HARLAN ELLISON V. FRANK SINATRA

The wonderful and wildly prolific writer Harlan Ellison died this past week at the age of 84 (click here for his fascinating NY Times obit). In 2006 my producing partner David Zellerford and I had the pleasure of interviewing him at his home in the hills above the San Fernando Valley for our documentary ‘Tis Autumn; The Search For Jackie Paris’. Harlan was a vivid, wildly amusing and controversial anecdotalist and during our hour plus interview he touched on many things beside his love of jazz and Jackie. Indeed you couldn’t really stop Harlan once he got going–he was like a mad wind-up doll filled with opinion, wit, vituperation and story after story. We got to talking about his infamous confrontation with Frank Sinatra at a nightclub called ‘The Daisy’ in the mid-sixties, an event that was witnessed by writer Gay Talese who then included it in his famous Esquire magazine article ‘Frank Sinatra Has A Cold’. With our cameras thankfully turned on, we got the whole story from the horses mouth, told in wonderful and often hilarious detail. In memory of Harlan, I’ve posted that clip above. RIP Harlan Ellison, a one-of-a-kind writer and human being.

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