Back in the day
When I was in my 20s, I alternately lived in Northern CA, Southern CA and Arizona, and visited Las Vegas about every 6 months, plus I lived in LV for 5 months in 1994. It was much easier to do the usual Vegas stuff without children,and it was cheap enough to drive up regularly without a whole lot of cash, especially when we could pile 8 people into a room at the Plaza at a cost of about $8 each. Highlights:
- Grateful Dead at the Silver Bowl (7 shows between 91 and 94). Fantastic, especially the 91 shows, with monsoon lightning storm in the background. Actually, for the first of these trips, which I generally remember as one of the great weekends of my life, I was only 19 and staying at the Sahara with 3 friends, 2 other guys and 1 girl. The girl was carded by a security guard and told that she couldn't play, but the guard said to the 3 guys, "You gentlemen are welcome to go ahead and play."
- Keely Smith and Sam Butera at the Desert Inn (1994). She was the nightly lounge act. I saw her about 3 times. Also fantastic, and amazingly no cover. Toni Tenille was in the audience at one show.
- Frank Sinatra at the MGM Grand showroom in what might have been his last show ever in Las Vegas, in 1994. At $60, it was the most I had ever spent for a show ticket and a LOT of money for me at the time. I had very high hopes, and was pretty disappointed because he was forgetting a lot of lines to songs, and he performed for only about 50 minutes and didn't sing my favorite song (Summer Wind) and actually covered a few other singers' songs, which for Frank Sinatra seems totally unnecessary. However, his voice was great, as was the full orchestra with the gorgeous Nelson RIddle arrangements (under the direction of Frank Jr at the time).
- Tried to sneak into the Holyfield-Moorer fight in the outdoor arena at Caesars Palace without paying (where the tall tower is now along Flamingo). Got through a hole in the chain link fence surrounding it, but then chickened out and left.
- Took several totally spontaneous one-night trips from Tucson and LA with friends (7 hrs drive each way). On one such trip we couldn't afford a room so we tried to stay awake all night in the lounge at the MGM Grand and were awakened several times by security guards.
- With my girlfriend at the time we were sitting in the sports bar at the Bellagio when it began to fill up because the NBA Finals game was going to start. I don't care much for pro basketball so I wasn't really anticipating it. Soon it was standing room only. She asked two guys standing next to us if they wanted a seat. They said sure. She said it would cost them $25. One of them slipped me $25 and we took off . After we were outside, I was surprised that we had both gotten paid to give up our seats. Easiest $50 ever made. Who pays $25 to sit in a bar and watch free TV? We used it to see the Wayne Brady show. Soon after that we were engaged to be married.
- Lived for about a month within the apartment ghetto in the shadow of Stupak's Vegas World. Paid rent by the week and was told to collect my mail at the Aztec Inn (although I never got any). The closest thing I had to my own phone was a voice mailbox and the pay phone at the Sahara. Couldn't afford to gamble and had no friends in town so I just watched other people gamble, which I did find somewhat interesting. That is something I won't be doing again.
Last edited by azlefty; 06-25-2011 at 10:13 PM.