Stallone: Frank, That Is (2021) - full transcript

An inside look into the fascinating life, career and survival of the most unknown famous entertainer in Hollywood.

I know exactly
the day I opened

my mouth to sing.
It was a Sunday.

All the relatives were
over at the house.

It's an old Italian song,
and I didn't know

what the hell the words were.
I was like six,

seven years old. It was...
♪ Eh, Cumpari ♪

And all of a sudden, I just
start singing along with it.

It just seemed natural.

For some reason,
it was effortless for me.

I never had a pitch problem.
I could just sing.

Please welcome, Frank Stallone.

Frank Stallone.
- Frank Stallone.

Frank Stallone.
- Frank Stallone.

Frank Stallone.
- Frank Stallone.

In his world, and his talent,
he's, you know,

every bit as good as I am
at what I try to do.

He's a five tool guy.

He can sing, he can act,
he can perform,

he can write, and he could
fight like a son of a bitch.

When you watch
Frank Stallone perform,

he fulfills everything.

It's just talent, man.
It's just pure talent.

He sings his ass off.
Always did.

He likes to talk a lot.

He can talk.

He can tell a story,
and he'll just capture you.

He's just wonderful.

It's a combination

of electric magnetism

coupled with
this incredible humility.

It's just a rare cocktail.

It's what I respect
most about him.

Frank has style
and Frank has endurance.

He's very driven. He's talented,
and he's also a sweetheart

of a guy. He's a winner.

He's an electric sort of guy,
and, and, uh, funny.

He's entertaining.
He's got a heart of gold.

There's never
a dull moment with Frank.

He's got a big heart.

That's what people don't see.
It's that big.

He's a force.
He's the real deal.

There's so much more to him
than meets the eye.

I mean, everybody knows,
yeah, he did a little

doowop thing
in the first Rocky film,

and you think, "Oh,
that's cute," you know,

"Sylvester and his brother
sing a little

thing at the beginning."
And then,

you dig deeper,
and you found out,

"Wow, this guy's
a tremendous musical artist

in his own right."

He was into music
24 hours a day.

I knew that was his calling.

He never quit.

♪ I know what I'm missing ♪

♪ I talk ♪

♪ No one listens ♪

♪ Now I'm talking to myself ♪

♪ Reach out, no reaction ♪

♪ What price? ♪

♪ Satisfaction ♪

♪ If you give up ♪

♪ Or give it all... ♪

These were actually, uh,

these were a gift to me.

These were
Frank Sinatra's cufflinks.

Maybe that'll bring me a...
bit of good luck.

See you in the movies.

Welcome back to the stage
Frank Stallone.

I grew up in a kind
of a strange environment.

My father was from Italy,
and my mother is a WASP,

and she was born
in Washington DC.

So I didn't really grow up in,

what you would call,
a musical household.

My father was a hair dresser.

My mother worked
in the same business,

and it was a very
tumultuous house.

It was not a happy household.

I remember once
I went to Bloomingdale's,

he was about five years old,
and he's so quite.

Were-- He said to Frankie,
"Just sit here, don't move."

He would not move until
you gave him a command to move.

When I got home,
I realized I didn't have him.

He was still sitting
on the bench in Bloomingdale's.

I went back to the store,
and there you were.

To pick him up,
that's how wellmannered he was.

He was a good baby.

Frankie actually was
putty in your hand.

He was a beautiful little baby,
and very good.

Growing up, he was just a,
a normal child,

but he developed a passion,

and I mean really a passion,
for music.

I remember to this day,
seeing Elvis Presley.

All of a sudden,
this wild man comes on.

At six years old, I'm going,
"Oh, yeah,

forget 'Eh, Cumpari.'
That, that bullshit,

that's over.
This is it right here."

The hair, the look,
just everything about him,

and that was it, I was hooked.

When my parents got divorced,

I moved from Maryland
to Philadelphia,

which was like night and day.

But then the doowop thing
was always around,

like The Platters,
The Silhouettes,

that was like street corner.

So I got into that.

My mother had left.
She disappeared.

And she came
around Christmas time,

and I saw
these two like ukuleles.

I know my brother
has no musical talent,

so I guess they're both for me,

but he ended up breaking it
over my head.

That was
the beginning and the end

of like the Italian version
of The Everly Brothers,

because my brother,
as talented as he is,

just has no musical talent.

They tried.
They bought him a trumpet.

He hammered the mouth piece in,

but it just wasn't his bag,

and he didn't know what his bag
was until 20 years later.

So he was just
kind of a delinquent.

I would torture Frank.

from shooting arrows at him,

and trying
to put him in a barrel,

and roll him down a hill
while heaving rocks

onto a freeway
under construction.

His fingers almost got
cut off in a cement mixer.

We got into a fight
over a drum stick,

and I threw it at him, and
it sort of stuck in his head,

and he's still alive,
which goes to show you,

he's not normal.

He has a primitive

He's eating a bowl of ice cream.

He goes...
"Don't touch my ice cream,"

and he throws
the ice cream in my face.

I turn around, I hit him,
and I shatter my hand.

This is the way we've always
conducted our business,

me attacking my brother,
and then blaming him.

So it's consistent.
There something nice

about consistency.

So then, off to military school.

I just got wind of The Beatles.
I don't want to go
to military school,

and get a buzz haircut.
I can't do this anymore.

I just don't want to do it,

because now your hormones
are kind of changing.

The Beatles, The Stones,
all this stuff is happening,

and I'm wearing a buzz cut.

I look like total jerk off.

I don't fit in at all.

So I left.
I went to public school.

I wasn't dumb. I was very smart,

but I couldn't apply myself.

Now you would call that ADD,

but then,
you just called it stupid.

I think I got one A
in 12 years of school.

I flunked music all four years.

Barely got out of high school.

Frankie and I met
in September of 1961.

I had a set of drums,
but most of us,

we were just doing something
that was part of a trend.

For Frankie, it was a drive.

He can't stop himself.

I felt like a separation

like he was moving away,
you know?

He was very serious about that,
and I...

...couldn't possibly
get serious at that age.

I remember I worked all summer

for 150 bucks,
and my stepfather said...

"Well, if you work,
you can buy your own guitar."

I said, "Okay, great."
I went to 8th Street Music,

and I bought this bass,

and he goes, "Oh, I didn't
tell you you could buy that,"

and he took it away from me.

I didn't even get
a chance to play it.

It was so devastating to me,

because I was so proud
because I worked for it,

and he just put it away
in the closet,

and he goes, "Don't you ever
touch that again." I said,

I said, "You said if I worked
all summer, I could have it."

I couldn't wait for when
he left town. Of course I'd...

practice in the front room

with my band, and stuff
like that. But I couldn't--

Then I realized
I sucked at bass.

Well, he didn't
like his stepfather

for the simple reason
his stepfather was

pretty organized,
and very neat, and clean.

He would insist Frankie
get a haircut

as soon as he'd come home.
Well, that's the worst thing

you could say to a musician.

So, they didn't get along
well at all.

Got along very well
with his father.

His father lived in, uh,

Florida or Washington DC
at the time...

in both places,

and he got along well
with his father.

We were getting hit in the '60s.

Every day there was
a new British invasion group,

The Dave Clark Five,
The Kinks, The Who.

It was so exciting. I mean,

it was a blitzkrieg
of British groups.

Everyone thought you were
English if you had long hair.

You know,
those guys had Philly accents.

"Hello, love,
how yous doing there?"

You say, "Oh, God, Almighty,"
you know?

But girls thought
you were British,

We're about as British as,
you know, whatever.

So, what's the next thing?

Let's straighten Frank's hair.

To watch a guy iron
his own hair is ridiculous.

It doesn't work.
I was burning my scalp.

I looked like an OCedar mop,
just like, like a roof.

It was horrible.
So then I figured it out.

If I washed my hair it'd be wet.
I'd put like DippityDo in it,

and I'd put a hair net on,
and sit under a hair dryer,

and it'd come out
beautifully straight.

Two seconds on the stage,

sweat, and it all...

I turned professional in 1965.

The guy next door said,
"Hey, well I'm having a party,"

so we set our stuff up
on the lawn, and we played.

I think they gave us five bucks

like for the band,
and I said, "Well,

I'm professional.
I'm getting paid."

This was my first group,
The American Tragedy.

Frank is a naturalborn

His singing ability,
and his delivery,

his performance
was unbelievable.

There was
a thing, an advertisement
for a thing called

the Philadelphia Battle
of the Bands,

which was all throughout

I heard numbers like
300 bands started or something,

and the competition was fierce,

but we came in second
of all the bands,

and that was a lot
of acknowledgement.

It was a lot of fun.

My brother managed me
for one day

with The American Tragedy.

We went to see a group
called The Soultastics,

and Sly goes, "Yeah, that's
what you guys should be doing."

We were kids.
We couldn't even drive yet.

So my brother's funny maid
just walks up, and goes,

"Hey, who's your manager?"

So my brother contacts this guy.

We auditioned and played.
He goes, "Yeah, you guys
are pretty good,

but you have to get outfits."

They were these big
horsechecked pants

with orange turtlenecks.

But why would you buy
a turtleneck sweater

to play live
with wool plaid pants?

Oh, my God!
- There it is! Mike!

Frankie was looking
for something greater
than the neighborhood.

It was time for him to move on,

time for him to get out there,

but we were that stepping stone.

We got him started,
and I'm very proud of that.

I think our group
is proud of that.

We, we all take pride
in saying that,

"Hey, we know Frank Stallone."

We knew him back
when no one knew

how well he could sing but us,

and he's proved it
over and over again.

I meet my friend,
Allen Rosenblum.

I didn't know he played guitar,
and I was hearing,

"Oh, Allen Rosenblum
can sure play guitar."

So Allen and I got together,
and we put

the first Valentine together.

Why did I change
my name to Valentine?

Because I had no money. I'd
just brought this western belt,

and it had the name Valentine

carved back in western letters.

I said, "Well, shit, man,
I want to wear this belt,

so I'll change
my name to Valentine."

That belt was
the only belt I owned.

It had Valentine
written on the back,

and I didn't want
to explain it to people.

Valentine was a very well
know Downtown Philly band.

We wrote all our own tunes.

We had a nice repertory
of originals.

Frank had some. I had some.

We wrote a couple together.

♪ Fifty pages set
the stage to succeed to... ♪

The bass player, he said,
"Man, I know

this guy, he's a great
keyboard player, Daryl Hall."

And it's this really
handsome guy.

He walks down the steps
while we're rehearsing,

sitting there,
and he's listening to us,

and he's got a smile on
his face. He goes, "Wow, man."

He's a real nice guy. "God,
you guys sound great, man."

And so he was playing
in a successful bar band

that worked all the time
on the weekends making money.

We made nothing. So he had
to kind of bough out,

but he was very nice. And then,

they throw me out
of my own group.

For some reason,
I was becoming unruly.

He would get
into moods sometimes,

and when he'd finally
show up to rehearsal,

you know, an hour late,

we decided that Frank had to go.

And even though
I'd been a schmuck...

you know, when,
when the band, you know,

when we tossed him out
of the band, he wouldn't let go.

Our friendship meant
something to him.

If you have to have a friend,

have a friend
like Frank Stallone.

And then you go through that
bad time being a solo artist,

playing for a white fish.

Seriously, that's how I got
paid, in like smoked fish

one night
because I was starving.

I was suffering from severe
panic attacks, and I didn't know

what they were. I thought
I was absolutely insane.

I'm having like a nervous
breakdown every four minutes.

I'm talking.
I'm going like...

It was horrible.

I was working
at a radio station,

and he had a little demo,
evidently, of his voice.

We went into the recording room

where the engineer was there,
and he played it.

He said, "Kid,
let me tell you something."

He said, "Don't waste your time.

You'll never make it," you know?

And I thought, "Damn, well."

My manager at that time...

..."I got you a job
in Portland, Maine."

I go, "What? You got us
a gig in Portland, Maine?"

We were playing
like country bars in Marysville,

Pennsylvania, you know? And
that group was called Bananas.

We're driving
a Ford Econoline van.

We had no money.

They spent the money on hashish.

I said, "What-- what the hell
are we going to do?

We're driving to Portland,
Maine." He goes,

"Hey, you won't even know it."

We see the club. We go,

"All right, man, cool,
this is great."

The guy goes,
"What are you talking about?"

"We're Bananas."

He goes, "I have no idea
what you're talking about."

I said, "Are you serious?"
We just drove

from Trenton, New Jersey,
to Portland, Maine,
and there's no gig?

It's the middle of the winter.
Obviously, we were blitzed,

and I think we stopped
for like hot dog

and we cut it three ways.
But anyway, we made it back.

That group breaks up.
Then I put together

Valentine Two.
And we said, "Well,

we got this guy, John Oates."
I said, "Yeah, cool."

When I came to my first
rehearsal with the band,

I immediately knew Frank
was the force in the band.

It was his thing, you know? He
had a, he had a lot of charisma,

he had a lot of presence,
and he had a really great voice,

and he looked good.
You know, he was always
very concerned with

how he presented himself,
you know?

In terms of how he dressed,
and how he looked.

I think he had a very kind of
professional approach to this

kind of hippie band that we had.

He was always like up to
something. I remember, one day,

he came in, and he was wearing
like pancake makeup,
and I couldn't figure out why,

because we were rehearsing
in a church or something.

It was very weird.
But, but he had this thing.

He had to give this kind
of theatrical thing.

He was always
kind of performing.

Frank was always kind of on.

We had on big gig
at the Electric Factory,

which was the hot rock club
in Philadelphia in the '60s.

That was kind of our swan song.
I think that was

the big gig, and after that,
it was done.

And that's when Daryl
and I put our thing together.

I stayed with
my brother in New York.
We had like a shit hole.

He crawled through the window.

He goes,
"You mind if I live here?"

It was $72 a month,

and the room next
to me was kind of abandoned.

And it was right next to my
brother's, right, the door--

the wall was here,
he was there, I was here.
They were crap holes.

I said, "Well, why don't we just
take a shovel on the thing?"

And we tore a hole in the wall.

He had a hole,
that he would come through

this condemned apartment
that he didn't belong in,

and he'd sleep in my thing,
and go back and forth.

And I just would bullshit
my way into stuff,

but I was really innocent.

I mean, I didn't do drugs.

I was like a virgin.

I didn't know anything.

I think I got laid once
in like five years, whatever.

I was just focused
into what I was doing,

and girls didn't want to go
after me. I had no money.

There's a place on 85th Street
called Kenny's Castaways.

I walk in, and there's
this guy on stage with a hat.

It's the E Street Band.

It's Bruce Springsteen
doing... ♪ Rosalita ♪

...and now I have to go on.
It's like, you know,

if you had a puppet act
following The Beatles.

And on those white like kind
of things with magic marker,

it says, "Tonight Bruce
Springstine and Valentine."

God, if I had a picture of that!

So that's when
I went to Florida.

I went to a place,
it was called the Feed Bag.

That was the time
when someone gave me PCP,

and all of a sudden,
it just hit me.

I said, "Hey,
how you doing, folks?"

I'm going like this,
but now the neck is growing,

so the neck looks like it's
20 feet long, so I'm going.

And what happened, I just
untuned the guitar so badly,

but I couldn't reach the neck,
and it took so long.

That was the show.
I never got a chance to sing.

They said, "Thank you,
Valentine, man.

We appreciate it, brother.
Right on."

I said...
"But I can't tune it."

They said, "Another day."

The last thing I wanted to do,
was do anything

that was mind expanding.

You know,
my mind was expanded enough.

So I played in Florida
for a while, and then I said,

"Okay, I'm coming
back to New York.

I'm coming back strong
with a vengeance."

And the most incredible
thing I ever did.

I used someone else's voice
to get a record deal.

There was a song
that my bass player, Jody,

sang on, and I go,
"God, this is really good."

I went around to people, I said,
"Yeah, man, what do you think?"

And they go,
"Wow, that's a great record.
We should rerecord that."

But it's Jody singing,
but I'm telling them it's me.

Of course, that went nowhere.
Jody goes, "Yeah,

I'm in New York.
Come over, man. We're over
at these girls' house."

I said, "Why don't we just
put a group together?

Yeah, forget this shit
with these girls."
So we're like drunk.

The girls go, "Hey, we're going
to go out and get some food,

and we'll be back later."
We ran out of the place,

jumped into a cab. I said
"We're going to Trenton,"

and I called my friend,
Bob Tangrea,

because he was a great singer
and guitar player.

I said, "I put a group
together called Valentine,

and we'll get the three
best lead singers I know.

We'll put together this group."
So it will be Jody,

Bobby, and myself, overnight.

These girls are probably
still sitting there
with the groceries.

We formed Valentine,
and we actually had a manager,

who was Robin Garb
and Bill Ring.
They were our managers.

They had a company
called Ascension Artists,

and, uh, they signed us
to a deal,

and we started working at,
you know, local clubs.

We played Kenny's Castaways,
and my brother was there,

which was like 2.50 to get in.

"We'll just carry
some equipment."

I said, "Yeah, they're
with us, the roadies."

It was 2.50. You know,

it shows how good he was doing.

Now we're in New Jersey.
We played at this club
a 130 nights,

and every Wednesday, this place
was packed into the street.

I went to see those guys a lot.
I went to see him
in Philadelphia.

I went to see him in a place
called Charlie's Uncle

in Brunswick. And...
saw him a couple of places

in New York, I believe, too,
and, uh...

You know, it was always a lot
of fun, always very exciting.

I got called
in one night as a sub.

They were nice enough to give
this young 18yearold kid

a chance to come up and play,
and they would call me up
and play with them

once in a while,
and it was a big deal for me.

I did, I got up and played
a couple sets,

you know? We had a good time.

My manager says,
"We finally got you

a record deal on PolyGram,

and we're going to be going
out to California to record."

Everyone in town is so excited,
Valentine got signed.

I get a phone call,
"Ah, deal fell through."

I go, "Excuse me?"

He goes, "There's no deal.
We're not going to California."

I go, "Wait a second,
last night we had

hundreds of people,
a bon voyage party with a keg.

We canceled all our gigs.

And you're telling me,
as I'm opening the door

to go to the airport,
the gig's off?"

That would have made
most people just say,

"You know what?
I can't do this anymore."

But we didn't, we just
got stronger and stronger.

Then I get a call
in 1975 from my brother.

My brother had moved
to California.

He is starting a little
movie called, Rocky,

and says...
"I need a song."

Why he called me?
Because there was no budget.

I remember just sitting there
going... ♪ Take you back ♪

on my guitar,
just figuring something out.

And eventually,
I wrote the song.

So I tell my group, I said,
"Listen, my brother's

doing this movie about boxing."

So they said, "I don't know
if we want to play.

We're making
140 bucks that night."

That's between five people.

Five people at a 140 bucks,
and the manager takes 20%,

so take $28 off that.

So it's $112 divided by five.
So it was a big night.

It was like a bowling alley
that had a stage.

There was supposed to be hot
chicks there. We get a call,

and Sly goes, "Well, yeah,
we can pay you a 140."

I said, "Well,
we're getting 140."

I mean... he goes,
"No, each."

We go, "Excuse me?"

That's like a month's
wages for us.

It was very cool.
We all went down together

in our van, got a little ripped,

and we stood around
those trash cans

singing "Take You Back."

♪ Take you back ♪

♪ Do do do do
Take you back ♪

They showed me at the hotel,
some trailers,

of what they'd shot.
Really low budget.

It was a cheap hotel.
And I remember

John Avildsen, the director,
was there,

and my brother,
and a few other people,

And they're looking
at daily's. I said,

"Man, this is really cool."

There was feeling
I had about it.

Even when they were shooting it
on the street,

there was a feeling
I had about it.

You know, it's a gut feeling.
I can't explain it,

because I hadn't seen the movie.

But just the idea,
it was just kind of cool.

The-- Just vibe that was
going on was really cool.

When Rocky was being shot,

I was, more or less,
around the project,

and could see
some of the assemblages.

You know,
they put stuff together.

And, uh, not the timing,
just assembled.

And then I saw "Take You Back,"
which was like,

"How did this get here?
What is this?

Man, that's really good.
I like that."

"Oh, yeah, yeah,
Sly's brother did that."

I go, "Really?
I didn't know that."

And that was my introduction
to Frank as a singer.

Frank came along with
all the talent that Sly had.

He knew those streets,
and he did sing around barrels,

and he did do acapella,

so he was extremely

original and authentic
for that part.

And the attitude
that you saw between us, like,

"Hey, the bum from the dock.

Get a job, you bum."

That's the way we are.

We was just, you know,
always ripping on one another.

- Hey,

the bum from the dock.
Get a job, you bum.

There was a premiere
in New York City

at the theater where Sly
was the head usher for years.

And I have a photo.

We're standing there in really
cheesy polyester suits.

I mean, we didn't have
any money, but that photo

is the last photo
of him being unknown.

From that day on ,it was crazy.

That was the last vestiges
of privacy ever, which is fine.

I'm fine with it...
but to obscure is one thing,

but it's nice to be
remembered for something.

But, my brother, we were, you
know, together at that moment.

So that was, that's pretty,
uh, pretty seismic.

All of a sudden, overnight,
everything is Rocky.

This movie is getting heat.

When that whole effect happened,
and all of a sudden,

we were the band singing
that song on the street corner,

our management was able to go
into RCA Records and say,

"Don't you want them
to have an album deal?

Because they're in what's
looking to be like

probably the best movie
of the year."

So we got an album deal.

The person who produced
the album was Tony Camilio.

He came up
with an arrangement to do

an orchestrated version
of "Take You Back."

That's what
we released as a single.

And as soon as
we released the album,

the whole regime of RCA was...
was cut.

So the people
who were A&R people,

who would be doing promotion,
weren't there anymore.

So we were kind
of like thrown under the rug.

After Rocky was out,
it kind of gave us

a little impetus to get moving,

since we didn't
have RCA behind us.

So our management
got us spots on,

The Mike Douglas Show,
The Jim Nabors Show,

but we also did
Midnight Special,

which was a big rock
and roll show back then.

Dinah! was the very first one.

Sly introduced us
as his favorite band.

I wonder if that's
still the case?

Here they are, and making their,
I guess,

television debut,
my favorite group, Valentine.

♪ Take you back ♪

♪ Do do do do ♪

♪ Take you back, yeah, yeah ♪

Right after we'd play,

I'd go over to the couch,
and everything went to,

"Hey, Frank,
the group sounds great.

So what's it
like being Rocky's brother?

So what's it like...
being in the shadow?"

So all this started,
and I'd never had that before.

They thought I was a nice,
cute kid or something,

but really,
they couldn't get him,

so they'd get me,
ask me about him.

I was always thought
of as Frank Stallone, musician.

It was always Frank Stallone,
clap, musician.

So now it was Frank Stallone/

Rocky's brother/something else
then musician.

He's gone through hell.
I mean, they would put signs up,

"Appearing tonight,
Rocky's brother."

I recognized immediately,
that's real awkward for Frank.

as I've heard him say,

"To be the brother
of a fictional character."

"Rocky's brother,"
oh, man, come on.

It's so degrading.

And not about the movie,
I love the movie.

It's just that,
it's like I felt like

a complete and absolute failure.

I would be bitter,
but he is bitter,

and I like that about him.
He's very consistent.

I was never mad at my brother.

I always loved what he did.

I was kind of mad that
I was being discounted,

and treated in a way
that like I just picked up

the guitar when Rocky
came out, not knowing

the years of driving
through blizzards

to go to gigs for no money,
and just learning the trade.

We knew where the cards
were starting to go

once we started
to show up at gigs.

And to highlight the connection,
a club owner would say,

"Frank Stallone with Valentine."

The guys in the band
weren't happy about it.

It was source of some
frustration and friction.

We went with it, and

Frank became more featured,
doing more lead vocals.

The rest of the guys
didn't get as much

time featured, with--
you know, in the band.

It was too tempting,
and too much of...

of a thing to turn down,

the notoriety, the success,

but it created
a problem within the band,

and the band didn't blame
Frank for that.

Nobody was resentful at Frank,
because they recognized

that Frank was
in a bad situation that way.

I think it went
to Frank's head a little bit.
I don't know if he was, uh,

he was a little hard to work
with, let's put it that way.

It was a very dismal time.

Very dismal because
this was kind of our shot.

We'd lost our record deal.

Nobody really wanted us.

That was a tough
pill to swallow.

And then it just kind of... kind of deflated.

Frank can be moody.

We would come to a gig,
and it was like,

"Hey, Frank, how you doing?"
He was like,

he wouldn't even say anything.

Yeah, we had some tense moments.

It got a little out of hand,
and I think

maybe the competition
with his brother

maybe brought out
some bad things.

Uh, and it just-- I just
didn't want to take it

and I was a little fed up.

I regret breaking up Valentine,

because I think
we could've gotten past it.

We were really a good band.

We were really tight,
and we were friends.

I just couldn't take
the moodiness anymore.

And they tried to get me
back to reform the band,

and I just said no, so.

But I do regret it.

It would be a nice thing
to be able to put

a Valentine reunion together,
if we could make it happen.

Somehow bring Jody back,
that would be the best.

Jody, our bass player, um,

just recently passed.

Amazing guy,
amazing bass player.

Uh, him and I were very,
very tight.

We played a lot
of gigs together.

He had a service
in Pennsylvania.

Frank had another commitment.

And I thought that
that would be the moment
where we would reconnect.

I know that there was an issue

that surfaced with Robin.

Would it be nice
for the three of us

to be able
to get together again?

and I would hope we could bury

whatever hatchet, uh,

Frank feels needs to be buried.

We parted company.

It wasn't on the best of terms.

But, um, I love the guy.

I really miss him,

and I miss his humor.

I miss just being
with him as a friend.

Oh, man.

I haven't seen these guitars...
in almost 40 years.

This is just kind of weird.

I don't know
how I'm going to feel.

But I know, like when Jody died,

I didn't want to see
these guitars that,

from the guy that stood
on my left side for almost,

off and on, 20some years,

go to some like wedding band,
you know?

Oh, my God.


Look at this.

Look at this, man.

Look at this case.

All the names on it.

All our friends.

Oh, God, look at this.

That's a 1963
Höfner Beatle Bass.

Wow! Look at this.

Man, this is the bass he used

when we did our
first album for RCA.

This reminds me of, you know,
my youth.

Oh, my God.

Hey, Bill. How you doing, man?

Oh, my God, look at this guy.

Are you crazy?
- Hey, Robin.

How are you, man?

How you doing, man?

I know the last time I saw you
these weren't in CD,

so there you go, and this.

Oh, man.
- Oh, my God.


This has been a long time, man.

This was the team,
this is...

...this is the team here,
and we're going to have
a lot of fun, man, tonight.

This bass guitar belonged to

one of my best friends.
He just died.

I wanted to honor
with him tonight,

Hussein, playing Jody's bass.

"I'll Take You Back."

♪ Take you back ♪

♪ Do do do do ♪

♪ Take you back ♪

One, two, three.
- ♪ Take you back ♪

♪ Do do do do ♪

♪ Take you back ♪

♪ Well I've been told by... ♪

I think after I did Rocky,
I might have had

maybe had $1,000 saved,

and I was back to square one
with nothing, no money.

So I ended up playing
at these little clubs

by myself
with an acoustic guitar.

I mean, motor inns.

And the worst thing
is the signs.

Like in chalk, "Frank Stallone,
Rocky's brother,

Straight from Rocky."

And I made $30 a night.

It wasn't so much being
the folk singer,

it was the thing like,
"Rocky's brother,

well, what is he doing
playing here?

Shouldn't he be in California,
and shouldn't he be driving

a new car, or a Vette,
or something cool?"


And in between that, I came out,

and I sang in Paradise Alley,

but also, I did Rocky II.

Frank was working with his trio,

and it was rather beautiful.

Sort of like a,
a chorus of musicians

that sort of sang
the love song of Adrian

and Rocky along the way,

and it... gave the piece a kind
of tone, a fairytale tone.

And I would look over at Frank,
and he was...

First of all, he's very
handsome, and very gifted.

And I would look over at him,
and it was

always a pure moment with Frank,

because Frank
clearly was a real musician.

♪ There are two kinds of love ♪

♪ That you oughta know ♪

♪ There are two kinds of love ♪

He flipped a quarter.

He made that little song

very warm, very great.

It was wonderful.

He contributes a lot, you know?

He's... he's good
to have around.

unbeknownst to a lot of people,

has a huge boxing background.

Frank just took to it,
and developed as a fighter.

He had a good corner,
had a terrific left hook.

He was very faithful
to his training.
No smoking or drinking.

And had several great
amateur fights

against some very,
very tough competition.

When he was fighting also,
he didn't have to wear headgear.

And you know what?
There is no difference between

professional and amateur,

only that professionals
get paid.

you still get punched
in the face a dozen times.

You're still taking the abuse.

He was a contender.

He's got the fighters eye,

and you only get
that if you were a fighter,

if you've been
in that ring more than once,

and he was in there
quite a few times.

Frank is an extremely cerebral
and intelligent man.

I don't think there's
any question you can throw

at Frank Stallone about boxing
that he can't answer.

He's a plethora of knowledge.

And what I love
about being around Frank is,

aside from the fact,
and I love you Frank,

but he will never stop talking,

but everything he talks about

make sense.

He's full of information.


he's got a lot
of stories to tell,

and he's fun to listen to.

He has the best memory.

Um, sometimes Sly and Frank
get into battles,

but I always believed Frank,

because he always comes up
with the story that's correct,

and I'm going with Frank.

Frank, as a boxing historian,

this man knows
more than anybody,

plus he's got total recall.

I've got dementia,
so I can't remember my losses,

only my wins.

Frank had that knowledge
that savant every detail.

One argument ended, "Well,
this guy did this and this,"

and then Frank goes, "Well,
I have all his press clippings.

I have his trunks, his robe,
and his gun."

Frank's a very tough individual.

I mean, he's a warrior
in his own right.

Even if it gets down
to the fight he had

with Geraldo Rivera
on Howard Stern

years ago, that my brother,

the legendary Michael Buffer,

they went in there,
and they slugged it out

for those three
two minute rounds.

Back in 1992, I owned

a boxing gym on 57th Street

right here in Manhattan
just behind me.

It was called
the Broadcast Boxing Gym.

And so I was talking about it
on The Howard Stern Show,

and he said, "I'm going
to promote a fight.

You're going to be
in this fight."

So it turned out that
he had Frank Stallone lined up.

I mean, Frank Stallone,
he's a younger,

far better fighter than me,
all right?

Frank was semipro.

I was just a flailer
in my own gym.

In the first round, he hit me
with some of those shots.

They felt like he was hitting me
with a baseball bat.

I remember a couple of times,

that I really was knocked out

on my feet.
- When you see
the boxing match,

it's actually
a really good boxing match.

These guys were
really going at it.

There's no losing.
You can't lose,

because, you know, it's the
name. It's the Stallone name,

so he better be good in boxing.

But he beat Geraldo,
and to do that under pressure

for a charity event

shows you what kind
of guy he is.

Frank Stallone, a real man,

a real man, a real fighter,
and a, and a great guy.

I was getting really depressed,

and I had to get
some psychotherapy,

and my brother paid for it.

He says, you know, he says,
"He's my only brother.

He's just going through
something." He knew

I suffered from panic attacks,

and he took care of it for me,

and it helped.

And then he said,
"Just come to California."

I said, "Really?" He goes,
"Yeah, just come to California."

I said, "Just like that?"
He goes, "Yeah."

My hero was Harry Nilsson,
the singer.

Aerial Ballet, Pandemonium
Shadow Show, loved him.

And Sly, when I moved
to Bel Air, he goes, "Hey,

you know who lives next door?"
I said, "Who's that?"

He goes, "Harry Nilsson."
I go, "What?"

He ended up producing me, and he
never produced anybody before,

just me. So we're in the studio,

and this is the who's
who of recording is in there.

It's Harry Nilsson, producer,
and Van Dyke Parks,

Klaus Voormann,
he played with The Beatles,

Freddy Tackett, all the best
musicians were there,

and all of a sudden, the
talkback goes, "John's dead."

I said, "John who?"


Former Beatle, John Lennon,

is dead.

Lennon died in a hospital
shortly after being shot

outside his New York
apartment tonight.

Harry Nilsson was
John's best friend,

and they had had a falling out.

Harry was just going to New York
in about a week and a half

to kind of reconcile
their friendship,
so this was really bad.

I'm trying to do a record,
you know?

And people were like... "Cry it out, man,"

like blow coming out
of their nose,

and I didn't do that stuff,
so I'm sitting

there like-- I'm there,
"Oh, my God,

the Scotti Brothers
are going to kill me,"

you know, because I'm supposed
to finish this record.

The next day, we get
called into Scotti Brothers.

We play what we have, and it
was dead silence, like this.

Are you kidding me?

It was unlistenable.

And Harry's sitting there
sweating with sunglasses on,

like recovering
from the night before.

To be with Harry Nilsson

when John Lennon was killed
was really heavy.

We were good friends, and, uh,
when he passed,

it was very, uh, very sad.

He abused himself,
but he was a wonderful guy.

Just a great artist.


I don't find out from my
brother, but I find out

that he's directing the sequel
to Saturday Night Fever.

And I went, "Whoa."
I mean, you have to understand,

Saturday Night Fever was
the biggest musical in history,

as far as album sales, huge.

And a great movie, fantastic.

There's no way I got a shot
in this, not even close.

So I drive to Paramount,

and I think they didn't
let me on the lot, or something.

My car was shitty.
I don't know what it was.

So I said, you know, "I'm Frank
Stallone, Sly's brother."

"Yeah, so what?"
I think I might've gone

to a phone booth or called,
and they let me in.

So anyway, I go in there,
and I said, "Sly, man,

do you think there's
like a remote chance

I could get like a song
in the movie?"

I don't think so." I said,

"Okay, that's
all I want to know."

I said,
"But just like an instrumental."

I'm figuring if I just get like

a 15 second thing of,
you know...

like John

going to the bathroom,
and taking a whiz or something.

You know, at least
I can get some royalties,

and I'll make some money.
My brother

plays me the Bee Gees'
new songs,

but it's just kind
of the acoustic guitar,

real barebones, and I'm there,
"Oh, man, I'm screwed,"

because they're great. I mean,

the Bee Gees are fantastic.

So he patronizes me,
and he says, "Ew,

just write some stuff.
Why don't you and the guys

write some stuff?" I said, "All
right, we'll write some stuff."

And every few weeks,
I would pull up to the studio

with a cassette. All my songs
are getting turned down,

but I'm working, man.
I have, uh, I have

a train of consciousness,
and I'm working my ass off.

I get a call.
"Hey, Brother, it's Sly."

I said, "Okay,
I know he wants something."

He goes, "Yeah, remember
those songs you wrote?"

I go, "Yeah, of course I do.

You mean the ones
you turned down?"

Of course I remember them.

No, I forgot about them.

I just part my heart and soul
into like 12, 13 songs.

He goes, "Yeah,
we've got a problem.

The Bee Gees
walked off the movie."

Something went down,
and they kind of walked off.

Only part of the soundtrack
for Staying Alive

was created by the Bee Gees,

but originally,
the brothers Gibb

didn't even want to be
involved in the sequel.

We thought that it's been done,
and let's leave,

let's leave our music out of it
this time, and you get
somebody else to do it.

But after some
heavy contract negotiations,

the Bee Gees agreed to create
part of the music for the movie.

At that time,
they were musical gods,

but they were coming up with,
with okay songs,

but they had done such
an amazing job on the first one

that the songs were
not even as magnificent,

or as accomplished,
as they were in the first album.

So he goes, "Listen,
bring those cassettes,

you know, with the songs."
So we go,

and John's renting
a house out here,

and, uh, we're having lunch,
and they're talking,

and, you know,
it's like Sly's talking to John.

They're talking business
at the table having lunch.

And I'm kind of...

...laughing to myself,
because it's so ridiculous.

It's like Barbarino
from Welcome Back, Kotter
meets Rocky.

"I swear to God, they're proud.
The Bee Gees... "

"Absolutely, we've got
a big problem. The Bee Gees..."

"Yeah, I just really, yeah."

And John's got these big teeth,
you know?

And he's like, it's the smile.

Just like Barbarino.
He puts the tape on.

So John goes...
"Well, who is that?"

And Sly goes, "It's Frank."

And John, John goes like,

He couldn't even
imagine that came out of me,

like I was Fredo
in Godfather II,

"Hey, Mike, I'm your older
brother. I can do things!"

He ended up writing
the majority of the songs,

and, you know, I caught hell
for it, but I said,

"Hey, it sounds
good to me, guys."

The opening to the movie,
they put "Far From Over."

♪ This is the end ♪

♪ You made your choice
and now my chance is over ♪

Ever week or something, they
start adding another song in.

So by the end, there's like
nine songs in the movie,

but there's some jealousy
going on, you know, on the set,

because they think I'm getting,
you know, favored attention.

How come he's staring
at you like that?

Maybe, in a way, but I worked
my ass off on this.

No one wrote these songs for me.
I wrote them.

Nobody sat in the studio
with no air conditioning

sweating until the wee hours
of the night

to try to get everything right
with these great musicians

I was working with, and I was
never so busy in my life.

I never felt...
so good about it,

because I've spent so many years
feeling so bad about myself,

I never felt
so good about myself.

It was something I was
born to do, you know,

and I was able,
for once in my life,

to be able to show people
what I could do,

because before, it was always,
you know, a struggle,

and then when Rocky came out,
it was Rocky's brother.

So no one ever took me
like kind of serious. I did.

♪ Waking up, you're still
sleeping by my side ♪

That was the greatest time,
watching my music,

like these choreographers

choreographing dance
to my music.

So it was pretty awesome
to be writing the songs,

and having like 150 dancing
hot chicks at the set.

That was like putting the fox
in the henhouse on that one.

They were paying me $3,500,
$4,000 for a song.

I'd never seen this kind
of money, never.

Little did I know,

they were also keeping
my publishing,

which would've made me
a multimillionaire.

But I'm not kicking.
It was great.

If it really wasn't
for John and Sly,

I wouldn't have gotten
the songs in.

♪ This is the end ♪

♪ You made your choice
and now my chance is over ♪

♪ I thought I was in ♪

♪ You put me... ♪
- I had
a date one night,

and what comes on the radio?
"Far From Over."

The first I ever heard it,
sitting with this gal,

who was a big shot in the music
business, and she says,

"So are you ready?" I go,
"What do you mean?"

"That's a hit record.

Are you ready?"
I said, "I guess."

And I'll never forget
at the premiere,

I was like this big shot, man.
I mean, you look at the end,

it's Frank Stallone,
Frank Stallone, Frank Stallone,
Frank Stallone.

Rocky was great because
the whole thing was great,

and I was so happy for my
brother, but this was for me.

This is something that I did.

This is
the chance of a lifetime.

I was nominated
for a Grammy and Golden Globe

for best soundtrack
and for best song.

I lost. I said, "Okay, fine,

at least I'm nominated.
I feel great."

Are you kidding?
Coming from playing

like at the Beef & Ale
to being nominated

for a Grammy and Golden Globe.
I actually

opened the Golden Globes.

I performed.
I was the first act.

And I get a call
from my brother.

That was the day
they were announcing

the Academy Award nominations,

and now we break out
the champagne,

the nominations are coming in,

and then he said, "Frank,
it's your brother." I go,

"Oh, Christ, who, who died?"

"Uh, you didn't get
your nomination."

I go, "What?

I didn't get my nomination?

Are you kidding me?
This is insane!"

And now I'm pissed, because
now I know that's bullshit,

and that's unfair, because
it was a number one record.

I'm above Thriller.

I'm above Billy Joel's album.
I'm above Synchronicity.

Not for a long time,
but at one point, I was there.

Here's my first break,
and I got screwed,

and then I realized
at that point,

that's insider
Hollywood bullshit.

I wasn't expecting to win,

but I would've loved
to have had that nomination.

You have to be thick skinned.

You have to have determination.

You have to be
able to swallow it.

You know, not that you have
to take shit and eat shit,

but you have to,
you have to be able to say,

"You know what?
Okay, fuck them."

So that Academy Award
thing really

ripped the heart out of me,
and I suffered

with it for a while,
but you gather yourself,

and I gathered myself. I said,
"I'll be back. I'm not dead."

I still-- You know, as long
as I can still play guitar

and write a song, I'm in,
I'm in the game.

♪ Save me darling ♪

♪ I am down
but I am far from over ♪

♪ Give me something ♪

♪ I need it all
because I am... ♪

What's happening
in your life now?

Well, it's good.

Well, the record is doing well.

I have a great band,
and we're writing,

and I'll be starting
a solo album in about...

November or October.

I had a big year,
this should be no problem

getting an album due.
My manager,

he was saying too, you know,
"Yeah, we needed a solo album.

Let's follow up with that."
He just comes back

with one deal.
I said, "That's it?"

In those days, everything
was a three album deal.

I don't know, shit.
I said, "Well, whatever."

Back then, this is the '80s,
a different time.

This is when albums sold.

This better have
a couple singles on it

to go to radio, and get
in the top 20, or you're done.

That put a lot of pressure,
I would think,

on that one album. This thing
has got to be a smash.

It was because
of Russ Regan we got on.

Russ Regan's like a legend
in this business.

You know,
he's one of the great A&R guys.

I had first met Frank in 1983

when I was working
for PolyGram Records.

He had a few demos he had made,
and I listened to them,

and I said,
"You're pretty good, kid."

He said,
"You've made superstars."

He said,
"Why don't you make me a star?"

So I signed him
to PolyGram Records.

You know, I signed Neil Diamond.
He's a great writer.

I signed Elton John.
He's a great writer.

Barry White, a great writer.

Alan Parsons is a great writer.

Brian Wilson, great writer.

That's one of the things,
by the way,

that I liked about Frank,
that he was a writer.

That influenced me a lot

on his signing
to the PolyGram Records.

He did a great job.

He was always wonderful
to work with.

Had a great personality.
A very charismatic

character, and hard not to like.

You know, I'm a young guy.
You know, I'm on every TV show.

We've got more of music's
best coming your way,

including Frank Stallone.

♪ Oh, darling ♪

♪ I wish you were lying ♪

♪ When you said that
you're leaving me, darling ♪

We did David Letterman,

which I didn't get to sing on,
which was weird.

Oh, sorry. Just leave
that alone. You all right?
- I'm fine.

Good to see you.
Thanks for being here.
Congratulations on the success

of the album. And the picture.
- On the picture. Yeah.

That's a good looking picture.
- Thanks.

I was on a date

with some girl I'd met,

and there's a giant picture

of my album cover,

like ten feet by ten feet

on Tower Records on Sunset.

Okay, the kids in.

The album didn't do well.

Things just didn't work,
you know?

I mean, the album died.

You know, I've waited
almost 20something years

to have my first solo album.

It's like, "Wow, I-- please
don't make me a onehit wonder."

Oh, God, you know?

I mean, I know it's easier
than having a full career

being a onehit wonder, but I
wanted to have a full career.

It takes a team to make a star.

A star just doesn't
happen by accident.

He never had the team
he should've had,

even when he signed to me.

I just don't know
if my management team

was that involved,

or had the capability
to move me.

"Far From Over"
should've been played up

much bigger than it was.
You know,

you get a Grammy nomination,
that's, that's incredible.

They just never did
the PR on Frank Stallone

that he deserved
and should've had.

I'm thinking, "Okay,
I'm going to be making records.

I'm going to be writing
with the greatest song writers.

I'm going to be doing what I was
born to do." It did not turn out

that way. Everything was going
good, and then, all of a sudden,

whoo, I said,
"Oh, no, not again.

No, no, not again."

Then like I had
come up a little bit,

a little good news,
and then kind of even off,

and then, wham! Goes down.

And stays down there
for a long time.

After having a hit,
he'd think, you know,

"I'll have a few more,"

and it just didn't go
that way for him.

If you're doing it expecting
you're going to have

a worldwide smash hit, or, uh,
or you--

or that you're even going
to make any money in music,

you're doing it
for the wrong reason.

Frank, I'm sure, knew what
he was getting himself into.

He just loved to play.

You've have to learn your craft,
and the only way you learn

your craft
is by making mistakes,

and you correct those mistakes.
And I had learned it,

but again, I, I guess
I didn't learn it enough.

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Peace in our life ♪

♪ Remember the call, oh ♪

'80s and '90s
was a tough time for me.

Thank God for my song writing.
I was making

residuals, you know?

I wrote the theme to Rambo II.

♪ We'll never fall ♪

I figured I'd get healthy,
so I went to a detox place,

not because I drank or did
drugs, just to clear myself out.

And at lunch time,
I walked past this place,

and I had my lunch with me,
and I saw a gun store.

So I went downstairs
to take a look,

and the gun store owner
looked a little dodgy.

He kept pulling
guns out of the case,

showing people
without breaking the gun.

He pulls out the gun
to show somebody,

pulls the trigger, boom!

Right on my fingers, and
the blood came up on my face,

and I looked down.
I was almost numb.

This guy had the nerve
to look at me and say,

"What happened?" I said, "Well,

I think you shot me."

I'm a musician.

A guitar player
needs ten fingers.

My fingers looked like a handful
of exploded stogies.

It was horrible. I mean,

I could've been killed. I mean,

if my hand wasn't there,
it could've gone

into my abdomen,
could've shot me

in the heart.
I mean, it was really--

two and a half feet away

with a .357 Magnum Colt Python.

I've lost my record deal.

I'm living in like
a crappy apartment.

I'm going from this high level,
from Staying Alive

to this, and then I get shot.

You have to have thick skin

and be bulletproof

to be in the body
of Frank Stallone. Trust me.

So then little gigs started
dripping and drabbing,

but I had started doing movies.

I had jabbed inside the socket.
- Good luck.

When I came
to California,

I started working on Rocky III.

My acting job consisted

of being a stand in
for my brother,

and then I did everything.

I sang in the movie.

I'm on screen singing "Pushing,"

and then I'm on the scene

where my brother knocks me
out in the ring.

And then I'm in another scene
where Mr. T knocks me out.

So like I'm basically
a utility heavy bag that sings.

Of course, there's a little
bit of an acting thing

in Staying Alive.
It was Carl, like,

"What are you Allstate, pal?"

Is everything all right?

Everything is fine.

She's in good hands.

Hey, what are you Allstate, pal?

Yeah, you want disability?

Look, I'll see you
Wednesday, okay?

All right, good night.
Good night.

Good night.

After Staying Alive,
then my manager, Robin, said,

"Well, you should get into
acting," but I was going

to acting class. I wasn't bad.

So the first movie I got

was called The Pink Chiquitas.

All right, everybody down!

Let's go!

So I'm in the movie,
and all these

really thespian theatertype
actors are there

and I'm just like this hack.

I, Tony Mareda, have to roll.

So I did some good movies,
but a lot of it was garbage,

and it was all
like gratuitous sex,

which I had never really
got into the sex thing.

"Yo, would you like
to have sex with her?"

I'd rather shoot her.

I did movies like
Terror In Beverly Hills,

and some of these have become
like cultiweird movies.

I know nothing
about martial arts.

So these guys are flying
in the air, kicking,

and then I stand and go...
like I did it.

You're doing good, Billy.
You keep it up,

you're going to be able
to whip my butt.

I said,
"I can't be an action star,

look who my brother is."
I mean, I'd be like

a really bad version
of an action star.

I was being hired because
they couldn't afford my brother.

I was under no allusions
my acting career was like...

"We can't get Rocky,
let's get his brother

for 20,000,
instead of 20 million."

Like I did
a movie with Chris Mitchum.

So Stallone, Mitchum, in almost
microscopic, Frank, Chris.

So I was definitely
no threat to Sylvester,

as far as my movie career going.

I mean,
I don't think I'm a bad actor.

I think I could've developed
into a better actor.

Aye, aye, Skipper.

He's absolutely a natural,

and never selfconscious
of any kind of

comparison, considering the
giant shadow his brother casts.

And he always delivers.
He's always very,
very believable.

You know, we have a deal.
I said, "Look, pal,

I won't sing," which...

...has been well documented,
"And he shouldn't act,"

but actually,
he's a much better actor

than I am a singer. He can act.

When he does it, he's good.

Like in Barfly,
he was fantastic.

Hey, you!
You with the filthy apron!

Be back in seconds.

I hear a voice down there,

but I sure as hell
don't see much.

Seems like that beating
I gave you last night

must've rattled your belt, huh?

I felt Barfly was going to be

my shot to prove that
I could get deep into stuff

because I had a lot
of emotions going on
and stuff like that.

You'd think that son
of a bitch would learn

by now to stop trying me.


you are a genuine man.

See this balance, the, you know,

the... tolerance,
the intolerance

of this character, and,
and, you know,

the humor was perfectly placed,

pitched in that, in that role.

It was awesome.

Your credit's no good here.

You have to have the green.

Mickey's not an easy character.

A brilliant actor.
Faye's not an easy

character to work with,
but a brilliant actress.

So Frank had to hold his own...
- This can't be true.

...and he had to show his
strength at the same time,

and not be pushed around,
because either one
of those actors

could just move him
around whenever they want.

I asked, who's going to pay
for the goddamn drink?

Acting is all about moments.

And he had those moments,

and I think that's
what made a great performance.

Not acting, but knowing
when to really put on the moment

in front of a Mickey,
or in front of a Faye,

or in front of the director.

The movie didn't do well,
but it got good reviews,

in Europe especially,
so now it's like a cult classic,

and you'd think I'd be
working all the time,

because I get all
these young directors

coming to me, "Hey, man,
loved you in Barfly."

I thought something good was
going to come from it,
and it did.

There's a safe
on the seventh floor,
you take their thingy,

and you put it in this thingy.
- Directions even
your brother could understand.

Yeah, directions even
I could understand.
- Shut up.

And then Hudson Hawk,
that was going to be

a big movie, man.
It was a disaster.

People would ask us,
what was-- is it about?

Is it a comedy? I said,
"Well, if it is

a comedy...

...I don't know that yet,
but we'll find out soon."

Someone told me a lot of
horseshit. You want to open up

a hardware store, go straight,
and sell spatulas.

Have you lovely ladies
tried our house wine?

I think you'll enjoy.

I thought, of course,
that it was a kind of comedy

that I had never done before,

but I had the feeling
it was going to be

something special and new,

but as you probably know it,
it wasn't.

It was a bomb.
The critics hated it.

It cost about
60 million dollars.

You don't do
that auction house job,

I'm going to put you on trial,
and I promise you, my friend,

there'll be no bailiff,
you understand?

Why you son of a bitch!

Hey, Bailey, just settle down!

Shut up.

Take your money and get out,

because I'm tired
of listening to your mouth.

Why, Ed Bailey.

And then Tombstone,

to me, a great Western.
One of the great

modern Westerns, I think.

Guns don't scare me,

because without them guns,
you ain't nothing

but a skinny lunger.

People call and say,
"Hey, man, you're Ed Bailey."

No one comes up and says,
"Hey, man, loved you

in The Terror of Beverly
Hills." I don't get that.

"I loved you in Pink Chiquitas."

I don't get that.

I was supposed to do
a movie with my brother.

This agency, they came after,
and he said,

"Frank, I think we can do
really big things with you."

I signed with him Friday.

That Monday,
what comes across their desk?

It's my brother.
He's the star of the movie,

and there's a part
in the movie as his brother.

These guys, sitting here, they
go, "Come on, it's a slam dunk.

Frank just did Barfly,

It's Sly's brother.
it's not a huge role,

but it's an important role,
it's great."

They call up the casting agent,

"We just signed Frank Stallone."

All of a sudden, there was
like silence on the other end,

and this is what he hears,
"Mmm, I don't see it."

I never heard
from the agency again.

So they figured,
if we can't deliver

Frank playing
Frank to his brother,

it's a lost cause.

"I can't see it."

♪ Those fingers in my hair ♪

"I can't seem to get
a record deal no matter what,

so I'm going to do
my own record.

I'm going to pay for it."

♪ Strips my conscience bare ♪

♪ It's witchcraft ♪

So I do the, you know,
big band album

because I figured no one else
is doing a big band album.

So who do I find?

One of the greatest conductors
ever, Sammy Nestico.

One of the greats, Count Basie.
He's up there

with Nelson Riddle
and Billy May. He's up there.

It's easy working with him,
because he's so open.

"What do you think
about this idea?"

"Oh, yeah, that sounds good,

Let's use that." What a joy.

I didn't get that
with every record,

but I got it with Frank.

Tony Bennett wrote
the liner notes for the album.

And Sammy Nestico,
who'd been nominated

for a Grammy so many times,
said to me,

it was one of the best albums
he ever did. So he goes
back to playing

with Tommy Dorsey,
that's how far back he goes.

So for him to say that,
it was pretty good.

Frank doesn't know this,

but when I was
working for Michael Bublé,

David Foster has a studio
in his first floor of his home,

so my wife
and I would go up there

and talk with Michael
and David Foster,

and my wife says,
"You know what I saw

on David Foster's desk?

I saw this."

So Frank, believe me,
they were listening to it.

Again, no management,
no support team, nothing.

So that's like
the story of my life.

So it just goes nowhere.

I never could figure that out,
what could've gone wrong.

I don't think the public
just took him serious.
Why? I don't know.

People are going to be
thinking of Sylvester Stallone,

I think that's the issue.

You just think of him
as soon as you see

Frank, and I think that's
what he is up against.

You know, it's not easy
having the name Stallone.

Because you live in a shadow,

and every time you get a great
job, you know, people say,

"You probably got that
because of your brother."

He didn't. He got this
because of his talent.

He would have all that
same talent and all that

if his name was Joe Schmo, but
it's not, it's Frank Stallone.

So I think from right
from the beginning...

it's almost
like being set up.

It's almost like you... put yourself almost
in the middle of a target.

Like, "Okay, here I am.
Take your shot."

He knew that I was sensitive

being the sister of somebody

who is very well known.
We talked a lot about that,

about how one designs
a professional life

given your sibling.

Frank then had to make
some big decisions.

Should he change his name?

At one point, I know
he wasn't completely serious,

but I said, "Frank, why
don't you change your name?"

He says, "Oh, well, why doesn't
my brother change his name?"

People may think,
"Oh, yes, Frank Stallone.

Oh--" he's not a joke.

Finally, the votes are in,

and Entertainment Weekly
has chosen

its funniest man alive,

and who is
the funniest man alive?

You guessed it, Frank Stallone.

Maybe it was a little dark,

a little bit harder to be him

at that particular
place and time,

and he finally came to terms
with it, and he found himself.

And I think
when he found himself,

I think it all
just came together.

I'd doubt if they could
live without each other.

They have each other's back.

If either one were in trouble,

the other one would be
there in a minute.

If there was a plane,
and we were going down,

and there was one parachute,
guess who's not getting it?

No one owes me a living, nobody.

I chose this,
or it chose me when I was a kid,

and I've loved
every minute of it. Yeah,

do I get disgusted,
do I get pissed off?

Do I-- Yes, I do.

I think I'm better now
than I was then

all around with the music.
But guess what?

I cannot get a booking agent,
and you see our shows.

We sell out.
We get standing ovations.

It's just good music
and energy from him on stage,

and the way he talks
to the audience is also cool.

The crowd just loves him,
and his stories on stage,

and his ability to sing
all different genres

of different kinds of music.

Frank is a very
talented musician.

I go to a lot
of his performances.

He works very hard
on his singing.

He, uh, he has such
a huge variety of voice

and reach. He can do anything.

He can play the blues.
He can play rock.
He can play pop.

He can play R&B.
He did the big band thing.

He's running
the gammon in his career.

He's having a good time
for himself.

It's almost a variety show.

He's kind of all over the place,
but it seems to fit.

He knows
how to make it fit that set.

He's got Frank.
He's got Tony Bennett.

He's got, you know,
he's got Dean.

He's got it down,
and he's really good.

I'm from that era of, uh,

you know, the whole
discussion about phrasing,

and, uh, he really understands
the, the lyric when he sings it.

I'm a big fan.

He's got incredible pipes.

even sent him
a monologue after a gig.

I mean, that ain't nothing...
you know? Or--

Or the Chairman of the Board
gives you, uh, gives you a nod.

Anybody who ever sees
his name on a marquis,

whether it be a theater,
or whether it be--

whatever kind of venue,
and you see Frank Stallone,

go and see Frank.

You'll become such a fan.
He's wonderful.

He can play.
He can play electric too...

He spent some time actually

developing himself
as a guitar player.

A really good rhythm player.
And he'll

whip out a lead here and there.

Frank is actually a very good

and interesting guitar player.
I mean,

his chord playing
and his rhythm is terrific.

Um, he plays a lot
of different styles,

too many styles, in my opinion,

only because it's hard to
pigeonhole him into one thing.

He can do a variety of things,

which is good as an entertainer,
but not good

as a recording star.

I wanted to clarify that.

If you're going
to become a recording star,

stick to one genre of music.

♪ And I'm never
going to give you up ♪

♪ For someone else's love ♪

You try to be all
things to all people,

and you become
nothing to nobody.

We had gone through the country

playing outdoor festivals
and clubs.

The fans started to pile up,

and the gigs started to happen,

but they were kind of like,
"What is this?" You know?

And, you know,
it took a little time.

It was not easy.

And then we had the opportunity
to open for Don.

We opened for Don Rickles
maybe 20 times.

Did you pass away?

What, am I talking
to a wall here?

These are nice people.

Look at the front. I'm working

a state home for Christ's sake.

Look at it.

Don was a real gentleman.

A lot of fun.

Frank is very gracious,

and he went backstage with me

to thank Mr. Rickles
for the gig, and he said,

"Don, I just want to thank you."

In Rickles fashion, he says,
"Shut up, Frank,

you have the job."

♪ Before you carry on ♪

♪ Doo do doo do doo do dow ♪

He constantly amazes me,

because I don't think
he'll mind me saying,

he doesn't really
read a lick of music.

That's one big part
of what I do. It's almost--

There's a bit of interpretation
for him, if you like.

He-- but he's so--
He's very innately musical.

He's not going to weigh down
with the music theory

side of things.
So he does what he wants.

Any kind of rehearsal
or sound check,

you don't want to run into him.
He is grumpy.

Way back when,
he'd just kind of breeze in,

and everything
would be taken care of,

and now he's a schlep, and he's
got the guitar on the back.

So, yeah, he could be a little
less grumpy before the show.

But as soon as the lights
come on, the people are in,

it's business as usual.

Here we go.

All right.
- Now

the fella
you've been waiting for,

the star of our show,
Frank Stallone.


He just knows
how to communicate with people.

He's not always PC. And, uh,

you know, that's part
of his charm, I suppose.

He'll speak his opinion,

whether he's in a room of people

who completely think
the opposite way.

He doesn't have any fear
when it comes to that.

He don't take
no bullshit from nobody,

and he'll tell you exactly
what's on his mind,

and that's what
I love about him.

On the positive side,

you have to admire someone

that stands by what they think.

Frank is a guy who's remained
true to his roots,

and you couldn't corrupt that

with all the money or fame,

because that's part
of his metal.

It might bend here and there,
but it never changes.

He's a straight shooter.

Several years ago, I did

a charity event
called Songs of Love.

It was a charity
for terminally ill children,

and I booked a bunch of acts,

and Frank was
the first person I asked,

and he said yes immediately.

And I got choked up
introducing him,

because I said, "This guy
is such a great guy, a nice guy,

and the first guy
I asked to come onboard,

come here for free,
do this for the kids,

and Frank was there...
like that."

So that just shows
the type of person he is,

and I love him to death.

He may not admit this to you,

but he has a very gentle,

in a way,
very precious side to him,

and he's warm
and sometimes not warm.

He's dramatic, and sometimes
he's intentionally vulnerable,

and sometimes he's cynical.

He's a man of emotions.

That's what makes him
so great on stage.

But he's also
extremely eccentric.

I mean,
this guy's never been married.

He's consumed with his art,

and he's consumed
with information,

and he's consumed with, uh,
a curiosity.

The question that
a lot of people ask is,

"Why hasn't Frank
ever been married?"

An artist has to be
in the state of inspiration.

Frank stayed in a certain state.

I don't ever see him really
connecting in a part where

he'd be away from his music.

He can be away from acting,

He could be away from writing.
But his music,

that's the foundation
of everything.

He is forever a bachelor.

He does his thing,
if he's interested.

When he's not interested,
he does their inventory

like nothing I've ever
heard in my life,

and he gets all the nice girls,

all the beautiful,
beautiful girls.

And, you know, when he falls
in love, it's under the radar,

like you find out
in his really peculiar ways

that he's got like a girl,
and then it's over.

What will
Frank Stallone's legacy be?

It's have to be his music.

At what level he wants to do it,
because he's got another
15 years in him.

I swear the guy's got...
He's just on a tear now.

Whether you have success
or you don't have success

is kind of irrelevant.
If you're getting to do

what you claim to love to do,

and you're doing it
at a high level,

I think you're a lucky guy.

Down the road, there's still
something there for him

that's going to lift him out
of the shadow a little bit.

Maybe a song.
Maybe another album.

Maybe a part in a movie.

He might have a future,
because he's got

a lot of life left in him.

Frank's a great song writer.

He's a great singer,
but it's about material.

It's about writing.
It's about pouring it out.

What Frank would be great at,

is if he'd write something
that embarrasses himself.

I mean,
something that reveals him.

He's have to rip himself open,

and, "Oh, geez,
I didn't know that was there,"

and if he does that,
he'll be great.

He paid all those dues
that we all pay to this day,

and he never really
got credit for it.

There's a magnetism to him

that I don't know
that's been realized yet,

but it will be. It will be.

I'd probably say,
95% of the people

that I grew up with
that played music,

"Oh, yeah, we're going
to do this," they all quit.

They all quit. They all
got jobs. They got married.

"Ah, well, you know,
I need something more secure."

And I just flew
by the seat of my pants.

You had to have
a certain faith in yourself,

because I didn't know,
I really wasn't

in doing anything else.

I took the worst job you could,

show business. That's the most
insecure job you could ever do.

God bless you.

Goodnight. Thank you very much.

I always wonder,
what has kept me in this game?

But, you know, I just keep
coming back to it. I love it.

Pump up the triceps, Frankie.

You can do it.


Very nice.

Look at this body.


Now if you teach me how to sing,

like I teach you
about bodybuilding,

I would be performing in Vegas.

That's right.
- This is like a oneway
street here.

♪ Save me darling ♪

♪ I am down but I am
far from over ♪

♪ Give me something ♪

♪ I need it all
because I am running over ♪

Is he around?
- He's around.

Well, get him in here.
I want to just talk

to him to see if he's
as goofy as I remember.

Yo, Frank.
- Hey, what's up?

All right, I was, uh,
inviting you in here, because--

No one asked you to sit down.
But don't try to assume,

like my pose. We're like--
- We're trying to do,

you know--
- We're doing Joe Weeder, like.

from where we came from...

Oh, man.
- ...and the family,
and the disfunction,

that we're even here
and functioning...

- ...and that he has like

really well adjusted children...

- amazing.

I'm not that welladjusted.

- But again-- But the thing is,

it's really amazing
when you think,

because those boxing gloves...
- You know--

...have, have made this dynasty.

We actually should be
like making

lunch meat
for a living somewhere.

Just like nothing--
- Well, you did do that
for a while.

I did actually do--
- He did work at a deli,

That's the--
- And I got thrown out
of that too.

Got thrown out of that.
- That's right.

Keeping my thumb on the scale

a little too much.

But anyway, nice knowing you.

Nice knowing you.
- Yeah, take care.