02.09.15 THE CURSE OF FRANK SINATRA – a short story by P Moss
Beth smashed a lamp against the living room wall, cursing the jagged pieces of porcelain as if they had betrayed her.
Stewart sat on the sofa threading an eight-millimeter projector with a newly discovered home movie, amused by the crackhead logic of his little sister thinking she would discover bundles of $100 bills hidden inside a lamp.
Beth trashed closets and ripped up carpet, positive that there was treasure hidden somewhere in their dead father’s house. Convinced by the memory of that certain Christmas when they were kids, when their mother had secretly traded in the old man’s Buick for a new one. Then like in the car ads on television, Christmas morning saw a shiny new sedan parked in the driveway wrapped in ribbon and bow. But unlike television, the old man created an ugly scene as he bullied the car dealer away from his family and managed to un-do the deal. By noon the old Buick was back in the garage where the old man unscrewed the interior panel of the driverside door, then blew out a tremendous sigh of relief. The $197,000 in cash was still there.
For decades the old man earned a middle-class living blowing his trumpet in showroom orchestras on the Las Vegas Strip. Raised his family in a modest beige stucco house just like every other beige stucco house on the block. So where did a working stiff get $197,000 in cash? That was the question their mother had asked. Good luck at the dice tables was his answer. Didn’t want to raise a red flag with the IRS by putting it in the bank. After she died, the old man joined the country club and traveled annually to New Orleans and Newport for the jazz festivals. High living for a retired trumpet player, making his straight laced thirty-year-old son certain the money had been long ago spent. But Beth was not so easily convinced. Her long blonde hair and killer body had made it easy to tease up whatever drugs she wanted from the LA club kids who flocked in legion to Las Vegas every weekend. But too much was never enough and it wasn’t long before she spiraled out of control, twice facing hard time for grand larceny. Avoiding prison required a pricy lawyer and both times the old man paid. Beth vowed to find his money if she had to vandalize the house to its foundation.
05.22.14 THE BEST SONG LYRIC EVER
Are the best lyrics romantic like those sung by Sinatra or Tony Bennett? Are the best lyrics amusing non sequiturs from the Ramones or the thought provoking convictions of Bob Dylan?
Some lyrics are poetry. Some are funny and clever. Some are filler. Some are inspiring or tell a story. Some not so much. Are the words of the prophets written on the subway walls?
Selecting the best song lyric is subjective and comes down to what strikes a chord within you as an individual. My personal favorite was written in the 1966 by Arthur Lee:
I’D SIT INSIDE A BOTTLE AND PRETEND THAT I WAS IN A CAN
Every time I hear Love’s “7 & 7 Is” that line reverberates in my head all day. Everybody has a favorite lyric or an opinion of which is the best ever. What’s yours?
12.21.13 12 DAYS OF DOUBLE DOWN CHRISTMAS
sung to the tune of the holiday classic
The Twelve Days Of Christmas
On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
12 Drunken Strippers
11 Mohawks Moshing
10 Midgets Puking
9 Bacon Bloodys
8 Jackpots Cashing
7 Cymbals Crashing
6 Toilets Smashing
5 Side … Show … Freaks
4 Kick Ass Bands
3 Chick Fights
2 Shots Of Ass Juice
And for once, just SHUT UP AND DRINK
11.19.13 MUSEUM BOOK SIGNING & ROCKET RECEPTION
The time capsule rocket from the iconic Stardust Hotel & Casino looks a lot better in the Nevada State Museum than it did in my garage. If you are in Las Vegas, check it out Friday from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the museum located at 309 South Valley View Boulevard. I will be front and center at the opening reception signing copies of my books Liquid Vacation, Blue Vegas and Vegas Knockout.
10.08.13 PLANET BLOODCOCK AVAILABLE NOW
The new CD from the Bloodcocks UK is available now on Amazon, iTunes and wherever music is sold. 14 catchy garage punk songs about monsters and kinky sex in outer space that will make you bop ’til you drop.
This Las Vegas band that refuses to play in America for no other reason than they don’t have to, kicks off its 2013 tour in Tokyo on October 17. So buy a plane ticket or buy a CD. Bloodcocks UK are not to be missed.
07.29.13 GANGSTERS GOOD AND CORPORATIONS BAD? YOU BET!
Any Las Vegas resident of long standing will, without exception, tell you that when soulless corporations muscled in on the action it ruined everything, and that the world’s playground was a much better place when the mob ran it.
Ask these same citizens who orchestrated the skim at the Stardust Casino in the 1970s. Ask them to name the ruthless gangster who reinvented himself in the desert as a respected philanthropist after decades leading Cleveland’s Mayfield Road Gang. Ask them to name Bugsy Siegel’s mistress. The answers: Lefty Rosenthal, Moe Dalitz and Virginia Hill will be correct and delivered with a certain pride. But ask a dozen citizens of Denver or Cincinnati to name their congressman and you’ll get more different answers than you have fingers on your left hand.
So why is it that the people of Las Vegas take such pride in their city’s notorious past? Because as a city that forged its personality in the mid-twentieth century, the history of Las Vegas is recent enough that anyone born and raised there can remember it. Or at least their parents can. Not to mention that these mobsters who built upon the foundation laid by pioneers and cowboys have been glamorized for decades in movies and on television.
So gangsters are good and corporations are bad? Why not? In Las Vegas it’s a point of civic pride. No less valid than erecting statues of Abe Lincoln in Springfield, slapping Ben Franklin’s name on absolutely everything in Philadelphia, or the Founders Day parade in your town.
By the way. Who is your congressman?
07.01.13 WOULDN’T IT BE NICE …
Wouldn’t it be nice if bacon cured cancer
Wouldn’t it be nice to shit on the front porch
of someone whose dog left a steaming pile on your lawn
Wouldn’t it be nice if Brussels sprouts tasted like
Wouldn’t it be nice if the combined salaries of
20 teachers was as much as that of one
Wouldn’t it be nice to beat the crap out of parents
who think it’s cute that their loud, obnoxious kids
ruin the meal of everyone else in the restaurant
Wouldn’t it be nice to have the financial section
of tomorrow’s newspaper
Wouldn’t it be nice if people on mobile phones
didn’t pollute the air five times louder than normal
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a simpler time when
Hare Krishnas were the most annoying thing
Wouldn’t it be nice to not waste time reading
some knucklehead’s rant about what would
01.16.13 THE TEN BEST NOIR FILMS EVER MADE
The 11th Annual San Francisco Film Noir Festival is returning to the historic Castro Theatre January 25 – February 3. This greatest of all noir festivals will be screening 27 films, including three never before seen 35 millimeter restorations, so what better time to announce my list of the Ten Best Noir Films Ever Made.
1. THE KILLING – 1956
Directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the amazing book Clean Break by Lionel White, Sterling Hayden masterminds a racetrack robbery with a great ensemble cast featuring noir regulars Elisha Cook, Jr., Marie Windsor and Ted DeCorsia. This is not just the best film noir, it is frame for frame the best movie ever made.
2. BOB LE FLAMBEUR – 1956
Also known as Bob The Gambler, this French caper film directed by Jean-Pierre Melville offers a perfect blend of substance and style. To be more precise: it’s cool as hell. Bob, played by Roger Duchesne, masterminds a casino heist only to complicate matters by hitting a winning streak at the tables during its execution. Stanley Kubrick called this the perfect crime movie.
3. THE BIG COMBO – 1955
A well-insulated mob boss (Richard Conte) makes a monkey out of an obsessed cop (Cornel Wilde) until the flatfoot changes strategy and goes after him through his girl. Lee Van Cleef and Earl Holliman as homosexual henchmen were light years ahead of their time.
4. ASPHALT JUNGLE – 1950
Sam Jaffe portrays perhaps the most fascinating criminal mastermind ever as robbery and double cross propel the action of this character driven caper. Director John Huston sets a gritty urban tone, softened a bit by Marilyn Monroe in an early screen appearance.
5. DOUBLE INDEMNITY – 1944
A woman getting her lover to kill her husband for insurance money is a pretty pedestrian set-up, unless Billy Wilder is directing a script he wrote with Raymond Chandler. Add on-screen sexual chemistry between Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, and this movie explodes.
6. THE KILLERS – 1946
Based on a Hemmingway story, director Robert Siodmak provided the blueprint for future filmmakers to rise above cops & robbers cliches. This cautionary tale of double cross and murder made stars out of Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner.
7. BLAST OF SILENCE – 1961
Starkly cold and purposely slow moving, this Allen Baron tour de force traps you inside the mind of a hired killer and doesn’t let go.
8. BORN TO KILL – 1947
Walter Slezak and Esther Howard provide humorous counter balance as psycho Lawrence Tierney murders his way into San Francisco society.
9. 711 OCEAN DRIVE – 1950
Edmond O’Brien is few peoples’ idea of a leading man, but that works to his advantage as he plays a telephone repairman who cashes in big by creating a hi-tech communication system for a national bookmaking syndicate. But greed quickly blinds this cocky average joe to the fact that he is in way over his head.
10. THE NARROW MARGIN – 1952
Tough guy cop Charles McGraw guards a mobster’s wife on a cross country train trip so she can testify before a Los Angeles grand jury. Co-starring noir darling Marie Windsor and directed by the much underappreciated Richard Fleischer (Armored Car Robbery, Soylent Green, The Jazz Singer).
12.12.12 THE 10 BEST THINGS ABOUT LAS VEGAS
Even day-shift strippers are hot
The bars never close
Elvis has left the building
12.05.12 MAYWEATHER AND PACQUIAO AGREE TO FIGHT
MAYWEATHER AND PACQUIAO AGREE TO FIGHT
Las Vegas, NV, December 5, 2012 – Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will fight May 11 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. The contract was signed early this morning, meaning that after two years of trash talk and lawsuits, the long anticipated fight is finally a reality.
Many boxing insiders feel that agreement to the megafight was reached due to the fact that both boxers are scared to death to get into the ring with rising challenger Killer Kong (26-0, 26 KOs), a vicious brawler who once killed an opponent and vows to do it again every time he sets foot in the ring.
The buzz in boxing circles is that the thought of having to fight Killer Kong has put the fear of God into both Mayweather and Pacquiao. And apparently the only thing the two rivals have ever agreed upon is that fighting each other will postpone indefinitely either of them having to fight Kong.
Neither Pacquiao, who is preparing to fight Juan Manuel Marquez Saturday night at the MGM, or Mayweather has commented publicly about Killer Kong. But one veteran trainer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that “Floyd gets scared as a little girl at the mere mention of Kong’s name”.
Kong, who wears a necklace made from the teeth of fallen opponents, fights Saturday on the undercard at the MGM, and if the undefeated brawler scores another vicious knockout, the public will stop caring about the megafight or the fact that this story is a spoof. The public will be screaming for either Mayweather or Pacquiao to fight Killer Kong. And they won’t care which one of them is carried out of the ring.
Catch the blow by blow account of Killer Kong’s latest fight in the novel Vegas Knockout