Jake LaMotta The Boxer that Inspired “Raging Bull”

Jake LaMotta © Joe DiMaggio

To All the Ships at Sea –

After the last half a century I’ve spent several days with Jake LaMotta.  He was kind enough to give me an exclusive interview for my documentary film “In This Corner.”  Before agreeing to this interview, he turned me down many times. My dear friend Bert Sugar, suggested that I offer him a bottle of wine, a $25 cigar, an autographed photo, and dedicate the film to his two sons that passed, that might work. Well Bert, was right and Jake agreed to the interview.  JoAnne and I met Jake at nearby P.J. Clarke’s where we spent the entire afternoon.  During the interview Jake was extremely intense and honest. Honest to a point, that I was not comfortable using the whole interview!

I would like to give you a short excerpt from my recent book FILL THE FRAME.  Jake and I happened to be sitting together in first class and in front of us was Boxing Promoter Bob Arum and his beautiful wife. As we sat down Jake looked at me and said,  “you have a lot of nerve sitting here.  You #$@&%* my wife!”  He went on to a point where I was getting genuinely concerned.  He was deep into his 70’s but probably still could take my head off.  I’m a lover not a fighter!  Uh oh, I think Jake, would have taken this the wrong way!  Luckily Bob Arum turned around in his seat and said, “Jake, Joe D did not screw your wife, he was not old enough to screw your wife and didn’t even know her!”  We all laughed and proceed to have our martinis and champagne. That was when first class was first class!  Now you’re lucky if you get a warm coke and some dry roasted peanuts. When things finally calmed down I asked him who the greatest fighter was of all time?  He looked at me like I had no brain in my head and said, “You have to be kidding, what planet do you live on? There was only one and it was Sugar Ray Robinson.”

Jake had over 100 fights.  His career spanned over 13 years.  He fought the greatest boxer of all times Sugar Ray Robinson, six times and beat him once.  I strongly recommend if anyone in heaven, runs into Jake you treat him with the utmost respect. Stay far enough away so that he can’t hit you with a combination because if he hits you,  you will wind up in hell!

Jake LaMotta © Joe DiMaggio “In This Corner”

Jake LaMotta © Joe DiMaggio “In This Corner”

Photographer Joe DiMaggio and Heavyweight Boxer Jake LaMotta

Pete Turner – The Great!

Pete Turner © Tim Mantoani

To All the Ships At Sea,

In my opinion the greatest color photographer in my lifetime has to be Pete Turner. Turner was a visionary who thought outside the box before people even knew what the box was. What he could not photograph, he found a way of building, designing, and enhancing to make it work. As a snotty, wet behind the ears, photography wanna-be back 5 decades ago, someone in my photography lecture asked me the question, “Who do you think is the greatest photographer?” I looked the person in the eyes and then everyone around him and said, “there are only 2 great photographers, Pete Turner and Joe DiMaggio. Looking back at it “ I can’t believe that came out of my mouth! Yes, Pete Turner was correct. Not me so much. It was a cocky and silly reply and in retrospect, totally unacceptable.

I will share this – I’ve cursed Pete Turner virtually every night for as long as I can remember. One day, JoAnne and I were at a cocktail party in New York City sponsored by Aperture and Pete and his lovely wife Reine were there. I went over with JoAnne to say hello to Pete. I said Pete, “I just want you to know that I curse you every night.” Turner looks at me like I have 3 heads and asks me, “Why?” I said, “Let me explain, when JoAnne asked me to take out the garbage, I said son of a bitch!” “I bet $#$@&*! Pete Turner doesn’t have to take the garbage out every night!” His wife chimed in, “Really?” “Pete has to take the garbage out every night as well.” And we all laughed! In my opinion no one can come close to Peter Turner’s talent. He was the best color photographer EVER!

Heaven will be a lot more colorful from now on.

Win Number Two for Boxer Khalid Twaiti

To All the Ships At Sea –

Most of you know I have been photographing boxing for a long time.  I also have been working on a film titled IN THIS CORNER and it has been one of my ongoing projects.  Over the years, I have photographed Mohammed Ali, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Arturo Gatti, Gerry Cooney, Larry Holmes, and the list goes on.

While working on my film at Gleason’s I met a young man by the name of Khalid Twaiti over a decade ago. I believe he was 10 or 11 years old at the time.  He had fire in his eyes, passion in his soul and determination in his heart. He is also very bright young man.  Khalid has ten years at Gleason’s with an amazing amateur record.  He has a great trainer by the name of Don Saxby who also has the same passion dedication and heart. Not only is he a great trainer but a surrogate dad in and out of the ring. Khalid’s mom, dad, family, and friends are very much behind him. Put that all in the world’s largest blender and what comes out I believe to be the next lightweight champion of the world –  somewhere maybe between 118 and 127. Khalid will probably need another 36-40 months but will become Champion. There is no doubt in my mind.

Please enjoy the short video and stills from his recent fight in Brooklyn. https://vimeo.com/233877446

Please consider purchasing my book FILL THE FRAME “Recalling My Adventures as a Working Photographer from the 60’s to present day. The book describes his career working for publications such as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME MAGAZINE, HBO, rapidly followed by a brilliant career in Corporate and Advertising.  It’s also about how photography has evolved over the years.” FILL THE FRAME goes into detail about the many people I have photographed – celebrities, sports figures as well as so many others and his experiences working with them, and the stories behind the photographs.

Book is $20 plus $4 shipping. You can pay by check, paypal or credit card (through Paypal.)  

FILL THE FRAME Hit Thirteen

To All the Ships at Sea,

In a world moving at light speed, yes I’ve used this saying before…  To have 4 consecutive great days is almost unheard of.  Well, I’ve had 5 great days.  It started out good and ended fabulous.  My book FILL THE FRAME hit 13 on Amazon. Sean Strub of the hotel Fauchére hosted a book signing for literary club which was extremely successful.  The one hour presentation lasted 2 hours.  I was totally honored that people came to hear me and purchase a copy of my book.  I guess I will have to start working on FILL THE FRAME II.

Excerpts from my book FILL THE FRAME…

© Joe DiMaggio

I wanted Star Trek’s William Shatner as a celebrity guest & co-host when I was hosting The Canon Photo Safari. We finally connected in 1999, for a segment being filmed in Israel. I didn’t know much about him; I was no Trekkie, but for some reason Bill had always fascinated me.

One typically torrid morning at 4:30, we set off for some far-flung location, and by 3:30 that afternoon it was even hotter. Bill and I were sitting shoulder to shoulder on a stone wall, gazing out at a magnificent ruin, when he glanced at me and said, “You know Joe, you look really hot.”

“Well, it’s warm,” I said, “but I’m not that hot.”

“Well, you really look really hot.”

“What can I say? It’s hot.””

“You know what? You also look very, very tired.”

“Well, I’m not that tired.”

“But you really look tired. You look very hot, and you look very tired. Actually, you look exhausted.”
“I’m really not exhausted.” “No, you really are exhausted.”

At that point, we paused. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, sometimes it takes two or three kicks under the table for me to catch on. I looked at the director, and said, “I’m feeling a little queasy, I’m very hot, and I’m really tired. I’d like to go back to the kibbutz, and relax a bit. Is there any way we could make up the work tomorrow?”

The director said, “Well, if you’re not up to it . . .”

©Joe DiMaggio

    © Joe DiMaggio

 

 

Alan Kaplan vs Peter B. Kaplan

© Joe DiMaggio

To All the Ships at Sea,

For whatever reason photographers rarely get together and socialize with each other.  Wow, what a shame that is.  Alan Kaplan, an internationally known photographer has been our neighbor for about 15 years. Only recently did we get together to break bread.  I’m only sorry we didn’t do this sooner. Alan’s wife Wendy is an international producer of films and a world class model.  Everybody knows my partner JoAnne and as Bill Shatner would say “also one of the finest photographers in the United States.”  Our lunch was wonderful as well as the conversation. Alan is one of the few intellectual photographers.  He’s not a button pusher he puts a whole lot of thought into his photography and his place on the planet.  Wendy is diametrically opposite – she’s a very quiet woman of few words, totally laid back, with no particular positions on politics, the human condition, or most matters.  NOT!  Wendy is very outspoken and dynamic. Don’t get on her bad side because she’s a tough broad which is a good thing!  Alan’s studio was one floor apart from my friend Peter B. Kaplan’s -another world class photographer and also was next to the artist who put the capital © in copyright but that’s separate blog.  That evening the four of us continued onto Malibu ranch to photograph a rodeo and had a great time which was   followed by a late night dinner at the Fauchére.  It doesn’t get better than that.

In a month or so Alan will be having a show on Ethiopia at Lenox Hill Hospital.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

Minke Moves to Miami

© Joe DiMaggio

I jumped in the car to take my dear friend Danny Multer out for dinner. His cat is relocating to Miami and Danny felt it was the right thing to to do to follow Minke. Danny was kind enough to gift me several old photographic books and a few glass plates that are amazing to play with. The Mexican beer was good,  I won’t talk about the quality of food but the beer was good.

All that Jazz Lillie Howard and Company

Jazz LIllie Howard

Jazz Rich Syracuse

Jazz Harvey Kaiser © Joe DiMaggio

Joe DiMaggio and Roy Scheider © JoAnne Kalish

To All The Ships at Sea,

My great friend actor Roy Scheider, when I told him that my favorite film was ALL THAT JAZZ. He smiled and said, “You know why I was so good in that?  Because I was intense, dedicated, loved women, loved partying and attacked life head on and you know why you liked it? Because you’re the same as me.” Wow, what a compliment.  Stuff like that is a lot more valuable than money.  He was truly a great actor and great guy. One time JoAnne took me to the Blue Note and we saw Alberta Hunter. Alberta Hunter was one of the greatest American Jazz singers of all time.  That probably started my love affair with Jazz and the Blues.  Then I ran into Hugh Brodie who turned me onto Kitt Potter and Lilly Howard.  Lilly was playing in NY the other night and JoAnne and I went to see her.  She was playing with Guitarist Mike Jackson, Saxophonist Harvey Kaiser, Drummer Bobby Sanabria, and Bassist Rich Syracuse three great sets.  Wow the end to a perfect week.  She was kind enough to introduce me to her son who appeared to be a very cool dude.  Like all great singers she sings from the heart and gut.  She’ll certainly bring a smile or a tear to your eye.  She has that kind of power.  As a photographer you get to meet a lot of great people which is very cool… An adventure every day, and  a holiday every week.  It doesn’t get better than that.  By the way here is some information on my recent book FILL THE FRAME.

Jazz and Blues  – you can’t tell the difference after dark

 

 

Front Cover FILL THE FRAME

“Recalling His Adventures as a Working Photographer from the 60’s to present day. The book describes his career working for publications such as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME MAGAZINE, HBO, rapidly followed by a brilliant career in Corporate and Advertising.  It’s also about how photography has evolved over the years.”

FILL THE FRAME goes into detail about the many people he has photographed – celebrities, sports figures as well as so many others and his experiences working with them, and the stories behind the photographs.

Book is $20 plus $4 shipping. You can pay by check, paypal or credit card (through Paypal.)  
Click here to purchase the book on paypal – https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=76BHV2D849WAS

First of many Amazon Reviews – “Where have you been Joe DiMaggio…An amazing recounting of this photographers life.  Each story is a touchstone to a period that resonates in our collective recollection of America.  It’s at once funny, sad, and charming, I simply couldn’t put it down.  A great read…” S. Simon Jacob

SUPPORT LIVING ARTISTS!

Brighter Days Ahead…

To All The Ships At Sea,

Well the week started out with a dark cloud in the sky.  Not good…WRONG!  It turned out to be the best week I had in a long long time.  My agent from California called and I have an assignment in Boston.  JoAnne worked with our stock agency in Europe and we sold 3 photos.  My new book FILL THE FRAME HIT #13 on Amazon, I got in 5 days in at the gym, lost 4 lbs, won $2 on Lotto, ran into an old friend of mine that sings opera and made one or two interesting snapshots.  No Pulitzer, no Picture of the Year but what the hell, I’m having fun!  Topped it off with a great group of people at the Hotel Fauchére.  My one hour Q & A lasted almost two.  It was a ton of fun, great questions, great people. Can’t wait to do it again.  Life doesn’t get better than that – (okay next time I could win 2 million in the Lotto.)  If that happens, I’d take that 2 million, give half away and gift myself the availability of working for the next ten years on my pet projects.  Attached a few photos from my book.

Live Love, Laugh, & Be Happy

Joe D

 

Nobuko

To All the Ships At Sea:

Both JoAnne and I, have some really wonderful friends such as Steve & Mary.  They invited us for a lovely Barbecue last week.  We had met Steve’s mom the year before and I was thoroughly taken with her.  Her name is Nobuko. She happened to be visiting again and I sat across from her.  As I was talking to her a tiny bit of light lit up her face like she was an angel. I absolutely had to photograph her.

When we left I kissed her and invited her to come to our studio for an informal portrait session.  She was gracious enough to come.  I spent the morning redoing the studio specifically for her.  My Japanese isn’t what it used to be but I greeted her with Ohayo gozaimasu. She was very happy. I had her sit down and we made some small talk. Nobuko is in amazing health and her eyes are the eyes of a 20 year old. They are bright, clear and they sparkle.  It doesn’t get better than that.  I am not a conventional portrait photographer.  When I find someone this beautiful I have to make the photograph.  Nobuko did all the work and I recorded her presence.

Garcia or Smith

© Joe DiMaggio

To All the Ships at Sea:

Every once in a while I need to be hit in the head by a 2×4.  You know it’s good to have a friend that tells you the truth.  Recently I’ve had several friends tell me my blog is a little on the down side. Unfortunately, they are right. Obviously I don’t set out to do this.  So, I’m going to make some serious changes not only in my attitude but in the way I look at things.

Why did I want to become a photographer? Simple answer – I wanted to communicate with my fellow man visually and have the ability to possibly change the world with my photography.  Bull shit!  I wanted to have fun, meet women, sleep till one in the afternoon, get up and drink cappuccino and talk to people about things, I know absolutely nothing about!  Hell, did you see Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up?

It’s all about apprenticeship, working extremely hard on your craft, being passionate about everything you do and your ability to get from point A to B under every condition there is. To become truly successful you have to put the same amount of effort in as if you were going to become a doctor, lawyer or architect. It’s hard work. So I’ve been on vacation every day 24/7 for very long time

I’d like to share some photos that I’ve been neglectful about showing you in the past.  I won’t get involved in why I have not been blogging but it’s time to get off my ass, be more upbeat and that’s what I’m going to do.

I have to do a shout out to my friend Sam who’s been one serious pain in the ass.  Thank you Sam.

By the way I’ve not take this trip alone. I’ve had scores of people who’ve helped me in my career.  Please check my new book out – FILL THE FRAME  Book is $20 plus $4 shipping. You can pay by check, paypal or credit card (through Paypal.)  Click here to purchase the book on paypal – https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=76BHV2D849WAS