Paul Sorvino & Jorma Kaukonen 2007

Photo by Dennis Powell

So, it’s not like Paul Sorvino and I were buddies, but there’s a story. This was a long time ago (2007(. I was with my son Zach up in Pittsburgh for some reason or other and I got the call to drive back to Athens, Ohio and come to the Casa Nueva. My good friend Dennis Powell orchestrated this event so I’ll let him tell the story.

‘On April 6, 2007, Vanessa was contacted by someone representing Amanda
Sorvino (or Last Chance Corral, I never knew which) having to do with a
television pilot animal-lover and daughter-of-Paul, Amanda was going to
shoot that day at Last Chance Corral. They had somehow gotten it into their
heads that it would make good television if Paul were to run into Jorma
(who would just happen to be carrying his guitar) in a local Athens bar.
(The more I think about the implausibility of every single detail, the
harder I laugh.) My little task that day was to make it work. First, a bar
was out. How about Casa Nueva? Turned out, the People’s Revolutionary Council (Proprietors of Casa) or
something would have to meet, discuss, and vote before permission to do it
there could be granted, and the shoot was scheduled for that night. So,
Amanda in tow, I walked around the corner to the Blue Gator (a long defunct eatery), asked if we
could shoot it there. They said sure.

And thus was the (never broadcast, as far as I know) scene of Paul
Sorvino “running in to” Jorma arranged and ultimately filmed. Jorma
played a bit, and Paul launched into a song from an Italian opera, and the
whole thing was entirely remarkable.’

You can’t make this stuff up! It was entirely remarkable. Paul was a big man, imposing to say the least but affable in a distant kind of way. As a huge fan of Goodfellas, it was an honor in a way to give Paulie his tribute.

In my own small way, I give Paulie his tribute one last time!

Fair wind and following seas brother!


  1. Comment made on August 8, 2022 by Little Paulie Walnuts

    I remember you telling me about this at the time. Minus all the staging and subterfuge!!😂

  2. Comment made on July 29, 2022 by chris mollard

    Hope you, your family, and your neighbors and friends are all safe and sound in
    Ohio and nearby Kentucky. The devastation brought to people, some of whom did
    not have a lot to begin with, is heartbreaking. The beautiful topography of that land
    quickly turns deadly when the rain does not relent.

  3. Comment made on July 29, 2022 by Sweetbac Jr.

    I have it on good authority that the guy who played “Jimmy 2-Times” was a huge fan of the Hoppkorv album….Hoppkorv album

  4. Comment made on July 28, 2022 by Brian Doyle

    My friend at work was a limousine driver in Queens and drove Scorcese to the Goodfellas set…When they saw him approach the set they liked his look and wanted to have him drive a limo in the movie…He turned them down after he realized they were asking him to do it for free…At work at JFK Airport my friend told me he knew Jon Roberts…I had no idea who he was talking about…Later on my Hendrix research taught me who Roberts was so I called my friend back but he developed sudden amnesia…Roberts was the reality side of Goodfellas and had a high death rate associated with him…

  5. Comment made on July 28, 2022 by JB

    Paulie Cicero, Paulie Walnuts, Santini and Henry Hill , big loses….

  6. Comment made on July 28, 2022 by Richard K

    I built sets in NY and worked on Goodfellas. Now retired. Didnt get to meet Sorvino though. They shot the whole thing on location, never one studio set. We did a little const. and renovations to a couple of locations..Best film I ever worked on and worked on about 60 films, some were pretty bad. Anyone remember Ishtar? That was probably the worst..LOL

  7. Comment made on July 28, 2022 by Greg martelli

    Ray Liotta -Rip

    The courier scenes always cracked me up .
    Jump in the fire
    You can always profess in jest to have shared a bowl of “macaroni “ with him
    Shaved garlic and sausage please

  8. Comment made on July 27, 2022 by BrendanC

    That is an honor – for both gentlemen. Does Vanessa have a clip?
    Guess I can share without seeming to try to top your story,then. Dated his daughter Mira’s best friend in ’94. We hung out after and I was acquainted with Mira, but don’t think I met Amanda. First time I met Mira I sent a side item back to kitchen – unusual for me. There was a bit of waitress hesitation before leaving, then I did her dad’s “what do I know about the restaurant business – I don’t know anything about the restaurant business”, with breadstick for cigar and Uncle Paulie voice, look and manerisms. It was a good take-off and laugh – Mira choked. Talking about the one film I saw her in, I said I didn’t catch her, or her co-star, acting, “but, you’ve probably heard this” – knives and forks cease – “when you cry in kitchen…I saw you were acting”. Knowing nods – she was a method actor and had a happy upbringing and life to that point, with great parents. It wasn’t natural for her to access tears. They talked about Mr. Sorvino a bit – he was a great father. My girl and her sister knew him since childhood and described him as you did.

  9. Comment made on July 27, 2022 by Jim Tulgan

    Very cool story Jorma!

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