew that he liked comic books, much less, was involved in creating them. That, was the cincher, and to this day, I am proud to call him my friend. So, thank you Frank Sinatra, you helped introduce me to Mike, and that was beyond "Cool" of you.

  5. Alan Coil says:

    Frank Sinatra was an amazing singer. I am a big fan of the musical era from around 1925 to 1950 or so, essentially Big Band and Jazz. Sinatra may or may not have had a PR department pushing him 'before he had paid his dues', but the women sure loved him, and the men sure wished they could sing like him so they could have a bunch of women fans. Remember that this was WAY before television, so not many people got to see him live in his early years. Ah, the magic of radio………_____Michael Davis is so freaking cool that Mr. Freeze is jealous of him..