JFS 174 Together Again with Pat Martino



On Joe Pesci

By Pat Martino

"Due to the brain operations that I had I had forgotten all about him. I’ve known Joe since I was seventeen years old. He was 19 at the time and I was playing at an establishment in Harlem called “Small’s Paradise.” Joe was a guitar player and vocalist working with a local group out near Mahwah, NJ where Les Paul – god rest his soul- used to live. He worked on Rt. 46 at one of the nightclubs there, one of the bars and he was singing in front of a group. After his show was over he and his band would come over to Small’s where I was playing with Willis Jackson at the time.


I had forgotten all about that because of the surgeries and then sometime around 2001/2002 I was playing at the Blue Note. I came up from one of the sets and I was soaking wet in terms of perspiration.  I headed back into the dressing room and into the bathroom and put some cold water on my face to refresh myself. When I opened the door to come back into the dressing room there was standing Joe Pesci and his manager Tommy DiVito. I said, “Gosh Joe Pesci, man this is really far out! I hope you enjoyed the show.” He said, “You don’t really remember me do you? I said, “Sure I do” and I started to project some of the names of the films that he was so prolific in.


He said, “No, no you don’t remember me at all.” He said, “I’m going to tell you something that might help you remember me. I remember what you used to drink. You used to drink a mint julep.” When he said that, I immediately had an explosion in the back of my mind and I had this picture at Small’s Paradise standing with Joe Pesci and having a mint julep. It just ignited that recollection.




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