New Book by Tom Folsom: The Mad Ones
I’ve been meaning to get this up for several days now and just don’t seem to have gotten around to it (obviously). For more information head over to Tom Folsom’s site and check it out.
THE MAD ONES: Crazy Joe Gallo and the Revolution at the Edge of the Underworld (Weinstein Books; May 5, 2009) is a powerful collision of true crime and pop culture, telling the family tale of the notorious Gallo brothers, Crazy Joe, Larry, and Kid Blast, and bringing to life one of the most vibrant antiheros in American history. Joey is steeped in legend from Bob Dylan’s eleven-minute ballad “Joey” to fictionalizations central to The Godfather trilogy and Jimmy Breslin’s The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. Robert Kennedy called Joey a “Hollywood Grade B Gangster.”
Truth behind the fiction Coinciding with this year’s 40th anniversary of the publication of The Godfather, in The Mad Ones, author Tom Folsom brings to life the real life events that inspired Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola’s opus. “Sleeps with the fishes?” “Going to the mattresses?” These famous terms originated with the Gallos, once called the toughest gang in New York by the NYPD, hailing from the rough Red Hook neighborhood on the Brooklyn waterfront, now home to IKEA.
Hollywood-worthy ending Here, for the first time, is the complete story of the Gallos’ war against the powerful Cosa Nostra, an epic crime saga that culminates in Crazy Joe’s murder on the streets of Little Italy, where he was gunned down mid-bite into a forkful of spaghetti in 1972. To this day, it is the one of the great, unsolved mob killings.
Not your typical mob book What does the summer of love have to do with gangsters? Capturing the revolutionary spirit of the sixties so popular with the Obama generation from recent Broadway revivals of West Side Story and Hair, Joey aspired to be more than a common hood and immersed himself among the Beatniks and bohemians of the Village. Yearning to live the life of an artist, Joey wrote poetry, painted, and got his kicks devouring existential philosophy. Celebrated as the “king of the streets” by Dylan, Joey was embraced by the nation’s leading cultural figures.
The Mad Ones is a wildly satisfying entertainment and a significant work of cultural history, now the subject of an upcoming major motion picture by Weinstein Films. Folsom is available to take reporters and film crews around the key sites of The Mad Ones, including Umberto’s Clam House and Elaine’s, where Joey made the rounds of high society with actor Jerry Orbach.
TOM FOLSOM is a writer, director, and producer of television documentaries for A&E and Showtime, and the co-author of Mr. Untouchable, written with its subject, drug-kingpin Nicky Barnes, portrayed in the film American Gangster. Folsom lives in New York City.