As excerpted in Huffington Post.
M usicians, like house painters, writers, and actors, are often presumed drinkers. I like to blame as much as I possibly can on Frank Sinatra -- a tough enigma to crack. He embodied that near-impossible alchemy of even parts stone-cold talent, charisma, tenacity, and a soft heart with a jigger of total douche-baggery sprinkled in for complexity.
The Sinatra-led Rat Pack made being hammered onstage look like so much fun, like such a laugh riot. Look at Frank, Sammy, and Dean, all so loose, sexy, and cool -- highball in one hand, smoke in the other. Everybody wanted them. Nobody loved it very much when Shirley MacLaine filled in for the ailing Dean Martin. That swinging men’s club image was so seductive that even well into the 1980s, many of us subconsciously clung to that model. Who wouldn’t want to be fun and funny while smoking, drinking, and singing? What could be better? Nothing.
This adapted excerpt of "Ladies and Gentleman, The Fabulous Slur Girls" by Laurie Lindeen is from "Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up" edited by Leah Odze Epstein and Caren Osten Gerszberg. Available from Seal Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright 2012.