José Sinatra is a good-time party and music man around town, first as front man for the former José Sinatra and Troy Dante Band and now as host of the “O.B.-oke” at Winstons, which draws a large crowd every Sunday night with singing, games, and door prizes.
His new ensemble is the José Sinatra Love Muscle, now in rehearsal and getting ready for gigs. He also sings with Superbad, a James Brown tribute band. “People are always amazed at my uncanny resemblance to James Brown,” he says. He’s been recording in San Diego and Los Angeles for an upcoming CD, Moonlight Sinatra.
José is a flamboyant stage persona of Bill Richardson’s in the same vein as Andy Kaufmann’s Tony Clifton, the quirky and abusive lounge singer — or, in José Sinatra’s mind, Wayne Newton. “For years I have been convinced that Wayne Newton is really a woman,” he says, noting the difference in voice and style of the Vegas performer’s early years as compared to today. “Someday the truth will come out.”
SEXIEST LOCAL PERFORMER?
“Besides myself, I will honestly say a lovely girl named Ashley who brings down the house when she sings at O.B.-oke. She wins the prizes, and so help me Rhonda, I dream of giving [the prize] to her.”
“‘In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida, baybah/ Doncha know that ah luv you?/ In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida, hunah/ Doncha know that ah hallways beeuah tru-hoo?’ An old song by, I think, Jeremy Irons and the Butterflies [Iron Bufferfly]. Not only does it seem to predict everything that has happened since its 1968 release, it continues to touch me every day in a very private place.”
“Watching Grey’s Anatomy Thursday nights with a similarly devoted group of female friends. If the episode is really inspiring, we’ll play ‘doctor’ as soon as it’s over.”
IF YOU COULD HAVE LUNCH WITH ANYONE…
“Anyone and everyone’s okay with me, as long as they’re paying and not named ‘Britney.’ ”
WHAT DID YOU DO PROM NIGHT
“Went up to New York to hang out with some friends at the Biltmore who were acting in Hair. Jim Rado [cowriter of Hair] came with me to my high school graduation in Maryland that following week. His coauthor Gerry Ragni wanted to marry me. Everyone who actually did go to the prom is now dead.”
TOP FIVE ALBUMS?
1. Grin, 1+1. “Nobody’s ever done passion like Nils Lofgren does on the final track, ‘Soft Fun.’ I’ve never been able to make out all the words, and I’ve never cared. It is monstrous and moving.”
2. Richard Harris, My Boy. “A revealing, autobiographical album Richard Harris made in 1971 concerning love, marriage, birth, estrangement. His voice is perfect, the arrangements are beautiful, the songs and story are haunting.”
3. Georges Delerue’s 30 Ans de Musique de Film. “Ken Russell called him ‘the greatest film composer who ever lived.’ I agree, and might even delete the word ‘film.’ ”
4. The Raspberries — Greatest Hits. “Sometimes Eric Carmen sounds more like Paul McCartney than Paul McCartney ever did, and he can write melodies that have the tenacity of herpes.”
5. Abbey Road. “The Beatles’ last album. No one seems to realize that all the voices on ‘Because’ were done by John Lennon. I’ve just recorded my own version — doing everything — with slightly altered lyrics that, to my mind, better reflect our world 39 years later. I call it ‘Because (Your Hole Is Brown).’”
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: REAL OR IMAGINED?
“I have only to wake up each morning and look in the mirror for it to happen all over again.”