Picked up the book The Voice a Frank Sinatra bio and brought it on vacation with me to the great state of Florida. It was a long but addicting read detailing the early career of Sinatra and all of the capers he got involved with. If any entertainer had more personalty than Frank in the 1900s I am at a loss to think of who that might be. The public both loved and then hated him several times throughout his career but he always did it his way.
His way is the way of the alpha if your thing is banging broads and being the best at what you do. Sinatra had more quality tail than any of his peers and he did it through sheer charm and by being the ring leader that always kept things interesting for his crew. He also had the danger element working in his favor, he had an explosive temperament that could turn to rage on a dime and mob connections although no one truly knows how deep they were.
Some things I learned from reading about Frank:
- No matter how alpha you think you are you’ll meet you match and then some at some point. Sinatra slayed everything in his path until Ava Gardner but then he became under her spell and lost his mojo. The hunter becomes the hunted and everybody hurts sometime.
- Setbacks are temporary. Everyone wrote Sinatra’s career off when he stumbled after rising to the top but he kept hustling and never gave up. His critics thought many names like Haymes, Fisher, Como, Lewis & Martin etc.. would be remembered instead of him but through sheer will power and desire he is the name everyone remembers.
- Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have if it is too comfortable. Frank’s first wife was always his rock and one of the old school good women but he just couldn’t be satisfied with easy. He took care of his family financially but was pretty much a stranger to them besides that. Not the kind of man I’d want to be even though I can envy his lifestyle on occasion.
- Sinatra spent like there was no tomorrow throughout his life and was often very close to insolvent due to his extravagance. He pulled it off due to extreme talent and hustle but most people that try to emulate this lifestyle will end up under performing not everyone can be Sinatra. Many people in his crew like Sammy Davis Jr. tried to mimic his approach but got themselves in financial trouble.
- To reach the top levels like Frank you have to have a sole focus on self and not worry about what others think. This approach wouldn’t be for me I am much to loyal a person and couldn’t discard people that helped me along the way just because I was ready for the next step in the ladder. Frank navigated this path several times and always burned the bridge and made the move onward and upward.
- No one is completely good or completely bad. It would be easy to vilify or think less of Sinatra after reading this book but for all the bad there are also tales of his legendary generosity and being there when someone needed it. Life is complicated and it is a sign of maturity when you can see the grey.
Sinatra could never be bored and could never sit still. Always had to be moving and staying one step ahead of the coffin. In the end we all only have a limited amount of time on this earth so you decide what is important to you and DO IT YOUR WAY.