Posted by: gdevi | May 20, 2015

Robert Crumb on Frank Sinatra

I am probably an exception to the norm here; I loathe Frank Sinatra’s movies, music, voice, and singing. It is not just Frank Sinatra–it is that whole genre–the Las Vegas gangster lifestyle, slicked back hair, striped suits, the fedora hats, the jokes—all of it. It is sleazy and repulsive to me. And I loathe all the musicians of today who dress like this and sing like this –the slicked back hair, the striped suits, the hats, pretending that they are living in the 20s and 30s and 40s selling their music on Youtube and ipods and itunes–pretending to be something they are not; it is the crummiest marketing technique you can possibly imagine; a niche, if you will. I loathe it with all my being. They have nothing to give me. Something is so inauthentic and false and destroyed in most of what goes for mid and late 30s music, and 30s music the way it is imitated by folks pretending to dress and sing like they did in the 30s. It is sleazy and repulsive.; the whole playing for Al Capone. You can feel it as soon as you hear it. So anyway, I was so surprised when I read Robert Crumb shares my hatred of Frank Sinatra:

“Crumb’s parents were not music aficionados. “My mother liked music, but she liked the most standard middle-of-the-road crap of the time. She liked Mario Lanza and Perry Como and Frank Sinatra” I was surprised to hear Sinatra lumped in with Como and Lanza, and since Sinatra is generally considered one of the greatest popular vocalists of the century, I pressed him on why he never appreciated his voice. “I hate Sinatra,” Crumb said emphatically. “I can’t stand him, his attitude, the whole gestalt, to me the sensibility of that music is just repulsive. The whole sensibility of all that ’50s , ’60s pop music of the middle class, that bourgeois element that tended towards admiring and liking this kind of sleazy, almost gangster-Mafioso kind of lifestyle. Even the liberal intellectual side of it represented by Playboy and Hefner is repugnant to me and always was.” (Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me: Robert Crumb Letters 1958-1977)

Well said, Crumb; thank you.

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