Review/Blog: Evening with the Ducky Boys at the Museum of the American Gangster

Back in November, I was asked to do a book reading for Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang at the Museum of the American Gangster in the Lower East Side section of New York City.

I was kinda hesitant to do it because I wouldn’t really call the Ducky Boy “gangsters” since they were like 13-16 years old at the time.  They were tough kids for sure, but there really wasn’t any connection to organized crime.  I expressed my concerns to Lorcan Otway, the awesome curator of the Museum, and he understood my concerns, but told me not to worry..  While his museum has an element of organized crime, its full mission is to show “American Gangs” not just the Mafia.  He also includes the Underground Railroad as an exhibit in his museum, so he is serious about that distinction.  Well, the Ducky Boys are an American gang, so I agreed to doing the reading at the Museum of the American Gangster, and we set the date for Thursday, December 16th, 2010 at 6pm.

I started worrying shortly afterward that doing a book reading on my book might be a little difficult.   If you don’t know already, it is in an “Oral History” format, so it reads almost like a movie script as the interviewees tell the story in their own words – sometimes alone but more often interacting with other interviewees.   Basically my problem was that I would have to read stories with multiple characters speaking.  And I’m not Rich Little – who can do great character impressions…

At one point, I came up with a great idea (to me anyway) – Being that I originally planned this to be a  documentary film  (see my books introduction for how that fell apart), I had the original interviews filmed and digitized on my computer…  So all I had to do was show the clips to the audience and I would kill two birds with one stone.  Not only would it be an interesting take on a book reading, but it would also mean that all the video I shot/digitized/edited wasn’t going to go to waste.   It was win-win all around.    I called Lorcan to see if that was ok with him (and technically feasible), and he thought it was a great idea too, so we were off to the races!

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Ducky Boys, Shmoozing, and the Irish-Mexican Alliance

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

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!

From a bad situation comes good… OLR Burglary Aftermath

I know I just posted a long-winded blog about the Brandon Flowers show, so you may be sick of me by now, but I just had to post this quick blog about something awesome that came out of something bad…

First, the bad…Last Sunday Night/Monday morning, my old Bronx Catholic Grammar school Our Lady of Refuge was broken into during a rash of burglaries against Catholic schools in the neighborhood.  Rather than interpret it, let me just share the words directly from the pastor and neighborhood guardian and personal hero of mine – Monsignor (but to me, he will always be Father) John Jenik.

From http://OurLadyOfRefuge.com

From The Pastor —-    November 29th, 2010

Today was not one of OLR’s best days. Burglars gained entrance to the school by breaking one of the south gym windows late Sunday night or in the early hours of Monday morning.

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Review/Blog: Brandon Flowers at the Stone Pony – Dec 1st, 2010

This is not really a “review” of the show, but more of a journal of the “James & Jackie Experience” of the Brandon Flowers show last night.

Well, it’s the beginning of the holiday season, and what better way to celebrate than with Brandon Flowers of the band The Killers right? What, you don’t celebrate Christmas season with the Killers in your house? But my beautiful wife Jackie tells me everyone does it! (FYI Jackie is celebrating her birthday today so feel free to wish her well in the comments – Happy Birthday sweetheart!)

I’m joking of course, but it was a way to tell you that every year on World AIDS day, The Killers put out a Christmas song and video where all the profits go to fighting AIDS… So yesterday (December 1st 2010), they released their newest Christmas song “Boots” at fine establishments everywhere. I picked my copy up on ITunes and it’s actually a pretty good song that I recommend you getting (or at least watching the equally good video) – The money goes to a good cause so it’s a win-win situation.

The “Boots” video link is at: http://www.starbucks.com/share/#/the-killers – Supposedly every viewing make STARBUCKS/RED contribute a nickel to the Global Fund to help fight AIDS in Africa.

The other thing is that my wife likes the Killers. I mean she REALLY likes them – almost bordering on obsession. as I mentioned in an old Blog , if Jackie had to choose between me and lead singer Brandon Flowers, I’d be worried.  Please see the August 2008 blog where Brandon Flowers checked out my wife’s boobs.

Mr. Flowers is doing a solo tour now, and he happened to come to the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ last night. You may know the Stone Pony from when the band I managed called The RiffSurfers played there a couple of summers back or probably more likely from a little known New Jersey-ite named Bruce Springsteen

The Stone Pony is a great venue to see big acts. Its relatively small and intimate, and usually when acts play there they hang out and take pictures and sign autographs. I’ve seen some great acts there such as the aforementioned RiffSurfers, my pal Larry Kirwan and Black 47, The Smithereens, and the New York Dolls to name a few.

So when my wife’s obsession Brandon Flowers came to Asbury Park, the day before her birthday, you know I was gonna be there… Plus it was a Wednesday night in the middle of the holiday season down the shore for a “little known” solo act of a band that’s popular in a certain population – so I figured if 20-30 people came out that would be a lot. And Jackie could meet the dude, get a picture and maybe an autograph.

Boy did I underestimate the selling power of Brandon Flowers! Last night we drove down to Asbury Park, and got an early whiff of my mistake in judgment when parking was a little difficult. Asbury Park in winter is a normally a pretty desolate place – but tonight we had to park a few blocks away..

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

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

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 4 – Irish American Writers and Artists

WIDOMV 2010 = What I Did On My Vacation 2010

Subtitled: Meeting Brian Dennehy and Being accepted into the Irish-American Writer community

Well, this installment of the What I Did On My Vacation series is one of the more awesome things that I have done… When I first got back from this event and shared the pictures on my Facebook account, one of my old neighborhood friends made the comment “I can’t believe a kid from Briggs Avenue was invited to an event like this

And guess what?   I can’t believe it either…

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WIDOMV 2010 – Part 3- Peeping Princess Leia

WIDOMV 2010 = What I Did On My Vacation 2010

Subtitled: Peeping Princess Leia traumatizes a civilian in distress

Ok, this installment will be a bit shorter than the rest.   This covers the first week of my vacation and after NY Comic Con, it was time to rest a bit, hit the beach in the fall (a GREAT time to hit the beach) an do a lot of behind-the-scenes promotional stuff for my  book

No time like the present for a shameless plug for the book…   I wrote a book called Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang – It is about the real-life exploits of the gang that was so terrifying in the 1979 movie “The Wanderers” – they also happened to roam the neighborhood I grew up in in the early 1960s.

You can find more out about the book at its Facebook Fan Page or you can pick up a copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  You can also pick up a signed copy directly from me at Lantern-Media.com

Ok, enough with the shameless plug, lets get onto the story you’ve been waiting to hear – How did sweet little Princess Leia traumatize some poor innocent soul at a charity event?

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WIDOMV 2010 – Part 2 – NY Comic Con with Johnny Rox

WIDOMV 2010 = What I Did On My Vacation 2010

Subtitled: Spandex babes and getting robbed by the Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno.

Like I said in Part 1 of this series of my blog entries, this was originally going to be one document, but it got really long, and nobody was going to read that much no matter how much they like the way I write LOL

This entry is not so much Ducky Boys gang related, but more about one of my hobbies.   If you don’t know already, I am a member of the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion groups which are Star Wars costuming groups.  Now before you write them off as a bunch of geeks and nerds, realize that these groups do a helluva lot of good.   During this particular series of blogs, you will see that I have gone to two charity events to entertain the crowds and help raise money for good causes like the Miracle Walk and Safe in Hunterdon woman’s shelter in NJ.  But you’ll see that in later version of this series of blogs.

Now that being said, this particular blog is purely about geek nirvana…  And getting robbed by Lou Ferrigno…

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

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

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

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

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?

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) Read the rest of this entry »