Chapbook: The Consigliere of Cool.
DJ, Drummer, Music Producer, Actor; a sort of Beat Polymath, Ronnie Magri’s done it all! From scoring a Noel Coward Broadway play to scoring Neo-Burlesque shows in New Orleans, he’s founded and drummed in the legendary band, “The Throbs.” Once signed to Geffen Records, Ronnie slides as easily from metal to jazz like a Chameleon stepping onto a palm leaf. We’re proud to announce Ronnie bringing his hudu to the Antique Family. You may be able to watch him now during recent appearances on HBO’s “The Deuce” and soon in Martin Scorsese’s Netflix mafia epic “The Irishman.” It’s easier to come by, grab a drink, and have a sit down with “The Consigliere of Cool” on Thursday nights while he spins lounge beats directly out of our bakery. Here’s s a little Q&A to let you get to know a true renaissance man from across the river…
Where were you born and raised?
I was born at Wyckoff Heights Hospital in Brooklyn and lived in East New York, Brooklyn until I was around 7 years old. At which time my family moved to West Babylon, Long Island.
How did you get into music?
I didn’t have any older brothers or sisters, so first and foremost from my parents. Both of my parents grew up in NYC and both were always into music. They both grew up during an amazing time in American pop culture, the birth of Rock n Roll. I heard a lot of good music in my house growing up, and that’s what really started my love of music. I remember playing records or the radio being played at my house all the time. Jazz, Big Band, Pop, Rock n’ Roll, Opera, you name it. Also, during the 1960’s & 70s growing up in the NY/NJ area you had the best radio stations and DJ’s.
Who is your biggest artistic influence?
Music and drums will always be my first love, and the one artist that always does it for me is drummer Gene Krupa. One of my first musical, drumming idols and still is to this day.
What was it like taking direction from Martin Scorsese?
I worked 3 days on his upcoming movie The Irishman, but Scorsese was only directing on one of those days. I don’t care who you are, but being on set with Martin Scorsese is not something you can ever learn in any school. In the movie I play one of Sam Giancana’s associates. The most interesting thing I learned from the experience was that Marty doesn’t like the word mafia or gangsters. He prefers the term “associate.”
Tell Hoboken about your dad’s friendship with Frank Sinatra? How did they meet?
It was strictly business. My Dad was Frank & Barbara Sinatra’s personal driver in the 1980s. It started out as my Dad helping someone out and turned into a regular thing, up until my Dad retired. And as much as my father grew up with and admired Sinatra, he would never think of crossing that line and saying something stupid like “Hey Frank, can I get an autograph for my son”? My Dad kept it strictly business and I think Sinatra liked him for that, and that was probably why Frank kept my Dad around.
How did you meet Chef Paul Gerard? And what’s your favorite dish that he makes?
Music brought us together. I first met Chef Paul around 1989-90 though my good buddy Glenn, who at the time was in a band with Paul. It’s cool because we’re all three still good friends after all these years. So, I’ve been sampling Chef Paul’s cooking since I’ve know him, what, going on 30 years? While it’s impossible to name just one dish that would be my favorite, I’m going to lean towards his Italian cuisine: Beef Cheeks with Smoky Mutz, Lasagna Edge, Priest Stranglers Pasta. If he’s cooking up New Orleans cuisine, it’s the Jambalaya Balls. I’ll stop there… it’s all good!
Favorite movie? Favorite band? What in your opinion is the most complete album of all time?
Movies & Music! A lot has to do with my mood, so it’s hard to say Favorite, Best or Complete because there are so many of them that are great from all different genres & eras. I can be relaxed and chill with Bossa Nova from Antonio Carlos Jobim or Hot Jazz from Benny Goodman or getting down with the Godfather of Funk, James Brown. With movies… is it a Wings Of Desire night or Goodfellas night? Some nights you want to laugh, some nights you want to cry.
If you could go back in time to any day what day would it be and why?
I think every era of time has it’s good & it’s bad things about it. Take the 1920’s-1980s or go back even further, Victorian era. There’s great and horrible things in all those eras. It’s never going to be perfect, but I feel you need to live in the Now…the present. So, I’m happy right where I’m at in this day, age & time. These are the good old days!
Here’s a clip of Ronnie in the Badass Ol’ Days when he was poundin’ the skins for the classic New York hard rock band The Throbs.
Catch Ronnie on Thursday nights at Antique!
Written by Joseph Castelo.
Joseph Castelo, born in Brooklyn, bred in Jersey. His family has been in business in Hoboken for 60 years and Joe can still remember the smell of sawdust on the floor of The Clam Broth House. Joe is an entrepreneur and film maker. You can catch his latest film, “The Preppie Connection” on Netflix.