I admit I initially wondered why Milwaukee’s Kipp Friedman had written a memoir. But that’s before I really knew the slightest thing about him.
Thankfully, "Barracuda In the Attic: A Memoir by the Latest Member of a Comedic Dynasty," published in hardcover by Fantagraphics Books, makes it all quite clear.
Friedman, you see, is the son of Bruce Jay Friedman – a novelist, actor, screenwriter and playwright whose many credits include "Stir Crazy," "You’ve Got Mail," "Doctor Detroit," "Splash" and this year’s "Brazzaville Teen-Ager," which he co-wrote with Michael Cera.
As the scion of a successful, respected writer, Friedman – like me a New York ex-pat making a life in Brew City – lived the kind of life in the Big Apple that wasn’t really as open to the son of a cop, even if he did fingerprint David Berkowitz.
Friedman, at age 12, shot pool with with Crazy Joe Gallo at Jerry Orbach’s Greenwich Village brownstone just weeks before Gallo’s bloody demise at Umberto’s Clam House, an eatery from which my grandmother got – presumably by slipping it unseen into her purse – a ceramic ashtray that I prize.
Friedman dined at Elaine’s with his father. He knows that it’s worth pointing out that he recalls dining at table No. 4. But the real point is that he remembers the night that DeNiro, Pacino and Giannini strolled in. It was the same night Woody Allen dined with friends at the table adjacent to the Friedmans’. I can remember eating at a diner on the corner of 11th Street and 2nd Avenue a few times.
Above all and most importantly, Friedman’s dad took him to Game 3 of the 1969 World Series, at Shea ... ON A SCHOOL DAY!
Kipp Friedman is my hero.
He will appear at Boswell Book Co., 2559 N. Downer Ave., on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. to talk about and sign copies of "Barracuda In the Attic."
For the record, on Oct. 14, 1969, the Mets whooped the O’s, 5-0, to break the series tie. Gary Gentry allowed just three hits in notching the win and a young hurler named Nolan Ryan recorded the save.
Though the Mets made it to the series when I was a kid, in 1973, I didn't go. And they didn't win. And Ryan had already been dealt for Jim Fregosi.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.