The Story of T

By Nicholas Pileggi The New York Times Magazine March 29, 1970 “A street guy like T is a different kind of person. Everything for a guy like that, for, a member, is different. They’re in that private world of their own and that’s all they want to know. They’re in it...

The Last Celluloid Desperado

By Grover Lewis Rolling Stone March 15, 1973 After 20 years of playing a comic strip character called Superstud, Mitchum at last is being recognized as the gifted actor he has always been. He is a master of stillness. Other actors act. Mitchum is. He has true delicacy...

“May I Kiss You on the Forehead, Sam?”

By Jon Bradshaw New York December 29, 1975/January 5, 1976 It was practically dawn and the weather, he noted with particular pique, was diabolic. On mornings like these, he preferred to rise late. He liked to walk down to the Yale Club and play a little squash. He...

Oedipus Rocks

By John Eskow New Times May 29, 1978 Karl Wallenda plunges to his death, and the man beside me booms out “Gawd!” In the slow-motion TV replay, Wallenda’s last-second grab for the wire seems to sum up everyone’s will to live, in one gesture. Then he falls. It’s a...

Elvis Costello is Angry and Convincing

By Fred Schruers Circus June 22, 1978 It’s 1:30 am in the Bootlegger Lounge in Syracuse, N.Y. Elvis Costello, the one with the owlish stare and the spitting mad vocals, the man whose songs may be the worst thing that’s happened to feminism since Jack the Ripper,...

The Making of “The Godfather”—Sort of a Home Movie

By Nicholas Pileggi The New York Times Magazine August 15, 1971 As was his custom before the drive home from work with his son, the old man walked across the narrow, tenement‐lined street in Manhattan’s Little Italy to buy some fresh fruit. The grocer, who had known...

Richard Pryor: Teetering on Jest, Living by His Wit

By Frederick D. Murphy Encore American & World News November 24, 1975 Richard Pryor may be the funniest, if not the most obscene, comedian in the world. On stage, he exploits all the social norms and taboos. The most intimate moments of human behavior are laid...

Jerry Lewis, Birthday Boy

By O’Connell Driscoll Playboy January 1974 “And then they say, ‘Now, ladies and gentlemen, here’s the star of our show,’ and we both come out and go for the microphone, and you grab it and start right in, ‘Good evening, folks, it’s so great to be here in Miami,’ and I...

A-Hunting We Will Go

By Donald Hall From The Country of Baseball 1976 Dock Ellis is moderately famous for throwing at batters. On May 1, 1974, he tied a major league record by hitting three batters in a row. They were the first three batters up, in the first inning. They were Cincinnati...

Diana Ross: An Encounter in Three Scenes

By O’Connell Driscoll Rolling Stone August 11, 1977 One: A Backstage Party September 1976: The Performer’s Lounge, Backstage at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. A windowless basement room with concrete-block walls. The furniture consists of several couches, some...

24 Hours on 42nd Street: Staying Alive on the Strip

By Nik Cohn New York March 6, 1978 “I have a problem,” I said. “How’s that?” Tu Sweet asked. “I’m about to be dead.” It was early in the morning. Tu Sweet, the self-styled “Black Fred Astaire and Nureyev of the Hustle,” was relaxing in my neighborhood bar, fresh from...

J. D. Salinger in Retreat…

By Helen Dudar Writers Bloc June 1979 In this age of hard sell, when even the most reticent author can be coaxed into a half-hour on camera with Dick Cavett, J. D. Salinger obdurately remains publishing’s invisible man. This is, of course, hard on his admirers, who...