Joey / Desire / 1975
"...One day they blew him down in a clam bar in New York
He could see it comin' through the door as he lifted up his fork.
He pushed the table over to protect his family
Then he staggered out into the streets of Little Italy."
A news item on the Guardian.co.uk website on July 28, 2005
highlights a small piece of mobster history that touches on this song.
The referenced clam bar in Little Italy, where Joey Gallo of the Gambino
family was gunned down, is Umberto's Clam House, currently at 368 Broome
Street in lower Manhattan. The restaurant's original address was 129
Mulberry Street. The hit happened there on April 7, 1972, soon after
Umberto's was newly opened. Here, on someone's Geocities page, is a
picture of its original location....
Joey was nicknamed "Crazy Joey," and the Guardian referred to him as a
"flashy mobster." That would jibe with Dylan's lyric: "...[H]e dressed
like Jimmy Cagney and I swear he did look great."
According to the Guardian article, "the slaying made Umberto's a
must-see spot for tourists who scanned its woodwork and kitchen door for
leftover bullet holes."
...And while I'm at it, here is a piece on americanmafia.com
written about "Crazy" Joey, from a rather unfavorable POV. I'm guessing
that the author has his reasons for such a bias. The writing style and
overall tone is pretty telling.
From Benjamin Pike, July 2005