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

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

 

 

   

FILL THE FRAME The First Chapter – Peter Paul & Mary

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

PETER, PAUL and MARY

In 1969, a new singing group was performing at a Long Island ice skating rink, a trio, actually – Peter, Paul and Mary. I phoned the local newspaper and asked for a press credential.  I was turned down. I called another paper; same story.  Then I called a weekly, uh, newspaper, containing mostly supermarket coupons, and they said they’d love to give me a credential — if they had any.  Make one up, I was told, which I did, subsequently proceeding to bluff my way into the concert.  I had a Mamiya C220 camera by then, and an ancient, beat up Leica 3-C.  I loaded both with Tri-X black and white film, and as show time approached I managed to work my way onto one wing of the stage.  I had loved Peter, Paul and Mary from the start.  Mary Travers was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.  That hair, those eyes . . . and her voice was from heaven. The moments approaching her opening note were counting down, and I was trembling.  Then, during the sound check, Mary and her partners walked by, and she said, “Who the fuck is doing the sound here?  It sounds like shit.”  I think I grew up at that moment.  I’d heard those words before, just not from a goddess.  Looking back, my photos of the concert were of average quality, except for one shot of Mary, alone on a stool.  I sent her a copy.  Several years later, during one of her TV interviews, there it was, on the sofa behind her head.  More than 40 years have passed since then, and I’ve never stopped looking for the negatives.

Adorama Pixs Books

I just received a shipment of two new books from Adorama pics. There are very few things that amaze me and knock me on my ass. The quality of the books, the paper, and the binding are magnificent. That’s a strange adjective to use, but over all they just blow me away. When you realize the price is minuscule, that adds to the overall experience. Their web page is so easy to navigate even I can do it. Anyone who has been to my lectures/workshops knows I am not the most technically savvy person. Let me be perfectly clear, I do not work for or own Adorama, I am just another customer. By the way their customer service is impeccable, and shipping is extremely quick. It seems like everybody is an expert at everything; I am not. I love what I do, and now having the ability to create books that not only I enjoy, I also have them as great teaching tools.

The environmental portrait of Willie Nelson was done at 200mm, 1.8 lens at a 2/50o of a sec at 1.8 iso 500 on a gitzo monopod.