Don Rickles’ debut comedy album was released in 1968 on Warner Bros. Records and was recorded live at the Sahara Hotel in Vegas. Only two tracks, but this album is pure Rickles genius, if only for 25 minutes. Have a spin, and a few laughs. RIP Don Rickles.
Oh, Wayne Newton. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get enough solid Wayne Newton time these days. It’s a shame, really. The voice of a songbird dressed as a Native-American Las Vegas crooner, Carson Wayne Newton is known to many people by many names. Mr. Entertainment and The Midnight Idol to name a few, Mr. Las Vegas is still performing at the young age of 74, and has a series of upcoming shows in Vegas starting on 11/28 and going through the end of the year. If you find yourself pulling slots and huffing secondhand smoke in the middle of an air conditioned desert, spend a few intimate hours with this Sin City legend.
Feeling a bit letdown today after having been outbid on Rocket from the Crypt’s coveted Rocket Pack… for the second time this year, so am clinging to the comforting grooves of Mr. Croce. This 1975 double LP collection from 1975 was nabbed for $4 in Vegas, and is littered with skips and major imperfections… much like my seemingly endless journey towards the Rocket Pack. Keep hunting if you can stomach the heartache, kids.
The Best of Wayne Newton Live was one of the first 20 or so records I’ve ever owned (somewhat mystifying now, if you think about it), and it opened the door for many other exceedingly entertaining records released by Mr. Las Vegas to join the collection.
Acquired for roughly $3.98 from a Madison, WI Half Price Books back in 1997, this album got frequent spins during my first semester of college, and remains a critical part of those early collecting days. I distinctly remember listening mainly to the b-side, which consists of three medleys. This is only notable since the a-side contains Newton-ized versions of Live and Let Die, Hard to Handle, You’ve Got a Friend, and (Take Me Home) Country Roads. But the b-side included 45 seconds of Danke Schone, so there you go. For reasons that escape me, the track that stands out the most, some 17 years later, is Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast. I have no idea why this song hit me at the tender age of 18, but, I suppose, some mysteries are better left unsolved.
One by Dirty Vegas isn’t near as dirty as you would like to think. Boasting as hard-hitting, blood-spilling, sweat-soaked, body-beats for the proverbial “good time seeking” fornicator, instead comes across as the equivalent of a firm handshake from your sister.
Certainly not to say the grooves are not spin-worthy. This is lighthearted, feel-good, dance-happy, PG music suitable for Jr. High dances where the only objective is to make eye-contact lasting longer than a brief glance, and/or the elusive holding of the hands. Adults are forged from the adolescent ashes of those hopelessly hopeful who think Vegas has ever been this clean.
Editor’s note: I’m not gonna’ lie. I’m getting monumentally bored over here. Today’s post was another fleeting attempt at trying something new… and failing miserably. Sin City Has Never Been More Vanilla was randomly generated from the seemingly pointless “Random Item” button offered by Discogs. For those of you who don’t Discogs, the “Random Item” feature displays a random item from within your collection. So, there you have it. I clearly should have stayed in bed.
This may be a no-brainer for the majority of you fine lovers of high fidelity, but unfortunately, I had to learn this bitter reality the hard way. Let this be a lesson to those of you to whom this has yet to happen.
A few years ago, wow! It’s been five years now. Crazy. Moving on… a few years ago, I was visiting my parents in Las Vegas. You see, my father is the President of a Steel Workers Union in Wisconsin, and every once-and-a-while he needs to travel to Vegas for meetings. My mom joined him, and since Vegas is only a 4-½ hour car ride from Los Angeles, I met up with them for the weekend. Plus, at the time, one of my closest High School friends lived in Vegas, so it was a gathering of the happies if you will. Or, if you won’t. This happened 5 years ago, so there really isn’t anything you can do about it now.
Long story short, my buddy took me to Zia Records where I picked up the (then) new self-titled Weezer album (their 3rd self-titled album). For those of you who are unaware of how violently hot Vegas gets in the summer, allow me to paint you a wet, sticky picture. Being mindful that records warp when exposed to extreme heat, I opted to place my recent find in the trunk of my car instead of in the front or backseat where the Sun had been playing all day. So, this guy here thought the hot, oven-baked trunk would be the logical solution to a potential $22.99 problem.
As you can see, my decision was a poor one, and this copy of Weezer’s 3rd self-titled album is clearly unplayable. I’ve since repurchased this album (with grave hesitation), and I keep this guy around to remind me of how stupid I was on a hot summer day in Las Vegas.
Learn from the idiots, kids. Take your records indoors instead of locking them in the car where they die a painful, never-played death while warping in the 112 degree Vegas heat. Weezer would hope you’ll learn from the errors of The Prudent Groove, and take better care of your records. A thought just occurred to me. Maybe Weezer was working closely with the Sun so they could sell more records. Well played, giant middle-sized star & Weezer. Well played indeed.