The Ravenite Transcripts PART 6: John Gotti Talks About Johnny Gammarano

The FBI surreptitiously recorded about 600 hours of discussions in the apartment above the Ravenite social club, six hours of which were entered into evidence during the 1992 murder and racketeering trial of John Gotti and his consiglieri Frank Locascio.

John Gotti and Sammy (The Bull) Gravano
John Gotti and Sammy (The Bull) Gravano circa 1990.

We started this way back in February of this year, when we published The Ravenite Transcripts: John Gotti's Secret Meetings In Mrs. Cirelli's Apartment.

See previous installment here...all previous installments here...

As for "dry snitching" -- the notion that goes something like, John Gotti had to know there were wiretaps around so he deliberately talked to bury everyone, including himself presumably- may sound compelling to some; not us, to us it's ridiculous. We submit: it's a reverse-engineered fictional construct that ignores reality because the fact is: For organized crime to function, there must be organization. That means there must be communication. Simply put: the boss is compelled to talk; he must relay orders or there's no organization. Some guys who flipped have a pathological fixation on disloyalty and concoct all kinds of crazy theories to taint everyone who ever was in the life. We think it's bullshit, plain and simple. And someone spouting this crap in the comment section cost us dearly once.

DECEMBER 12, 1989
FILE NUMBER: 183A-3507
PLACE: Apartment above the Ravenite Social Club, located at 247 Mulberry Street in Little Italy, Manhattan
TIME: After 7:13 P.M.

LOCASCIO: Not like you’re gonna outsmart them.

GOTTI: (Inaudible) It’s like you were put in charge of the gas and six months from now—

LOCASCIO: What, what, what happened?

GOTTI: Tellin’ people I, I think he just told me he got thirteen or eleven thousand (inaudible) he’s gonna come down. He wages a fuckin’ battle and then he—Ya see today’s paper? With that? Frank, you should read the column about the thing with that “Frankie the Bug.” “Rat!” But look how he got in the paper. But, anyway, listen to me. (Tap sound) Ahhh, six months from now, nobody’s gonna be in the gas business but you? You’ll be in the gas business, Tory, ahh, Vinnie. Whoa! Wouldn’t it be the same thing? Ya see how crazy that sounds? Listen up, Frank. Wouldn’t it be the same thing? Think about it. Wouldn’t it be almost the same? Would it be fair (inaudible)? That’s all I try to say. And I love him. And I’m sick I’m even saying what I’m saying. And I love [him,] Frankie. I actually [had] three different appointments the other day. Three people. They think I’m (inaudible) around.

LOCASCIO: All (inaudible) Sal (phonetic).

GOTTI: Yeah.

LOCASCIO: (Inaudible)

GOTTI: (Inaudible) they’re all “beefs.” They’re all saying, (coughs) (inaudible).

LOCASCIO: It ain’t, it ain’t no “beef” because nobody (inaudible) what I’m telling, John, right.

GOTTI: Minchia! Maybe Joe Watts’ll be running the whole business. But I feel like a fuckin’ hard-on. ’Cause I keep saying, “That’s the way I want it.” I don’t even know what the fuck I’m talking about.

LOCASCIO: We’re the only ones that can talk (inaudible).

GOTTI: He had the appointment (inaudible).

LOCASCIO: (Inaudible)

GOTTI: (Inaudible) Listen to me.

LOCASCIO: That’s it. There nobody else. No capodecina, nobody else.

GOTTI: Listen, listen. The guy turned around and said that I was told, “That’s a ‘Family’ company and I’m a ‘Family’ company. And this is the way it’s gotta be.” Minchia! You know enough to use them terms. The guy didn’t make up no terms. “This is a ‘Family’ company, and this is a ‘Family’ company.” Don’t you gotta feed them a little bit, too? I mean you know enough to use that terminology. You get what I’m trying to say? You get this other fuckin’ male minchiata [lousy fuck]. I wonder when he went to the rug business, this cocksucker. Minchia! You giving it to a fuckin’—another guy. He can’t have it. I told you this is the one I want to have it. He knew the fuck that he was a rat! I won’t give five cents. I swear on my son’s grave. And if I did, whose business is it but mine? But today if the best part, if the guy, he says, “Nobody’s help to the guy that’s in jail.” You cocksucker! They got a comp, they’re in the business nine years. Joe Gallo told me. What’s—when was the last time me and Joe Gallo was together? Four years ago? When that half-ass got sick three years ago? The fuck are you (inaudible)? The business, you, you just chasing everybody out of town? (Pause) The fuck, I mean, ah, ah, it can’t be, Frankie. (Pause) It’s definitely not fair. It’s definitely not fair. And then—(Pause) Probably would say, Frankie, he never (inaudible). They chased him out of (inaudible) ’cause Danny, after all, was straightened out. Frankie DeCicco took Sammy, (inaudible) Danny to me. You know how I felt about him. Probably won’t say he never said anything about a bomb, he called the club, big bomb. I’ll pluck his fuckin’ answer. But they stole from me. I let him go into (inaudible) hellacious thing. And, as you see, I gave him “buckwheats.” Okay, you’re right. Never got nothing, Frankie. Never got five cents. My birthday, they put three thousand. That’s what I got from this guy. I swear on my kid, I’d rather die. I never got a fuckin’ tie from this guy. I got a jumpsuit I won’t even wear because it ain’t ours, Frank. (Coughs) But why are they such archenemies? These guys were sht and stink, Johnny Gammarano and him. I never saw him without seeing the other.

LOCASCIO: Were always partners.

GOTTI: Yeah! So, now, I’m laying in bed, I said, “Could it be, this guy, who felt he had the strength in each other, would even chase his own fuckin’ cousin?” You were sitting at the table that wasn’t strong arm, personally get them out for a reason. Now just the effect it had. I said, “Who— Since when are you and Johnny arguing?” When did this rift come—

LOCASCIO: Not on good terms.

GOTTI: Not on good terms (inaudible). “Is this what you want me to do?” I should never see my kids alive. You know, that’s (inaudible). You know that’s, that’s not what this is about. This is not what this is about. Somebody got the wrong concept, this fuckin’ guy. And I don’t go for it. I don’t go for it. I can go for anything. I can tolerate anything. But that I ain’t gonna tolerate. What the fuck are we doing here? My own fucking brother comes over to me. He’s a fucking “acting capodecina,” he comes over to me and (inaudible) these guys are four or five guys with me that I whacked. Who knows who half these cocks (inaudible) anyway. Or Georgie DeCicco, this Louie, the rest of these fuckin’ guys. Whoever tried them? Whoever will try them? But mean-fuckin’-time, he comes over to me, when he’s got a problem, I tell him, “Go see Sammy, go see Frankie.” Tell once, fifty times.

Joe The German Watts
Joe The German Watts, once a key  John Gotti ally.

LOCASCIO: He come today. That, you know, that he seen him the other day.


LOCASCIO: That Eddie!

GOTTI: They gonna hear about this crook.

LOCASCIO: So Pete come over. He’s got, “This guys wants to see my brother about that Frank (inaudible) remember?” Says chase him! Tell him that your brother doesn’t want to see him, anyway. He told ya, he called him.

GOTTI: I told him a million times, “You got anything, unless it’s got to do with your mother,” meaning my mother, “I don’t wanna hear it. See Frankie, or see Sammy. They’re always available. Don’t bother me!” He could tell you if I turned a little (inaudible).

LOCASCIO: And after he told him, here in the back room, and they were still there talking, “Ba, ba, ba.” I was gonna (inaudible). (Pause) Bossed them around (inaudible).

GOTTI: I can push (inaudible) because nothing—Well, tell me who? Tell me who benefited by, by, by making me a partner? And I became a piece. I got a piece of something. (Pause) I can’t, I can name a dozen guys (inaudible). I don’t service nobody. Absolutely nobody! Purposely don’t make my brother Pete service nobody. I purposely don’t. The only thing I make my brother Pete do is he picks up about ten thousand every month, or every other month the kid, from, ah (tapping sound), ah, ah, Carl. And he brings it to Sammy. You (inaudible) Frank? Or you get it (inaudible) so sure about Carl (inaudible) expose that. No! Nah, ah—I trust Carl with, ah, just about anything. Get what I mean? Because I mean if he was gonna rat, he ain’t gonna wait two fuckin’ years (inaudible). I know three years. But you understand what I’m trying to say, Frankie? If I got five hundred companies that belong to me, when you say, “Well, they belong to you—me, they don’t belong to the borgata! Yeah. Well, when you’re the ‘boss!’ ” So, you were sure that (inaudible) eh, eh, Sammy is the consigliere. He could turn the whole fuckin’ industry into a private playpen. What could I tell you to do? You know what I’m saying? And I could (inaudible) if I didn’t know. But if I take every fifty companies, and I say, “Frank, these are what we got.

LOCASCIO: (Coughs)

GOTTI: “Handle the fifty companies.” How bad a guy could I be? Can you see? If I never see, if I never see one, I tell you, “Frankie, you gonna see that guy?” “Yeah?” “Tell him this, this, and this.”

LOCASCIO: You know what (inaudible)? I gotta say it. You’re telling of all the businesses that he’s got, you don’t get nothin? (inaudible)

GOTTI: Other than that I know of. Well, let me put it this way, Frankie. I was getting X amount of monies, the day I became the “boss,” when he had nothing to do with this. And Di B and the other guy, and I said, “Sammy, ah, ah, ya got one, ah, a lump one, these fuckin’ guys.” We grabbed a hundred thousand, got a, twenty thousand went to DiBono. Twenty thousand went to Bobby Sasso (coughs) (inaudible). Three ways I got maybe twenty or twenty-five thousand. He took the check and I got booked out. Some kind of Chinese checker way. Now, with the money that comes in, that’s my business if I wanna distribute it, Frankie. Someday I’ll show you what I take out, what I give out.

LOCASCIO: No, but I’m talking about the businesses that he’s creatin’.


GOTTI: Frankie, well, Frankie, let me say something.

LOCASCIO: So I assume that—

GOTTI: Well, let me say something to you, Frankie, a minute. The monies didn’t change. Like he said to me, like it was about ten weeks, he turned in, he turned in two ninety. He said, “I turned in two ninety.” He didn’t turn in two ninety. He turned in sixty-three thousand was my birthday money! Youse gave that to me as a birthday present! Am I correct, Frankie?


GOTTI: You weren’t, ’cause that, is that, is that a “Cosa Nostra?” But then I’m in the wrong fuckin’ businesses.

LOCASCIO: —(inaudible) shouldn’t have (inaudible).

GOTTI Come on! (Inaudible)

LOCASCIO: —(inaudible) be, anyway!

GOTTI: Yes, well, so that’s what I’m saying. So, if the figure’s always been around the two bracket. The two forty like that. Unless we make it go longer and longer. But that’s not what I’m getting at. I’m not (inaudible)—but I don’t give a fuck if there’s nothing there, Frankie. I don’t want nobody get in trouble. Fuck the people, and that’s the only way it goes! An end’s an end. But what I’m—you were saying these personal businesses, and when I get told there’s a thousand from this company and a thousand for me? Not to my knowledge, Frankie, best I can answer you.

LOCASCIO: All right. Well, because this tire business, and we discuss, I discussed it with him. ’Cause if ah, not, not to get into it. He says, “Out of the dollar, John gets thirty cents, I get thirty cents, and there’s forty cents left.”

GOTTI: Yeah but, but, Frankie, I—

LOCASCIO: What, what it’s gonna come about?

GOTTI: (Inaudible)

LOCASCIO: (Inaudible) the way he’s got it.

GOTTI: How did it come about—

LOCASCIO: He’s got the car (phonetic)—


LOCASCIO: The pie cut up already before we even, ah—

GOTTI: (Coughs)

LOCASCIO: (Inaudible)

GOTTI: I’m not saying the guy forgets me, Frankie. And, ya know, I won’t tolerate that, anyway. I’m not saying that, Frank. This whole conversation (inaudible). We know what I’m in here for.

LOCASCIO: (Inaudible)

GOTTI: Yeah! Remember that time? You fuckin’ (inaudible) and I asked you, you told me that’s my only livelihood this job. That was three years ago. Couldn’t be (inaudible). When I come out of jail. Yeah! So, okay, less than three years. In other words, you told me your only livelihood. Since then, you’re in the building business, you in the carpet business, you into this business! You cocksucker! There ain’t nothing you ain’t into! Where’d ya get this from? Which way? Maybe you become rappresentante? (inaudible). Where’d all these come? I mean, do, do you follow me, Frankie? And—

LOCASCIO: Maybe it was wrong for creatin’ new—

GOTTI: Yeah, but you’re using my fuckin’ flag to conquer the fuckin’ market. Who the fuck are you? You’re creating all these things here. I got made guys that want this business. I got guys in these fuckin’ businesses. They, they, they get nothing. (Sound of something falling to floor) You know that. (Sound of something on floor)

LOCASCIO: But that’s what, it came out with this carpet—

GOTTI: Came out with everything, not only the carpet thing. C’mon. Them other kids got thrown out of three jobs for these for, for, for, for Johnny-come-lately company. And Johnny, they can’t do the work that they can do. Nobody can do the work Marine does. Don’t take my word for it (inaudible). You heard me say it. They know the guy does the best work, but they don’t like Bosco! Who the fuck cares about Bosco! A guy ain’t gonna take it on the chin for a million dollars because he don’t like Bosco. Get the fuck outta here! Tell that to somebody else, a babbeo [dope] who don’t know any better. You don’t like Bosco! And I don’t blame you, ’cause I’m not crazy about the guy. But let’s not, let’s not jerk each other off here, ya know what I mean? (Pause) But I tell ya, Frankie, for me to get sick, and I’m getting myself to the point where I got myself sick because I told him twice already, I told him, “You’re there.” I don’t butt in. When the fuck do I butt in? This [is] like if you’re in charge of something, Frankie. I don’t question. (Coughs) It’s not in my makeup. (Coughs) “Cosa Nostra,” I wanna know everything. But these things, I don’t give two fucks about. Ah, you punish a guy purposely. Minchia! You torture the fuckin’ guy! You fuckin’ hard! Your company gets every job! Everywhere you look. He’s got five jobs that they can’t even do (inaudible). They got [a] brand-new company three times bigger than you, that’s my partner, he do one job! Then fuckin’ we nuts altogether here or what? And I send him word, I told you, I didn’t send another guy to go see Bobby Sasso. I told you to go. You’re with me. You’re my representative to, to, to Bobby Sasso. Tell Bobby do me a favor and to give him a job. And I’m the reppresentante four fuckin’ years. I got no companies! The only fuckin’ thing I did, I went partners with a company that I put into business five years ago, Albie Trimming, when Paul was alive. Won the permission from him to fuckin’ do it. Got a fucking tongue-lashing. It’s on the tape. And I just now got on the fuckin’ payroll. I’m trying to keep my ass out of fuckin’ jail, no other fuckin’ reason. And this fuckin’ Marine Construction that the guy got chastised for, for having me as a partner. The guy got chased out of the fuckin’ country. He used to get five jobs a year. Now he gets none, none a month. Get the fuck outta here! (Inaudible) Gotta chase him (inaudible).

John  Gammarano
John  Gammarano 

LOCASCIO: The association (inaudible) got association.

GOTTI: (Inaudible) no, me, I got, ah, the only thing I’m on paper. I get forty thousand a year from the (tapping sound) plumbing (inaudible). We get, ah, a thousand a week from ah, ah, (inaudible)—

LOCASCIO: You’re down for a hundred a year.

GOTTI: Nah, that’s it, Frank. (Inaudible) just now tax purposes eighty-five thousand. At Easter and I’ll be like at a hundred twenty-five or thirty-five thousand, is good for me, Frank. I, I (inaudible).

LOCASCIO: You don’t—you don’t spend more than that shows.

GOTTI: Ah, ah, you know, you know why, why, Frankie? Even though I never touched it (inaudible), my wife gets like thirty-three thousand. So, now it reads another thirty-three on top of it. Huh?

LOCASCIO: Between you and your wife, it’s another thirty-three on the top.

GOTTI: Yeah, but not only that, Frank? I don’t—we don’t have no, ah, mortgage or anything. The only bill, bills that we got is the fuckin’ car payments. Ah, four hundred, three hundred and change.

LOCASCIO: (Inaudible) this.

GOTTI: Yeah, nothing, I got nothing!

LOCASCIO: That’s nothing, yeah.

GOTTI: All my kids are gone. We gotta [get] outta the house.

LOCASCIO: Ya all cover—

GOTTI: Peter, me, and my wife, we pay for that Blue Cross, and, ah, and the fire insurance on the house. Nothing, believe me!

LOCASCIO: Blue Cross? You covered under Blue Cross?

GOTTI: Yeah.

LOCASCIO: Extended coverage or something?

GOTTI: Yeah, special kind of coverage, you know. God forbid (inaudible) nine years. But, ah, but then fire insurance on the house, stupid things. Ehh, forget about it! Couple a thousand a month, Frank.

LOCASCIO: You’re well within, well within—

GOTTI: Minchia! If I was ever, like I saying, I can get up to, me a hundred and thirty, and that other thirty we—make a hundred and sixty a (inaudible) we’re well within. (Inaudible) you want to know the truth, if they followed us. Other, other than if they get a phone conversation with Becca. They followed us. Joe Watts has got the problem, not me! That fuck, he grabs two checks. Yours and the guy under the table you know that.

(Pause. Music in background)

GOTTI: (Inaudible) with this cold, coughing (inaudible) right? (Pause)

LOCASCIO: I know this not the problem. (Tap sound)


LOCASCIO: I’m thinking about this problem. And it’s not a problem. It’s—

GOTTI: It’s not a problem. He’s gotta cut it out!


GOTTI: He’s gotta cut it out! And he’s gotta cut it out. And he’s gotta not treat these couple a guy—now you’re in Louie’s decina, who I “made” a capodecina, like they fuckin’ special characters, and they get all these jobs that belong to the borgata. I mean, but, Frankie, every fuckin’ Teamster foreman we got, we got nine of them, they’re all from that block. Is that what this [is] all about? What, with the Teamsters came from that club? You, you, I don’t know what. You follow me?

LOCASCIO: Does he ever come and say, “I got an opening?”

GOTTI: Never! But I never ask him to, Frankie. Do I, do I have to ask you to do something if I put you in charge of something?

LOCASCIO: Yeah, but if he’s got an opening, he should come and—

GOTTI: Yes, Frank.

LOCASCIO: “I got an opening. You got somebody?”

James Jimmy Brown Failla
James (Jimmy Brown) Failla offers the media a retort.

GOTTI: No, never! Never once. (Steps) Here’s what he tells me. Here’s what he tells me. (Steps) “Gee, that Joe Brewster, he didn’t do such a good job. All the Teamsters foremen told me.” “All right, make John Gammarano help to you, if you want it.” “Go ahead, put him there.” “Gee, Jimmy Brown, all the guys in, in, in the, in the garbage, they’re not happy with him, hah? Why don’t you put, ah, Joe Francolino?” “Forget about it!” You know, where are we going here? (Coughs) And that’s it, Frankie. (Steps) I mean, the— Like I say, I, I know this life, and I know us, and I know love—but I also have common sense.…


(Door is shut)

(Music playing)

When we pick this up the next time, Sammy the Bull returns for a conversation recorded on  JANUARY 4, 1990....