Sally Steele/Vegas Rocks! Magazine
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 | 3:36 p.m.
Talk about high-speed action! The History Channel executives decided that our “Pawn Stars” hometown heroes needed new theme music to kick off the Season 4 of shows. It took just two weeks to land Lynyrd Skynyrd in concert at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Downtown Las Vegas.
It was a mutual admiration society when the nine-member rock group met first inside the store with Richard “The Old Man” Harrison, Rick “The Spotter” Harrison, Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison and Austin “Chumlee” Russell.
“We are all huge fans of one another,” Rick told me. To prove it, the Southern fried rockers filled up bags of “Pawn Stars” swag, including logo hats and T-shirts before preparing for the unexpected concert in the adjoining parking lot.
Our thanks to Sally Steele of Vegas Rocks! Magazine for her photographs of the “Party Like the Pawn Stars” event. Complimentary Memphis Championship BBQ and beer were handed out to fans who discovered the surprise concert.
“Pawn Stars” also has the new theme to mark the move from 10 p.m. Mondays to 9 p.m. Thursdays starting May 30. The surprise hit reality TV show is still No. 1 in more than 250 countries and is expected to increase its audience with the new primetime slot.
Ten cameras — one on an elaborate mobile crane — recorded the concert and theme music performed for the first time. The concert won’t be shown in full, but its content will be used for commercials and promotions for the start of the new season and timeslot. Episodes for 2013-2014 are still being shot here.
The History Channel executives I spoke with at the show told me that “Pawn Stars,” with more than 300 episodes, keeps getting stronger, and they expect it to run for several more years.
Rick told me: “It’s really cool that The History Channel booked our favorites for this. They are amazing and are known all over the world. Lynyrd Skynyrd is America’s band. It was an absolutely great concert, and it all came together in just two weeks from idea to execution to recording to the concert. That’s fast.
“I have been a fan of them since I was 12 years old. I even have a hat worn by their founder Ronnie Van Zant, who died in that tragic plane crash back in 1977. I took it in two years ago. It’s not for sale. I just keep it on display — I’m that much of a fan.
“We’d been talking about new opening music for a year. But when we all finally said ‘Yes, let’s do it,’ it was let’s go big and let’s get Lynyrd Skynyrd. The show itself keeps getting better, and it’s still building in popularity. That means we’re getting even neater things coming through the front door that makes for even more intriguing television.”
Twice-divorced Rick, 48, said that his July 21 wedding plans to marry fiancee Deanna Burditt ocean front at The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, Calif., are on track. His three sons and her three daughters will be attending. Vegas DeLuxe had the exclusive news of their engagement and the 2 1/2-carat cushion-cut diamond ring in February 2012.
“She’s left me to do all the planning, and all I can say is that there’s a lot more to weddings that I ever thought,” Rick said. “What started with just 40 family and friends is now well over 100.”
Danny Koker of the sister reality TV show “Counting Cars” also filmed in Las Vegas for The History Channel is an ordained minister who will officiate at the ceremony. Chumlee will act as the ring bearer.
It was a busy weekend for the “Pawn Stars” who also celebrated Corey’s 30th birthday with a rock bash downtown at Hogs and Heifers.
Rick summed up: “Corey flew in a real redneck band from South Carolina: Rebel Son. I had to leave after four hours because, with Lynyrd Skynyrd the previous night and Corey’s party the next, I was completely gone from the weekend.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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