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Norm Relives his Rock & Roll Past at 'Sgt. Pepper Live'

Plus: Rich Little, Nelson Sardelli and more...

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As many of you readers know, I am a huge fan of the Big Band era and the Golden Oldies. At one time, in my youthful days, however, following my service in the Korean War, I was actually a die-hard Rockín Roller. I couldnít get enough of the loud music. Night after night in, San Diego, California, and later in Hollywood, you would find me hanging out at various nightclubs, where we actually danced in contests for money. I even appeared in a few movies as a jitterbug dancer. What Iím leading up to is simple: We, Nancy Barr and this writer, attended Sgt. Pepper Live featuring Cheap Trick last Saturday evening at the Paris Hotel & Casino.

I remember Cheap Trick from a couple of their early recordings in the Ď70s. Over the years (as I grew older and my hearing became more delicate), I moved away from even listening to any Hard Rock style of music. I was also not a huge fan of the Beatles (I know, I know I have sinned), but I did enjoy a few of their songs. Nancy was definitely a big Beatles fan.

It was a packed house inside the Paris Las Vegas Theatre, as Cheap Trick returned to Las Vegas in their celebration of the iconic Beatlesí album. The group had previously appeared at the Las Vegas Hilton on Paradise, where they did fantastic business. The oversized Paris stage worked well for this presentation, as the Sgt. Pepper Symphony Orchestra (strings and all) were set up on a bandstand pedestal, I would guess about 15 feet above the stage. Cheap Trick had the front and were pretty well spaced out, which may have led to one of the sound problems. Yes, even with my tender ears, I noticed the problems.

 Oh, yes, about mid-way through the show, out slid a large sofa with a group of musicians playing authentic Indian Sitar band instruments, with Tom Petersson, 60, featured. What I did find of interest was how lead guitarist, Rick Nielsen, 64, (the original member of the group when it was first formed as, ďFuseĒ in 1967 with Petersson), would spin his guitar picks out into the audience. The various colored picks were attached (I guess with glue) to his mic stand, and there had to be hundreds of them. Iím again guessing, this has to be one of Nielsenís gimmicks, besides being considered one of the greatest lead guitarists in the country. Robin Zander, 57, has been with Cheap Trick as lead vocalists and rhythm guitarist since 1972, is without question, a great Rockín Roll singer. The drummer, Daxx Nielsen, is the son of Rick.

Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick

Rob Zander of Cheap Trick


We were sitting a wee bit too close for my comfort and hearing, but we stayed as long as I could handle it. It is definitely a wonderful show for those who enjoy their music a little on the loud side. If you are a Hard Rock aficionado, then this is definitely a show for you to see. If you are a true Beatles fan (and most people are), then youíll really enjoy this performance. The remaining June dates are Friday, June 18 and 25, and Tuesday, June 22 and 29. They return to Paris on July 20. Tickets range from $75 to $250 plus tax and fees.


Just In: Rich Little, one of the good guys, has inked a deal with the Cannery Casino & Hotel, to perform in The Club, Saturday, July 10 at 8 p.m. The last time Rich performed in our little village (he and his wife, Marie, are Las Vegas residents) was a couple of years ago at the Golden Nugget. At that time, Little had to pull out of the deal, because of an unexpected illness (theyíre all unexpected, duh?). The last time I talked to Rich, he was in New Mexico breaking in a new one-man show on the late great movie star, Jimmy Stewart. Iíll let you know what heíll be doing at the Cannery as soon as I talk to him.

This Sunday, at the Boulder City Veterans Home, the annual Fatherís Day Show produced by Nelson Sardelli, will have more than 33 performers donating their time and talents to entertain the residents and the general public. The following is a list of those confirmed to appear: Vince Falcone, Gary Olds Trio, Michaelina, Artie Schroeck, Pete Barbutti, Babe Pier, Jerry Lopez, Genevieve, Cork Proctor, The Great Tomsoni & Co, Allen Tramont, Charly Raymond, Paul Campanella, Peter Anthony, Dr. George Ritter, Nathan Brian Wine, Ronnie Rose, Charlie Shaffer, Joni Illi, Nik Mastrangelo, Dr. Wilfred Krom, Thom Nelli, Tom Marth, Diane Ellis, Larry Tailor, Tommy Thompson, Robert Ensler, Mundane the Grate, Sinco, Lou Toomin, and of course, Nelson Sardelli. Nelson wanted to make sure everyone is aware this show is open to the public and itís free. The program is scheduled to get underway at 10:00 a.m. and will go until at least 2:00 p.m.

Well, gang, thatís about it for this week.

Iím outa here!

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