THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist

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THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Friday, July 31, 2009

Big Daddy Carlos...Who is this guy?

Not to be confused with another famous "Big Daddy," Carlos Marcello, king of the Louisiana underworld and beyond, Carlos "Big Daddy" Adley [pictured at right] takes the word entrepeneur and launches it to a whole new dimension. Here's what Carly Milne of Metromix had to say about this bigger-than-life personality:

And why shouldn’t he be happy? Carlos' life path has seen more twists and turns than Mulholland Drive, and these days he has a lot to be excited about. Starting as a bouncer for David Lee Roth’s infamous after-hours club, the Zero, while in his late teens, Carlos segued into becoming one of L.A’s most successful nightlife promoters—not to mention a highly sought-after DJ. [...including Johnny Depp's Viper Room.] But after spending so many years helping launch other people’s nightclubs into the stratosphere, Carlos married nightclub owner and restaurateur Ava Berman, and they launched Velvet Margarita along the Cahuenga Corridor in 2004. Since then, the Velvet has been wildly successful, earning praise from Newsweek and Los Angeles magazine and netting kudos from Gov. Schwarzenegger and Mayor Villaraigosa. And, of course, it's a hangout for A-list clients such as Vince Vaughn.

But that's only a fraction of Big Daddy Carlos' story. Online resource,Wikipedia states:

Big Daddy recently celebrated La Velvet Margarita's four-year anniversary, earning accolades from the NHR's "Who's Who in Restaurants, Newsweek magazine's "#1 Zagat Rated restaurant in Los Angeles, Los Angeles magazine's "Top L.A. Hot Spots, KABC-TV "Top Seven in California, [among many other awards]...In early 2008, Carlos teamed up with casino owner Terry Caudill (4 Queens & Binions) to master-lease and remodel the historical landmark Binions Hotel & Casino as part of the new-wave of downtown Las Vegas gentrification. La Velvet Margarita will soon open locations in Las Vegas, Macau, China and is planning to launch the Velvet Tequila line in 2010.

So why am I going on about this guy? On the surface, he may sound like a million other ego-driven hustlers scrambling to make a buck. The big difference? Carly Milne's interview with Big Daddy Carlos makes it all crystal clear:

CM: For someone who doesn’t know who you are, what makes you so interesting?

BD: I’m a person who could be clinically diagnosed with a larger-than-life personality. And if it’s a crime to love yourself, then guilty as charged! It’s not so much an ego thing, but people either get me or they don’t.

CM: What do the people who get you, get?

BD: They get the love! If you love yourself, you project that on everyone else. The love starts from within, and that spills out into every aspect of my life—artistically, business-wise…I do what I love, and I love what I do.

CM: Your business is suddenly larger than life too, no?

BD: I have two Vegas Velvet Margarita locations, a Velvet Margarita in Macau, we’re launching Velvet Tequila in ’09, my screenplay will go into preproduction in the next couple months, and then I have two other ventures with nightclubs. But the big thing is a casino deal—something that’s never been done before—that’s in the works and will be finalized in the next few months.

CM: Do you sleep?

BD: You know, I do, but I have no set schedule. My motto is, “I doze, but I never close.”

CM: What’s the best thing about Velvet Margarita in L.A?

BD: Seeing five generations of family love, concepts and recipes being translated and brought to the masses. We just celebrated our four-year anniversary and have been called a landmark.

CM: How did Velvet Margarita come to fruition?

BD: When I married my wife—we’ve been together 10 years—we wanted something with cachet. Nightclubs were great, but they have a short life, especially in L.A. We wanted to take something to the next level with a restaurant and ultra-lounge that brought restaurant culture to L.A. Before that, you either went to a nightclub or a restaurant. We wanted to bridge the gap. Our concept was, come for the cuisine and stay for the scene.

CM: What makes Velvet Margarita more than a trendy spot along Cahuenga?

BD: I grew up poor, and I’m very fortunate that people helped me along the way. I don’t mean to get on a spiritual note, but it’s so about that—especially in a superficial town like L.A. I grew up on the streets of Hollywood—I know it better than anyone. This is a churn-and-burn town where people want to hit and run, and then they’re on to the next thing. We wanted to create something that will be around for the next 30 years.

CM: What kind of tips do you have for people who want to get ahead in your line of business?

BD: My credo is that the universe gives to givers and takes from the takers. So if you’re passionate, proactive and stay true to your desires, they will materialize.


Big Daddy Carlos--A big guy with a bigger heart. Maybe that's the secret to success. Check this link:

Look for another upcoming Las Vegas promotion from Big Daddy Carlos, namely a different kind of Las Vegas Mob Tour.
Yours truly,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Coming Soon...

...interview with Sonny Girard, a former mobster who wrote his first novel, Blood of Our Fathers, while serving time in prison for racketeering. A recognized expert on organized crime, he has appeared on major national television shows, including The O’Reilly Factor and Geraldo. Sonny divides his time between Los Angeles and Boca Raton.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Irishman: The Movie

Just finished editing Rick Porrello's original book, To Kill the Irishman: The War that Crippled the Mafia. Why did the book need editing? Well, the movie The Irishman, based on Rick's book, is wrapping up production as I write this. Simon & Schuster just made a deal with Rick to re-release the book with the new title The Irishman. [pictured l. to r.: Author and executive producer Rick Porrello, Ray Stevenson as the Irishman, and Peter Miller Rick's manager and also executive producer.]

The lead role of Danny Green (the Irishman), is portrayed by one of my favorite actors Ray Stevenson. If you haven't already caught this amazing Irish actor on the screen, believe me, you're missing something extraordinary.

Folks in the know say Stevenson is on the brink of stardom. Among his numerous film/TV credits, the role that put Stevenson on the radar is probably that of Titus Pullo in the highly acclaimed British mini-series Rome and more recently in the title role in Punisher: War Zone. Stevenson stars in The Book of Eli with Denzel Washington slated for release next January 2010. Read more about Ray Stevenson, including stills from the Irishman, at

By the way, check out how closely Stevenson resembles the real Danny Greene pictured above right. Danny Greene was a tough Irish thug working to oust Cleveland mobsters during the 1970's. The Clevend mob seems to have had a penchant for blowing people up who got in their way. [Still photo at right of car bombing from the movie The Irishman.] Eventually, they blew up Greene's car with him in it.

Check out this site for more news about Code Entertainment's movie, The Irishman:
Only wish I could have been on set during the film shoot. Rick says it was impossible to describe. But eveyone rolled out the red carpet for Rick and Peter.

Be sure to check back here for The Irishman's release date. In the meantime, snag yourself a copy of the book. The book's photos from Rick's personal archives alone are worth the cover price. You can purchase the book on Rick's Web site: or at Amazon.

Yours truly...