When Donald Trump got under Frank Sinatra’s skin, Old Blue Eyes told him to go f— himself. Or at least he had his manager do it.
Eliot Weisman, whose book “The Way it Was,” managed Ol’ Blue Eyes from 1975 to 1998. In his book, which come out Oct. 24, he recounts the 1990 opening of Trump’s Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, where Sinatra had planned to perform.
According to Weisman, he had a deal in place with the new venue’s operator Mark Grossinger Etess, who died in a helicopter crash before they could cross the T’s and dot the I’s. That’s when The Donald got involved.
Weisman said that Paul Anka warned him at Etess’ funeral that he was about to learn the meaning of “The Art of the Deal,” which is the title of Trump’s how-to book in wheeling and dealing.
A look back at the life and career of Frank Sinatra
According to Weisman, Trump started off the new negotiations by saying that the cost for the 12 dates Sinatra was slated to perform was “a little rich.” The Donald also decided he didn’t need to book the other acts that were part of the original deal, including Sammy Davis Jr., who’d just been diagnosed with cancer, and Steve and Eydie.
“Who’s Steve and Eydie?” Trump asked, according to Weisman. Weisman says he then tried choking The Donald by his tie, but his son, who was also at the meeting, restrained him.
Weisman called Sinatra to tell him what had happened, and Sinatra told him he had two choices: to tell Trump to go f–k himself or give Trump’s phone number to Sinatra so that he could do it himself. Weisman returned to Trump’s office and told The Donald “Sinatra says go f–k yourself!”
The deal never happened and Sinatra ended up playing at the Sands in Las Vegas. Much to Weisman’s surprise, when Trump opened Mar-a-Lago, his office called him out of the blue because they needed an opening day act. He offered Don Rickles, along with Steve and Eydie. Trump accepted.
Trump poses in his Trump Tower office on a giant letter “T” in 1996.
(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)