Despite directing the film version of the Jersey Boys, Clint Eastwood admits he was never a fan of the Four Seasons music
By John Hiscock
Clint Eastwood has given himself what he calls “a sneaky Hitchcock moment” – a brief cameo appearance – in Jersey Boys, the film he has directed, based on the popular musical play about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
“It was suggested that I should be part of the big production number, Oh What a Night, dancing down the street during the end credits, but I said no because a man must know his limitations,” he said, talking in New York.
“So one of the actors suggested that he could be watching Rawhide during a scene and I thought about it and said, ‘Let’s see what the year would be. And yeah, you could have been watching Rawhide.’ So we put it in there.”
Eastwood, 84, who played Rowdy Yates in the TV Western series, which ran from 1959 to 1965, said: “That was one way of doing it without it being distracting.”
He admits he was not a fan of the Four Seasons or of the music of the Sixties and only went to see the play after being asked to direct the film based on it. “I was too much of a jazz freak to have been into their music and the rock era was not my favourite,” he said.
“I wasn’t a big fan of the music that came out of the Sixties but I think the Four Seasons did some great stuff. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You was probably the closest thing to a classic song that came out of the Fifties and Sixties.
“I was brought up during the Forties and Fifties music-wise, when you had the great singers – the men were Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine and the women were Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Peggy Lee. You were just used to great singers.”
He concedes that despite the music, he had “a good time” in the Sixties. “I was working in Rome and London and it was a nice time for me,” he said. “It was an interesting period culturally and there were a lot of changes going on. But I was a little slow so I didn’t catch on to those changes and when everybody else was experimenting with drugs, I was drinking beer. I was still liking Charlie Parker and Lester Young, but along the way I developed a love for country music which was gradually taking the place of old time pop music, where they told a story and you could actually understand the lyrics.”