I have an announcement to make:
I love Dean Martin.
*waits for shock to subside*
Seriously, I found my Late at Night With Dean Martin CD nestled amongst all the Who/Van Morrison/Stones stuff in my CD case and… I love him so very much. It’s one of the first Dino CDs I bought and I just love it. John Lennon taught me to love the world, to see the beauty of the entire world, but Dean Martin was the one who taught me what love was, is and can be. He taught me how wonderful it is, how terrible it is, how it can make you leap up and down with joy and how it can make you weep and wail. He worked hard to look like he didn’t give a fuck, but at the same time he genuinely didn’t give a fuck. This is a man who had the world at his fingertips. but was most at home watching old cowboy movies and playing golf. Sinatra was obsessed with having the American mafia love and adore him; Martin didn’t give a rats arse whether they liked him or ont. Sinatra was obsessed with being the best; Martin knew he was the best, but didn’t much care either way. He was much funnier than former partner Jerry Lewis in a spontaneous, unaffected way.
And all he’d ever wanted as a kid was to be a singer with a hat. That he got his wish is one of the greatest things in my life. He was the voice of the school trip to Eastern Europe to the point that if I hear ‘Angel Baby’ to this day I don’t think of Angel as in Buffy and Angel, but of sitting on a bus in the middle of the night as it rumbles through Poland. That trip might’ve proved unbearable without him to accompany me. Falling asleep to ‘Dream’ or ‘I Wish You Love’ is something everyone should try, I think. His voice is the only thing in the world that can calm me down. At one point I listened to his version of the Brahms Lullaby to help me sleep, and it actually worked for a while.
He had a voice like extra-virgin olive oil on a sunny day. He can make me smile, laugh, cry and swoon just by singing. There are four voices in the world I truly can’t live without, and his is the first of them. A hardened rock and roller like me should think him an old dinosaur. I think he’s more rock and roll in temperament than some rockers. His music moves me in a way most rock and roll does not, cannot. And I love him.