This article about the crime family that originally inspired David Chase to create the Sopranos was published during the fabled show’s final season. Most pundits were convinced Sam the Plumber DeCavalcante was Tony Soprano’s role model. I argued it was Richie the Boot Boiardo. My argument got lots of pickup by other publications, unfortunately without attribution, probably because the article appeared in Penthouse. Several months after the article hit newstands, Chase finally admitted in court, while defending himself in a lawsuit, that it was the Boot who inspired him. I’m now writing a book about the Boot, a Prohibition-era ganglord whose long career spanned the ’60’s, a halcyon decade for the Garden State mob, and into the ’80’s when the Jersey Mafia slid into decline.
Another blast from the past. This article, which appeared in the prestigious and sophisticated men’s magazine Penthouse a few years back is basically a postscript to THE EAGLE MUTINY (Naval Institute Press 2001), the non-fiction book I wrote with Roberto Loiederman about an incredible true-life mutiny on an American ship during the Vietnam War, and its tragic aftermath. “A tale worthy of Conrad,” wrote TD Allman about the book.
It was recently optioned for a feature film by Academy Award-winning screenwriter/producer William Monahan (The Departed).
The SS Columbia Eagle may set sail again…