No doubt Tony and the guys went to fly a flag over Lucky Luciano's grave in honor of his work policing the New York waterfront against Axis spies in World War II. They'll be back next week. Meanwhile, while chatting last week with Steve van Zandt, the former E Street Band guitarist who plays family consigliore Silvio, I asked who was the Frankie Valli nut on the show. Not only has The Sopranos featured a lot of 4 Seasons tunes over the years, but Valli himself was a regular on the show for a couple of seasons before winding up No. 1 with a bullet, literally.
The question seemed daft to van Zandt. "The 4 Seasons were an extraordinarily important part of growing up in New Jersey,'' he said, "particularly if you were Italian. Frankie Valli was the Frank Sinatra of our generation, the classy guy coming out of doo wop. And the records were so polished: Walk Like A Man, Rag Doll, those were beautifully produced. The 4 Seasons sort of reflect The Sopranos sensibility. And now the success of Jersey Boys has been a validation of that to the whole nation." To which I hastily agreed, because everybody on The Sopranos takes aesthetic judgments very seriously, as Christopher Moltisanti certainly learned a couple of weeks ago.