An indoor rainstorm, a walk-through chandelier, cube-shaped TV’s, the Bellagio East Chapel where we got married, Pete Rose in a casino signing autographs, sushi rolls in Paris, playing 10 hands of poker at the same time, and a 76-year old man still belting out the hits were just a few of the Vegas highlights that I had yet to write about. It Valentine’s Eve, sometimes referred to as “Galentine’s Day,” when single women celebrate the occasion. For my wife and I, it’s a date with Barry Manilow, soon to turn 77 years young. His home stage is the Westgate Resort and Casino where we’re staying, so how could we miss the opportunity to see him. We tried to see 93-year old Tony Bennett, another Vegas legend, in a Portland concert last year but he cancelled. These are guys that make me feel young, even though they are doing a lot more at this stage of life than I am. 

I saw the Neville Brothers here in Vegas a few decades back and Barry Manilow 25 years ago, both as part of conventions in the television industry. The Who and their song “Who are You” launched the CBS-TV hit, CSI – Crime Scene investigation Las Vegas, at the Bellagio in 2000. They performed a private concert and stayed for a reception. The cast of Mamma Mia were musical guests a couple of years later. This was the extent of my exposure to Vegas convention music, once I moved to an NBC affiliate who held their annual meetings in New York City. Tonight will be the first time that I’ve actually paid to see a concert here in Las Vegas.  

The New York City affairs were primarily dinners and meetings, not the glitz of Las Vegas. I did, however, continue to benefit from free tickets for concerts and sporting events as part of entertaining clients through the years. We always had a suite and/or great seats for virtually anything that came to town. This dates back to even the radio business where free tickets were always available and spoiled me for life. Here I am in retirement with less income and no ticket connections. Sadly, I have to pay for my seats now, starting with Barry Manilow!