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Tuesday, June 07, 2011
92Y Culture Klatsch: Q&A With Tommy James

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Tommy James and his original band “the Tornadoes” in Niles, Michigan / via Facebook

You might remember Tommy James from a little band called Tommy James and The Shondells.  James has 23 gold singles, 9 platinum albums and over 100 million records sold worldwide. “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” “Mony Mony” and “Crimson and Clover” are some of our favorites, and when we first discovered ”Crimson and Clover” as a tween, we listened to it over and over again (pun intended).

On June 28, James will sit down with Valerie Smaldone at 92nd Street Y for discussion about his life and career as documented in his autobiography, Me, the Mob, and the Music. Released in 2010, the autobiography covers his relationship with Morris Levy, head of Roulette Records and front for the Genovese crime family; the pressure to make hit records; and his battle with prescription drugs, alcohol and recovery.

Here are Tommy James answers to the 92Y Culture Klatsch Q&A:

Where do you go for news when you start your day?

One, I turn on the TV, (ABC-TV) for local news and weather. Then I go to Drudge, then go to my own website to read the posts and respond to the fans.

What are your favorite websites?

My favorite websites are science sites such as Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive from NASA.

How much do you use Twitter and Facebook (or other social networking services)?

I do not use Twitter. I have a Facebook fan page and I go on that page to interact with the fans.

What book are you currently reading (or the last one you read)? Print or digital?

I don’t have much time for reading books, however, my wife and I do read parts of the bible every day.

What magazines do you subscribe to?

No magazine subscriptions.

What are your current (or all time) favorite television shows?
My current and all-time favorite TV shows are “Criminal Minds,” “Jeopardy” and Seinfeld re-runs. I love TV land to watch the old westerns and I love The History Channel.

What was the last movie you saw?

The last movie I saw was “2012.”

What’s the last performance (dance/opera/theater) you attended?

I recently went to see Baby It’s You, Rock of Ages and The Jersey Boys on Broadway.

What radio shows or podcasts do you listen to?

The Dennis Miller Show.

What’s your favorite piece of art on display in your home?
I have a lovely European oil painting of a church in Italy, so peaceful and the colors are soft and beautiful; artist unknown. I also have a collection of oil paintings done by Paul Colby (the owner of The Bitter End club in New York City.

Where do you go / what do you do to “disconnect”?

To relax or disconnect, I go to my music room and play guitar, I have a collection.

p.s. I am a Yankee fanatic, so I do not miss a game on TV.

Tommy James will sit down with Valerie Smaldone at 92nd Street Y On June 28.

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