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
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
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.