Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Crazy Joe Gallo and the White House that couldn’t shoot straight

Crazy Joe the Blond
Crazy Don the Orange

Back in the 1960s, a small potatoes Brooklyn thug who had two street names, “Joey the Blond” and “Crazy Joe Gallo” got a crew together and tried to shoot his way into the big time Mafia.

Owing to his gang’s formidable level of incompetence, he didn’t last, although stunts like keeping a pet lion in his basement, and various murder attempts (and at least one notoriously successful one) drew a lot of press attention. This included attention from the late newspaper feature writer and columnist Jimmy Breslin, who dined off Gallo for years.

Breslin wrote a book about the Gallo gang, that became a movie, called “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.” 

While watching the House hearings on the Ukraine mess today, it finally occurred to me that history is rhyming again. A new gang that can’t shoot straight is in the White House, and instead of Crazy Joe building a career for Jimmy Breslin, Donald Trump is building ratings for Stephen Colbert. (And yes, Gallo was even called to Washington to testify, although it was at a Senate investigation, rather than a House investigation.)

Joey the Blond/Crazy Joe did prison time and was eventually done in by a rival gang at Umberto's Clam House in New York's Little Italy.

Take two minutes to watch the trailer for The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, below. Of course, there are marked differences between Crazy Don and his gang, and Crazy Joe and his gang. But there’s also something that really does rhyme with the White House Capers. 

1 comment:

Victor said...

Isn't this the same "Joey" who "inspired" Bob Dylan to rhyme "New York" and "fork?"
Not one of Dylan's finer rhyming efforts.

My friends and I used to joke:
"Dylan Retires! Can't Find Word to Rhyme With 'Orange!'"