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June 16, 2005
Follow Steve's performing and travel adventures, rumors, facts, gossip, news, opinions and other magic related ramblings...
Life After Jay...
Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night blasts the crowd in Vegas
LAS VEGAS - We received literally hundreds of letters, calls and emails from every part of the globe regarding the one and only Jay Marshall and our tribute to him in the last column. As a result, we kept it up longer than most. I have a hard time accepting that the Great Jasper is truly no longer with us. I guess, like most of us who were fortunate to know Jay, we just believed he would always be around. Kind of like Vernon. We never thought he wouldn't be here, sitting on his favorite couch in the corner at the Castle, cigar in hand, glass of Johnny Walker (Black, of course) and deck of cards in front of him, smiling and telling stories.
ROCK AND ROLL NIGHTS - THE MAGIC OF MUSIC
We visited the Cannery again, the old, yet very cool casino property that is off the path...past downtown, and well worth the drive. They have a showroom called "The Club" where many fine rock and roll shows are presented. This one was one of the best. Felix Cavalieri, the Italian rocker from New York and his RASCALS opened the show, followed by the one and only Three Dog Night lead singer, Check Negron. To hear Felix sing all his great hits, like "Midnight Hour" and "Good Lovin'" was a wonderful treat. It was a fine beginning to a night of music from the past.
Then it was on to the music of Three Dog Night...
Chuch has one of the most amazing voices in the history of rock, and he still has it. The band he formed, Three Dog Night, actually plays around, without Chuck. Which is kind of like seeing the Stones without Mick. Pointless.
But Chuck is still going strong, and clearly enjoying himself. He sings all of the classic Three Dog Night hits, and there sure are a lot of them! We had a ball, singing along to "Joy to the World" and "Old Fashioned Love Song", "One is the Loneliest Number" among so many others. Chuck's son is now in his band, a tight group of musicians who sound a whole lot better than the original group ever did.
After the show, Chuck and Felix wanted to see some Classic Magic...to go along with their fine music, so I found myself forcing cards and vanishing poker chips and dice 'til the wee hours in the decadent rock star dressing rooms. It was a delightful evening.
MAGIC AROUND VEGAS
Rick Thomas has settled into his new showroom at the Stardust. The hotel loves him, and they have erected huge billboards all over town, including a giant one on the side of the hotel that faces the strip. Kind of scary to see Rick staring out at you from so many places with those eyes..
He has added a lot of new things to the show, and he is taking advantage of the beautiful, old style showroom that was once home to so many superstars. Wayne Newton pulled a vanishing act recently from the room, (some say he was forced out by management, but who am I to say?) so Rick is sharing the joint with the rotating group of stars, such as Steve & Edie, Don Rickles and Havana Nights. Catch the show when you are in town, it is still the best magic show on the strip at 2pm and 4pm daily (dark Wed).
Speaking of Wayne, he is still trying to sing, and he can be heard (sort of) now at the Las Vegas Hilton, the first of several short engagements, where he makes believe he's Elvis, performing of the stage in the showroom that was originally built for Elvis. Frankly, the only resemblence to Elvis is the waistline and jet black hair (is that really HAIR?) on his newly sculpted face.
Speaking of low end...(wait, what does he mean by that?) Meaning the low end of the strip...rumor has it that Steve Wyrick is renting a store in the soon-to-be no more Desert Passage shopping mall, where he threatens to open his magic show in the future...store owners seem happy there, thinking that his show will attract people, something the mall has a lack of. Who could blame them for being excited? They need SOMETHING to get people into that mall.
We shall see. We will warn you before it actually happens.
Over at Tropicana, copycat act Dick Arthur continues to garner bad word of mouth and worse reviews for his non-personality and tired illusions. No confirmation to the rumor that the ushers take up a collection at the conclusion of each performance to pay for Arthur to enroll in charm school..
MORE ROCK AND ROLL...
The magic of rock and roll has been very well received, I am happy to report...we have been getting a lot of positive emails from people who love the Beatles and in particular, Sir Paul McCartney since we put up our Paul Page. Thanks for the feedback.
And as you know, we began the Rolling Stones page, with the announcement of the new Stone's world tour. Thanks for the support, and we welcome your input on these and other new features we are working on...
OTHER NEW FEATURES
Ever heard of Mobius Madness? Check out the latest column by Dennis Regling. It's a great trick that many of us began doing during the early parts of our performing careers, and many have forgotten how strong the trick is. Dennis provides details, and two routines for this effect that "packs small and plays big". I have actually used it in a recent show, and plan to use it again this week in another private show, as it fills much needed stage time and can be seen from the back of the showroom.
Our "Movies-Movies-Movies" section has been delayed due to our travel schedules, but it opens next week, featuring movie reviews and such, designed to help you decide which flicks to spend you time and money on. Watch for it.
Disclaimer:The opinions expressed in this or any of our columns represent the opinions of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Magic Web Channel or it's Esteemed Panel of Magic Advisors. (The lawyers made us say that.)
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