Reckless Rogue, Sentimental Softy
A Tribute To Francis Albert Sinatra by Gregory Peck
(taped June 1996 on Sinatra’s birthday)
(With Sinatra’s music in the background, Gregory Peck sits on a stool and says this:)
The Time 1974. The Place: Madison Square Gardens, New York. The Man: The Man Himself – LIVE. Ole blue eyes was back after a period of self imposed retirement, back to reclaim his title: Heavy Weight Champ of the Singing World!
( Sinatra’s voice fades in, saying: “We’ll now do the National Anthem, but you need not rise. And, now the time is near and so I face the final curtain…My friends, I’ll make it clear, I’ll state my case of which I’m certain… I’ve lived a life that’s full; traveled each and every highway, but more, much more than this, I did it my way.)
(Gregory Peck continues, his voice over Sinatra’s)
Reckless rogue, sentimental softy, there he stood in the ring.
Back in the arena at 60, the champ facing the fans and the skeptics,
Spinning tales of love gone wrong, fame gone sour.
Smiles and sunsets of world on a string, lyrics flowing lyrically;
From that well-spring of feeling, that purveyor of passion,
Passing the praises to the unsung heroes.
Let’s have a hand for the boys in the band…
Remembering the days and nights on the bus, one of the guys
Before being touched by the god of fortune; yet, still one of the guys.
Sentimental softy, reckless rogue,
Weaving a musical garment of the threads of his life —
Golden threads from the golden years.
The gold record years, the gold statuette years.
Darker threads from the “knocking-on-the-door, nobody-wants-ya” years.
And, green from the green backs of “rolling-in” years.
Blue threads woven into the cloth from the “where-has-she-gone” years.
And the “one-for-the-road” years.
And the pure white thread of the decent deeds
Done in the name of the nameless needy years.
And the threads worked their way into the pattern of his life,
Forming a garment for protection and a banner of defiance.
Reckless softy, sentimental rogue, re-entering the ring at 60,
Fit and fiesty! Frail and fabulous!
He’s back! Wily and warm, winking and winning.
Hey Champ, no more early retirement for you.
Twenty MORE years of cheers and stomping, standing ovations.
Twenty MORE years, at least, of knock-out Main Events and accolades.
Hey, reckless rogue, sentimental softy.
Winner and STILL Heavy Weight Champ…YOU ARE THE MAN!