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By Mahnuel Muñoz

On March 13, 1988, the first concert of the Together Again Tour took place at the Californian Oakland Coliseum, which brought together Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis on tour for the first time in two decades. Previously the artists had shared the stage in sporadic performances, but this was a return in a big way.

The mutual aspiration of artists and public was to revive the trio’s glory days in Las Vegas during the Kennedy era. They were drunk with youthful enthusiasm; In the first phases of the idea they even thought about traveling by train, but the complex logistics that the event required made it necessary to contemplate more rational perspectives. The atmosphere was charged with powerful energy, the artists kept their charisma and a good part of their artistic qualities intact, and the audience was burning with desire to once again enjoy the talent and shamelessness of these old rustlers. It should be said, however, that Dean Martin was going through a bad personal moment caused by the dramatic death of his son Dean Paul in a plane accident in March 1987 and therefore he accepted the project with indifference, but perhaps in a desperate attempt to get out of the circle of his pain, he agreed to get on board.


Christmas 1987 brought the trio’s admirers the best gift: at a press conference at the Chasen restaurant in Beverly Hills, elegantly dressed in their tuxedos, they announced the tour before a large group of journalists who took their stories to all the media.

The reception was simply amazing. Tickets for each of the twenty-five concerts initially scheduled were sold out in the blink of an eye and the venues were, in many cases, quite large.
Rehearsals showed that Frank and Sammy were in top form, but Dean, used to giving intimate gigs in Las Vegas, was overwhelmed by the size of the stages and couldn’t give his best. No one was unaware of this circumstance and concern began to spread.

Despite everything, the night opened with an exciting atmosphere, a full house in the stalls and a powerful feeling of making history. Each artist performed a handful of his own songs and the peak was reached with the three vocalists united in a medley of classics. Everything was going well until Dean threw a lit cigarette butt into the audience as part of his comedy act, something that sparked the anger of Frank, who reproached him backstage at the end of the concert. From that moment the atmosphere became hopelessly strained. Dean Martin was not at the level of his colleagues. A few days later, during a series of three concerts at the Chicago Theater, Dean abandoned the project, officially due to a kidney infection, but it is plausible that Martin simply threw in the towel. Shortly after, Dean returned to his routine of spaced out concerts at his usual venues.


Should the show go on? At first Frank was reluctant to go ahead without Dean, considering it would be disrespectful to the audience he had paid to see the three of them. But with the tickets sold out on a tour that had just begun and in the eye of all the media, a Solomonically opposite solution was imposed. After considering different options, Eliot Weisman, Sinatra’s tour producer and manager, proposed Liza Minnelli, a perfect choice, given her artistic heritage and the brilliant career she had built over the last three decades. The tour was renamed “The Ultimate Event” and was a huge success for the rest of 1988 and part of 1989.

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