Confessions of a Hollywood Hair Stylist is must-read
(Editor’s Note: Joe Pacheco reviewed the book Confessions of a Hollywood
Hair Stylist” by Little Joe Micale. Pacheco’s column Poetic License runs
weekly in the Sanibel Captiva Islander)
I confess. Once I picked up “Confessions of a Hollywood Hair Stylist” by
Little Joe Micale, I could not put it down.
No, the book does not reveal Supermarket Tabloid sordid secrets and scandals
that only a hairdresser could know for sure. Just the opposite. This
memorable collection of newspaper columns and memoirs by Little Joe Micale,
hairstylist to the Hollywood stars and Beverly Hills community, bypasses the
glamour and glitz of the rich and famous to concentrate on their everyday
humanity: Frank Sinatra buying up Ritchie the Newsboy’s batch of newspapers
for $50 dollars; Red Skelton paying the college tuition of his TV crew’s
Little Joe has the uncanny ability to bring to life the off-screen world of
the less rich and famous — character actors, producers, directors, movie
technicians, writers, agents, musicians — many of them patrons and friends
of Micale. Little Joe’s father, Paul Micale, was a barber and character
actor (Father Carmine in “Rocky II”) who moved the family from Cleveland to
Hollywood in 1959 when Joey was in his teens. In addition to his genius for
haircutting, Little Joe discovered his talent for writing in the fourth
grade and, prior to his columns, wrote material for Hollywood Squares and
other TV shows. But his greatest talent is for forming lifelong friendships
and relationships and recounting memories of those relationships in lively
and unforgettable cameos.
After reading his published and unpublished columns, the reader cannot help
but wish for more. Having lost his regular column to print media downsizing,
Little Joe includes a Stardust Section, a 90-page list of 300 stars and
celebrities slated for future immortalization as subjects of Micale columns.
The scope and sweep of Little Joe’s panorama of celebrity acquaintances and
knowledge left me breathless and gasping for more.
I confess. I may be guilty of a conflict of interest. Little Joe is my
hairstylist. And yes, it thrills me to know that my mustache is being
trimmed and shaped by the very same hands that created Sergio Mendez’ beard
and cut Cesar Romero’s hair. But even if you are not, as I am, a junkie for
Hollywood movies of the last century, “Confessions of a Hollywood
Hairstylist” will transport you to the real magic of yesterday’s Hollywood.
(Confessions of a Hollywood Hair Stylist is on sale at all Island
Bookshops. Author Little Joe Micale will be available for book signing on
Saturday, May 29, 11 a.m. at The Sanibel Island Bookshop, 1571 Periwinkle