Something’s gotten hold of my hand. Dragging my soul to a beautiful land, Yeah something has invaded my night. Painting my sleep with a colour so bright. Changing the grey, and changing the blue. Scarlet for me, and scarlet for you. – Gene Pitney and Marc Almond
Apropos nothing other than my invitation came in for the American Travel Fair in Las Vegas this Autumn.
And this banger screamed out from the television on a nostalgia fest for the year 1989.
It completely passed me by back then and is only relevant to me now that the video was filmed in the Vegas Neon Boneyard.
The Neon Museum is where building frontages go to retire now LED lights have taken over.
It is a surreal site, like Vegas itself but if you suspend belief then you’ll get it.
Particularly if you’ve got curator Beverley to show you around.
Sign of the times
There are 19 working signs there while two Riviera and Fitzgeralds were received in working condition.
Fitzgeralds might not be one you’d immediately associate with Vegas but it is a reminder of Neon City’s Irish imprint.
It stood on Fremont Street, Vegas’s Downtown, from 1987-2012.
So if you find yourself watching the Gene and Marc Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart see if you can spot them moving through any of these other sites.
Put your shirt on this
Lucky Shirt: And not all of the signs are from hotels and casinos.
This one is from a dry cleaners and was the suggestion of the owner’s daughter.
We R Vegas
The Sahara: And an old Vegas institution here namechecked in many a song.
There’s an ‘A’ at the end. The Hara? Well, there is a Harrah’s on The Strip with the best 70s/80s tribute band.
And there’s always a duck
The Ugly Duckling: And you know me I’m a sucker for a duck but Vegas surprises here too.
Again, it’s not a casino, but of all things the Ugly Duckling Car Sales from the 90s. Only in Vegas!
Weddingtown: And sometimes what happens in Harrah’s will end up in a wedding chapel!
So credit to the two blokes in our party who camped it up at Graceland Wedding Chapel for ‘Elvis’ to marry them.
Viva Li Vegas
Liberace’s: And back to our friend Beverley who has that flash of Vegas we all seek.
Nobody does that better, of course, than Liberace and Beverley can tell you all about her time in his employ.
And jangle her Liberace ear-rings and bling at you.
The Neon Museum is open under Covid restrictions.
And for more information on how Vegas is emerging from Covid visit Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.