Six years ago, Tommy James released his memoir Me, the Mob and the Music, a no-holds-barred story of James' career in music and his dealing with organized crime.
James recorded for Roulette Records which he alleges was a front for the Genovese crime family. According to Tommy, Roulette owed the band between $30 and $40 million in royalties but, in return, they were given complete artistic freedom. Unfortunately, James had to get out of the New York area in the early 70's to avoid being part of a mob war that erupted, sending him to Nashville to record. The story of his dealing with those in the music business and the mob are the basis for his book.
After its publication, plans were put in place for both a Broadway show and a film. While nothing has come of the show, the movie is moving forward with producer Barbara DeFina (The Color of Money, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Casino) and a script written by Matthew Stone (Intolerable Cruelty, Life, Soul Men).
On Monday, James updated fans, telling them that the first draft of the screenplay is complete:
Matt Stone's draft of the screenplay for my autobiography Me, The Mob & The Music is done! The next step is to read through it with the film's executive producer Barbara DeFina. I'm very excited that we're making such good progress.There is no word on casting or a proposed release date at this time.
Among James many hits with the Shondells were such classics as I Think We're Alone Now, Hanky Panky, Mony Mony, Crimson in Clover and Sweet Cherry Wine. As a solo artist, he also had a hit with Draggin' the Line.