What Up Yo.
Saw Brother Darrin yesterday.
Brother Darrin lost weight.
Not a little pussy 5lbs... I mean he lost fucking weight, and he looks amazing.
I couldn't stop telling him.
You know who introduced us?
And that's General Duke to you private.
When I saw him yesterday,
I had to do a double take, then I laid down a suppressing fire of compliments:
"HOLY FUCK DUDE"
"DUDE YOU LOOK FUCKING AWESOME"
JESUS FUCK YOU LOOK AMAZING!!"
I returned to work, and then I emailed him, only filling in the subject line:
"YOU LOOK FUCKING AMAZING BRO!!"
"Thanks bro. No bullshit strictly Clubber Lang style.....in the streets, alone, gettin it done!!!!"
Let this be a lesson to you soldiers; It's lightning quick responses like that make for a true Lieutenant General in The VoicesFILM Army.
Between that, the
Verse tattoo on his arm... and the fact that when Jimmy (Gandolfini) passed on last June, I stopped what I was doing immediately,
left where I was working and walked straight to where brother Darrin was working to console with him.
I needed to be around someone that understood my pain at that moment, and I knew immediately it needed to be Darrin.
I also knew that I wanted to be the one that broke this to him.
"Yo brother...did you hear?"
He thought I was kidding.
Slowly his face got serious.
He realized I wasn't.
We, as most of Jimmy's loved ones and fans were, we were in shock and we were sad.
After going through a few of our favorite scenes from "The Sopranos" together, he told me that he had recently learned that his relatives used to hang out with Gandolfinis relatives...and he thought he would have an opportunity to tell him that one day...
But that would no longer be possible.
Every once in a while we would stop talking, look at each other and say:
"what the fuck man"
We both returned to our jobs, and right before I left, he thanked me for racing over to him.
"Yo brother, I'm glad it was you that told me."
Now, back to his response.
I saw the email come in.
I opened it.
I read the first sentence...
A sudden blast of white, like I had been blasted in the nose.
I was transported back in time.
Unfortunately when I think of the year 1982, I think of my mother
Christina. she had suddenly passed away that summer.
We had 2 months between learning she was sick and when she passed.
Not gonna lie, it was fucking awful.
Awful for us kids,
my brother sister and I.
Awful for my Pop, who I had never seen cry before that moment when he told us.
Awful for my Moms brother, my uncle Denis.
Awful for my moms mother...my grandmother.
Awful for my Aunt Linda and Uncle Rob, my godmother and godfather (the best godmother and godfather on the planet)
Awful for the hundreds and hundreds of people who showed up at the wake, mass and the funeral services.
Not trying to bum you out troops, it's just what I think of.
I remember going to see "Rocky III" in the theater as we were spending our last summer with her, hoping she would make it.
The film jacked me up at times...then ultimately uplifted me...and it would always hold a special place in my heart after that.
Like a scent that activates memories...this film catapults me back in time to being a little kid sitting in the movie theater watching Rocky with my brother Derek, and my cousins Tommy and Bobby.
This is what happens when I read Brother Darrins words.
After the initial storm of that god damn year ended, it came on cable and Derek and I studied it. The first film, "Rocky"
I hadn't seen in its entirety at seven.
What I had seen of it seemed way too slow, dark, serious and ugly too me at that age.
Now we grew up on the second film, "Rocky II".
That...was badass. That's where the story began for me.
Apollo was hard-core. The final fight was intense, the dog Butkis that is gone mysteriously without a word in the sequels...
And Rocky running down the streets of Philadelphia...
That fucking scene is awesome.
That was the scene we would wait for before fast forward with video was possible. We ate it up, how could you not?
The Bill Conti score...dear God.
The music for these films is core to the experience...the song "Going The Distance" is probably one of my favorite movie soundtrack songs ever, Bill Conti's score is a emotional powerhouse of a score. A masterwork.
almost dies in childbirth.
She makes it and gives birth to her son.
She has held back from giving Rocky her blessing to fight Apollo again the entire film because she is scared he will get killed in the ring.
As she is recovering, she whispers to Rocky...
This scene is rock and roll. I love the 2 trainers, Mickey and the other guys who's name i don't know. he is beating the shit out of Balboa's stomach as he does sit ups...
This leads us to the final fight of "Rocky II".
Clash of the Titans.
Rocky will go the distance this time.
Both give it everything they have.
Two fighters taken to their absolute limits.
Two actors, Sylvester Stallone
and Carl Weathers
giving heartfelt & powerful performances here, they are both beaten to fucking pulps...
"'I AIN'T GOING DOWN NO MORE!!!"
They both hit the floor of the boxing ring like sledgehammers. The referee starts the slow-motion countdown...
"O N E...."
"T W O..."
Now at this point, after that first film, you honestly didn't know if The Rock was going to win.
It wasn't until "Rocky IV" that the Rocky film formula had been established.
He lost the last time, would he win here?
He does win... and we, the fans, cheer for Rocky. We now believed in Stallone.
"YO ADRIEN...I DID IT!!!"
"Eye Of The Tiger".
A montage of boxing matches.
Rocky Balboa is now continuing to win.
Defending his title, fight after fight after fight.
He's looking good. As Paulie will tell him later, he got his face all fixed up.
The punches, they don't sound like punches anymore...they sound like shotgun blasts.
Like cannon fire.
The Italian Stallion pummels competitor after competitor, his fists are rocket-launchers.
The opponents go flying across the ring, lifted off their feet and launched to their dooms.
Stallone has delivered us a new, chiseled and successful Rocky this time, but in the wings lays his doom.
Mr. T man...
I WANT BALBOA!
I WANT BALBOA!!