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All of us at Best Ever You are so proud and honored that Frank Stallone graced our 4th quarter magazine cover.  Randi Siegel wrote the feature article, which is below.

Click Here To View This Article In PDF 

By Randi Siegel
Celebrities are an interesting breed. They are created by society to be our trend setters, food gurus, life coaches, exercise and political leaders, and they're providers of some of the best water cooler, viral content and social media gossip ever. But what is it about celebrities? Why is George Clooney's girlfriend's dress a news headline? Why are there hours and hours of the Kardashians on my TV? Why does Miley getting caught smoking salvia cause it to sell out at smoke shops?  

      Celebrity behavior is emulated, criticized, scrutinized and glorified and we, as fans, eat it up. In every group of friends there's usually that one person who talks about a celebrity as if they're best friends with them: "Justin and Selena are really trying to make it work" or "Brad and Angie totally want to have more kids" and "Rihanna is really trying to forgive Chris. He's not a bad guy." Sound familiar? If your group of friends doesn't have one of those people... then you're it.  

      I'm a talent manager and producer. The more that people talk about my clients and projects, the better, because Hollywood lives on hype. To outsiders, it's glamour and glitz and perfectly coiffed people with perfect bodies, tans and teeth. But to insiders, it can be a very dark, fierce, imperfect, ugly world that will break the weak minded and crush the strong willed. Showbiz becomes a world of Rocky Balboas and Apollo Creeds "The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward." (Rocky in Rocky Balboa 2006)  

      Every time a celebrity steps out the door, they're exposing themselves to take a hit. Whether it's about their last film or TV role, their hair, their weight, their clothes, their name it and it's become fair game. Imagine your own life for a moment: does your mother always pick on you and criticize you? You're not as good as your siblings? Did your wife call you lazy...again? Did you put on a pair of pants that were a little too tight today? Think about the criticism and negativity that you face on any given day from your immediate circle. Now, think about if you heard it from total strangers....if you read it on the internet, and heard it on the news and gossip shows. How hard would you be able to be hit and keep moving forward? How many false impressions of who you are and what you do would you be able to put up with before you just ran, hid, and gave up?  

      In Hollywood, the perception of reality is far more important than reality, itself. But on the receiving end of gossip sites and blogs are real people with real feelings and real challenges. Overcoming misconceptions isn't easy, especially when it's publicly followed you around for most of your life. Frank Stallone knows that all too well.  

      When I first met him I didn't know I was talking to "Frank Stallone" as he only introduced himself as Frank and I didn't recognize him immediately. The conversation eventually came around to him being an actor, singer and musician....that he had a "few" hit songs...that happen to be from "Staying Alive"...and from "Rocky"...and "Rambo"....and he was "Eddie" in BAR FLY...and then it all came together that this was Frank Stallone. Of course I knew OF him...certainly from his music and some key film roles, and surely as Sly's brother. What surprised me, as it does most people, is how much of his work I didn't realize I knew, and how funny and smart he is. What also surprised and inspired me were his stories about the many career highs and lows; how challenging it is to be related to one of the biggest action stars in the world; how friends, women and industry execs betrayed or used him over the years; how the press beat him up. And yet, he never gave up on himself.  

      The more I learned about Frank's talents, the more perplexed I was that he hadn't broken through in his own right. He's a terrific actor, a writer and a Grammy and Golden Globe nominated singer songwriter. He can do drama and comedy for both film and TV, he looks great, is wicked on guitar and has the ability to get on stage and perform a 90 minute show that brings people to their feet. He's writing a book, more music, and he's a public speaker. Surprisingly, no one has ever given him a chance to have all of that fully realized.  

      We decided to work together and I give him a lot or credit for being willing to take this leap, 40 years into his career. When I asked him, "What has bothered you the most about being in the Hollywood spotlight?" He said "That people just judge me for my brother and have never really taken the time to get to know me." The following Q&A is from a long conversation that I recently had with Frank. Some of it is straight Q&A, some of it is humorously how our conversations go sometimes. All of it is pure Frank...  

If there was a snow globe with a tiny Frank Stallone world inside, what would we see?
Horses, dogs, music, an old fireplace, happy people.  

I can't help but notice you didn't mention anything about family.
True. I think that's because I didn't have an ideal childhood. I come from a broken home and we moved a few times when I was young.  

How old were you when you first started to play music and what inspires you to write?
Well, music chose me. I was born to play and sing and I had my first guitar when I was 8. Music is my life and my inspiration comes from stories and life experiences that I take into my subconscious. I don't write songs about people in particular. I'm not a teenager writing and singing about a girl with a tattoo. Which I hate, by the way.  

You hate teenagers who sing about girls?
No, I hate tattoos on girls. It's unnecessary to ruin their bodies.  

You wouldn't go out with a girl who has a tattoo?
Well, I didn't say that. I might just ask her to cover it up.  

So you're a problem solver... If you weren't a musician, what would you be?
I really have no idea. Maybe I'd be working with animals because l love them so much, but I can't stand to see animals suffer. It breaks my heart. If they could invent a dog that never dies, I'd have one.  

You tried boxing at one point. Something like 30 fights?
Yes, but not as a career. I got into it and I got my face busted up a few times. But I gave as good as I got.  

I'm sure you did... Do you think that boxing has caused some memory loss? You always forget about audition times I give you.
No. That's just because I don't pay attention to you sometimes.  

Good to know... When you were kids, did Sly know he'd be an actor and you know that you'd be a musician?
I did. Sly was into girls and working out and I was an awkward kid with long hair and a guitar. Here's what a lot of people don't realize: I was playing music long before Sly was ever an actor. He was my roadie at one time. When Rocky started shooting, he needed a band that would work cheap to be in one of the scenes. My band, Valentine, was playing at some local clubs and we were the only singers Sly knew. We were making about $140 in total but the movie was going to pay us $140 each! So we did the movie and that was my first break with the song "Take You Back." Things started to happen for us and I thought my music career was about to take off. And then it all crashed.

You ended up with a deal that fell through?
Yes. I had a manager and we got a record deal and we cancelled all of our gigs, the local club threw us a huge going away party, we were headed to the airport to go to CA to make our record, and my manager called and said the deal fell through. That very same morning. It was so humiliating and completely heartbreaking and I never quite got over it. Years later I came out to LA to give the music scene a go.  

People don't realize that their favorite songs from the Staying Alive soundtrack are yours. Who do you credit most for having that happen? The Bee Gees for quitting, or your brother for playing your music for John Travolta [Sly was directing]?
It's one of those things where a confluence of events all fell into place. The Bee Gees quit the project. If they hadn't have quit, the opportunity wouldn't have been there. I asked Sly if I wrote some songs, would he at least ask John to listen to them. If Sly didn't orchestrate it for John to hear my music, I'd have never been able to get it to him on my own. And John loved it without knowing it was me at first because Sly played it blind. But in the end, I wrote and performed the songs and if my talent didn't hold up, I wouldn't have ended up on that soundtrack with one song, no less 9...and award nominations.  

So, having been able to prove your talent and riding on the success of "Staying Alive," especially the song "Far From Over," what happened?
Again, I didn't have the team to protect me and parlay it into something bigger and the window of opportunity passed and I was left with broken dreams again.  

How do you bounce back from that?
Not easily. And now I was under more scrutiny because Sly was having huge success and I was wondering how I could keep getting passed over and taken advantage of. Agents would sign me and then never call me again. It's like they just wanted to have the name "Stallone" on their list. And then there were those who might have faced a little resistance getting me in for projects so they just gave up. A lot of people have just given up on me over the years. But I've had to keep believing in my own talent.  

Having been through so much, what would you look back and tell your 15 year-old self?
I would tell myself to take music more seriously from an education standpoint. I was a terrible student and failed my music class. Ironic that I've made a career out of being a singer and musician, but I'd tell myself to go to school for music.  

I guess there's hope for me as your manager. I failed management in school.
You went to school for this, and failed?  

Um, No...Which brings me to something else – You're incredibly smart. I'd say an idiot savant when it comes to music, history, guitars, and the mafia. You're a major boxing historian. But when I try to talk to you about the internet and using Twitter and Facebook, you look like you want to punch me in the face.
No, when you try to talk to me about technology I want to stab my eyes out. I hate it. I don't get it, I and I hate computers. When we re-did my website, every time you wanted to talk to me about it I wanted to not talk about it. But I knew it had to get done and I'm glad we did it. Like you said, doing the same thing I've been doing for the last decade isn't going to help move things forward and I'm all about change, moving forward now and giving myself the best chance at opportunities that I can.  

A lot of men in Hollywood try to hide their age. You don't look 62, so why not say you're younger?
Well, I take care of myself, I stay in shape and I'd rather have people be impressed at how old I am as opposed to them thinking I look old for my age.  

How often do you go to the gym?
I try to go 5 days a week. I let myself down if I don't go. Plus, sometimes I let myself eat whatever I want and I need to work it off. Last night I had pizza and lasagna so I made sure to work out this morning. But you have to know what you're doing and work your body correctly...balance it out. You have to be symmetrical. You eventually have to drop trou in front of someone else. Besides, it's all about preparation meeting opportunity. If an endorsement deal came along, I can't be 15 pounds heavier than they thought I was. In life, you just have to be prepared.  

Have you always been diligent with working out and being in shape?
No. I was a smoker at one time and when I quit I gained weight and wasn't doing much. It's so important not to smoke. It kills you. But, anything is fixable. You CAN change your life. You have to eat right, keep your cholesterol down, and be active. People at the turn of the century weren't out of shape like our society is now. They had to hunt and fish in order to eat. They had to farm and walk everywhere. Totally different lifestyle.  

When your nephew, Sage, passed away, you retreated. You weren't going to the gym, you weren't really leaving your house, and you were in bed until 11am. How did you get motivated to get back on track? So many people struggle with this: you skip one day, then another, and then before you know it, it's 4 weeks later and you're 10 pounds heavier and you give up. Especially at your age, how do you not give up?
No one is untouchable from being depressed or sad and I really haven't dealt with his or my sister's death yet. But again, you CAN change your life. You have to tell yourself "I can change this." In Rocky III Apollo Creed says "You gotta get back." It's so true. You would tell me that I just needed to get up and leave the house. But people have to be patient because time goes by quickly and they don't realize how long it took them to get out of shape. Getting back takes time too. But it's never too late. It'll be too late when you have a stroke.  

What's the real reason you've never been married?
I guess I forgot to do it. But seriously, I like my money and my things. I've seen too many guys get destroyed by bad marriages and I came from a broken home and Sly has been divorced and it's not pretty. Sure, he's married to a wonderful woman now (Jennifer Flavin for 16 years) but I'd never want to go through what he went through to get there. I have a terrific 17 year old son but marrying his mother wasn't right for either of us.  

Marriage is one thing, but you don't even really have long term girlfriends. Why?
Cheating on someone is wrong and I won't commit to a relationship unless I'm really blown away. Well, we'd both have to be blown away. I'm really picky about who I'll let into my life that much, and dealing with my lifestyle takes a very strong, secure woman. It should be that way for everybody – why settle down with someone unless you know for sure it's who you need and want to be with.

Isn't that a polite way to say you just can't be faithful? Have you always been this way?
Well, no, it's a real way to say that I enjoy dating different women. And I'm always honest about that with the women I meet. I was an awkward kid and didn't lose my virginity until I was 22. I was too shy to approach girls but I think I'm making up for it now. Although I'm still pretty shy. I'm really not that guy who goes up to a woman to say hi and ask her out. When I go out, I like to hang with my boys and we can just be guys hanging out. If we meet some girls, so be it.  

What impresses you from a woman?
Transparency, kindness and wit. Plus I like broads who can take a dirty joke and not get offended.  

What bothers you about women...or broads, as you say? Which might offend some women, by the way.
When they go to bars with their girlfriends, all dressed the same, skirts way too short, and they sit there on their phones texting all night. I hate that. And if they sit near the stage and text during my show, I want to take their phones and jam them into their drinks.  

Are you a romantic, candles kind of guy?
I'm not George Hamilton.  

Hollywood is a land of smoke and mirrors. What's your smoke?
I don't have any. I am who I am. I'm kind of a loner, I like to play my guitar, bury myself in a good book, hang out at joints with my boys and I say what I want. I don't like to hide behind "Hollywood." I like to interact with people on Facebook and Twitter and I forget sometimes that I'm somewhat of a public figure. You're the one who's had to remind me of that on occasion. I think it's funny when you call me at 1am and say "Frank, you should really take that Tweet down." What are you doing up then anyway? Sometimes I post things just to see if you'll notice and get mad at me.  

You're so childish.  

If you could live the life of any character in a film, which would it be?
That's tough. Probably John Wayne, James Bond, or Rhet Butler.  

What is your perfect scenario in life now?
I have to play my music. Ideally, I'd love to do a TV show – something like Boardwalk Empire, because that's an awesome show. Do a movie or two a year and the rest of the time go on the road and do that tour with my band that we've talked about. Perfect. But you know what show I love? There's this show I just started watching called "Family Guy" on Fox.  

Is this seriously news to you? It's been on the air for almost 13 years. It's brilliant.
I can't believe what they get away with! It's so funny. I love how the dog talks and they can't hear the baby. That's really funny. I knew Seth McFarlane has a big band and he sings but I didn't know about Family Guy. I want to do the show with him.  

He does a lot of the voices on Family Guy but they do have guest stars sometimes.
No, I meant I want to do his live music show. We should do a Sinatra song together.  

I think this is why you've had no acting career for a while. [long pause] You're incredibly critical of yourself. Are you hard on yourself for your own set of standards, or because of what you think others think? Does Sly factor into this?
It's a little bit of both. I have a very strong work ethic and success isn't just handed to you. The minute I do something new, I'm pre-judged and pre-scrutinized, simply because of the circumstances, and I'm well aware of that. I care what others think to a certain extent because I want people to like my work. But what gets me mad is when people scrutinize me and they've never even seen my work. A club booker who says I'm not the right act for the room, and he's never seen me perform, is a bad booker. And it's insulting to me. Sly does factor into it because he's my older brother and I respect his opinions. Now, in the end I have to do what feels right for me. I gave up a lot of years of success and potentially millions of dollars because I listened to the wrong people and didn't trust myself. I can't let that happen again. I'm not really bitter and try not to hold grudges but when someone I trusted or was a good friend hurts me, I can't let it go that easily. If I know I'm dealing with a scumbag, I should expect to get screwed over and that's that.  

You recently had a brand new song in The Expendables 2 ["Don't Want to Fight With Me"] that's so different from your previous work. Were you nervous about what people would say, especially it being in Sly's film?
People are going to say what they want, but I was proud to get a song in that movie because I had to work for it. The misconception is that things just get handed to me if it involves Sly. But again, if it wasn't any good, it wouldn't make it in. I love the song...I wrote it with Tom Marolda and I played all the lead guitar. We're hoping for a Grammy nomination, which would be my second one, 30 years later.  

What's your unfinished in business in life?
My music. I have so much more in me. I can't re-do my family life and I have good friends and I live how I want but I'm 62 years old and this is my shot. I have to believe that with the right team this time and people who are willing to give me a chance to show what I can do, things will start to happen.  

Your dad lived to be 92, your mom is 91. There's a good chance you'll live to be 90 as well. Any idea what you'll be doing then?
Well, my Aunt was 99, so I definitely could live to be 90. I plan to still be playing my guitar, even if I'm in a wheelchair on stage. And you'll still be yelling at me for not knowing that Family Guy has been on the air for 45 years.  

So, you think I'll be managing you for the next 30 years?
There's no going back now.  

Is that also a Rocky quote?
No. Frank Stallone 2012.

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