1998-05-14 Los Angeles, USA / My Way / Meine Art und Weise / Do meu Jeito / A mi Manera

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Frank’s affairs were as numerous as his songs. In between his brief marriages to Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow, he conducted an incomparable prolific Love life with everyone from Hollywood royalty to cigarette girls.

Failing to make a truly intimate connection with any of the Hundred’s if not Thousand’s of women he bedded.

Frank’s women were a special challenge. There were (really were) so many of them; affairs with starlets, songbirds and Society girls and habitual prostitutes too numerous to count. Oh, and four wives.

Frank attracted women. He couldn’t help it. Just to look at him – the way he moved, and how he behaved – was to know that he was a great lover and true gentleman. He adored the company of women and knew how to treat them.

Ava Gardner, the woman who was to be Frank’s femme fatale. She was a tough-talking, hard-drinking, volatile actress from Nowhereville who had been married and divorced twice.

‘My God, she was beautiful!’ When they went to bed, Ava remembered, she ‘truly felt that no matter what happened we would always be in Love.’

She was right and they would be in Love for the rest of their lives. ‘The exact moment I made the decision to seek a divorce,’ Ava said years later, ‘was the day the phone rang and Frank was on the other end announcing that he was in bed with another woman.’

In autumn 1953 Frank slit his wrists. He survived, of course, as he did other half-serious suicide attempts.

The love of his life had been Ava. When she died years before him, of drink and cigarettes, Sinatra went on stage and sang the lament that (for him) was about the woman he could not forget:

I could tell you a lot

But you gotta be true to your code

So make it one for my baby

And one more for the road.

Throughout his life, Sinatra had mood swings and bouts of mild to severe depression. ‘I have an over-acute capacity for sadness as well as elation’.

Avoiding solitude and unglamorous surroundings at all costs, he struggled with the conflicting need ‘to get away from it all, but not too far away’.

Sinatra’s mood swings often developed into violence, directed at people he felt had crossed him. Yet, Sinatra was known for his generosity.

If it had not been for his interest in music he would ‘probably have ended in a life of crime’. Sinatra certainly took crazy risks.

He has been frequently linked to members of the Mafia and it has long been rumored that his career was aided by organized crime. He had associations with and did favors for Charles Fischetti, a notorious Chicago mobster.

Charles’s brother introduced him to Lucky Luciano in Havana. After Luciano’s deportation to Italy, Sinatra visited him at least twice, singing at a 1946 Christmas Party and gifting the famed mobster with a gold cigarette case engraved ‘To my dear pal Charlie, from his friend Frank’

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way

Yes, it was my way

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