Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Edward M. Kennedy 1932-2009...The great liberal lion. It was my pleasure to meet him

The Senator and I at Webster Hall in New York City 2007

The great liberal lion Edward M. Kennedy was passed from our scope. His life and existence were always filled with controversy, problems and horror. It was my pleasure to meet him in 2007. I did not always agree with him, but one could see he strove to help the underclass and those who were less fortunate.
If I was to guess which of the Kennedy brothers had the greatest impact on the United States, it would not take me more than a second to say that it was indeed Edward. He will be buried next to his fallen brothers at Arlington. He will fall under the listing of one of the greats of Senate in its history.

I have lived long enough to remember all of the brothers who were politically involved. I recall the Presidency, death and funeral of JFK. I remember the massive film coverage of that horrid event in this nations history. I recall that Jackie Kennedy, RFK, and Edward lit the eternal flame over JFK's grave.
I recall the horror of RFK's assassination and the long funeral train back to Washington. I remember with clear detail the great and impassioned eulogy Edward Kennedy gave for his brother. I recall the sobs that generated from him as he recalled his brothers life.

I recall the mess and troubles of his car crash and the death of his brothers campaign aid. This was a great mistake on his part and destroyed forever his hopes of attaining higher office. However how bad he seems to have lowered himself in the late 1960's through the late 1980's, he made a great turn in a more positive direction. He left his sordid past behind and became a great leader and politician.

His last years were dedicated to helping those who could not help themselves. He died and leaves a legacy unlike many who have existed in our time or any time. I would say that he ranks with just a handful of the greats in politics, far outshining his brothers and also given the gift of years.

In the Senate he will join the very few who will be remembered by the future. For with all of his faults, and there were many. He strove to make this country better. I feel that the good he did so very far outshines his faults. He was the last of an age. I am very happy to have met him.

My sympathies go to his family and to the nation for which he served.

Friday, August 21, 2009

John Wilkes Booth... I keep hearing that he was not shot and killed in 1865. There is a simple way to know.

A section of John Wilkes Booth's vertebrae.

This statement has been made time and time again. That it was not John Wilkes Booth who was shot and captured at Garrett's Barn on April 26, 1865. At his autopsy a section of his vertebrae was removed and is preserved to this day. All one has to do it check for DNA. Bones are the best places to hold DNA. Just compare it to the later members of his family and the case will be forever closed. That is ...if the DNA matches.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1916 pro German recordings made in New York.

In the 1914-16 period there was a very strong pro German side to American society. Although in history we often hear little about Germany in that period outside of negative things. But one has to understand that in the New York/New Jersey area there were millions of German-Americans. One has to also look at the fact that England was not too nice a country either. There was also a very strong feeling against England as well in the USA. I find it quite fascinating that this is rarely mentioned in our histories. Well once again history is written by the winners with very little regard for accuracy.
In fact although the USA was neutral till 1917. The USA was doing some awful stuff against Germany in the 1915-1916 period. In fact they were sending military material over to England on ships and then calling foul when they were sunk by the Germans.

When the German "non Military" Submarine called the Deutschland came into New York Harbor the British were calling foul as well. The Deutschland brought to the USA chemicals and took back medical items and needed goods. It was a peaceful voyage and not to load the vessel with arms.
It was around this time that several recordings were made by the Columbia Graphophone Company that were offered for sale. These records would raise funds for the German Red Cross and also for needed supplies for the families and soldiers who were fighting for their beliefs and Kaiser. These labels are quite rare today, as within a short while they were discontinued.
This recording was made on March 8, 1916, most probably in the Columbia Recording studio in the Woolworth Building.
This recording was probably made the same day or a day or two before. I feel that much of the history of that time has been offered in a bad way. WWI was a stupid war that was not at all necessary. It brought forth nothing but horror, hardship, the stupid treaty of Versailles, and the groundwork for WW2.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Meeting Les Paul in 1994...The inventor of the electric guitar,

Memories of a great and fun man Les Paul 1915-2009 I wrote this article a few years ago about my meeting with Paul in conjunction with others at the Edison site around 1994. It was about 15 years ago. Now I re post it in his memory. He was a musician, an inventor, a designer, a showman, and a interesting fellow. I will leave this article as I wrote several years ago. But Les Paul lived a long and most interesting life. It was my honor to meet and share some time with him.

I was working at the time at the Thomas Edison museum in New Jersey. I was able to spend a bit of time with Les Paul as he was going to make some cylinder recordings at the site. The night before the recordings were to take place, I got to spend some time with Les and we took an Edison Phonograph apart, so he could see how it worked. It was fun. We talked about multi track recording and the like...and I will write more about that later... We also took apart an Edison phonograph reproducer and studied it. I always recall what he said at that time, and that was that he was around when old Mr. Edison was and he should have paid him a visit.

But I wanted to tell the story as I recall it, what Les Paul said about his invention of the electric guitar.
He said he was working on the Sam and Henry Show on radio. Later they would be called Amos and Andy..He played guitar in the background...He was told to play he brought a pick..that did not go over too well with the microphones of the time..So he played by hand...He said his fingers were bleeding....So now we come to the "Ah Ha" moment....

He went home that night and was listening to his phonograph at home...In those days the electric phonographs used steel needles that you would change. The phonograph played sounds through an early speaker.

He said he looked at the phonograph for moment and took the tone arm and broke it off his phonograph!! He said then he stuck the phonograph arm with the steel needle into his guitar and he played the guitar and the sounds came out the speaker of the phonograph.....

The beginnings of the electric guitar was born....He said the next day he came to work at the radio station with the guitar and the broken phonograph...and the rest as we always say is history...

He changed the world with his guitar and his recording techniques. He has spent 75 years since that invention having a great time in life. He made wonderful recordings with his wife, Mary Ford...Still at 89 years of age he plays....That is the truly the description of a trooper....

After playing with the phonograph we took apart he signed this card for me, and we posed for this picture.
He is a really cool and fascinating man.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The voice of Enrico Caruso. A little piece on what we hear today of that great singer.

Who in the world of classical music or opera has not heard of Enrico Caruso. He has been a part of our world and a consistent part indeed, from the time of when he walked within it. His voice, and artistry were something to admire. His qualities as a singer although perhaps rough, as in his earliest recordings came to be like polished glass in his most productive years.

We today judge him for his qualities in which we hear on his numerous records made between 1902 to 1920. We judge him as well on the style and form of the singing. We hear what sounds like a good voice and well controlled one that seems to rush through a good part of an aria or song to get to that high note. I have heard that said of Caruso for years. I have heard many compare him with this or that tenor. We hear that he perhaps did not sing as pretty as some of his later counterparts.
He was the king of his art form in the period of his life. He was opera to be honest. People did not go to the opera and ask what Caruso would be singing next, they said they will see whatever Caruso is singing next. He was that much a point of interest and fascination with the public of his time. His 300 plus recordings made mostly by the Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden and its successor, RCA Victor were nearly all best sellers and in the catalog for years. His family grew rich for his contract gave Victor and later RCA to publish his recording for perpetuity. While most singers have a fame and popularity that lasts a few years after their death, Caruso is the only individual to have such a following nearly 90 years after his death.

I often hear this said of the great popularity of Elvis Presley and his followers. Just imagine this though, Caruso had been dead 14 years when Presley was born, and it seems that Presley will have a great following as so many are still live who knew him and heard him live. But will there be a big market for Presley in 2065? I am not sure.
With Caruso we have such a following and devotion. I can say with a great deal of certainty, that Caruso will be very popular still and followed by another generation of followers in 2065. I can see some very special issues of recordings coming out in 2073, the Caruso bicentennial!

There really is no one left alive who can really remember hearing him in the flesh. He performed last 89 years ago. But this brings us back to the original statement of what do we hear in these records of a century ago. We hear the somewhat clipped and constrained voice of a great singer, trying his damnest to put forth a recording or song as well as he could on to a system so primitive.
I in my past met 2 people and talked to one on the phone who had heard him live. In each conversation it seemed to go this way. The voice you hear on the record sounds like Caruso......but...just sounds like him and is missing so much. What is missing? What do we of a century later not get? Not hear? Not experience?

To put it simply, Caruso sang into a recording horn, his voice was cut into wax, he could not shade or soften to too much of a degree the quality of his voice. Therefore he had to sing it at a pretty consistent quality and volume. He could not sing very softly, he really had to be careful not to sing too slow here and there either as time would run out on the very short records of the time. If he needed to sing very strongly he would have to turn away from the horn, by doing so, diminishing the quality of the recording.
Also many performances on record were changed or shortened, since early recording technology was a slave to the clock and therefore many arias and songs that might have taken 7 or 8 minutes to perform on the stage, were set to fit within the much shorter time available on the early 78 records. Sung to fit the technology, not the quality of the voice of the artist. All of what had to be done changed what was originally put into the recording. It is unfair to judge Caruso on many aspects of his recording legacy, as much of what and how he sang was due to the process, not his style. Also when it came to style, one has to remember it was Caruso who was changing the whole style of how opera was sung. He was redefining it, and in the process did somethings that worked and some that did not. But that is what comes from invention and innovation.

Sadly, there was really no set consistent speed for recordings in those days. It would range around 75 RPM , but not always. I have heard many a re-recordings where the speed of the record was not played back properly, giving Caruso a voice and sound he never had. One other mistake done on many a reissue of Caruso, is those who wish to play the record and match it to the proper key of the original music. If a company issues a CD or whatever format of an early Caruso recording, BEWARE, as Caruso often sang things down a half tone or so.

So the what we hear today is a sonic echo of what once was a glorious voice. What is preserved and shared with us is amazing, but what it was, must have been incredible, and that is the "BUT" in all the equations of those who heard him sing in life
What we do not get from those early recordings are overtones and much of his quality and resonance. That sadly will never be captured or reproduced, at least by the technology of today. But who knows what might happen in the future? Maybe the mathematics of reproducing and recreating the harmonics of a voice recorded acoustically will be developed. It won't happen in the next few years I doubt, but it may happen in the future. That was one of the major problems with the Victor method of recording, overtones were difficult to capture. The Edison system of that time was able to do so, but the Victor method was more concerned with room resonance, to create a false sense of overtones. Or perhaps what we could call a ringing quality.

Perhaps the best way to put it in a musical setting is to use the description used for Lincoln. "There are many photographs of Lincoln, but no portrait of him." Perhaps we can say the same of Caruso...That there are many recordings of Caruso, but not one of them allows us to see the real man, to hear the real singer, to hear that amazing tone and quality that never was able to be inserted onto the early records. We hear Caruso today, but what we hear is just a reflection of what the lucky folks 100 years ago truly heard. I am thankful for what is available, and very happy to experience the wonder that is the voice of Caruso. But I also will have to remember I hear Caruso as others do, but not as those of the last century did.

One of the greatest sopranos ever. Louisa Tetrazzini 1871-1940

The great Tetrazzini. She was by far one of the greatest singers ever!

She was not only a good singer, but also a good musician. He had many talents, but one of them she lacked was finding a good husband.
She sang for many years. Starting her days in Italy and later working in Europe and the United States.

Her earliest recordings like this Zonophone from the dawn of the 20th century are somewhat disappointing. However once she started to record for the Victor and the Gramophone companies she made so many stellar recordings that are beyond what any other singer could do. She scared the daylights out of many great sopranos. Even in her later days when all she had left was some voice and an ever sunny disposition. She said, "I may be old and I may be fat, but I am still Tetrazzini."

I recall one evening at Jerome Hines home and talking to Franco Corelli and the subject came as to who our favorite soprano was. Corelli told me his favorite soprano was Tetrazzini. I have to confess she is mine as well. She possessed a voice like no other I have ever heard. When you listen to her recordings, you hear a voice that is unlike any.
That is why when the great Nellie Melba (who ruled Covent Garden) heard Tetrazzini sing at Covent Garden. She made sure she was not invited again. Although she was not as polished a singer as Melba, but she possessed a far greater instrument. The hatred they felt for each other was legendary. One day when Melba came into a hotel that she knew Tetrazzini was practising in and she asked, "Do you allow cats?" But Tetrazzini never let the jealous battle axe Melba to spoil her day and went on her way and her life.
Sadly there are no films of her performing and no electrical recordings of her singing except for one when she was well past her prime at 62. It was not a performance, but he was in a office listening to one of the newly "re recorded" Enrico Caruso records issued in 1933. She listened to a record of Caruso and started to sing along quite well. That is all we have of her from the age of electrical recording. But what she left us from the early age of recording in nothing short of breath taking.
I have heard many great sopranos on record from Patti (who was also an Tetrazzini fan) to Callis. But she seems to reach me in ways that few can. She was not the actor that Callis was, but she was singer of such power and accurateness that I have never heard any to compare. I hope to write more about her soon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A photograph that has been mislabeled for years.

This is not who all the books say it is...........

I have seen this photograph in too many books listed as a photo of John Jacob Astor IV at the Ship Train Station in England, waiting to head to the Titanic. It is NOT John Jacob Astor!

This photo was taken by a Father Browne at the Boat Train Station on April 10, 1912. But it is of another Astor, John J. Astor and his new wife Madeline were not even in England when this picture was taken.

It is a photo of William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919). Most probably he was there to see someone off. It was not J.J. Astor and his wife, cause they were never on this train. They got on the Titanic in France. But for years it has been listed as the last photograph of Astor, and even Browne originally got it wrong.

I had always thought it wrong and not J.J. Astor. William Astor was a bit heavier and full faced. John Jacob Astor IV was quite slender and had a narrower face.

Father Browne was one of the few people to join the Titanic at Southampton and leave in Ireland. He traveled with another family. His and only that other family are the only photos of part of that voyage to survive.

After so many years of one error after another in more books than I can mention, this is NOT the last photograph of John Jacob Astor the IV. But I am sure 100 books and websites yet to come will still make this same mistake in the future...

The first biography of Marilyn Monroe was done by Joe Franklin in 1953. He worked with MM to make this first book. But no one knows about it today.

The first biography on Monroe was done by Joe Franklin. Joe worked personally with Marilyn for a few weeks to get this book in shape. it was the book that finally introduced Marilyn Monroe to the world, not old Norma Jean.

It was not one of the more fancy of books at the time and it falls under the category of inexpensive. But it was the first. Joe Franklin has in his life written 23 books.

This is the front cover of this RARE book on Monroe. What is nice about it was that she worked hand in hand with Franklin to make this a success. Joe told me that Monroe loved Chinese food and that they would live on it as they worked on this book.

The back lists the authors .. Joe did the work with Monroe. He wrote most of this book. in some ways it bacame a bit of an autobiography for Monroe as she was working right next to Joe on this book. The book is one of the most unknown and rare books on Monroe.

The ever lovely Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962)

Joe and I in 1998

Joe in his ever cluttered office . He has had a most amazing career from the days of being involved with Eddie Cantor, to these days of being a Media Icon. He is truly one of kind. It has been a pleasure to know him.

Sex, Valentino, and condoms in the 1920's They sold sex in the old city!

It was no accident that a image of a Sheik was put onto the condom tins of the early 1920's. It was all due to Valentino. Women loved him, men hated him. But soon it was learned that men who used Sheik condoms were playing a little of Valentino. In fact young men of the 1920's who used condoms like this were called Sheik's looking for their Sheba's.
The role of the Sheik was the one most identified with Valentino. Women swooned to his love scenes. So here was an average fellows chance to be a little different. Condom sales grew as technology did.
But in the 1920's sex exploded on the scene as it had never done before. Much of this was due to Prohibition, Jazz, short dresses, bath tub gin, relaxed sexual norms and of course the sexiest man around in those days ...Valentino.

Condom sales went up quite fast when his picture was on the product. Although it never mentioned Valentino, everyone knew it was all about him. When he died thousands of women went crazy, two killed themselves.
But for many years after that time, the Sheik condom continued to sell and of course it always had that drawing of the Sheik on horseback, just like the Sheik in all of Valentino's movies.
These days the only place to get Sheik condoms is in Canada. But once upon a time, They were all about sex in the old city.

This was every woman's dream in the 1920's . It was also every man's fantasy to be like Valentino, even though every man hated and was jealous of him. Every man wanted to be a Sheik, at least a Sheik like this.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Little Orphan Annie a great comic strip figure by Harold Gray based on the poem of James Whitcomb Riley.

Today the image of Little Orphan Annie is as well know to us all as our own names. It was the creation of Harold Gray. He made the cartoon character of Little Orphan Annie. The original story is often forgotten. It was written by the Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. The original title of the poem was Little Orphant Annie. However through some mistyping it came out as we know it today. James Witcomb Riley recorded most of his major poems in 1912, including Annie. He was one of the few poets of the that time to do so.Harold Grey (1894-1968)
Various pieces of Little Orphan Annie Memorabilia. This comic strip first appeared on Aug 3, 1924.

One of the many early cartoons of Annie.
James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916) Below a copy of his original recording of the poem from around 1912

by: James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)
      To all the little children: -- The happy ones; and sad ones;
      The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
      The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.
      ITTLE Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
      An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
      An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
      An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
      An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
      We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
      A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
      An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
      Ef you
      Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
      An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
      His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
      An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all!
      An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
      An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess;
      But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:--
      An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
      Ef you
      An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
      An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
      An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
      She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
      An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
      They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
      An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
      An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
      Ef you
      An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
      An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
      An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
      An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
      You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear,
      An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
      An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
      Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you
      Ef you

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The day they stopped advertizing cigarettes on TV ... Jan 1, 1971

I recall it well. It was a time to remember that January day when everything on TV changed. Cigarettes were a part of life. All the people you knew smoked. My doctor smoked, TV anchors smoked, my mom smoked, and so did most of the world.

But the beginnings of a change started in 1970, when it was announced that cigarette ads would be banned forever from TV as we went into the new year. So we all watched as New Years Eve came and it worked into New Years Day. There was nothing on TV except cigarette ads that New Years. I guess I saw about 60 cigarette ads that night.

I still recall many of the jingles from that time nearly 40 years ago. I even remember some of the commercials. They were always well done and always got your attention. But then the night of New Years Eve 1970 we said goodbye to the many cigarette commercials that had been a part of all our lives.

January 1971 was the first month of the first year that there was no TV ads for smoking. It was a very different world without them. Not that I was advocating smoking, but that they were often so darn clever. Well, that was a short and quick memory from a long time ago, when smoking was a very big part of the culture.

The wild and crazy funeral of a very quiet and shy man. Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926)

Below these words is a photo of the marker to the grave of Rudolph Valentino. He is honored today by the image of what people thought he was, but not who he was.
Almost everything about his history and story was fabricated for the public. He was not from a poor family, he was not trying to find riches, he was looking for adventure to be honest. Even his name was created.
However, his real last name is listed here on his grave as his middle name. But what finally set Valentino apart from the wild image made of him as the great Latin lover, was his funeral. Which took place in New York City and in LA. But we will focus mainly on his funeral in New York.Valentino's vault in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. He was originally buried one vault over to the left but was moved a year later. Due to the death of a dear friend of his.
This was the real Valentino. He is making some real good spaghetti. He would often make it between movies and for friends. He would always get the real long spaghetti and teach people how to eat it. It is funny that Spaghetti was not a common staple in most homes outside of Italian ones in the early days of the 20th century. Valentino was half Italian and half French. But truly loved good pasta.
He was a rather private and quiet man. What's more a very sad and lonely man. He was chased and followed everywhere. Yet while every woman fancied him her lover, he was never happy. When he thought he was, it turned out all wrong. Valentino who said of himself, that women were not in love with him, but his image on the screen.
June Mathis, who was Rudy's real close and good friend. Perhaps his closest friend in Hollywood. When he died she let him rest in the vault she had bought for herself. But she was only 37 at the time and there were plans for a massive Valentino Mausoleum. So she knew he would not be there long.
As fate would have it, in 1927 Mathis died from a heart attack at the age of 38. Therefore Rudy needed to move as Mathis's vault was needed. So it led to Rudy being moved to Mathis's husband's vault. Once again the two good friends were together.

Eventually The Valentino family ( as they were now called) bought the vault and he has rested there ever since. The ideas for a massive memorial died as fast as the fickle public lost interest in the dead super star. Of which he was truly the first. His hammered bronze casket was amazing in it shinny brilliance. Makes one think of the funeral services and memorial to Michael Jackson. In many way the public acted as bad during the Jackson funeral and moments in the hospital as they did in Valentino's day.

Valentino made a picture in 1926 called the Son of the Sheik, It was blockbuster hit and it was suggested that he travel around promoting the new film.
He was staying at the Ambassador Hotel in New York City, when on the 15th of August he was suddenly taken with terrific pains in his mid section. He was taken to Polyclinic Hospital, where he was worked on and taken care of by star studded and frightened hospital workers.
In fact he was found to have perforated ulcer. No one was ready to operate on him till more famous and well known doctors arrived. All this time the poisons were leaking into his system. Finally surgery was done but to no avail. He developed pleurisy and was dead the 23rd of August. He was 31 years of age.It was sad case of the doctors and staff were worried about the chances of bad reviews for them if their case was not handled well. But once he dead, everything changed.

The best way to put it was a media circus started from the moment he died, that did not end for days. When the word came out on his death which was at 12:10pm on the 23rd, there were thousands of people all around the hospital.
In fact, they were causing a near riot over the death of the man they thought they knew. He was the first superstar in the world of film to die.
What was worse with all of this was how many people made careers and money from the death of this young man. The newspapers for days ran stories on him as he was lingering between life and death. Once death came he had become an ICON and immortal. But first they needed to get his dead body out of the hospital.

The police used a plan that actually worked so that a hearse could arrive and take the body out of hospital. It was whispered that the body was going to be taken out through the front of the Hospital and this whispering campaign worked as the masses all ran to the front.

At this point a hearse arrived at the back door and Valentino's body was taken down an elevator in a wicker basket with gold cloth on top. They had him in the hearse before the people in the front of the hospital got wise. At the hospital 2 women tried to commit suicide. This was crazy! All these mad wild and hormone driven women were on the warpath as the sexiest man in the world was dead and they were not happy!

At 2:00 Pm the body arrived at Campbell's funeral home on 66th Street and embalming started immediately. Being that Valentino was quite muscular rigor mortis started very quickly. He was very well embalmed and prepared for the rigors of his last performance which would be perhaps his most well attended. His funeral.
This is a staged picture of the funeral bier at Campbell's Funeral Home. First off what I do not see is a casket? I see a well set up bier for a grand show that was planned by Campbell's.

What they did not plan on was 10,000 women were outside and wanted to see Rudy right away. It soon got ugly. Women charged the funeral home to get inside. Soon the large plate glass windows in the front of Campbell's were smashed and a large group of women stormed the funeral home. It took a long time to control them.
In fact the body had to be moved to protect it. Over 100 police were brought in to control what had effectively become a riot. It just got worse from there. A large number of people were injured and the funeral home was ransacked by souvenir hunters.
People were on line to get in with scissors in their hands to cut off some of Valentino's clothes. There were lines down Broadway and 6th Avenue of mainly women and children in the thousands to see their hero. Not to say there were no men at this affair, there was. In fact many of the men were dressing like Valentino. It was crazy.
The lines that seemed to go on forever as people waited to see Valentino. It was said that 100,000 people were waiting to see Rudy. Many saw him, but many did not. For a while there were 4 brown shirt's from Italy around the coffin. Supposedly sent by Mussolini. But soon it was found out that it was all cooked up by Campbell's. It was even suggested that a body double was used instead of the corpse. But all of that was not true. Just good stories.
Here is a flapper who passed out in the mayhem around the funeral home.
There was a High Mass said at St Malacky's, the actor's chapel for Valentino. There were mounted Police called in to keep order. After this Valentino was packed in his casket, placed in a shipping container and a cross country train carried him back to California. But where? No one knew where to send him? That is when June Mathis came to the rescue. Because outside of there being no place to send Valentino, he was also broke at the time of his death. What is interesting is that the studios who made a fortune out of Valentino and had several million dollar life insurance policies on him, never bothered to even find him a grave. They were looking at how they could make more money out of him, but he ended up in a $100.00 vault. So much for the last resting place of the great Latin lover.
Valentino's casket is carried into the mausoleum at what is now Hollywood Forever in LA. This was after another massive funeral in California. That is where he rests today in absolute silence. I would think that would make him very happy. Because Rudolph Valentino's life became as much a hell as a heaven for him. Today he rests in the solitude of silence.