I have lost another wonderful friend, and one that was a living Icon in a City of Icons. He, along with you and I, love this village we call home. George Levine really loved his town. Levine was The Captain of all the Captains of Showrooms. He was the Maître D of all Maitre d’ Hôtels. He was the perfect image of a Gentle Man who lived a happy life.
Mr. Levine spent the greatest years of his life at the Sands Hotel when it was at the height of its glory. The years of the “Rat Pack” was, and still is, the most talked about years of any hotel in the world, and when the moniker, “Entertainment Capital of the World” was first used. I first met George when Joe Louis (former heavyweight champion of the world), his wife Martha, and I would travel to Las Vegas in the late ‘50s to cover a championship fight. We would always end up at the Sands, and George would personally seat us in a preferred location. Even if I didn’t have a sport coast (which in those days were required), Levine would somehow have one that fit me perfectly.
So much has been written about this man, I just wanted to tell one little story that will show you the type of man and Captain George Levine was: Wayne Newton was headlining at the Sands back in the ‘80s, and I was with a date (Brenda) and at the last moment we decided to go see Wayne. As we arrived at the entrance, another captain was at the door. We asked if there was any room left and he said, None…”it’s standing room only and that’s full.” So, we turned to leave, and I heard someone calling me…”Norm…Norm wait a minute…” It was George. He said just wait here I’ll fix something up for you. In a minute he was back, grabs Brenda’s hand and leads us straight down the center aisle (it was in the convention center as the old showroom was undergoing re-construction) to a table abutting center stage. “The best I could do,” George said with a smile. Newton looked down at us, grinned, and with a little laugh, greeted us, and went into his next song. Following the show, we visited with Mr. Newton and thanked George. Oh, yeah, George would never accept a tip from me!
I last saw my friends at the Venetian Hotel on the night Bob Anderson opened his show: “Frank…The Man The Music.” He looked super. As usual we hugged and said we need to get together.
George Levine has left our village, but he leaves behind a ton of memories and a wonderful family, beginning with his daughters, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley and Wendy Fleming, five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren. Funeral services were held last Saturday.
Farewell my Friend. You will be remembered: George Levine: February 28, 1925 – August 11, 2018.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
On Saturday, August 18, Rob Garrett will bring his show, “Neil Diamond – The Tribute Show” back to one of his favorite venues, “The Club” inside the Cannery Hotel & Casino in North Las Vegas, where he has performed his “Hot August Nights” show annually over the years with a single 8:00 p.m. performance.
On January 22, 2018, just two days short of his 77th birthday, Neil Diamond stunned the music world when he announced his retirement from live performances after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Diamond’s live performing career now being discontinued may be devastating to his fans, however, all is not lost as there is a ray of light at the end of the tunnel, and that “ray” happens to be long time Las Vegas performer Rob Garrett.
Aside from winning numerous awards over the years, Garrett has been critically acclaimed for his uncanny physical and vocal resemblance to a late ‘70s early ‘80s era Neil Diamond, and is arguably considered the world’s most requested, well-known, and respected Neil Diamond tribute artist – so much so that he is very often referred to as the “King of Diamonds”. After watching Garrett perform a few times, I wrote: “Of all the Tribute Artists running around Las Vegas (and elsewhere), there is none better than Garrett,”
Like his legendary counterpart, Garrett was born in New York City, but in 1974 he traveled west and landed in our little village (Las Vegas), where he stayed and raised a family. Rob has been performing his tribute to Diamond since 1995 and stands atop a very saturated mountain of tribute artist’s in the Entertainment Capital of the World.
However, he has been reviewed by just about every journalist in the country, and without question he has been proclaimed “The Best Tribute Artist to ever work a stage anywhere.” He has become one of the city’s most popular, local, draws whether it be a tribute or non-tribute act. Take it from another reviewer, non-other than Mike Weatherford, former entertainment critic for the Las Vegas Review Journal, who wrote “Garrett does look & sound astonishingly like Diamond.” Rob continues to set the standard in the industry by performing his tribute show of the prolific singer/songwriter around the country in venues usually reserved for nationally named acts.
The “King of Diamonds” band features Billy Carmody (drums), LJ Harness (percussion), Steve Gerard, Jay Boyer (Keys/Synthesizer), Steve Henley (electric/acoustic guitar/vocals), Brett Cohen (bass/vocals), Ines Zak and Jessica Thompson (vocals).
The Cannery is located at 2121 E Craig Rd, North Las Vegas, NV 8903. Tickets are priced at $20.00 general admission and may be purchased by calling 702-507-5700.
NASCAR heads to the “Entertainment Capital of the World” to kick off the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in grand fashion. Las Vegas will be the scene for an action-packed three days as NASCAR’s 16 best drivers as teams of 2018 begin their championship aspirations quest.
To celebrate the start of the sport’s postseason and engage fans, the festivities center around three major events: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Media Day; NASCAR Burnout Blvd Fueled by Sunoco (formerly known as Victory Lap); and a two-day Playoffs Party at Fremont Street Experience culminating in a free concert by platinum-selling recording artist Cole Swindell on 3rd Street Stage. All the proceedings take place before the green flag drops at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 16, when it hosts its inaugural postseason race – The South Point 400 – and NASCAR’s playoff opener at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT (NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Race fans will have the unique opportunity to see their favorite cars up close, interact with the sport’s top drivers and take part in a variety of other activities that build momentum and enthusiasm for the historic race weekend. A brief overview of events is below, with more information available online by going to NASCAR.com/playoffs.
Monster Energy Playoffs media day will be held Thursday, Sept. 13 at the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa, and will serve as the first event of the Playoffs celebration. For the first time, a portion of media day will be open to select fans.
Join all 16 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs drivers on Thursday, Sept. 13, as they drive their race cars down the magnificent Las Vegas Strip. NASCAR Burnout Blvd Fueled by Sunoco driver introductions and pre-event pageantry will take place on Las Vegas Boulevard outside Miracle Mile Shops. The procession of race cars will then travel north to Spring Mountain Road where all 16 drivers will take their turn emulating the victory burnouts they hope to replicate during the Playoffs. Fans are welcome to view the procession along Las Vegas Boulevard, including the pre-event festivities outside the Miracle Mile Shops and the burnout location at Spring Mountain, between Fashion Show and Wynn Las Vegas. NBCSN will have coverage of the event as part of a special two-hour playoff edition of NASCAR America, beginning at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.
Celebrate the eve of the Playoffs on Saturday, Sept. 15 with stars Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, and other NASCAR drivers and personalities at the inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Party with musical artist and Platinum-selling Ten-time No. 1 rising superstar Cole Swindell. Free to all fans and held at the Fremont Street Experience, the event will feature conversations with drivers and NASCAR personalities. Sponsored by Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, the Playoffs Party will culminate with a concert by Cole Swindell – the 2015 American Country Music New Artist of the Year award winner who will release his third album, All of It, on Aug. 17.
In addition to Saturday evening’s driver appearances and concert, fans can visit the Fremont Street Experience anytime on Friday and Saturday to enjoy NASCAR partner activations and see all 16 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs cars.
On-track activity kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 13 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where NASCAR’s next generation of rising stars will be on display at The Dirt Track in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West’s much anticipated return to dirt – the Star Nursey 100. Prior to the race, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stars Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer will be the featured guests at an autograph session at the track.
The event weekend also features two other national series races, including the NASCAR Xfinity Series DC Solar 300 regular season finale Sept. 15 and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series World of Westgate 200 Playoffs race Sept. 14.
Well gang, that’s it for this week.