Special thanks to ThisDayinMusic.com.

January 17, 1974 was not aparticularly good day in the eventful and erratic life of Dean Paul Martin (aka Dino), son of the legendary all-around entertainer Dean Martin. Kids of celebrities more often than not struggle to find any kind of normal in their own lives and Dino was not especially good at normal.

In the early ’70s he was on a roll. He’d fallen for movie star Olivia Hussey, tracked her down, wooed and married her and they had a son, Alex. Dino was a Hollywood golden boy and Olivia Hussey, star of Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, was the Hollywood darling of the day.

Dino had a hobby that would cause a dramatic arrest to be made at his Beverly Hills home. Since he was young, Dino had rare unusual weapons and engaged a in a bit of buying, selling and trading. On this particular occasion he tried to sell an undercover cop an AK-47 machine gun. It was strictly illegal and Martin was arrested, arraigned and baled out the next day. He’d end up with probation and a small fine.

Always looking for adventure and excitement, Martin found it hard to settle and he and Hussey split up in 1978. By then he’d become a pretty good tennis player and starred alongside Ali McGraw as a pro in the 1979 film Players, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best New Star of the Year.

But acting didn’t really do it for him and he took to flying. He’d had his pilot's license since he was 16 but, in 1981, he qualified to fly with the National Guard. Sadly, he died in 1987, when his National Guard F-4 Phantom fighter jet crashed in the San Bernadino Mountains.

Of course, growing up as Dean Martin’ son must have been easy in some ways. There were some highlights in Dino’s short, but action-packed life. As a kid he was briefly a pop star with the Dino, Desi and Billy act alongside Desi Arnaz Jr., and William “Billy” Hinsche. A teenybopper outfit, they had two Top 30 hits, “I’m a Fool” and “Not the Lovin’ Kind” in the mid-’60s. But it was the way the trio got their record deal that gives most insight into what it was really like growing up celebrity royalty in Hollywood in the 1960.

Hinsche, talking to ClassicBands.com, told a great story about that day: “[Frank] Sinatra and Dean [Martin] were together at the bar at the Martin’s house. We met Mr. Sinatra, set up and played. After we did our little set, he came over with Dean and said, ‘How would you boys like to have a contract with my label, Reprise?’ ‘Sure, Mr. Sinatra,’ and that was that.”