2006_03_vinpriglg.jpg“What’s a man’s man?" Well, you got us. Fortunately, we chatted with Frank Vincent (Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino) and Steven Priggé, authors of the new book, A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man. The "how-to guide" covers everything from dating and cooking to cigars and Vegas.

Why write this book now? Is it because the world is overrun by metrosexuals and/or slovenly guys, or is it because of the return of The Sopranos?
Frank Vincent: I have wanted to write a book for a long time. So, this was something that was in the works for a while.

Steven Priggé: Sure The Sopranos hitting the airwaves at the same time as our book coming out doesn’t hurt. However, Frank has been playing man’s man roles on-screen since 1980 when Martin Scorsese cast him as Salvy in Raging Bull. Over 50 films later we thought it’s about time he revealed his on-screen and off-screen methods to manliness.

FV: I also think there are a lot of slovenly guys out there. Lately, when I walk down the street in New York City the women are dressed beautifully, but their boyfriend’s look like they slept in hampers. A man’s man washes and irons his clothes. He takes pride in his personal appearance. How are you going to act the part if you don’t look the part? Get with the program, fellas.

What is the difference between a man’s man and a metrosexual?
FV: A man’s man has some metrosexual characteristics. But, he also has all the traditional values that embody being a genuine man’s man – like honor, loyalty, humor, and respect. Today, many guys have forgotten those traditions. With this book we plan to bring that back.

SP: When you mix the man’s man traditional values with some of the hip and cutting edge metrosexual ideals you get a pretty cool well-rounded character.

FV: Also, a man’s man is not only tough, but he has a sensitive side too. Like we said in our book, “A man’s man is not just a fighter, he’s a lover too!”

What do you think is the most important part of being a man’s man?
FV: Hygiene?

SP: (Laughing) Yes. Anyone who has been in a New York City subway station in August would agree.

FV: Seriously, the most important part of being a man’s man is respect. You have to respect others as well as yourself. If you don’t have that, you have nothing.

What does a man’s man do when his girlfriend wants him to give an opinion on clothes she’s trying on?
FV: You tell her she looks beautiful no matter what she’s got on. If you don’t, you’ll be sleeping with the fishes.

SP: (Laughing) Exactly. A man’s man always thinks on his feet when a scenario like that arises.

What if a woman wants her boyfriend to get a mani-pedi or a back/chest waxing?
FV: If that’s what she wants, then that’s what her boyfriend should do. A man’s man wants to look clean and groomed at all times for his lady. Some guys say manicures are for wimps, but they’re definitely wrong. I know many tough guys who get weekly manicures.

SP: As far as back waxing, women don’t want to date Chewbacca from Star Wars they want Han Solo. So, take care of your fur coat.

You list man’s man songs to listen to while making love as well as songs you should never listen to while making love. Can you give an example of each?
FV: A song to play while making love is “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” (Stevie Wonder). Let her know she’s the “sunshine of your life,” and in the morning, you’ll be seeing the sunshine come up together.

SP: A song you should never play while making love is “Celebration” (Kool and the Gang). If you haven’t had sex since the Reagan administration, keep the celebration to yourself, sport.

In one of the chapters in your book, you list some man’s man restaurants in New York City. Which one’s do you recommend for a first date?
FV: Il Cortile in Little Italy is very nice. Not only is the food incredible, the atmosphere is beautiful. They have an enclosed garden room that’s very romantic.

SP: If you’re in the mood for French cuisine I definitely recommend Le Gigot in the West Village. The restaurant only seats twenty-eight people so it’s very intimate for a date.

Is being a man’s man timeless?
FV: Absolutely. Honor, loyalty and respect are forever timeless.

SP: I can guarantee you that in the year 2080 women will still want men to open the door for them. Manners and class will never go out of date.

Who are some examples of New York City men’s men?
FV: Donald Trump, Joe Torre, Mayor Bloomberg, and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

SP: Definitely. What Giuliani did during 9/11 was incredible.

FV: Let’s not forget the men’s men who have helped shape our city to what it is today. Entertainers like Frank Sinatra who sang one of the greatest Big Apple anthems of all-time “New York, New York!” Writers like Arthur Miller who was a proud New Yorker. Sports figures like Joe Namath whose nickname is “Broadway Joe.” The list goes on and on.

Is your character Phil Leotardo on The Sopranos a man’s man?
FV: He has honor and loyalty towards Johnny Sack and the New York family. He is also very strong and business minded. But, Leotardo whacks people so that takes him out of the running of being a man’s man.

Frank Vincent and Steven Priggé will be signing copies of A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man on April 6th at the inaugural CHARITY 4CHOSEN celebrity basketball game held at Basketball City in Manhattan.

Photo by Donato Mennella