CAMPAIGN DIARY: Making friends in NY - not so much of a ball’s up as a ball’s down ..

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 05 December 1997 12:00AM

After six years as a creative director, what better way to unwind than to ensconce yourself in your favourite bar and have the owner tell you his life story. That’s exactly what Steve Harrison, late of O&M Direct, did recently. But this bar isn’t exactly his local; it’s on Mulberry Street in New York’s Little Italy.

After six years as a creative director, what better way to unwind

than to ensconce yourself in your favourite bar and have the owner tell

you his life story. That’s exactly what Steve Harrison, late of O&M

Direct, did recently. But this bar isn’t exactly his local; it’s on

Mulberry Street in New York’s Little Italy.



Any film buffs among you may recognise the place from Nine and a Half

Weeks, Godfather III, State of Grace, Donnie Brasco and other

classics.



According to Harrison: ’Tony, the owner, talked about people making

movies in his bar, getting to know Frank Sinatra and growing up and

surviving in New York’s most notorious neighbourhood. He’s a fascinating

man.’



When Harrison got back to London, he mentioned his encounter to Helen

Hadfield and Vernon Howe of And Howe Productions, who knew it would make

a great documentary. The trio flew to New York to finalise details - the

most important being to get Tony on film. ’People are ’deaf and blind’

in this neighbourhood,’ Harrison explains.



They can also be painfully camera shy. Callum MacGregor, an associate

creative director at Ogilvy & Mather New York, was photographing the bar

when a guy whispered: ’Keep taking shots and I’ll cut off your balls and

stuff ’em down your throat.’



Scary stuff indeed. Then again, after years at O&M, Harrison probably

has the experience he needs to handle such charmers.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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