"Start pouring the booze. I'm fifty
We spent the first night in London, starting at the Savoy for drinks, and then to the theatre to see the Rat Pack show, which was great. We finished off in the hotel for more drinks. A good night!
Off to the airport in the morning where we had booked the VIP lounge to get the holiday off to a fitting start. Several shorts later we were on our way on Virgin Airways. Again all drinks free—this is the life.
Touchdown; and a 1hour trek through customs. We were staying at the Milford Plaza on 44th St. The first thing Tom noticed in the hotel was the amount of static shocks you get of everything metal. It really pisses you off. We were soon changed and straight down to the Irish bar attached to the hotel.
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After that we went to Sardi's Bar, where a lot of the actors go for a beer after theatre—and it didnt let us down. Simon bumped into Jackie Mason at the door whilst he was having a smoke. He was over the moon! Also, in having a meal was Frankie Vallie, so not a bad start. We moved on to the Marriot Towers revolving restaurant where we had cocktails. The view from there was fantastic and I reckon Tom realised at that point that he was somewhere special. We then went to find Jimmys Corner Bar, a famous boxing bar, where we finished the night in great style getting drunk till about 3am.
Next day we managed to hold breakfast down before walking in the snow to the Hard Rock Café in Times Square for starters. Sufficiently awake now, we headed to Grand Central Station to try out the world famous Oyster bar. Simon tucked into his oysters with relish and, not wishing to be outdone, both Tom and myself managed to get one down without throwing up. With no let up in the pace we taxied down to the Mulberry Tavern, where they filmed The Sopranos and also Donnie Brasco. There you could get a good pint of beer! Off to the White Horse Bar where Dylan Thomas had is last beer before falling of his stool and dying; then Gary decided to find an old Speak Easy bar from the prohabition days. It took some finding as there was no sign up but what a great place.Off back to the hotel to get changed and back out to go to Macdougels bar where I had the shock off my life...
Who should be there but the rest of the Fat Pack, our Brent and his son, Joe. Well I couldnt stop shaking for ages. With emotions running very high I asked myself how do these guys do it. I've got the best family and friends a man could ask for. Tom couldn't believe it either. The guys presented me with some lovely presents, in particular, our Brent's old vinyl 45 of New York, New York which he had framed for me. That was just great, and it is now hanging in my music room.
Once I had recovered from the shock of seeing all my riends here in New York we went back to Jimmys Corner Bar to finish the night off and recall he events of what had been an incredible day.
The next day—again trying to hold breakfast down—we met at Sardi's for starters before going off to Jimmy's for more starters. We had planned a day's outing so off down to the ferry where, on the coldest of coldest days, we took a trip past the Statue of Liberty to Statten Island, only to find the bar closed... But you cant keep the Fat Pack down! We quickly found another one and then another; a great bar, where there was a huge painting of the Rat Pack on the back wall . We stayed there for a few hours eating and playing pool. I beat there local piss head. (I mean... The size of those pockets, man!) He was shit.
Off back to the hotel; a quick change and then to the Cotton Club. Well I'd heard about it and wasn't sure what I would make of it, but it turned out to be a terrific night; one which belonged to Mr H. This great lady black singer had him on stage trying to get him to sing along and the man never lets you down. He got everything wrong. What a star! They made Tom get up and sing and also dance with an attractive black lady. I even got up and warbled my way through a song. What a great evening!
We finished the night off at Jimmy's where Jack told this guy, who thought he was hard, to come out of the closet. You'd have to see it to believe it.
Next day we again met at Jimmys before going to BB Kings to see the Beatles Tribute Band. They were fantastic and everybody really enjoyed their performance. We then cabbed up to the Dakota building where John Lennon was shot. Then a stroll through Central Park to see the tribute to strawberry fields and have a drink in the Tavern on the Green. How bloody expensive that was—$140 dollars for 10 drinks... WOW! Off back to get changed and ready for the night.
We met at the Mulberry Tavern for Karaoke night, so we gave them, I Saw Her Standing There. It went down well. We then went for a Chinese before finishing off in the Picket Fence and Bitter End. Again it had been a great day.
On our last day we went back to BB Kings for the Gospel Choir. It was really good and the Fat Pack had done good as well. I can't thank my brother, cousin and friends enough. Tom thought it was really great and I will never forget it as long as I live. The guys have all put together for a fantastic CD/radio gram which will sits proudly in my music room.
BLESS YOU ALL...................Love, JOEY
Looking forward to John's 75th next year.