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February 26, 2024

Imagine Dragons, The Killers kill it for Alice Cooper; Roger Clemens shakes off Hall of Fame questions

16th Annual Canon USA Benefit at Bellagio

Ed Foster

Rock legend Alice Cooper is shown with a guitar up for auction at the 16th Annual Canon USA Customer Appreciation Reception/National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Benefit on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, at Bellagio.

Updated Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 | 1:23 p.m.

2015 Canon USA Benefit at Bellagio

Frankie Moreno performs during the 16th Annual Canon USA Customer Appreciation Reception/National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Benefit on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, at Bellagio. Launch slideshow »

The Kats Report Bureau at this writing is a favored enclave: Fuel Cafe Express at the Hard Rock Hotel. The latest from this hotel’s entertainment venues is the announced nine-show spring run by Journey at the Joint, from April 29 to May 16. But before that, on Feb. 22, the stars of “Trailer Park Boys” — Ricky, Julian and Bubbles — are presenting their “Still Drunk, High & Unemployed” live show.

“TPB” is a long-running Canadian “mockumentary” series that centers on the ragtag trailer-park dwellers. Among their entrepreneurial schemes are the linking of a toy train across the U.S.-Canadian border to haul a shipment of marijuana to Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach. They also find a way to turn a major supply of hash into a driveway, concealing the contraband in full view of everyone. A friend who hails from Ottawa turned me on to “TPB” about seven years ago. The new series can be found on Netflix.

At Hard Rock’s Vinyl, I’m expecting an announcement of an act favored by Las Vegas entertainers and resort officials moving into that room. Likely by Monday. It’s a groovy production, the result of a lot of work, talent and imagination.


• On the topic of work, talent and imagination — at legendary levels — Alice Cooper likes to say, “There are not a lot of great rock bands out there. If you have a banjo and an accordion in your band, you’re probably not a rock band.”

But Cooper lists Las Vegas’ superstar bands The Killers and Imagine Dragons as two of the greats.

“What they’ve done is create a new sound in rock. I love The Killers because they came out and managed to make a unique sound, which is very rare in rock and roll,” Cooper said during Wednesday’s 16th Annual Canon USA Customer Appreciation Reception/National Center for Missing & Exploited Children benefit fundraiser at Bellagio. “Imagine Dragons has come out with a great album, too. But most of the rock bands out there now, I don’t even call them rock bands anymore.”

Alice Cooper at the Palms

Alice Cooper at Pearl Concert Theater on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, at the Palms. Launch slideshow »

Cooper tours at least six months of every year — he was at Pearl at the Palms in November — and is always looking to improve his stage show. He has never been formally approached about delivering his production as an extended engagement in Las Vegas but would certainly be up for such a concept.

“Nobody has really offered us that yet, which is kind of interesting. Never. But I go to all of the shows, all the Broadway shows and everything in Las Vegas because there is production value in every show,” he said. “I’d love to take ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’ (Cooper’s groundbreaking 1975 album and world tour) and put it in one place and really produce it, make it into a production show, and not have to move it around. ... If we could sit in a theater with that show, then we’ll have ‘Welcome to My Nightmare II’ (the 2011 follow-up) and alternate the shows, or do Part I and Part II in one night.”

• Roger Clemens was in attendance at the Canon event, the day after his name was left off the list among those to be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. Three of Clemens’ other contemporaries among the game’s great pitchers won election to the hall: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz. Longtime Astros infielder and outfielder Craig Biggio also was elected. Clemens and all-time homer champ Barry Bonds were not voted into the hall. Both have been linked to steroid use during their careers.

Clemens, whom I met in October 2012 during Holly Madison’s final performance of “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood, declined to talk of the Hall of Fame vote when I asked him if he felt snubbed.

“I can’t answer anything about the Hall of Fame,” he said. “It’s so far in the past. There’s not even a reason to talk about it.”

The 52-year-old Clemens said he was planning to put on a pitching clinic in Waco, Texas. “I’m actually getting on the mound and teaching technique to 300 or so college and high school pitchers,” he said. When I asked if he can still hit the 80s on the Jugs gun, Clemens grinned and said, “Um, maybe. But I’d need ice afterward.”

• A late-night post to her Instagram account informs that Claire Sinclair has signed for another year in “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere. “Stoked,” is how she termed her feelings in a text message about the new contract. The new deal locks in Sinclair for her third year.

The re-signing of Sinclair happens as the show is in the process of shuffling its band lineup, as the original horn section has either left or is about to, and also is in the process of bringing in new backing dancers.

• On the topic of the topless, Club Paradise is reopening for real this weekend, with the party continuing at 6 p.m. today and ending in the “whenever” zone. The club is under new ownership, with Philadelphia businessman Steve Paik stepping in for Sam Cecola. The club was closed in June after a raid by Metro and IRS officials after reports of credit card violations at the club. Paik, who runs clubs near Philly and Atlantic City, is determined to change the reputation of Club Paradise. Be sure to check out my column in this week’s issue of The Sunday, sister publication of the Sun, which is an interview with the unassuming but focused boss of the new C.P.

• The planned implosion of the old Clarion hotel has been moved from its original date, which was to be at just after midnight Monday, to sometime in March. Lorenzo Doumani, owner of that parcel on Convention Center Drive just west of Piero’s, has been working on securing proper permitting to knock down the building. The process has moved back the date, which is not uncommon when prepping an event of this scope. Doumani plans a resort of significant size, costing him and his international investors $500 million to $1 billion, to be open on that property by the end of 2017.

‘Sexxy’ at Westgate Las Vegas

Rehearsals for Jennifer Romas' Launch slideshow »

• The entrance at Westgate Las Vegas stops you the moment you walk into the place. Guests are now met by the International Bar, or IBar, just off the hotel’s main valet. Gaming tables have been repositioned in that area, too, and it’s becoming something of a scene in that area. It helps that the new topless revue “Sexxy” has helped lure Las Vegas scenesters, as Holly Madison, Josh Strickland and POVP (Posse of Vinnie Paul) were all in the hotel to check out Jen Romas’ new show.

In the offing at Westgate are two new restaurants: Edge Steakhouse, a hit at the resort chain’s Park City, Utah, outpost, is targeted for a February opening and will effectively wipe out T.J.’s Steakhouse. In the spring, expect the opening of “Modo Mia,” an Italian restaurant whose name means “my way” in that language. If you were to describe how David Siegel runs the joint, it would be that. Wait till you see the new sports book planned, too: a stadium theme, similar to Lagasse’s Stadium at Palazzo, with VIP boxes at the top.

More on that project at a later date, but I need to get back over there and bet that Packers-Cowboy game (Big D to cover the 6.5) ...

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