There's little doubt in my ind that Sammy was the gem of the Rat Pack. Forgive me, Frankie and Dino, but Sammy was the Jam. What could be better? How about if he was backed by the Buddy Rich band of 1966? C'mon, seriously...
As if that weren't enough, how about we record it live in Vegas? Musically, this record is great, high rollin' Vegas swing at its best. But more than that, it's a stunning snapshot of a much-mythologized moment in American history. Guys like Michael Buble may think they can still do this sort of thing now, but they can't. Why? Because they ain't Sammy, Buddy ain't playing the drums, and 1966 was a long time ago. That may be a vague and somewhat lame explanation, but I just don't know how else to put it, dig?
A while back, I was in this sort of far-out, avant garde art band. We wore nice clothes, and played the best vintage gear. Our songs were written with a real love and knowledge of the best of what had come before us. But it was our mission to get loud and 'savage your face', as we used to say. We also liked to pull weird p.r. stunts. One of our favorites was the 'secret show'. We would invite a select group to our tiny, stinky, but oh-so-hip practice space, usually late night after some other cool public happening, and rip it up. People would practically be on top of us, smoking and drinking. It was great, and I count those among the best performances of my musical life.
Seems Sammy had the same idea. From the liner notes:
Can you imagine, a band like this at the Sands lounge, the small, intimate room, starting at 2:30 in the morning? Las Vegas just ain't what she used to be. That after hours crowd was no doubt full of evening gowns and tuxedos, the room stinky of regular Scotch, no fancy mamby pamby single malts, just J&B, or even Ballantine's Finest, and smoke, no fancy mamby pamby cigars, just Lucky Strikes, Camels ( the knid with no filters), and L&Ms (for the ladies). Apparently, they even had the same idea about 'savaging faces' that we had. Again from the liner notes:
I leave you with this. At least ten years later and clad in polyester, but seriously, these two are an unstoppable force together:
p.s. what ever happened to showmanship?