The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Great Moments in Las Vegas History #1

Louis Prima signs for another run at the Sands while Jack Entratter and Moe Lewis look on . . . and Francis Albert Sinatra stares into the camera. (1964)


swac said...

Recently I've been going through some old videos of stuff taped off the TV...pretty random assortments of music clips, interviews and other flotsam. Among all this was a hefty clip of Prima and Keely on Ed Sullivan doing a whacked-out version of I Got You Under My Skin. Prima's bizarre, off-the-cuff persona and Smith's Italian pixie sexuality make for a strange combination, but totally captivating. But it was refreshing to remember when you could be genuinely odd and still be deemed popular.

"Entertainment" these days seems to be about bad cheerleader-style choreography; Prima was truly worth the trip to Tahoe.

Tom Sutpen said...

Jesus Christmas, ain't that the truth!

At least when the Mob ran the joints out there you could get drinks at the tables fairly regularly and always know you were never more than a few hours away from a decent spell of solid, meat and potatoes entertainment in the Lounge.

Now, it's strictly for the tourists.

Rob said...

I just got back from a drive to AZ, and Prima is one of my mandatory road sounds.

When the Mob REALLY ran the towns, there was a kind of creepy atmosphere, almost cowboy-fruity, the bars were soooo smokey, and the hookers were more subdued on the strip. Not that I would know anything about those pros beyond that. The lack of sophistication was an almost endearing trait back then, and at night, it was positively garish. I loved that aspect, but it paled fast if you were there more than a weekend. Seen the new ads for LV with the hooker theme? Back to square one.