Fridays Are For Frank: Sinatra v. Australia — “I’ve Got You (Down) Under My Skin”
Q: What do Frank Sinatra and Donald Trump have in common?
A: They’ve both had to rough up a few Australians in their day.
As our esteemed President had “the worst call” with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over the refugee crisis, we’re reminded of the disastrous 1974 Sinatra tour down under, when Frank himself was forced to flee under duress.
Frank actually held the Aussies in high regard, once saying that, “There are three best places for musicians: Los Angeles, London, and Sydney, Australia.”
However, things went pretty far south after his 1974 visit, when the press relentlessly poked and prodded Sinatra and his entourage—prompting him to say on stage at Festival Hall in Melbourne that, “They’re pimps. They’re just crazy, you know. And the broads who work in the press are the hookers of the press. Need I explain that to you? I might offer them a buck and a half… I’m not sure.”
Those words, amongst other things, didn’t go over too well. There were reports of Sinatra’s bodyguards physically assaulting members of the Australian press. He canceled his second night in Melbourne, then stayed locked in his hotel in Sydney under media siege as they demanded an apology.
Frank later remarked, “A funny thing happened in Australia. I made one mistake. I got off the plane.”
Over time, the riffs would heal. Let’s hope the same happens with US-Australian diplomatic relations.
Last week, Mexico. This week, Australia. Stay tuned as we find a Sinatra anecdote for whatever looming geopolitical crisis develops over the next seven days…