Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dead Kennedys -- "Viva Las Vegas" (1980)

I'm gonna give it everything I've got 
Lady luck, please let the dice stay hot 
Got coke up my nose to dry away the snot
Viva Las Vegas!

I bet you're thinking to yourself, "I don't remember Elvis singing about coke and snot when he sang this song in the 1964 movie of the same name, which co-starred the always effervescent Ann-Margret."

To quote Edward Leo Peter McMahon, Jr. (whose 30-year run as Johnny Carson's second banana on The Tonight Show began shortly before Viva Las Vegas hit the theaters), "You are correct, sir!"

But we're featuring the Dead Kennedys' 1980 cover of "Viva Las Vegas" (which appeared on the Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables album) and the Dead Kennedys always did things a little differently.

In case you're thinking that Dead Kennedys is probably the most tasteless name for a rock band ever, I have three words for you: Sharon Tate's Baby.  That was the name of an Austin punk band that was formed in 1979.

But let's not dwell on that unpleasant subject.  Instead, let's remember these lines from "Hey Girl," by Gruppo Sportivo (a Dutch pop band with an Italian name that sings in French and English):

She said, "You're nose is running, honey"
I said, "I'm sorry but it's not"

(If you don't get the joke, read those lines out loud a couple of times.)

I try to put thoughts of snot out of my mind every chance I get, and I bet you do, too.  

(Hey, I'm really in a betting mood tonight!  That's what going to Las Vegas for a few days will do to a guy!)

Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables album cover
I've never snorted cocaine, so I don't know what it's nasal ramifications are.  However, I was once backstage at a Tubes concert (thanks to a day-old press pass I had found at the Harvard Cooperative Society's main Harvard Square retail store) and sniffled as a roadie walked by.  

He stopped on a dime and stared at me intently.  "You got any cocaine to share?"  he demanded.  "No?  Then no sniffling!"

Anywho . . . Las Vegas is a colorful place that never fails to delight the senses.  

I go to Las Vegas once a year to attend a trade show that my law firm exhibits at.  I enjoy it, although I have no desire to go more than once a year.

Now that there are casinos almost everywhere, Las Vegas isn't as unique as it once was.  But it's still the only place I know with an airport full of slot machines.  (The airport slots supposedly are the worst-paying slots in town.)

Viva airport slots!
I'm not a slots guy, so I was more interested in this sign, which was in a prominent potation in the airport:

Viva Britney!
And I was even more interested in this sign:

Viva machine guns!
In recent years, the trade show has been at the Wynn, which is a relatively new and extremely posh resort.

Viva Wynn!
This year, my room was actually in the Encore, the Wynn's adjacent sister property.  It is equally posh.

Viva Encore!
The Encore is either 52 or 63 stories high.  The top floor is numbered 63.  But not only is there no 13th floor -- a not uncommon practice -- there's no 40th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th, or 49th floors.

That's because the number four is a homonym for death in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.  (One wonders, of course, why the Encore didn't skip the 4th, 14th, 24th, 34th, and 54th floors as well.)

The Wynn and Encore are known for their nightclubs, which are reportedly the most profitable clubs in Vegas.  The flagship club at the Encore, which is called "XS," is huge -- 40,ooo square feet.  (It holds up to 3000 guests.)

Viva XS!
The shopping at the Wynn/Encore complex is a little rich for my blood.  Here are a few of their stores:

Viva Cartier, Hermès, Chanel, Dior, and Vuitton!
There's even a Ferrari stores, although they don't sell real Ferraris there -- just Ferrari-themed jackets, and caps, and T-shirts, and jewelry, and toys.

Here's a photo of a Ferrari I can afford:

Viva Ferrari!
Here's the Wynn's swimming pool, where the trade show's opening-night cocktail party was held:

Here's a picture of my room at the Encore.  (As far as I know this is a pretty standard room -- I certainly didn't pay extra for an upgrade.)

I can't imagine how much money they spent decorating the Wynn and Encore.  Here are a couple of wall hangings from the Encore:

And here's a Jeff Koons sculpture, which is located right in the middle of everything:

Viva Jeff Koons!
Here's the Dead Kennedys' cover of "Viva Las Vegas":

Click here to order it from Amazon:

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