Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Joey Gallo Coming to the Yankees, Bob Dylan Wins Lawsuit Over Song About Gangster of Same Name

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Joey Gallo is in the air, his spirit and his bat.

The Yankees just bought Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers to be — fingers crossed — a superstar outfielder and hitter in the Bronx. He’s 27, and from Las Vegas.

But the real Joey Gallo was a terrifying gangster in the New York mob. He was brutally murdered at Umberto’s Clam House in Little Italy in 1972. His death came right around the time of “The Godfather” being released. The mob was very sexy and frightening then.

Bob Dylan must have been intrigued. He wrote a song called “Joey” with Jacques Levy, now deceased, released in 1975. “Desire” was a terrific album; Levy wrote a lot of the lyrics to many songs.

Dylan sang/Levy wrote:

One day they blew him down in a clam bar in New York

He could see it comin’ through the door as he lifted up his fork

He pushed the table over to protect his family

Then he staggered out into the streets of Little Italy

The other songs co-authored by Levy are really great, including “Hurricane,” “Isis,” “Mozambique,” “Oh Sister,” “Romance in Durango,” and “Black Diamond Bay,” which appeared on the “Desire” album, plus “Catfish,” “Money Blues” and “Rita Mae.”

When Dylan sold the rights to his catalog last year for $300 million, Levy’s widow sued him looking for money on their 10 collaborations including “Joey.” Today, she lost the lawsuit. Jacques Levy apparently agreed back in ’75 that he waived all rights, he was work for hire. He gets royalties, always has and still will. But he is not an owner of the song with Dylan.

You could say Levy’s estate went to bat and got rubbed out.

PS Maybe the new Joey Gallo can have the song “Joey” played when he comes up to bat at Yankee Stadium:

 

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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