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
11.03.12 DOUBLE DOWN SALOON CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
Anthony Bourdain recently named the Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas one of the top 5 bars in the world. And who could disagree?
Always expect the unexpected at this legendary punk rock dive. This 24/7 clubhouse for the lunatic fringe which is the birthplace of the fabled Ass Juice (Bourdain’s favorite) as well as the Bacon Martini. Where chaotic murals and disturbing videos assault your senses, while some of the biggest names in punk, surf and garage perform on the mighty Double Down stage.
Almost from the start people called Double Down the happiest place on earth, and finally all that fun could no longer be contained within four walls. In 2006 at second Double Down Saloon was opened in New York City’s East Village.
The 20th anniversary party will be held at the Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas November 22-25. Four nights of midgets, mayhem and music featuring the Boss Martians, the Heiz (Japan’s most exciting live band), Las Vegas favorites the Vermin plus much more. And, as always, it’s free to get in.
SHUT UP AND DRINK
10.15.12 BLOODCOCKS UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
Staying true to their promise of never playing in America, the Bloodcocks UK are going to the actual UK. Dates have just been announced for the Las Vegas band’s Gunther Goes To Gatwick Tour which opens November 8 in Leeds, England and closes November 17 in London.
Bloody, Gory, Gunther and Annie made their bones cranking out irreverent songs about monsters and every imaginable bizarro sex kink. And along with fan favorites Godzilla Go Go and Green Chick Twist, the tour will include new songs Chick Fight, Bag Of Cheerleaders and Three Hole Romeo from their upcoming CD on SquidHat Records.
Buy a plane ticket or buy a CD. Bloodcocks UK are not to be missed.
09.20.12 ROD STEWART ASSAULTED ON STAGE IN LAS VEGAS
ROD STEWART ASSAULTED ON STAGE IN LAS VEGAS
Pie In The Face Interrupts Caesars Palace Show
Las Vegas, NV, September 20, 2012 – Five people were arrested in Las Vegas Wednesday night for storming the stage at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and striking singer Rod Stewart in the face with a pie. Blinded by banana crème, the stunned Stewart stumbled about the stage as his assailant grabbed the microphone and finished crooning “You Wear It Well” as the capacity opening night crowd of 4100 cheered wildly as they thought the stunt was part of the show.
Las Vegas police spokesman Sergeant Harry Kagel issued a statement saying that charges of aggravated assault and criminal trespass were pending against the five who gave their names as Jimmy Dot, Swanky LaBeef, Poontang Johnson, Jenn O.Cide and Dr. Zombo. Kagel added that further investigation led police to believe that disruption of the show was a publicity stunt designed to promote a roving cabaret of curiosities known as the Jimmy Dot Circus. Still further investigation will reveal that this entire story is a spoof.
Stewart spokesperson Maggie Maynard threatened legal action against the casino for lack of proper security, and added that the singer was undecided about whether or not to cancel the remaining eight shows of his Colosseum residency scheduled to run through October 7.
Read more about the Jimmy Dot Circus in the new novel Vegas Knockout.