For those who don't know, I am a "born & bred" Las Vegan, and have often heard how rare that is. The sentiment that growing up in Las Vegas must have been really cool and interesting, and thinking back on it, I guess it was. When I was young I didn't realize or appreciate that it may have been different from growing up somewhere else, really, anywhere else. My mom was a waitress in various showrooms here in town and I remember that on some Saturday nights we would dress up and go out to a nice dinner at the Green Shack or The Alpine Village (out at the end of the strip) for Lobster Tail . We'd then pile back in the trusty Oldsmobile to go to a show that was often comped. My mom knew pretty much everyone, or so it seemed to this youngster. I remember seeing Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl at the Riviera, and how exciting it was to see The Ames Brothers, not because they were great singers, which i'm sure they were, but because Ed Ames played Daniel Boone's Companion "Mingo on TV.." On that night, we sat right on the front of the stage and during the show. Ed Ames actually walked to the edge of the stage, bent down and tweaked my sisters nose-we were over the moon! And then there was this guy, Wayne Newton! Wayne was a huge part of our growing up, (we saw his show many times over the years) not because we knew him well but because my mom worked at the Frontier Hotel, where Wayne played, and when he played everything was groovy: Tips were abundant, and for a single parent household that survived on tips we loved when things were flush. Everyone at the hotel made good money when Wayne Newton played. So, It was really exciting (at least to me) when we recently had the chance to photograph Wayne in the studio for an ad for his new show at Ballys. We were contracted by Wayne's agency to create a photograph of Wayne sitting on a red velvet sofa with the Las Vegas Skyline in the background. It was an absolute pleasure to see Mr. Las Vegas after all these years, and get to tell him what a great part he unknowingly played in our lives. He and his wife were lovely and gracious. The whole studio was twitterpated having this living legend grace our world. We totally know what my mom knew then~ things are groovy when Wayne is around.
Photographing Wayne Newton for Braintrust Marketing