A FEW FINAL WORDS FROM FRANK BELMONDO
Three hours before the debut of The Lost Trucker of Cedar Creek in Carnegie Hall, Frank wrote the following while on his laptop computer for use as the final chapter of his biography. Frank had completed reading the first draft of the first seventeen chapters that morning, and, as always, he had a few comments.
When I was first approached by Shawn Hugus to write the story of my life, I was in a state of confusion about where I was headed in my life and the decisions that I had made to put me where I was. I hadn’t yet planned my dance comeback and I was drifting. To be honest, I agreed to have the book written not only for financial reasons, but for also - more or less - as a form of therapy, to understand my place in this world. After reading the first draft of the book so far, I realize that I have lived a pretty screwed-up life. Fun, but screwed-up.
Despite that, I have to say that I’m happy with the results of the book, and I am grateful for all of the people who volunteered to be a part of the interview process. I especially want to thank Reza Belmondo, my birth mother. Someday I may get the nerve to go visit her at the penitentiary, but that’s an emotional wall that I really haven’t even begun to scale. Bear with me, Reza.
As for the writing, I’m okay with it, I guess. The only issue that I have with it is that it’s too short. Going onto the web with my laptop, I found several biographies that were much larger. To name a few:
John Adams, by David McCullough – 752 pages.
Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio, by Jeffrey Kluger, 384 pages.
Brad & Jen: the Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Golden Couple, by Joey Bartolomeo, Mara Reinstein, 216 pages.
Nails, by Lenny Dykstra, 215 pages.
Okay, I know that John Adams was the President of the United States (Second? Third? I’m never sure), and one of the founding fathers of our country, but, come on, he’s been dead for almost two hundred years! There’s not even one eyewitness alive to corroborate any of what he’s done. For all I know, all of the stuff in the book could’ve been fiction. And to have this book be over five times as long as my book, I’m sorry, I have to take issue.
Now, Jonas Salk, I can understand why somebody would write a biography about him. I mean, he cured polio, for crying out loud. But did he ever get into a fist fight with Jodie Foster? I never read anything that said that he did, so I’m going to say “no”. I think that both books should be about the same size.
The Brad and Jen book came out, like, a week after they broke up, and they were able to get 216 pages out of it, boom. That’s some investigative journalism, my friend. Forget Woodward and Bernstein, give Bartolomeo and Reinstein a Pulitzer. My writer had almost a year to put my book together, and it was about 90 pages less than this one, not counting the part that I wrote…come to think of it, he took two magazine interviews, too, and that’s like another 12 pages he didn’t write! What did my biographer do, anyway?
Now Nails was the only one of these books that I have read, and it was good. Lenny Dykstra was like the Mark Twain of baseball. A crude, vulgar Mark Twain, but you get the point. I know that he had a ghostwriter, but the book’s all Lenny. I think that if any athlete should be writing fiction, it should be Lenny Dykstra. He could be a Larry McMurtry type. The reason that I bring Nails up is that the book was basically about one year and it was also about 90 pages longer than my book, which covered my whole life. Maybe I should have had Lenny Dykstra write my book.
Wait, I’m working myself into a lather before the biggest night of my life. Time to calm down. There, much better. Actually, Shawn did a good job. I shouldn’t be so hard on him. My life had a lot of warts, and Shawn was firm but fair with all of them. I’m really appreciative. Maybe this night will be bigger things to come for me (and, perhaps, another book), or it could just be the last stand before I fall into obscurity. I don’t know. Either way, the whole thing’s been a good ride and I stand behind the work that I’ve done. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get my hamstrings stretched.