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

Albert Maysles Documentary Filmmaker

Albert Maysles Home © Joe DiMaggio7580e

Al Maysles © Joe DiMaggio

Al Maysles © Joe DiMaggio

Al Maysles © Joe DiMaggio

I remember the day, the time, and exactly where I was the day JFK was killed.  I remember the day, the time, and exactly where I was when W. Gene Smith passed away.  Well, I’m sitting in my studio and it’s 3:25 PM, the first sunny day in weeks –  a blistering 34 degrees and I just found out that Albert Maysles passed away.

In my humble opinion Albert Maysles was the father of modern documentary film along with his talented brother David.  They did some amazing films over an illustrious career that spanned six plus decades.  My son Dylan interned with Al.  We attended a cocktail party and Dylan introduced me to him.  It was like meeting royalty.  It never ceases to amaze me the greatest talents can also be warm, lovely, not pretentious people.  I asked Al for some advice on my film “In This Corner” and he became a technical adviser for me .  He was kind enough to invite us to his home where we did a short interview and a few still photographs which I will share with you.

The world has lost a great filmmaker and a great man!  There is no doubt in my mind that Al is now shooting a documentary with another great director.


Albert Maysles with Joe DiMaggio © Dylan DiMaggio

Al Maysles with Joe DiMaggio © Dylan DiMaggio

Cuba felicitación It’s About Time

Cuba ©2014 DiMaggio/Kalish

Cuba ©2014 DiMaggio/Kalish

To All the ships At Sea

Please see paragraph from Merri Ansara Director at Common Ground Travel Agency.

Dear Joe and JoAnne,
First of all, Congratulations to us all for President Obama’s announcement today to begin normalizing relations with Cuba.  It has  been visits like yours that have helped change the view of ordinary U.S. Americans towards Cuba and our relations with Cuba.

Now I’d like to offer all my personal thank you to all of our friends who went to Cuba with us under our People to People license.  You had first-hand experience in making this happen.

Our next trip to Cuba will be April 13 -20 2015. We hope you decide to join us.