The big story this week around here has been Water Main Breaks, with awkwardly named water utility SUEZ turning our roads into canals—leading some to remark that Hoboken is “the Venice of New Jersey.”
In 1962, Frank Sinatra joined Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. for an extended gig at the Villa Venice, in suburban Chicago—a nightclub that happened to be owned by one Sam Giancana, the smoking gun to Sinatra’s reputed Mafia connections.
The shows at Villa Venice were supposedly payback for Giancana’s delivering Illinois to John F. Kennedy in the 1960 Presidential Election. Playing two shows a night for eight straight days, the core members of the Rat Pack played up the boozy lifestyle for which they were known, delivering a bawdy cocktail of music and comedy.
While never officially released, a bootleg of the tapes has leaked its way onto the scene, and is said to be one of the best samples Rat Pack vintage.
Meanwhile, here’s Frank, Dean and Sammy with “We Open in Venice,” going out to our good friends standing by to fix all our gradually decaying water mains…