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Joey / Desire / 1975

Date: Sat, 8 Apr 1995 03:01:03 -0400
From: Mark Benedetti (mdb6@CORNELL.EDU)
Subject: Re: Joey?

Joey Gallo was a mafia dude who was shot by some other mafia dudes. Supposedly Jacques Levy (his coauthor of some of the Desire lyrics) told Bob that Joey was a nice guy and nice to kids and stuff, so Bob wrote a song about him. Apparently Joey shot some other mob guy so that guy's family killed him. In Tim Riley's brilliant Dylan commentary, "Hard Rain", (a definite must-read for Dylan fans) he discusses this song and says that Joey was actually a wife and child abuser as well as a racist. So, Bob must've not done much reading on the guy.

From: Peter Stone Brown (
Subject: Re: Joey
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 13:54:30 -0500

Joey Gallo was a NY (Brooklyn) Mobster who was a fairly interesting character. He was killed at Umberto's Clam house (which recently closed) while eating dinner with his family. He was known as Crazy Joe.

The rest of the mob didn't like him because he didn't follow rules and also because he included blacks in his gang. He was not a typical mobster--he had an awareness of things outside the mob such as philosophy art and literature and wasn't a bad painter either. Still, he was a vicious, crazy lunatic and not the hero Dylan paints him to be though he was worshipped by the people in his Brooklyn neighborhood.

For more info, find a copy of "Joey" by Donald Goddard available at one time from Dell Paperbacks.


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