Monday, April 13, 2015

Viva Lost Wages

Writing Sunday morning at 5:45 am in the Las Vegas Airport. My head is remarkably clear but my stomach is now saying, "dude, what in the hell have you been putting in me for the past 4 days!" I'm not eating anything on this plane ride back to San Diego that's for sure. Anyway, I'm popping Altoids to settle things down so let's talk Vegas, history and music as I'm hearing country pop piped in from the ceiling.

For me, Las Vegas is always a fish out of water experience as I land here and start my little venture with wall to wall people from all over the world, coming to have a little fun in sin city. This trip included my sister Stephanie, her husband Roger and my lovely wife Mary Kit. My daughter Shawna
Beatles Play a Slot Machinerecommended that we see the Mob Museum located in the historic federal courthouse and U.S Post Office building. It was fantastic! You've got to do this on your next visit here as it will not disappoint. By the way if you're ever in Memphis, you must also see the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel (site of Martin Luther King's assassination). For Boomers, both museums let you travel through our parents and our own generation's history either directly experienced or connected through conversation, books, news, television and the movies. You get little mental flashbacks of yes I remember that and lots of new info too. I didn't realize for example that the Beatles were scheduled to play at the Sahara Hotel on their 1964 tour, but with the overwhelming response the two shows had to be moved to the Las Vegas Convention Center to hold at least 8,000 screaming fans. The mafia ruled the town back then with a lot of other interesting people who made this place America's playground. It got me thinking about being born in the 1950's. We landed right in the middle of the 20th century and I think it gives many of us an unique perspective on life. For example, we know a lot of things about The Great Depression and World War II even though we weren't there. We know who Moms Mably was and are interested in Frank Sinatra (see new HBO documentary) and the Rat Pack  all the while streaming new digital music to our smartphones. We experienced the middle and end of the industrial age, created the digital age and will carry that probably to some middle stage before we check out. I just hope this perspective can be valued a little more as we get older because we have something to share to young people about our times here. We were good listeners.

Well now, back to Vegas 2015. The low cost hotel rates and meal days are long gone here and you're just going to have to shell out some cash from your savings if fun is on your agenda. The only thing that's the same and eerily nostalgic about Las Vegas is the deja vu levels of second hand smoke you experienced as a child. You literally get that thick-head smoke high once you enter the casinos, combined with the recycled AC, your body is changing and you haven't even started drinking beer, cocktails and eating rich food yet. Oh did I mention that other thing, the part about giving your hard earned money away to shiny machines or to a person sitting around a table with strangers?

But oh, the musical entertainment in this town is the reason many of us come here in the first place and Las Vegas doesn't disappoint. First off, we got to see The Beatles Love at the Mirage for the second time (Mary Kit her third). It's becoming a religious pilgrimage for us and we converted Stephanie and Roger too. I don't think you can ever see this very special Cirque du Soleil show too many times.

Fleetwood Mac┬áTicketsSecond up, we got to see Fleetwood Mac at the MGM Grand. A simply fabulous show by the same people who formed the 1975 - present lineup of the band: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and the wonderful Christine McVie. (Mary Kit, pal Mark Hunter and I saw the band way back in 1975 at the old Balboa Stadium in San Diego with Heart, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rod Stewart on the same bill.) Anyway, Christine is back touring with the band after a 16 year absence and makes them complete. Mary Kit and I just saw them in December in San Diego (40 years later) when they started their tour and they even seemed more energized this time while doing this long tour together. Stevie said this was their 78th show of the tour and they just had the place rockin', lots of smiling from the band and the crowd was in a very singalong groove. With that I leave you some YouTube videos from the recent April shows, and as the band says, "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow." Or as Frank would say, "Vegas baby." So get online, check out who's playing when and where and start planning that Vegas trip soon!

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