Like seemingly everyone else, those in the music world with ties to the landmark HBO series “The Sopranos” were shocked to hear about the death of James Gandolfini, who died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack at age 51 while vacationing in Italy.
Steven Van Zandt, “Little Steven”, guitarist for Bruce Springsteen’s E. Street Band, acted with Gandolfini in “The Sopranos”, playing level-headed but deadly mob consigliere and strip club owner Silvio Dante, issued a statement that read: “I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Deborah, Michael, Lily, and all of Jimmy’s family.”
Journey, whose 1981 hit “Don’t Stop Believin'” enjoyed a second life after it was featured in the final scene of “The Sopranos”, also issued a statement. It read: “It’s truly an honor to have been able to share one of the greatest moments ever in TV history with James Gandolfini. He was an amazing actor — taken way too young — and he’ll be missed. Our condolences go out to his family.”
I was lucky enough to have visited with the cast of “The Sopronos” on a couple of different occasions. First in 2000 for the premiere of the first 2 episodes of season 2 at the “Markt” restaurant in in Greenwich Village in lower Manhattan and again in 2001 for the premiere of season 3 at the Manhattan Hilton.
I also got to spend some time with a few cast members at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in 2004, when Bob Seger was inducted, at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. A few of the actors had a table right up front for the ceremony.