Rhinestone Ropers

Woohoo! My friend Melody made it to the top 48 on America’s Got Talent. She is one half of the Rhinestone Ropers. They are one of the 10 acts that got to go straight through to Hollywood without having to audition a second time. If you watch the show, make sure that you vote for them (if you vote, that is).

Advertisements

7 of the Coolest Things I Have Ever Seen

These are in no particular order.

1. Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Skywalk is a horseshoe shaped cantilever bridge on the edge of a side canyon in the Grand Canyon West area. It’s owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe. To get there you have to travel about 20 miles on the bumpiest non-paved road I have ever been on.

I’m one of those people who has a fear of heights and had some reservations about walking out onto the bridge. Mainly because the floor is glass. It’s made with four layers of Saint-Gobain Diamant low iron glass.

When I finally got the nerve to open my eyes and look down, it was awesome. Like some people, though, I couldn’t muster the nerve to lay on my stomach and look down.

2. Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir

Le déjeuner des canotiers or "Luncheon of the Boating Party"

Renoir is one of my favorite artists and Luncheon of the Boating Party is one of my favorite paintings. When I went to Washington D.C. for my 50th birthday, I made sure that seeing it was at the top of my list of things to do. It is housed at the Phillips Collection.

I think the thing that surprised me the most about it was how big it was. You can’t really tell how big or small a painting is until you see it in person. When I walked into the room where it was housed I was amazed. I always pictured it as being much smaller.

I had studied the painting, so I knew who all of the people in it were. I tried to film it with my camcorder, but found out that was a big no-no. You could take pictures of it, but weren’t allowed to use flash photography.

Here are two of the best shots I got:

3. The House that Lincoln Died in

After Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theater, he was taken across the street to the home of William Peterson. Boarder, Henry Safford, had been standing in the open doorway and gestured  for the doctors to bring the president inside.

When I saw it, aside from the guide, I was the only person in the house. It had very narrow hallways and the rooms were small. The guide stayed up front and let me walk around on my own. I kept waiting to see the ghost of Lincoln. I never did.

Here are some of the pictures I took:

This is the bed that Lincoln died on

 
4. Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is one of the most awe-inspiring places I have ever been to. I saw it for the first time when I was 13, and I’m pretty sure that it was the catalyst that sparked my interest in U.S. Presidents and presidential history.

You have to see it in person to understand how truly magnificent it is. It’s located near Keystone in South Dakota.

Sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and later by his son Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot sculptures of the heads of former United States presidents (in order from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres and is 5,725 feet above sea level.

5. Tommy Lee peeing next to me

Tommy Lee was the drummer for Mötley Crüe. He was also married to Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson. One time when I was using the men’s room in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, I looked over and discovered that he was right next to me. I was like, “Hey, that’s Tommy Lee”.

I remember thinking to myself if I should look or not. I glanced down for about 2 seconds. No big deal.

I have also been in the men’s room with Sinbad and Richard Thomas, who played John Boy on The Waltons, but they weren’t peeing next to me.

That day that I glanced down at Tommy Lee’s business was the only time that I have ever broken one of the men’s public restroom rules.

6. Dizzy Gillespie playing his Trumpet

When I was 19, I went to a Jazz convention in Dallas. I was in college at the time, and played vibes in a jazz combo. During one of the recording studio seminars, they needed a vibes player, and I volunteered. Also at the seminar was Jazz Trumpeter, Dizzy Gillespie. I was about 10 feet away from him as he recorded his part for the track. I was majorly starstruck.

On a semi-related side note, and NOT one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

Also, when I was 19, I went with 2 friends to see Buddy Rich in concert. We were sitting in the front row. My friend, Jack, started talking during one of the songs. Buddy Rich stopped playing and came down to the front of the stage to chew him out. I shrunk in my seat. You haven’t been chewed out until you’ve been chewed out by Buddy Rich.


7. Bonnie and Clyde Death Car

The famous Bonnie and Clyde car is a 1934 Ford Model 730 Deluxe Sedan. It’s on display
at the Primm Valley Resort and Casino, not too far from the Nevada-California border. The engine is a large eighty-five HP V8, and the transmission is manual 3 speed.

Also on display are:
* Certificate of authenticity for the Ford V8 as Bonnie and Clyde’s death car
* Original letter from Clyde Barrow to Henry Ford praising the merits of the Ford V8
* Clyde Barrow’s death shirt
* Certificate of authenticity for Clyde Barrow’s death shirt

I had originally gone to Primm to ride the Desperado, which, at the time, was listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the tallest roller coaster in the world. It features a 60-degree, 225-foot drop; a 209-foot lift hill; and top speeds around 80 mph.

That first drop is really scary. The first time that I rode it, the lighter that I had in my front pocket flew out and hit some guy in the head that was in the car behind me. All pockets were supposed to be empty for that very reason. Anyway, he was fine.

It was after I had ridden the Desperado that I discovered the Bonnie and Clyde Death Car.

Of course, the are more that 7 things on my ‘coolest things I have ever seen’ list, but these are just a few in my top 50.

Leaving Las Vegas – Part 3

In the almost 20 years that I lived in Las Vegas, I made quite a few friends. One of them was Robert S. Robert was originally from Texas and had a thick southern accent. I met him when I was working at the OG.

Robert’s number one priority in life was getting laid. It was an extremely difficult task for him, however, because he looked like the real life version of Porky Pig. I’m not trying to mean, but that’s just how it was.

In addition to looking like Porky Pig, he was the most sacrilegious and unpatriotic person I have ever met. Nothing was taboo or off limits, and he thought that most people were stupid.

He was a good actor, though. Whenever he was waiting on tables he was the nicest and sweetest person to his guests. Everybody was ‘sweetie’ and ‘honey’ As soon as he turned the corner to punch his order into the computer, however, they became ‘frickin’ jerks’ and ‘fat bitches’.

In the fall of ’01 he had gotten tickets to the Beaux Arts Ball. It was held in Studio 54 at the MGM Grand every year, on or around Halloween.

Anyway, he asked me if I wanted to go. I said, “Okay, I guess”. I wasn’t really into that kind of stuff, but Robert lived for it.

As soon as I said I would go, the first words out of his mouth were, “We should go as the Twin Towers”.

“You have got to be kidding me”, I said. “Absolutely NOT”!

“Why not”?, he asked.

“Because”, I said, “It is tacky, tasteless, and borders on sedition. Do you want to get lynched? I’ll go as JFK and Jackie, seconds after the fatal head shot, but there is no way that I’ll part of a Twin Towers costume”!

That ended the discussion.

Anyway, I went as a zombie. It was a costume that I had put together at the last minute. Robert went as a Wizard. He was very artistic and it was a elaborate costume. I wish I had a picture of it, but I don’t. He end up winning the grand prize of $1,000, for best overall costume. I got 3rd runner up in the horror category.

The year after that, we went to the event again. He was Liberace and I was, again, a zombie. He had spent about 6 months on an elaborate sequined cape and a jacket with a grand piano bedazzled on the back. Neither of us won a prize.

We ended up going to the Beaux Arts Ball 4 times. Here is a picture of Robert the year that he went as Frankenstein’s Baby Mama.

The last time that I saw Robert was Valentine’s Day in 2007. I had gotten a check for my Rich List game show winnings on Feb. 1st. The check finally cleared on the 13th and was now in my account. So, I quit the OG.

I stayed in contact with a few people that I had made friends with at the OG, but Robert wasn’t one of them.

The whole time that I hung out with Robert he never got laid. I sometimes wonder if he, finally, ever did.

Leaving Las Vegas – Part 2

Let’s see, where did I leave off? Oh yeah, strippers Alicia and Shannon had moved out from next door, and I was feeling separation anxiety. Go figure.

Since I had been laid off from the MGM and the ‘Liar, Liar, Pants of Fire’ Human Resource Dept. hadn’t helped me with any other prospects, like they had promised they would, I had a lot of free time.  I had received a bonus, some severance pay and accrued vacation time on my final check, but that money wasn’t going to last forever.

One day I ran into a magician that I had met while I was working at Big Dogs. His name was Gino and he was doing a show at the San Remo (It’s no longer the San Remo. It is now Hooter’s Hotel and Casino. I guess they figured they could make more money if the Hotel had the word ‘Hooter’s’ in the title. IDK)

Here is one of the rooms in the Hooter’s Hotel and Casino. Isn’t is hideously uber-tacky?

I don’t know who came up with this color scheme or who picked out the spreads for the beds, but seriously…GAG!!!
It’s called Hooters, not Welcome to Bradyland.

Anyway, I have totally gotten off topic. I was talking about my magician friend.

I’ll stay off topic just a tad longer to show you this.
Okay, NOW back to Gino.
Gino invited my to come see his show. I’m not a big magic person. I know how most of the tricks are done, so for me it’s quite boring. But, I went anyway.
The show was pretty good. He had one trick where he caught a bullet in his teeth. I was impressed.
What I wasn’t impressed with was the music that he used in his show. It was crap.

When I met him after the show I asked him, “Who does your music? It sucks”. He said he knew. We struck up a deal and I did some new music for his show. More money to last me for a while.

One day I decided, “Hey, I should go to Dealer’s School”. I was a pretty good blackjack player. My mom had taught me well. I figured why not experience blackjack from the other side of the table and get paid for it without the risk of actually losing money.
So, I went to the Las Vegas Dealer’s School that was a few blocks from the Gold Coast Casino. I paid my $369.00 to learn how to deal blackjack. It was a pretty laid back school and you could come and go as you pleased. When you felt that you were ready, they would send you out on an audition at one of the Coast casinos.

After about 3 weeks, I felt I was ready. I auditioned at the Barbary Coast. I worked there for about 2 weeks and decided that I hated dealing. I mean, I really hated it. Most of the people I dealt to were drunk and obnoxious idiots. I wanted to scream.
So, I quit.

After a few months of sitting around my apartment, doing nothing but reading murder mysteries and thinking of ways to pinch pennies, I decided it was time to get a job.
I had developed this elaborate scheme on how to save money by not paying for food. If you know where to look, Las Vegas has all kinds of places where you can eat for free. Some legal – some not.

Here is the free food system that I developed:
Monday: Right down the street from where I lived was a strip club called Play it Again, Sam’s. On Monday nights they had a free buffet set up. I would usually go with my friend, Joaquin. Joaquin’s dad was a civil rights attorney, who had argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court. He had wanted Joaquin to follow in his footsteps and be an attorney, too. That didn’t happen. Instead, Joaquin was a starving artist. He was also what you would call a ‘playah’.
So, on Monday nights we would go and eat the free buffet, and occasionally Joaquin would get a lap dance.

Tuesday: Tuesday was $5.00 Beer Bust night at the Buffalo. Only, I didn’t get the beer bust. I just ate the free snacks. Sometimes they had some really good stuff.

Wednesday: Wednesday was Underwear Night at the Eagle. If you were in your underwear you got to drink for free. They would give you a big plastic bag to put your clothes in when you stipped down to your skivvies. I always made sure that I wore boxers and an over-sized t-shirt. Aside from the free snacks, I also got to drink for free.

Thursday: Thursday was buffet at the Gold Coast. Over the years I had acquired hundreds of thousands of points on my Gold Coast Player’s Card. You could redeem the points for merchandise or free buffets. I chose the free buffets. Also, they would send free buffet tickets in the mail a few times each month.

Friday: Friday was, again, Underwear Night at the Eagle. See Wednesday.

Saturday and Sunday: On Saturday and Sunday, you could go into almost any hotel or casino, and find free food set up somewhere. Most of the time is was outside banquet and convention rooms, or inside karaoke bars. Sometimes, I would even sing.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a cheap ass, or anything like that. I’ll admit that in the beginning, it was all about saving money, but after a while, it became more of a game of seeing how long I could actually go without paying for food.

Besides, I quit using the system after I got a job. A job at the Olive Garden.

End of Part 2

Leaving Las Vegas – Part 1

Last night I watched about an hour of the Daytime Emmy Awards. It was televised from the Hilton in Las Vegas, and as I watched I got homesick. I spent almost 20 years of my life there.

The first year I lived there I hated it. It was like living on a different planet. I eventually got used to it and started loving it.

The very first place that I lived when I moved there was Harbor Island. It’s one of those rent by the week places. Two days after I moved there I got a job at the Westward Ho. I worked the graveyard shift in the coffee shop. I was a foodserver. I was the only guy server. It was me and a bunch of old ladies. One of them kept stealing the toast that I had made for my orders.

Harbor Island was not a fun place to live. It seemed like there was at least one major drug bust there every week.

After about 2 months of living there, I met this guy named Adam who was looking for a roommate. Adios and good riddance Harbor Island. Hello 3 bedroom house.

After about a year, I quit the Westward Ho job and started working at Big Dogs Cafe and Casino. Again, I was working graveyard.

The supervisor on my shift was C.J. Graham. C.J. was also an actor. He had played the part of Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives. So I guess you could say I worked for Jason Voorhees.

I quit Big Dogs after about a year. The MGM Grand was opening and I got a job in Leonardo’s Italian Restaurant. It was supposed to be fine dining, but believe me, it wasn’t. I got stuck working in the VIP room a lot. Ugh! I hated the VIP room. Talk about picky people.

I used to have to wait on Bill Medley from the Righteous Brothers at least once or twice a week. He would sit at the back table and face the wall. Whatever. It was always the same.

Hello, and welcome to Leonardo’s Fine Italian Restaurant. My name is Bob and I’ll be…

Interruption

I’m Bill Medley from the Righteous Brothers and here is what I want.
Blah blah blah…al dente…blah blah blah…al’ olio…blah blah blah…but tell the chef not to….blah blah blah.

After about the 5th time I was like, “Ummm, yeah, so I know who you are and I know want you want”.

Seriously, I do have a memory.

Then there was Michael Crawford. Famous for The Phantom of the Opera. Now he was doing the EFX show. He used to come in with his little entourage after his show and he was kind of a messy eater.

It was required that every MGM employee see the EFX show, so that we could talk about it with our guests. The night that I saw it, there were a bunch of mechanical problems and they had to stop the show twice. Whenever people asked me about it, I would have to lie.

“Ummm, yeah, it’s really good.”

I always liked waiting on the boxers. They were the nicest and least pretentious. Maybe because of brain damage. IDK. I even met Evander Holyfield BEFORE he got his ear bit off.

I waited on Don King twice. Seeing his hair in person was truly magnificent. I wanted to touch it.

After about 3 years Leonardos closed. As did about 4 other restaurants in the MGM. All of the spaces were leased out to other restaurants. We were all laid off.
Goodbye MGM.

It was about this time that I moved out of Adam’s house and into an apartment. He had become a major pain and I was sick of his obnoxious shenanigans. My last words to Adam were “Adios, Mother F**ker”!

The Twain Estates was my new residence. It was about 4 blocks from the Las Vegas strip – right down the street from Caesar’s Palace. It was also right next door to Chinatown.

My apartment was on the second floor. I shared a stairway with the apartment right across from me. After a few days I met the 2 girls who lived there. They were strippers. Their names were Alicia and Shannon, and they always had people over. It was basically people clumping up and down the stairs 24/7. After a while it became quite annoying. Especially when guys would come over and knock on my door instead of theirs. After a while, instead of answering the door, I would just scream “They live next door”!

Shannon and Alicia eventually moved out and the apartment stayed vacant for quite some time. After a while I started to miss all of the stripper action.

End of part 1

Looks Can Be Deceiving

About 10 years ago I was invited to my friend Earl’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. I was living in Las Vegas at the time. When I arrived I was introduced to his mother-in-law. She was from back east somewhere (I can’t recall which state), and was a college professor. After we exchanged introductions I went outside on Earl’s patio to smoke.

When I came back in she walked up to me and said, “I can’t believe you are so stupid. I thought that you were smarter than that.”
Not understanding why she was making the comment, I became defensive and responded with, “I refer you to the landmark case of Rubber vs Glue“.
She didn’t get it.

“Smoking”, she said. “I can’t believe you smoke”!

I turned and glared at Earl with my ‘Why in the crap did you put us both in the same room?’ look.

“Why do you smoke”?, she asked. “It’s so bad for you”.

I wanted to respond with, “Why are you an obnoxious harpy who will NOT shut the [expletive] up”?
But I didn’t.

“Look lady”, I said. “I wasn’t in the house blowing smoke all in your face. I was outside on the patio blowing smoke into the already polluted Las Vegas atmosphere. Besides, you don’t even know anything about me. What makes you think I’m smart”?

“You look smart”, she answered. “And Patrick (another friend who was also at Earl’s Thanksgiving dinner) says that you’re really good at trivia”.

I looked at Patrick and gave him my ‘you’re a dick’ face.

Anyway, she was one of those psychic vampires. You know, those people who latch onto you and try to suck out all of your energy. I wasn’t having it. I walked away and started mingling with other people.

During the actual Thanksgiving dinner, I was seated next to Ms. Vampira. That’s what I called her anyway. Her real name was Rhonda.

When there was a lull in the conversation she turned to me and asked, “What are your views on religion”?
I wanted to try to find a way to beat her at her own game, so I responded with, “Well, I pretty much subscribe to the concept of Soteriology, but more so in a Pascal’s Wager sort of way.”
I could tell by the puzzled look on my face that she had no idea what I was talking about.

“So, you don’t believe in that Adam and Eve nonsense”, she said.

I rolled my eyes.

I knew better than to talk about either politics, sex, or religion with a stranger, but instead of putting a cork in it, I opened my big mouth anyway.

“What do you believe”?, I asked.

MISTAKE!

We were all subjected to a 15 minute discourse on how, originally, we were microbes on Mars, that somehow got attached to alien space ships that made their way to earth, where, we evolved into what we are today.

When she was finished, I said,”Ummm…Hmmmm, that’s all very interesting, but I like my version better.”

“What version is that”? she asked.

Geez Louise, lady. I already covered it. Go get a frickin’ dictionary if you didn’t understand.

I mumbled, “never mind”, and went outside to smoke.

Later, when I came back in from smoking – well, ostensibly to smoke, but in reality to get away from Ms. Whack Job – I noticed that the dishes had been cleared from the table. Earl was now setting up the Trivial Pursuit board on the dining room table.

“Eight of us will be playing”, said Earl, “so I think that we should play in teams of two.”

Now, I’m not one of those people who believes in an absolute sure thing, but I knew the moment that the words ‘teams of two’ came out of Earl’s mouth, that I was without a doubt, 100% positive, going to be stuck with the Martian Chronicler as a partner. If there would have been a betting window around I would have staked my life savings on it…and won.

That is one of the drawbacks of being a smoker. People make decisions while you are out of the room, and you are stuck with the final result. Ugh.
Personally, I think that I was being punished for inciting the Men are From Mars monograph that we all had to endure during dinner.

I don’t know why I told that story. I think that it’s probably because, in the past few weeks, I have been getting comments from people who remind me so much of Earl’s mother-in-law.

Art and Stuff

On Saturday, I spent most of the day helping my cousin Heather move. Actually, she’s my second cousin. She’s my cousin Lillian’s daughter. Heather is a kindergarten teacher and is just finishing up her first year.
Her dad, Terry, and I did most of the heavy lifting. During the loading of the truck, Heather walked by me as she was taking some of the smaller items to her car. She was holding a poster in her right hand and it was partially unrolled. I could see about 10% of it. All of a sudden, “That looks like The Kiss by Gustav Klimt”, popped out of my mouth. Heather unrolled the poster and sure enough it WAS Klimt’s painting. She looked at me like I was some kind of Rain Man or something.

I was surprised that I was able to identify the painting just by seeing the green at the bottom part of the poster. I didn’t think that I knew that much about art.

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t even like that painting. I think it’s ugly. Aesthetically, it does nothing for me. Maybe that’s why I remember it. IDK.

There’s another piece that Klimt did called Judith and the Head of Holofernes that I find equally as hideous. Judith has a weird look on her face – kind of like she just died and had an orgasm at the same time. It’s creepy. Also, she looks like she has an afro.

Anyway, he’s not one of my favorite artists.

Sometimes I wonder why I like certain artists so much. Van Gogh, for instance. Do I really like van Gogh’s stuff because of the way it makes me feel? Or do I like it because he was a tortured artist who cut his ear off?
The official version regarding van Gogh’s ear is that he cut it off after having had a fight with Paul Gauguin in 1888. He then walked to a local brothel and presented it to a prostitute named Rachel. I’m sure she was thrilled.

Paul Gauguin

There are SOME art historians, however, who claim that it was Gauguin who cut off Vince’s ear. Apparently, Gauguin was a fencing ace and he cut it off with a sword during the fight. Supposedly, there is quite a bit of evidence to back up that claim.
I don’t know. I wasn’t there, so I can’t say what really happened. I do, however, find the ‘Gauguin slicing Vince’s ear off with a sword’ version a lot more romantic and intriguing.

Although I do like some of Gauguin’s artwork, I wouldn’t say that I am a big fan. I like van Gogh much better.

Another one of my favorite artists is Nam June Paik. He did a piece called Electronic Superhighway. It’s in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I saw it when I went to Washington D.C. a few years ago. It’s one of the coolest things that I have ever seen.

Click on the picure to make it bigger.

Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii is a big United States made out of steel, neon and televisions. It uses 49-channel closed circuit video. The tvs in each state show something that is relative to the state. ex. Kansas shows The Wizard of Oz.
It’s really strange listening to all of the tv audio at the same time. Kind of surreal. I think that I stood there and looked at it for an hour. It’s this kind of art that makes me wish that I lived in an art museum.

I like public art and strange architecture, too. Like that giant spoon and cherry in Minneapolis. I’ve never seen it in person, but it is on my to do list.

Also on my list is the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows. They made it for the ’64 World’s Fair.

I supposed that if you lived close to these places you would tire of them after a while. When I lived in Las Vegas and people would come to town they would want to see everything. I would be like, “Ugh, I’ve seen all of those places a gazillion times”. Everybody always wanted to see the volcano erupting at the Mirage or the Pirate Show at Treasure Island. I suppose if you’ve never seen them before they would be quite intriguing.

The thing about Las Vegas is that it’s all glitz. There’s really nothing cultural about it. It seems like every other week they are closing down and imploding one of the older hotels and casinos to make way for the newer stuff. All of the Vegas history is disappearing.

And They Call It Puppy Love

Donny Osmond was on The Talk a few days ago. I like Donny. When I lived in Las Vegas I went to 3 of his concerts. Mainly because of propinquity. He would perform occasionally at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, which was located right down the street from where I lived. This was before he started doing his show with Marie at the Flamingo.

The first time that I went to see Donny I was with my friend Elvis. Elvis was just her nickname. Her real name was Yvonne. She also went by the name of Toni – the name given to her when she rode with Hell’s Angels. She was about 10 years older than me and one of the sweetest people that I have ever met. That is until you got on her bad side. I once saw her grab a butcher knife and shove it up under a guy’s throat. He was a big guy, too. She threated to rip his throat out.  

Elvis has tattoos covering her shoulders, arms and part of her neck. Most of them are Elvis Presley related. In later years she developed an infatuation with Antonio Banderas and got some tattoos relating to him also.

Elvis’ mother had been an actress in Hollywood back in the 40s and 50s. I can’t recall her name, but she mostly had bit parts, and acted as a stand-in for some actress that I also can’t recall. I’m thinking Lana Turner, but I may be wrong.

Elvis was originally from Providence, RI, and is somehow connected with Cross Pens. I think that her mother was married to one of the guys who owns it, or something like that. Anyway, Elvis gets money from them. She gets $1000 a month, and $20,000 at the end of every year. I’m not exactly sure how her mother is connected with the company now, but I do know that she’s really rich because of it. The big drama was when Elvis’ father/stepfather (I’m not sure which) died, and her mother married one of the guys who worked in their stables. According to Elvis, he tried to brainwash her mother into letting him control her finances.

Elvis had 4 kids. One of her daughters had died when she was trapped in a car that was in flames and burned to death. She also had a son who was an alcohol and drug addict. She told me a story about how she had come home one day (she was letting him stay with her), and he had drank all of the liquor in her Elvis Presley liquor bottle. She kicked him out. 

Anyway, my first time to see Donny perform was with her. We were sitting in the 4th row. Elvis wasn’t really a big Donny fan, but the concert was around the time of my birthday, and this was her present to me.

Most of the people at the concert were woman who were about my age. Just like me, they grew up with him. The thing that surprised me the most about his concert was how the women reacted. It was like it was 1972 all over again. Every time he would start to sing a new song they would start screaming and rush the stage. They first time they did it I was like WTF. They would scream and cry and shout “Donny! Donny”!

Before every song they would yell “Puppy Love, Puppy Love“! About halfway through the show he pulled some fortunate female (the homliest of the bunch I might add) out of the audience and brought her up on stage, where she sat in a chair while he crooned Puppy Love to her. I must admit that this part of the show kind of made me want to gag. I remember Elvis turning to me and saying, “What is the hell is wrong with these stupid women”?! I just shrugged my shoulders.

The next time that I went to see Donny perform, I was with my friend Camille. She had never seen him perform before, but was a fan. I had figured that the last concert, where the women became frenzied and crazed, was an isolated incident. Must to my amazement, however, it was exactly the same as it was before. Even more shocking was that my friend, Camille, was pretty much leading the pack. As soon as Donny started singing, she was out of her seat and at the front of the stage in about 2 seconds – screaming and yelling and crying “Donny! Donny!”. The thing that made me almost die from hysterics, though, was that there were 2 guys up there doing the same thing. It was so bizarre seeing 2 men about my age acting that way. When Donny sang the song Yo Yo, one of the guys started dancing so spasmodically that I thought he was having a seizure.

The last time that I saw Donny perform I was with my sister. Even though, like me, she grew up watching and listening to Donny, she wasn’t as big a fan. Which is kind of strange since SHE was the one who had all of his records and read of his exploits in the 16 and Tiger Beat magazines.
Lucky for me, she wasn’t one of the woman, who yet again, screamed and yelled and rushed the stage. I was thankful.

I have never seen Donny and Marie perform together. That’s kind of surprising, too, because I used to live so close to the Flamingo, where they are performing.