Brad Elterman

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My Breakfast With Frank Sinatra 1980

Frank Sinatra detested the press! He hated reporters and he rarely posed for a photo unless it was a charity. He was entitled to be testy. He was Frank Sinatra and a legend. Celebrities like Frank, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis do not exist today. It is not easy to find a real icon to photograph. I saw Frank around town at parties and restaurants only a couple of times, always surrounded by rather large bodyguards. I never had the guts to snap a photo. His bodyguards were the big guys and it was not worth messing with them to get a photo. I had heard a rumor there was a press conference for Frank at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I think I just showed up without an invite. Back then, if you had heard about an event and showed up, it was usually no problem. I arrived early, got a free breakfast of lovely little sausage links, croissants and freshly squeezed OJ. After my feast, I sat in the second row to get this totally amazing photograph. You know how many photographers were there? About six. Incredible. In today's hunger for online news and celebrity imagery, there would have been a feeding frenzy of media. At this press conference, I think there was only one TV crew from one of the local stations. Frank kept the press conference very brief. He left alone, except for the driver of a rather unflashy station wagon. After the press conference, I just kind of sat there rather stunned thinking, "Wow, I just photographed Frank Sinatra!"

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