Silvio Dante thought he’d be Tony Soprano’s loyal consigliere forever. He grew up with dreams of being a singer, but the closest Sil ever came to a life in entertainment was managing the Bada Bing.
He’s an interesting fella: The man loves cheese at his feet — he “sticks m*therf*&king provolone in his socks at night so they smell like your sister’s crotch in the morning.” The man does a great Al Pacino impression. The man berates kids’ soccer refs in a wife-beater.
Sil’s also a war veteran. Whether advising Tony on the short war against Junior Soprano’s crew or sniffing out informants and traitors, Dante accumulated quite a bit of blood on his hands throughout his years with the Soprano family. Jimmy Altieri had to go. Pussy Bonpensiero had to go. Adriana La Cerva had to go. Burt Gervasi had to go. These things had to be done in the name of perseverance.
But what happened to Silvio after he was gunned down by the Lupertazzis in 2007? Let’s take a look…
Silvio managed to survive the shooting, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that he would not be so lucky the next time. On a post-shooting “recovery” trip to Venice he marveled at the quiet confidence of a singing gondolier and remembered his childhood dreams of performing. The assassination attempt, coupled with his continued haunting by the ghost of Big Pussy, put Silvio in a complicated head space, not exactly the mindset to be in when accidentally inhaling a tray of AJ Soprano’s pot brownies.
High as hell, Silvio flashed back to the gondolier, to his childhood dreams. The Soprano BBQ in full effect, someone had turned the stereo from Frank Sinatra to New Jersey’s more recent favorite son, the music of Bruce Springsteen blaring through the backyard speakers. Silvio dreamed a new dream.
After a year of guitar lessons, dropping out of the crime family, his real family gone, all but shuttered in his house, Sil thought he needed a new look. Fuggin’ head scarves, fuhgeddaboudit.
A re-location to the Jersey Shore only served to solidify Sil’s plan to infiltrate the E Street Band, where Dante dreamed of mixing it up with the drummer from Conan’s show and the now-deceased Big Man. Relying on his old connections for one more favor, Tony set up a meet-and-greet with Springsteen at Artie Bucco’s new Wildwood restaurant. There it was decided that Silvio would play for a new Boss.
From one Boss to another, Silvio became an instant legend and a fixture on stage.
Instantly respected, Silvio Dante remains one of the few mob underbosses to escape assassination, escape a life of crime, escape the trappings of street wars and become firmly entrenched in the world of celebrity. One day it’s knocking off informants, the next it’s posing for pics with David Bowie.
And there you have it. From guiltless gangster to gypsy guitarist in 6 simple steps.
Stay tuned for more forthcoming installments of The Transformation Project…