Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Tribute to the Wanderers – Originally published Winter 2006 issue of Back in the Bronx

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Note: This article was written for Back in the Bronx magazine in Winter 2006. New information came in and some of the details in the story have changed in the years between this article and the publishing of Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang. I chose to leave it the way it was originally published.


A Bronx Tribute to “The Wanderers”

By James Hannon of Lantern-Media.com

A native Bronxite’s tale of how Hollywood came to the Bronx, and how the resulting movie influenced his life.

Published in Back in the Bronx Magazine, Winter 2006 issue, Vol XIV, Issue L1

Click here to see the original published article



In 1979, a movie by the name of The Wanderers came out. It was based off the book by Richard Price and starred a then-unknown actor named Ken Wahl. It also had a tremendous supporting cast that is too big to list here.

My sister’s boyfriend Louie really sold me on this movie a year or so earlier by telling me they were filming it near the Dollar Savings Bank on the Grand Concourse & Fordham Road, and that they had a bunch of old cars lining the surrounding streets and they were filming. This was a big deal to me, so I was definitely looking forward to it coming out.So, when it finally came out, I was horrified to find out that it had a rating of “R”. I was only 12 years old and five long years away from being eligible to see this movie. Ratings actually meant something back then, and I couldn’t imagine any kid’s parents letting them see “R” movies. I was crushed that I couldn’t see it.

My 19 yr old sister and Louie went to see it and told me that it was great, and that it opened with a shot of the RKO Fordham movie theatre and Alexander’s Department Store, and had aLOT of other Bronx locations! I thought my neighborhood was about as far from Hollywood as you could get, but this movie was filmed in my neighborhood — And I couldn’t see it!

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Ducky Boys, Shmoozing, and the Irish-Mexican Alliance

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Hanging with a Ducky Boys and the Irish-American Writers and Artists again!

Last night, I took advantage of another networking event thanks to the fine folks of the Irish-American Writer and Artists group that I belong to, and had a great time and helped do some good in the world.

If you know me, you know I’m not the biggest fan of networking events – especially ones that do double-time as a benefit, but theres something special about the IAMW&A group where I actually look forward to these events.  See my first interaction with the group in my blog entitled “WIDOMV 2010 – Part 4 – Irish American Writers and Artists

Last night’s event was called the Irish-Mexican Alliance and it was to benefit the Committee to Protect Journalists.  Rather than interpret it, I’ll just grab the description right from the IAMWA website

“A group known as the Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) has been seeking to draw attention to the issue of journalists in Mexico being murdered, intimidated and forced to seek political asylum in the U.S. for doing their job, i.e. reporting on the Narco War in Mexico (click here to view the incredible CPJ report on the subject).

As an organization devoted to freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of expression for all artist, we at IAW&A wholeheartedly support the efforts of CPJ.

We have formed THE IRISH-MEXICAN ALLIANCE, a group of writers, artists and their supporters, who are in the process of organizing a night of Celtic and Mexican music, Chicano and Irish poetry, etc., all to raise money for CPJ.

Among other things, we are hoping to summon the spirit of the San Patricio Brigade, a group of Irish Americans who fought on behalf of Mexico in the mid-19th Century.”

The organizer and emcee of the event T.J. English – who is on the board of directors of the IAMWA and the author of The Westies and Paddy Whacked.   He’s also a helluva nice guy.

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Lost Boys of the Bronx commercial

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Well, I just finished editing the first commercial for my book Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang and I hope you enjoy it…

It will begin airing on HomeGrown Music TV starting in January 2011

Thanks to Loretta Parete-Gonnella for putting up with us and the cold and being our sexy reader actress.   Also thanks to Mike Hepponstall and Leon Leybs for co-writing and co-filming…   And as always thanks to Jackie Hannon for helping out!

Press Release: Bronx Gangs Author James Hannon to Appear at the Museum Of The American Gangster in Lower East Side, NYC

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Bronx Gangs Author James Hannon to Appear at the Museum Of The American Gangster in Lower East Side, NYC

“Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang” author James Hannon to appear at the Museum of the American Gangster in New York City on Thursday, December 16th for “An Evening with the Ducky Boys Gang.”

Bronx, NY (PRWEB) November 18, 2010

Author James Hannon will appear at the Museum of the American Gangster on December 16th, 2010 with a presentation on the Ducky Boys Gang. Mr. Hannon is becoming known for his current book entitled “Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang” – which details the all-too-human side of the terrifying Bronx gang of the early-1960s who were immortalized in Richard Price’s novel and 1979 movie “The Wanderers.”

The event, entitled “An Evening with the Ducky Boys Gang” will begin at 6pm on Thursday December 16th at the Museum of the American Gangster at 80 Saint Marks Place (off 1st Ave) in the Lower East Side section of New York City.

During the presentation, James Hannon and special guest, ex-Ducky Boy Kevin Byrne will give an introduction to the Ducky Boys Gang, read passages from the book, and answer questions from the audience. Following the presentation, Mr. Hannon and Mr. Byrne will remain on-hand to mingle with guests and sign books that will be available for sale. Guests will then be invited for a short tour of the museum.

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A biased review of Tasting Grace at Asbury Park Convention Hall

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Pics at bottom of blog – dont forget to click “read more”

OK, let me explain the title of this blog first.  I am a huge fan of drummer Johnny Rox going back to the days when he was known as little Johnny Pebblez…  Sorry for that – its just a private joke I have with John since I can’t in good conscience call him by his stage name, and I don’t want to give out his real name in this blog…  Long story-short, John is a great friend, old band-mate, and one of my 501st brethren, so I can’t give anything but a biased review of him…  (RiffSurfer Squad forever!) – Also, as I started writing this, I realized that this is so much more than a review – its a freaking look into my life  LOL

OK, getting that out of the way, he’s in this band called Tasting Grace now and I’ve been hearing a LOT about them for the past few months…   They are about to start an International tour (OK, they’re playing Puerto Rico in addition to the states – I’m not sure how that fits into the international scope of things, but lets just say their tour is bigger than a national tour –  Either way, I’m proud of my friend and the success that he’s gotten and will get — (see how this is going to be biased?)

Last night, November 6th, 2010 was the first show of the tour, and it was at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ.  They were the headlining band for Lucha Vavoom! – A wrestling event made by MTV (I think), and has strippers and masked wrestlers in the style of old Mexican wrestling luchadors.  But more on that later – This review blog is primarily about Tasting Grace’s show…

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WIDOMV 2010 – Part 1 – James’s BronxTalk TV interview

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

WIDOMV 2010 = What I Did On My Vacation 2010

I started typing this as one document that covered two weeks, but it got really long…So I’m going to break it into sections for both your and my sanity…  I’ll back-fill the “/?” part of the title when I figure out how long I end up dragging this out…

Well, its Sunday October 24th, 2010 and its the last day of my two week vacation – Its back to work tomorrow.  And while I didn’t “go anywhere” for my vacation, I did seem to do an awful lot of stuff if you believe the pictures I took from the last two weeks…

My vacation officially started on Friday,  Oct 8th, but I can’t talk about that week without telling of something really cool that happened on Monday of that week…   I did an interview on TV for my book Lost Boys of the Bronx – The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang !!!

It was for a Bronx community access show called BronxTalk with Gary Axelbank and it was my first real interview on TV…  (There was something on Scotch Plains TV a few years back for my RYL Documentary, but we don’t talk about that anymore)   Bronx Talk is a show on the BronxNet network, and everybody in the Bronx (estimated population 1,411,654 people) with cable gets this channel so its not small potatoes…  It was also repeated 3 times a day – every day for the week.  In addition it was also simulcast on the http://www.bronxnet.org/tv/bronxtalk website — What I’m saying is that a LOT of people had potential to watch the show..

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Press Release: Book Release: Lost Boys Of The Bronx: The Oral History Of The Ducky Boys Gang

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Book Release: Lost Boys Of The Bronx: The Oral History Of The Ducky Boys Gang

Bronx native James Hannon releases book detailing the all-too-human side of a terrifying Bronx gang of the early-1960s made infamous by Richard Price’s “The Wanderers.”

Bronx, NY (PRWEB) September 9, 2010

James Hannon’s new book Lost Boys of the Bronx tells the true story of the Ducky Boys gang from the point of view of the gangmembers, their victims, and neighborhood residents who lived through it all.

In the fictional novel, and subsequent movie The Wanderers, Richard Price wrote about a gang of “stunted Irish madmen” who were “stone killers that attacked in droves to compensate for the fact that few of them were over five-feet tall.” That gang was the Ducky Boys and they certainly left an imprint on his audience.

In James Hannon’s new book Lost Boys of the Bronx, the real-life gang behind the fictional monsters portrayed on screen are brought out into the open and made human. Readers will see how a few 1960s kids became a gang of hundreds in their heyday, and how growing up in the age of drugs, glue-sniffing, war led to the destruction of many lives where only their loyalty to each other got them through.

Some early industry reviews:

Richard Price, Academy Award nominated screenwriter, and author of The Wanderers,
“I read this book in one sitting – It was GREAT”

Larry Kirwan, frontman for band Black 47, and author of Rockin’ the Bronx,
“This is essential reading for anyone who wishes to become familiar with the unique spirit of the Bronx. Rock on Ducky Boys!!!”

Steven Schindler, Author of Sewer Balls and From the Block,
“What James Hannon does is make some sense out of the myths and mystery of why these gangs behaved the way they did, and how they went about it. And as in most thoughtful and well researched projects, he demonstrates that the reality of the situation is infinitely more interesting and compelling than the made-up Hollywood version.”

Steve Samtur, editor for Back in the Bronx magazine,
“Kudos to Mr. Hannon for his perseverance. His ability to forage for Ducky Boys after more than 40 years and finding them is remarkable. To get them to speak about their experience is testament to his tenacity.”

There will be a book signing to accompany the official release of Lost Boys of the Bronx on September 12th, 2010 at the American Legion -Bajart Post in Yonkers, NY.

Lost Boys of the Bronx – The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang
By James Hannon
Published by AuthorHouse, Aug, 2010
220 pages

ISBN:
6×9 Paperback (978-1-4520-2054-9)
6x9Hardcover (978-1-4520-2055-6)

Available at AuthorHouse, Lantern-Media.com, and many online retailers.

About the Author
Author and ex-Bronxite James Hannon grew up across the street from Our Lady of Refuge and PS 46 schools on East 196th Street and Briggs Avenue. Little did he realize that almost twenty years earlier, the real-life Ducky Boys, who would become so significant in his life after watching the Wanderers movie, were attending the same schools, hanging out in the same schoolyards, and trying to figure out what their next adventure would be.

Mr. Hannon is the director of the 2004 documentary “Out of Our Dens – The Richard and the Young Lions Story” about a 1960’s garage band that came from a “20-mile radius of Newark, NJ” who became one of the greatest bands that nobody ever heard of.

He currently lives a stones throw away from the Bronx in central, New Jersey with his wife and cat.

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Autographed Ducky Boys books – now available

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

For those of you, who can’t make the release party on Sept 12th (see here for the invite), but wanted an autographed copy of “Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang“, now you can get one…

Check out: http://lantern-media.com/signedbooks/ to get to the personalized book website..

If you just want a book, and don’t care about it being signed, you can go to Amazon , Barnes & Noble.com, or my publisher . Its even on Kindle!

Don’t forget to write a review!

Thanks a bunch
James

New website and Ducky Boys book release

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Hey everyone,  everything is coming together nicely…  The website is revamped, the book is available, and theres even a book release party… Lots of information to give you all, so lets get started on the details without too much fluff…

Lantern-Media.com has been redone for a sleeker look.. It is still being tweaked a bit, so if you see anything weird for the next week or so, its probably “being worked on”, but it should be bug-free soon…   Play around with it – let me know if you like it or not…

Big news is that “Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang” is now available for purchase online… Click here to purchase. It will also be on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites, but it will be a bit more expensive there to cover the costs to sell it there… if you would like to purchase a signed copy of the book (hardcover or softcover ),  I am in the process of setting something up online..  However if you would like one sooner, that will bring me to my next point…

We’re having a release party for the book on Sept 12th 2010, and you are welcome to come…  It will be at the American Legion Bajart Post at 840 McLean Ave in Yonkers, NY between 1pm and 5pm…   Feel free to drop by during that timeframe and say hello.. I will be selling both the hardcover and softcover versions of the book, and if you would like me to sign them, I will gladly do it for you… The official invite with all the information is here Thats the big news going on right now…

Hope you can stop by the release party!
-=James

So whats going on with Lantern-Media.com?

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

So LOTS of things happening at Lantern-Media.com right now… Some things I can tell you about, some things I can’t…

I don’t have a lot of time to tell you, so let me just give you the highlights…

First and Foremost, the Ducky Boys book is now done!!!   I should have the first copy in my hand in about 2 weeks…  Its been a lonnnng time coming, and I hope you’ll love it…

That being said, we are now in the planning stages of the big book release party…  It will probably be in mid-August, and we are debating WHERE to have it…   The two top places right now we’re considering is Rory Dolans on McLean Avenue in Yonkers, and Maxwells in Hoboken…    If you have an opinion of either of those places, or have another alternative , pleas leave them in the comments…

Also big news is that the Lantern-Media.com website is being overhauled right now…  Which if you were there recently you got some lame message that sent you to this blog… Sorry about that – but it will be worth it in the long run…

Our designers are working round the clock now, and the new site should be up in the next couple of weeks…  Or less (crossing fingers) (more…)

Laying out the damn PennySaver

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

So I’m reading this book “Looking for Calvin & Hobbes” by Nevin Martell – which is a biography on the publicity-shy cartoonist Bill Watterson who wrote and drew the greatest comic strip of all time  (Umm Calvin & Hobbes)…

The introduction which is really good is about how the author tracked down, and eventually got an interview with the elusive Watterson…   Since the intro tho (I’m currently 85 pages in), the book has been pretty boring and dry.  And while Martell describes individual C&H strips which I remember, he doesn’t actually SHOW them…  I guess he couldn’t get the rights…

Either way, I’m intrigued to see what happens when he meets the cartoonist, so I’m reading on…   But this isn’t a book review blog, so I’m gonna stop there and be egotistical and show how this book involves “me”…

I was reading the part of the book where Bill Watterson quit his job doing layout for the local PennySaver magazine to take his shot at newspaper comic strip stardom…  The newspaper job wasn’t paying much, and the risks were huge, but the rewards were limitless..  In the book, one of Watterson’s contemporaries said that  “(Bill) wanted to give everything he had to Calvin and Hobbes. If it didn’t work out, it didn’t work out, but it wasn’t going to be because he had to spend eight hours a day laying out the damn Pennysaver.” (more…)