“`Scuse me while I disappear”

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Following up to “The priorities of Beethoven” and “Genius and madness“.

According to Geoffrey O’Brien

as Sinatra works with Nelson Riddle to create a separate reality invulnerable to ordinary suffering, the reality of song at the heart of his maze. And then, again with Nelson Riddle, at the end of one of those ballads that he seems to slow down to a pace almost intolerably slow, so as to sound the very bottom of each note and each thought, he inscribes in the final phrase what might be taken as a symbolic suicide note, a record of inner transcendence, or a demonstration of how deeply he had lost himself in his art: “‘Scuse me while I disappear.”

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One response »

  1. According to Ted Gioia

    In a rare moment of insight on ethical matters, Kaplan recounts an anecdote about Mafia power broker Sam Giancana, a longtime Sinatra associate. Giancana complains to a friend about the singer’s hotheadedness. “If he’d only shut his damned mouth,” Giancana gripes, wondering aloud why Sinatra constantly picks fights with people who cross him and recounting how he always has to restrain the famous entertainer. “That a psychopathic killer had to tell Sinatra to curb his temper is a remarkable statement in itself,” Kaplan marvels—although, as usual, he stops short of condemning either party.

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