Went to a party the other evening, inside the Playboy Club at the Palms Casino Resort on West Flamingo, to get a free copy of Norm Clarke's newest book, "Sinsational Celebrity Tales." An arm of The Review-Journal, Stephens Press, LLC, published the tome, since he does write a highly read column for the newspaper. His first book, "Vegas Confidential, 1,000 Naked Truths," was a neat little book, but this one is really good reading.
The 232 pages are filled with interesting tidbits garnered over time by Clarke. Many of the stories, however, were passed on to him by some of his well informed friends. But, the majority of the tales were covered by Norm personally - sometimes as a gossip columnist and often as a hard-nosed reporter.
There is no subject taboo, as far as I could ascertain. The first chapter is about the "Big Spenders," more commonly known as "rain" providers. There is non-bigger than boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who loves to hit the nightclubs and throw out perhaps $20,000 in bills (what he referred to as rain) on the chichi crowds to fight over. He also tells about his nemesis, Pete Rose, who once actually slapped him in a local restaurant.
Clarke also doesn't hold back on the celebrities when it comes to being a "good" or "bad" tipper. Sylvester Stallone, as an example, reportedly was in one of the big clubs with his entourage, running up a drink tab of nearly $6,000. When management picked up the tab, the server got a huge tip of $5.00. Michael Jordan is well known as slow in the tip department, as is "Sugar" Ray Leonard, to name just a couple.
Of course Norm covers the exploits of those bad girls and bad boys who love to come to our little city and have fun. He tells tales of the "Whales," which of course, casinos love to have as a guest, and sometimes actually fight over (a whale is a big, big gambler who can win or lose $1,000,000.00 on a single roll of the dice or a turn of a card). And, gang, there are a ton of photos to go with the stories.
I honestly recommend this new book. It's priced at $15.95 and if you never read his first book, you can get both for $19.95. If you would like to order go to www.lvrj.com/columnists/normclarke.
Jeanne Bavaro, who is a wonderful friend, and is the personal manager of impressionist, Bill Acosta, dancer, Jay Fagan and tenor, Mark Giovi, is once again attempting to bring back the glitz and excitement of Las Vegas in its glory years (some of which is covered in Norm's book). Giovi, who was one of the original Las Vegas Tenors, will launch a series of Classic Cabaret Nights at the new banquet facility, "View 215," this Sunday, Nov. 23rd with festivities beginning at 5 p.m. Dinner is served at 6, with show time set for 7:30 p.m. The price for everything is $50 (plus tax and gratuity).
Giovi, who this writer personally likes a lot, will draw upon his vast array of musical genres, which ranges from classic to pop to entertain you like never before. Mark also performs six nights a week as the featured vocalist in the long-running revue, "Bite," at the Stratosphere.
"View 215" is a new venue in Las Vegas and is located at 9130 W. Russell Road, looking out over the 215 Beltway. Nancy and this writer will be there, join us!
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY: CineVegas has announced the dates for its 11th Annual Film Festival, June 11 to 20, 2009 at the Palms Casino Resort. Submissions for films will take place from Dec. 1, 2008 till March 1, 2009...
Don't forget to get your off-road vehicle (Jeep, truck, etc) ready for Henderson's 7th Annual Fabtech Desert Race, Saturday, Dec. 6th in Eldorado Valley...
Giovanna Sardelli, daughter of our friend and entertainer extraordinaire, Nelson Sardelli, has won the prestigious Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Director for her production of "Animals out of Paper," by Rajiv Joseph. The play was produced by the Second Stage Theater in New York and, if you remember, got rave reviews (which we mentioned in our column). Congrats to Giovanna and her family...
"Who Will Stand," a documentary film I wrote about a while back, about returning warriors who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is now available for purchase by going to (website closed). This is a fantastic production and all the money raised will go directly to the cause...
Lon Bronson and the All-Star Band returns to the Railhead lounge inside Boulder Station, Friday, Nov. 28th beginning at 7:30 p.m. Bronson needs every ones support if it's to fly more than one-night...
"Peepshow" starring Mel B (from the Spice Girls) and Kelly Monaco (winner of the first Dancing With the Stars), along with 20 beautiful dancers, etc., will open at Planet Hollywood, March 30, 2009...
Well, gang, that's about it for this week.
I'm outa here!
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