There are many stories about the difficult temperament that unraveled friendships and working relationships, the cycles of eating binges and punitive diet regimens, the paranoia, and the health problems that ultimately led to his untimely death following a heart attack – in Rome at 38. (Although some have not fully discounted a possible link to the Mafia.) But even only a cursory glance at the published stories reveals inconsistencies in the telling, so that one can legitimately wonder where fact ends and hyperbole takes over – especially given that, at his peak, his every act was fodder for the gossip columns.
Celebrity has its rewards and punishments. Mario Lanza, at a rather young age, happily reaped its spectacular rewards; the great tragedy was he could not escape its dreadful punishments.
But the personal controversies of his life are better left to the decoders of legends. So, let’s skip the commentary and stick to the M U S I C!