Frank Stallone on What It’s Like to Hang Out with Donald Trump
The musician talks to LifeZette about his career, his passion for life — and the late-night host who is a 'disgrace'
Frank Stallone is “living the dream” at 67 years old. The man behind the Golden Globe-nominated song “Far from Over” is still putting his heart and soul into his music, performing live shows regularly and “plucking away” at instruments lying around his California home.
It must be something in the genes: Frank Stallone’s brother, Sylvester, is still starring in action movies at 71 years old, and their mother, at age 96, is still driving, working out, and learning social media platforms like Instagram.
“How many guys can sit back and say after 52 years, they’re out there, still playing and doing well?” Stallone told LifeZette in a telephone interview. “You’re still learning as you go along.”
Age has certainly not slowed down his passion. “I haven’t lost that desire,” he said about the creative process — and added with a laugh, “I just don’t like carrying my own equipment anymore.”
Some of Stallone’s biggest hits were tunes for his brother’s movies, such as “Far from Over” for 1983’s “Staying Alive” and “Peace in Our Lifetime” for 1985’s “Rambo: First Blood Part II,” among others. Asked whether the upcoming “Creed” sequel from his brother Sly could bring the world another Frank Stallone original, he responded, “I don’t know yet … It’s not like a shoo-in every time.”
He joked that he's had just as many songs turned down as he's had accepted for films. Still, the sibling relationship between Frank and Sylvester Stallone is one of the most famous in Hollywood. The two have worked together for decades, beginning with "Rocky" back in 1976.
"We kind of hit at the same time, but [he did] obviously in a bigger fashion," Stallone told LifeZette. "The only reason I'm in 'Rocky' is because the budget was so cheap and I was in a struggling group — and I was the only musician he [Sylvester] knew.”
The appearance led not only to success in the music industry, but a healthy acting career, too — one sporting over 70 credits, including "Barfly" with Mickey Rourke, "Hudson Hawk" with Bruce Willis, and "Tombstone" with Kurt Russell.
While music is still of great interest to Stallone, the acting bug hasn't bit him like it has his brother. He seems to have little interest recently in returning to the screen.
"No one's knocking my door down, and I don’t really care because I actually don't like the climate in Hollywood. The left-wing slurs at the president and everything — I just don’t like that attitude," he said.
It may come as a shock to find an entertainer willing to criticize the extreme leftist leanings of Hollywood, but Stallone is an open book when it comes to politics. He often calls out on social media celebrities he feels go too far in their attacks against President Trump, such as late-night host Stephen Colbert.
"He is a disgrace," Stallone said of Colbert. "Johnny Carson used to have fun. Jimmy Fallon has fun. This other stuff comes from a really nasty place, and that's all he’s got because I don’t think he's that funny. So basically all he's got is Trump."
Stallone has unique insight into the president, as he has met the man "numerous times." His exchanges and personal face-to-face time with Trump help him notice what he sees as misconceptions in the media and by the media about the president.
"He’s one of the guys," said Stallone. "He’s the kind of guy who sucks the air out of the room. When he leaves, he knows everyone's name. He's very charming. He's a really good guy."
He added about Trump, "He’s funny in his own way. He's just a unique character."
"He's very charming. He's a really good guy."
The entertainer said if he had treated former President Obama the way people like comedians Colbert or Kathy Griffin have treated Trump, "I'd be run out of town. If I did what Kathy Griffin did, my career would be finished."
He added that the president is a man who "marches to his own drum" and one who is "not going to fold," despite what his critics think.
"I think it's unfair that he's being used as the punchboard — he's trying to get things done," he said.
Stallone also knows that some were not fully behind voting for this president, but he feels the real estate mogul and reality television star was a far better choice than his biggest competitor on the ballot, Hillary Clinton. "Hillary couldn’t take that heat," said Stallone, mentioning tensions with other countries, such as North Korea and Iran.
Though he is open about his relationship with President Trump and is always willing to discuss politics, Frank Stallone's passion still lies in music, and he says he does his best not to mix the two. Stallone said musicians who preach to concertgoers are "kind of a ripoff." The musician feels that "using the music scene as a pulpit is really disingenuous."
And the music scene is something for which he clearly has great love and respect. He described the art form as a "best friend" of sorts that has been with him a "long, long time."
However, though he still tours and loves being onstage, Stallone's original releases have slowed. He made some heartfelt songs for the 2014 movie "Reach Me" and a tune for 2012's "The Expendables 2," but he isn't putting out albums the way he once did. This, according to Stallone, is simply a sign of a changing industry — one that doesn’t appreciate original music these days, as it did in an earlier time.
"It's a different business now — that kind of thing is gone," he said. "I realized when I saw Paul McCartney's and James Taylor's albums at Starbucks that it's over." He said there are still places one can find success writing music, such as Nashville, but they're locations that can be plagued by industry politics.
Stallone said he still "enjoys the art of writing," though, and he's not going anywhere, no matter how much the industry changes. "I'm in too deep. I can't go anywhere," he said. After referencing his mother and brother and how they haven't slowed down, he said, "[One day] I could be singing 'Far from Over' from an iron lung."
(photo credit, homepage image: @Stallone, Twitter)