The numbers say it all!!! Whether it is or was a friend, a partner, a co-worker, the man who walks his dog in the evening, the lady who drops her groceries sometimes, the small man, the big, the quiet, the loud, the minions or the headliners, we have all been affected by the COVID-19! The social and work environments have changed, economically, we are challenged, but, Las Vegas endures , as it always has in the past and will in the future.
This column is being dedicated to two legends, not only in Vegas, but in the world!
Roy Horn was but not only an icon in the world of illusions on a grand scale, but, more than that, he was my personal friend. It is hard writing this..my friend Roy battled for about 15 years to regain his body usage after his accident and then was struck down mortally by this man made beast.Going back to nearly the beginning, a man who was their public relations person, the late and powerful,Frank Lieberman, introduced me to these amazing entertainers in the world of magic, Siegfried and Roy! Those men introduced me to all the A list media in town! This goes back to the later part of the 1990’s, when I was first making a name as a columnist besides having conquered hair and entertainment. They were like Peter Pans making real life magic for children of all ages. They brought the sparkle of Liberace to the world of prestidigitation – their costumes over the top – their props were living Siberian tigers! Who could ever compare any act any where with something that was so extravagant? Their body movements, all synchronized and gave the tigers a mirror image! They were intense.
Their lives also were an intense story – from working cruise ships, Roy, at only 13 going 14, out of Bremen, Germany, he was a bus boy but had fun making little bunnies disappear. Siegfried picked up on it, also working the cruise as s steward, and soon they decided to go into the big jungle of entertainment – and started out using a cheetah from the Bremen Zoo..Roy had worked there, too, as a young man and was able to get his friend, Chico the cheetah, out and off they went to become the world’s most incredible magic act! Roy’s training of the animals was incomparable.The trainer and legend sleeps silently tonight – we will dearly miss you, Roy, RIP, auf weidhersthen and our sincerest sympathies to his partner in life and show business, the man behind the illusions, Siegfried Fischbacher.
The other solid gold loss is my lifetime buddy, Little Richard! He was several years older than myself, so I grew up listening and grooving to his sensational new sound – rock and roll! We started off as pals, then we were booked into the same gig – myself supposedly as Little Richard’s alter ego – the white, Latino version of that Afro Queen of rock and roll. We were both openly gay to the world, except on national television, which prohibited any sexual deviations to be broadcast – TG, have things changed! Little R and I used to quarrel over who would get the yellow chiffon cape and boa? Seriously, I adored him, but you cannot put two divas, especially opposites (remember this was before equal rights) and have a smooth show! There was lightning but his fingers kept on playing those piano keys like it was hitting a home run in Yankee stadium. We both wore spot on – slightly embellished attire (LOL!!!~!) and we tried to see who was bigger – LR had Good Golly Miss Molly, Tutti Fruitti,and Lucille – and I had Get Dancin, I Wanna Dance Witchoo, and many more..so, we realized we should not compare but became chill friends.
Over our forced stay at home, there are so many that I cannot even think of all the categories who became the new age of Vegas heroes, the docs, the techs, the nurses, the staff of hospitals, grocery clerks, pharmacy workers, take away food servers – all too many to even fathom! The best part was that people started to become closer..for a while. I am starting to see, as we reopen in Phase One, a change that is not the best – when someone holds a door for you (with a paper towel) so you won’t have to, the words “Thank You” are in order. I thought we learned through this human holocaustic plague- the power of kindness – that is my motto – so think when someone does something that is positive, and say thank you to the person – we can get through anything with THE POWER OF KINDNESS!
As we finish up Memorial weekend we can never forget our veteran heroes, too! And my birthday – May 29th is on that weekend – so, I came in with a bang – I create a bang – and the Bang is Back! Sizzling fireworks, let’s truly celebrate as a unified United States – a great Memorial weekend!
Godspeed and God Bless America!
Monti Rock III and ZoZo, the wonder dog!