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 #3


The Summit (1960)

7 comments :

Brent McKee said...

Wasn't Lawford's brother-in-law also in attendance for at least one performance?

swac said...

And what the hell did Lawford actually do onstage anyway?

I've got some Rat Pack bootleg CDs...but Lawford is thankfully absent.

Tom Sutpen said...

Rob asked:

Wasn't Lawford's brother-in-law also in attendance for at least one performance?

*****
He was. In fact, there's some footage of that show, with Sinatra introducing Kennedy at ringside, but whoever was working the camera when JFK stands up couldn't get him in focus until he sat down.

Kinda like the photo of Lincoln giving the Gettysburg address.

Tom Sutpen said...

Stephen asked:

And what the hell did Lawford actually do onstage anyway?

*****
What they all did: sang, danced, hung out, told ethnic jokes (mostly written by Joey Bishop). Sammy Davis, jr. worked up a song and dance routine he and Lawford did in every performance. Since Lawford had actually played Vegas before any of them (he did a headlining act with James Durante at the Flamingo in '48) he was able to handle himself more than adequately on stage, believe it or not. Of course, nobody came to see him, so he was literally the fifth wheel.

I've got some Rat Pack bootleg CDs...but Lawford is thankfully absent.

*****
If they're the same ones I have, they post-date Sinatra's exiling him out of the group.

swac said...

I should have figured that Lawford could do a little song and dance...having seen Good News years ago.

Still, I'm hard pressed to think of anything of value that Lawford ever contributed to the world of popular culture...oh wait, he played Paul Bern in the biopic Harlow. That I'd like to see.

I could always get that double feature DVD of the Salt and Pepper flicks I've seen in the bargain bin....

Brooklyn Blowhard said...

Now that's a show that dreams are made of.
Great pic guys.

Tommy O'C said...

Lawford and Sammy did a song-and-dance number on one of the specials Sinatra did for Timex, circa 1960. (The last in the series was "Welcome back, Elvis.") According to Lawford's biographer, James Spada, with all the late-night partying and screwing going on, there were evenings when only one (maybe two) of the Rat Pack would appear on stage for the show. One day, before that evening's show, Lawford was walking behind two Vegas guys who were talking about this and how they thought they should all show up as advertised but that, even so, you always got a good show--except when that Lawford guy showed up alone.