Wiseguys

I was listening to Bob Dylan’s 1976 album Desire, because I thought I’d use “Hurricane” in one of these shows. The flip side has a song about the life and death of an NYC mobster, which inspired this episode.

Today on Crime Time Radio we’re going to have a crime story

“Runaway,” by Del Shannon. He rerecorded his #1 hit from 1961 in 1986 as the theme song to the Michael Mann TV show Crime Story, featuring the recently departed Dennis Farina. The show described the struggle between a Chicago PD organized crime unit and an up and coming member of the Outfit. While the song isn’t about crime, it does have a nostalgic theme that ties into the romanticization of the gangster. But it’s not all fun an games.

Joey,” by Bob Dylan and Jaques Levy. That song was longer than some gangster’s careers, I think. It’s about Joey Gallo of New York’s Colombo crime family. His story reads like a typical mob movie. That song was somewhat controversial for being insufficiently judgmental, but some people liked it.

New York City punk legend Johnny Thunders, with his interpretation of “Joey,” and a short semi-instrumental tune called “Cosa Nostra,” which was the name of a band he briefly led. Thunders wanted to grow up to be Keith Richards, apparently both as a musician and a substance abuser. He didn’t make it.

“Memo from Turner,” by Mick Jagger from the soundtrack of the movie Performance. Alert listeners may recognize some of that guitar work from the soundtrack to Goodfellas. Performance was an arty 60s movie involving English gangsters hiding out in Mick Jagger’s house. You can see the scene from the movie here. Embedding is disabled.

Well that’s my performance for the week. Until next time, crime time radio.

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