Archive | November, 2010

Joe Namath, Tom Jones and me …

In early 1970, the new advertising agency, Jack Byrne Advertising, moved from its temporary quarters at the Shelton Towers Hotel to 770 Lexington Avenue, between East 60th and East 61st Streets.  One of the benefits of this move was that JBA was now located but one block from Bachelor’s III which had been my favorite haunt from the [...]

The First Muggee….

This is the story of interrupting a 40-year record of  non-molestation on one of the U.S. Army’s finest camps. Plus a few highlights of life in Army Intelligence. Fort Meade Md (See last segment of post ”I GET A KICK OUT OF HUGH … AND YOU … AND YOU (in Snort Stories))

My son, the producer…

This is the story of my older son – a courageous entrepreneur who moved to an Island paradise and created and published every golfer’s dream magazine, the Maui Golf Review, created his own golf TV series, Da Game, and has embarked on a four-month solo bike tour of Southeast Asia and has lived (so far) [...]

“Inproooo…In-corp-or-ated!”

This is the story of acquiring a major project from AT&T and The Bell System (pre-breakup) and the partnerships that were made and broken and the money that was made by all. Project launched AT&T machine-to-machine communications fore-running a hundreds-of-billion-dollar annual business. In 1962, after a decade of clearing my future path through the woods of six advertising [...]

An Unexpected Departure

This is a story of Army Intelligence on a lower  intelligence  level. It was late spring in 1950,  at the time of rising conflicts on the  Korean peninsula. Having, as an 18-year old, enlisted in the Marine Corps during WWII, I decided, if I was going to serve during some Korean action, it should be in [...]

The Art of Misdirection in Avoidance of Mugging …

This story starts with my father, James Patrick Byrne, who was rather skilled with his fists and even more skilled in his ways of not using them. Until he got Grace Burke’s acceptance of marriage, he was a young (19) professional boxer who had an early reputation for the flooring ability of his wind-up-and-throw punch called “The Mary [...]

Bunking The Bankers …

By the early 1990s, Russia and the Former Soviet Union (FSU) had earned a certain fame, summarized by a certain name for its particular blend of business and politics, it was known by its acquaintances as a mafiocracy. Now, those of us who were living in it, like in any society, hardly noticed the big image, we just dealt with our [...]

A Bunch of Clucks …

This is the story of how Jack Byrne Advertising failed to get the chicken farmer’s account even though ten-years later, at Regine’s,  Frank Perdue introduced Jack as “The genius who knew I should do my own commercials five minutes after he met me!” (Story to come)

The Cotton Wars …

This is the story of how the growers and commodity brokers went to war over foreign sales and fought it over the body of the head of Cotton Incorporporated, Dukes Wooters,  and how Jack enlisted the aid of “The Old Timer” to resolve the combat. (Story to come) 61 _The More Cotton The Better_

I’ll Take Manhattan Everytime…

Early in 1983, my partner, Jim Fischbach, and I had just about given up hope for the success of, or even the continuation of,  our new enterprise, CARMA (Casino and Restaurant Marketing Associates). Our big client for whom we were contracted to reposition, redesign and market five casino hotels in Las Vegas (including The Silverbird, the Silver Nugget and the [...]

“Too tied up to talk …”

How Jack called Tony Bennett’s agent in a huff and was told by his secretary that she was “too tied up to talk…” Jack was less offended the next morning when he found out the agent’s office had been  in the process of being robbed and she was truly tied up (to her chair) by the [...]

Trumped by the Trumps

How Jack and his partner son, John, created a brilliant campaign for Williams Island behalf of the owner who had called Jack a “Genius” for making him millions of dollars only to have the campaign rejected by the owner’s teen-aged daughter. (Story to come)

Ad Life’s a Beach!

This is the story of how Jack Byrne and Stan Kovics took their creative challange to Puerto Rico and created an entire 20-ads campaign for Barney’s while playing in the sand, in the casino and in bed,  and then won the CLIO for the best print advertising in America. (Story to come)

Cast of Thousands!

This is story of how Jack Byrne and Rocky Graziano cooked up a scheme to get a couple of thousand “actors” to work 12 hours for a Lee Myles Tee Shirt. (Story to Come with photos by Julius Spedale) m

Vanquishing Vegas!

The Jack Barnes School of Winning Blackjack has its own book full of stories (See “By Hooker by Crook”, “Qa-Qa-Qadafi!”,”Stossel vs Reasoner”) but its spinoffs have their own books as well. One of these is the story of CARMA. Soon after I started the School of Winning Blackjack, in October of 1980, I received a call from a Jim Fischbach, [...]

Bombs Away in Lithuania …

This will tell the story of how three of our four Vision Express stores in Lithuania were simultaneously bathed in grenades one Monday morning at 1am and how the Mafia group who did the deed eventually apologized and paid for damage repair. When the USSR folded back into its constituent states in 1991, I was already [...]

Rape Veronica ….

I was an American running a British joint venture in the former Soviet Union with offices in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Riga, Latvia. My partners in Riga were all of Russian descent whose parents  had arrived during Soviet occupation of that small and gentle country. After three years of our operation, I discovered that my partners had [...]

Hot as a pistol!!!

In the late 1960s, I was an ad man on Madison Avenue and commuting to Stamford, Connecticut. My hours were often quite late and my need for a drink (think drinks) quite strong. One night, returning home on a New Haven Railroad train leaving Grand Central Station at 11:05 PM, I found an improvised Bar [...]

Nothing but The Truth …

In Russia, there is a way of embellishing truth, through exaggeration or misdirection or reduction of facts, that is considered an art and a legitimate exercise in daily dialogue and debate. It is called “vranyo”. One is considered very out of line and even rude if one challenges the fabricator of this fabrication. IN 1992, [...]

Just Wear a Smile and a ………

In 1961, I was hired by a small but ferociously creative agency named Hockaday Associates, headed by Margaret Hockaday and employees who called themselves “Hockadaisies”. I was hired to help to bring a “Big Agency Image” and “Masculinity” to help solicit an enormous client for the Hockadaisies, bigger in gross annual income than the total [...]