A big sadness.
A big part of the reason I get to do the type of photography I do is because of the great actor and person, James Gandolfini.
James and I got along, and he took me to the Venice Film Festival awhile back when "Romance and Cigarettes" was in the festival. He paid for my room, and I shot the festival and behind-the-scenes of him and his goings-on.
I didn't care that he was famous, and he liked that. He was an interesting guy who was all about the work. He always had time for fans, unless he was with his family, and he didn't suffer fools, as many of us photogs in NYC know, but he did so much behind the scenes that no one here knows about.
Remember, James, when we went to that after-hours secret jazz club in Venice at 2:30AM when everything else was closed? How the hell did we find our way back to the hotel? Remember when I taught you how to use your new Nikon? Remember when you and I sat on the couch in your beach rental house in NJ and watched "Kings of New York" simply because you couldn't believe I hadn't seen it? You were a brilliant actor, clearly, but also super nice to hang with me.
I also remember when I was at your apartment one night and you had to go to some awards show, and when you started getting ready, Michael, your then-young son, asked if you could stay home and play drums with him. So you did. Fuck the awards show.
And in Venice, when that Marine came up to you and said you were great, but instead, you thanked him for his service. And paid for his boat ride.
Well, I'm really sad for your family and your wife, and Michael, and your daughter. RIP James.
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