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

JoAnne and Richie

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

To all the ships at sea, I remember the first time that JoAnne photographed Richie Havens at a great club called My Father’s Place. What was so outrageously cool about clubs like that is that you could be literally five feet from a superstar. So for the cost of a beer, a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee, life was great; at least before the no photograph rules. I remember I was so jealous; I was in California and she was with Richie. Richie invited JoAnne and her friend into the dressing room, signed some autographs, and was just plain Richie, which means he was just a great guy with a  great attitude; never a prima donna. Super voice and super guitar.

Alex Ferguson Retires

To all the shjps at sea, my first experience with soccer was meeting Pelé at the airport and following him for two weeks as he attempted to make soccer a main street sport in the United States.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

“London (CNN) — English soccer’s most successful manager — Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson — is retiring at the end of the season after more than a quarter of a century at the helm, the club announced Wednesday.

The 71-year-old Scot has managed the English club, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and loved by millions of fans around the world, from Manchester to Manila and Montreal, since 1986.

Everton manager David Moyes is the bookmakers’ favorite to succeed his compatriot, and the 50-year-old will be confirmed as the next United boss on Thursday according to widespread British media reports.

During his 26 years in charge, Ferguson — a supporter of Britain’s Labour Party who’s renowned for dressing down players with the “hairdryer treatment” — has won more than 30 trophies, including 13 league championships.

Many fans took to Twitter to voice their appreciation, using the handle #thankyousiralex. He became Sir Alex when knighted by the queen more than a decade ago for his services to the game.

‘Thank you for everything,’ say Manchester United fans

As well as dominating on the pitch, Ferguson has helped build the century-old soccer club into a huge business operation whose progress is followed on stock exchanges around the world.

Its shares dipped nearly 5% in early trading Wednesday.

The Old Trafford club is owned by the American Glazer family, who oversaw the club’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange last August.

For the 2011-2012 season, United increased revenues by £14.2 million to £117.6 million ($182.4), the highest of any club in the Premier League.

But it lost the top spot as the world’s most valuable sports franchise in this year’s Forbes list to Spanish soccer club Real Madrid. Forbes valued Manchester United at $3.17 billion, still ahead of Barcelona, another Spanish soccer club, and two U.S. outfits, the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball and the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL.

Ferguson will bow out after the club’s last game of the season, an away match against West Bromwich Albion, on May 19, according to a statement from Manchester United.”

Dylan and Havens

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea, there are certain consistencies or better we call them truths in life. For me, one of these truths is to always to seek the advice of the elder of the village. I presume that this has been the way of the world from time immemorial, and here you see Dylan Michael communicating with our dear friend Richie Havens, discussing whether to use a pick or not. I think the conversation progressed to lyrics and Woodstock; I was personally not privileged to the conversation. I made the photo and moved on. There is one thing that never ceases to amaze me; how important photography is in all of our lives. I totally forgot about this photo, but while doing some research on Pete Seeger, I stumbled across Dylan with Richie. Canon F1, Fujichrome, about 1/90, bounce flash, 50mm lens. Pick an aperture; I don’t remember.  Sing in peace, Richie. You’re probably sitting on a solid gold stool. Great times of our lives, suspended in photography.

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