When Tony Delvecchio is asked to become a partner in the relaunch of a famous nightclub known as Jilly’s, it is an offer he can’t refuse. Jilly’s was one of the most popular, famous, as well as notorious nightclubs in New York City during the 1960s, and then again in the late 1970s when it was revived by Tony Delvecchio and Tony Fusco, and hosted by its namesake, Jilly Rizzo, the best friend of Frank Sinatra. Looking for someone to watch his back, Delvecchio brings in an old friend, John Gotti, a rising captain in the Gambino family. The renovated Jilly’s once again became the hotspot for A-List celebrities, gangsters, regulars, and wannabes. From John Gotti to Sinatra himself, Jilly’s was the place to be – and proprietor Tony Delvecchio ran it day and night with the able service of the fabulous Jilly Girls, plus a few bartenders provided by Mr. Gotti, before his days as the “Teflon Don.”
When in 1980 Jilly’s starts losing large sums of money, the trail leads to John Gotti’s handpicked bartender. Employing the kind of tortured logic that makes perfect sense only in the wiseguy world, Tony Delvecchio and his crew drive out to the infamous Bergin Hunt and Fish Club to ask Gotti for a loan.
Sinatra, Gotti and Me is a lost piece of American pop culture, a missing first-hand glimpse into the lives of the Rat Pack and a long illustrious list of American entertainment, political, sports, and organized crime icons. This is Tony Delvecchio’s eye-witness story, unflinchingly told in his own words to author Rich Herschlag.
My Review: When the opportunity arose to review this book, I was excited! Being a huge Sinatra fan, this book was of great interest to me. What I found in this book though, was so much more than a book about Sinatra…
This is a story of an era gone by. The heart of the story is the “Me” in the title. Tony Delvecchio tells a very compelling story, chock full of fascinating characters…real characters. This is an honest look into the nightclub scene, told through the eyes of a great storyteller. Delvecchio makes you feel like you are right there in the room, watching everything as it unfolds. The story can at times be blunt and brutally honest. It takes you to places most of us wouldn’t feel comfortable visiting outside of our imaginations. But, at the heart of it, lies a story of friendship, passion and dedication.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.