Las Vegas at last
Our final day on Route 66 saw us taking in the desert beauty of the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. We also stopped in Winslow, Arizona, where there are statues of the Eagles commemorating the line about the town in Take It Easy, before nearly running out of gas and having to turn back to Seligman to fill up. We stayed in Kingman, which doesn't have much to recommend it.
Next day it was off to the flesh pots of Las Vegas for the first night of Viva Las Vegas. It was a pretty good evening, starting off with Texas Steve, whose run of the mill rockabilly was enlivened by a couple of numbers from T J Mayes. Next up were the Rip 'Em Ups, a band from LA, who really got the place rocking with a noisy, raw and exciting set. The band includes a great sax player and were excellent on numbers including Baby Doll and Wild Savage WomanWith Blood Red Eyes. The rocking theme continued with long established Nashville band the Planet Rockers, including the cowboy attired Sonny George and Eddie Angel. Their set included Truck Drivers Rock, Moon Over Memphis, a drum performance from Billy 'Thunder' Schwartz, Bull By The Horns and their instrumental hit Rampage. Good solid rockabilly.
Next up was the UK's Graham Fenton, once of Matchbox. He started with a rather low key version of Surrender and continued in similar vein with Put The Blame On Me, Hurricane, a Gene Vincent styled Lazy River (rather out of tune), Right Now and the Freddie Cannon song that the band covered successfully Buzz Buzz A Diddle It. Rather disappointing I thought. Also less than totally convincing was Kim Lenz, who, despite being a competent singer and guitarist never quite hit the heights. Numbers included Chop Town Boogie, DJ Play That Record All Night Long and Slowly Speeding. Ok but a bit predictable.
Much more exciting, and a big favourite with the crowd, was Lance Lipinski, who is a real showman and whose quiff puts others to shame. He pays the piano like Jerry Lee and did a couple of numbers on guitar too, and his band, ncluding an excellent sax man, and female backing singers gave him good support. Numbers included upbeat rockers like a Chuck Berry tribute and Rocket 88, and the Fleetwoods' ballad The Great Impostor, a song I've not heard a band do before.
Today it's the Burlesque Showcase and after lining up for two hours this morning for a ticket I can't wait to see Dita Von Teese and the others in action. This afternoon I visited the Mob Museum, which I would highly recommend.