America, Countries, Music, UK

Meat Loaf, Vegas and a life in the fast lane

Marvin Lee Aday truly is a sinner before the gates of heaven, but I’d back him to get around St Peter with tales of Meat Loaf, Vegas and a life in the fast lane.

Old rocker Marvin was known as Meat from an early age.

And that is the name he answered to Meat Loaf, Vegas and a life in the fast laneof course through his adult life and fame.

And that is how Northern Irishman and editor Martin was invited to address the rock legend, who passed away this week aged 74, when they met in Vegas.

Now obviously I would have loved to have been a bystander.

The Whip-Its: Rattling out 70s and 80s standards in Harrahs in Vegas

As Meat invited Mart to party the night away in Sin City.

And not least because as large as Meat was Mart is certainly more of the greyhound variety.

As our party in Las Vegas found out when he dangled mid-air on the Slotzilla zipline across Fremont Street in Downtown Vegas.

And had to be rescued… there was not a dry eye in the house!

Meat you in Vegas

All in: Bandanaman in Vegas

Meat was, of course, no stranger to Vegas… in fact they were made for each other.

In fact the larger-than-life rocker from Dallas, Texas played there right up to near the end of his career.

Meat’s stories were the stuff of legend and he cheated death on three occasions.

Which I dare say was more than JR Ewing.

Meat ran off the road, in a car not a bike like the hero of his famous Bat of Hell song, while he also had heart problems on stage.

And then he was hit by a 12lbs shot putt by the Dallas champion.

No taste

Larger than life: Meat Loaf

It was though in Reading, England at the popular music festival that our paths almost met.

Meat was playing there in 1988 across the road from where I was working.

When a punter filled his plastic bottle with his urine and hurled it on stage towards the rocker.

And hit him squarely on the nose and broke it.

Brave (and pretty grotty) fella.

Now Meat sang about the Lord’s place (Heaven Can Wait) and the Devil’s gaff (Bat out of Hell).

But it was here on Earth that he made his biggest splash.

And it’s here we toast Meat Loaf, Vegas and a life in the fast lane.




America, Culture, Music

Aisle be in Vegas again

By rights I should be in Neon City just now but wedding anniversaries and reminders of past indiscretions means I’ve been confined to barracks… never mind Aisle be in Vegas again.

Yesterday was the 27th anniversary of me making Herself the happiest woman alive meant a sacrifice (another!).

And so a fancy meal here in North Berwick, east of Edinburgh.

And a lunchtime sandwich, if truth be told, but a la carte, if you don’t mind.

Fly the flag

What happens in Vegas: With Cami

And so to today when a rump of our Travel core set course for the American Travel Fair, IPW.

And they go with my best wishes.

I am still in contact and will bring you all the news of the US bounce back ahead of my own return.

Oh, that indiscretion… well, my dalliance with Cami from Utah at Harrah’s on the Strip.

Whip up a storm

Cashing in: They know me at the tables

Where the Whip-Its (the clue is in the name) had been setting the scene with their cabaret act of Seventies and Eighties hits.

You see anything goes in Vegas.

And anyone can get married in the Fun Capital.

And so two of our party did just that at the Graceland Wedding Chapel.

They were in good company as Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Ray Cyrus both tied the knot here… though not to each other!

Love me tender, Minister

The King and I: In Vegas

Irish-American Brendan Paul does the marrying in full Elvis gear, pelvic thrusts and Presley puns.

Such as ‘It’s now or never’ and ‘I promise to be your Hunk of Burning Love’.

All of which the delegates were reminded of and advised to discover more at the Las Vegas Pavillion.

Life is a rollercoaster

Minnie and me: In Orlando

Intriguing… and more ammunition for the Scary One for me not getting over to Vegas.

But hey ho, Aisle be in Vegas again.

And I’ll be sure to be in Orlando for the fair next year.

And what could possibly go wrong in Rollercoaster World?

Where Mickey, Donald and Harry are kings.


America, Countries, Culture, Music

Way to go Joe America reopening

Just the news we’ve been waiting for… Way to go Joe America reopening.

We never doubted it for a minute, the new American President ain’t no Sleepy Joe.

President Biden gives us encouraging news this mid-July of throwing the gates open.

Striped for action: Joe Biden

Guten tag Angela

Joe has been talking it through with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House.

And encouragingly he said that he would say more ‘within the next seven days’.

Biden is shaping up as the US President the world wants to do business with and building an administration of all talents.

Pool of all talents

With the Rat Pack in Vegas

The best in British and Irish Travel are building up to to pool their talents too for IPW, the American Travel Fair.

Vegas is a magnet for talent and dreamers with an act.

And it is the ideal destination for the filming of America’s Got Talent at the Luxor Hotel on November 4.

Simon Cowell and his pals are doing rehearsals there with the wannabes just now.

And in typical Vegas style there are back stories which will bring a tear to a glass eye.

Hoop dreams

Matt’s the way: Matt Mauser

Such as 51-year-old Matt Mauser who has gone viral after his heartrending rendition of Phil Collins’ Against All Odds.

Father-of-three Matt’s wife Christina taught school basketball which brought them into the sphere of superstar Kobe Bryant.

The legend: Kobe

Alas, the dream turned into a nightmare when Christina died in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and six others.

Matt gives the performance of his life in front of the judges and will have the public right behind him when AGT screens.

Surf dude

Dogg gone it: Snoop in Huntington

The Huntington Beach native also has that wholesome athletic SoCal look which is so endearing.

And we expect that it won’t just be this AGT season that his name and billboard will be up in lights in Vegas.

That’s a rap

Life’s a Huntington Beach

He’s already every bit as big a hit back home in Surf City USA as the likes of this rapper who just happened to put on a show for us two years back.

We’ll be planning to check out what else is happening in Vegas when we visit in September and reporting back on some of it

Because thanks to Mr President whatever happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas.

I’m betting on Vegas

Way to go Joe America reopening.

And a shout-out here too to the holiday providers who have been patiently and conscientiously keeping our dreams alive.

All the time waiting for the green light.

Our American dream

The Whip Its in Harrah’s, Vegas

We don’t know yet if Angela and the EU are ahead of the UK but if they are then check out American Holidays and Tour America.

And we’ll bring you all the offers from wherever you are when we can say with certainty again Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas.



China and the US and the future of Travel

It takes your Travel Editor of the Year to get China and the US into the same room.

That’ll. be my office then.

From where I bring you the latest news from Chinai2i Travel specialists and IPW, the American Travel Fair.

The sight of people mingling on the streets of Shanghai is uplifting and is down to the model we are struggling with in the West.

That’s the vaccine app which will give your Covid history and act as a contact tracing tool.

China though is setting the template for how we interact again and projecting next year to welcome back us Westerners.

Ying and Yangtze

Plain sailing

All of which will give the Son and Heir more time to save (no, seriously) for his teaching assignment, and us too for our trip.

As ever Wendy Wu is giving us a little local knowledge for us after we visit him in Chongxing after Shanghai.

China light

Wendy offers tailor-made tours and a little local knowledge… who knew, for example, that it was China’s ade facto capital in WWII.

The Yangtze River Cruise is how to get about and The Three Gorges its highlight.

At last Vegas

Whip it up: The Whip-Its at Harrah’s.

And we’re back, and I’ll be back too with IPW, America’s travel fair driving on for its resumption in the Fall.

It’ll be a return to Neon City where I partied with the party people at The Palazzo at The Venetian Resort.

Viva Las Vegas

And The Venetian (yes you’ll see gondolas and the Bridge of Sighs) is the hottest ticket in town.

Which is the Atomic Saloon Show which they describe as ‘a riotous and raunchy romp through the wild, Wild West.’

And Cami from Utah is a regular visitor

And ‘drop-dead sexy acrobats and ridiculous comedy mayhem from a cavalcade of cowboys, showgirls, nuns (come again), lawmen and layabouts.

All (well, nearly) of which I’ve indulged in in Colorado and Knotts Farm, Buena Park, California which climaxed the last IPW in Anaheim

The Murt Pack

Boozy proprietress Boozy Skunkton is your hostess with the mostest at the Grand Canal Shoppes inside the Venetian Resort.

The fun begins on May 5 at 7 and 9pm, Wednesday through Sunday.

America, Countries, Culture

Rainy Days and Songdays – Marc, Gene and Vegas

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.

‘Andy’ Anderson of Anderson Dairy

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

The Irish are everywhere

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

The Happy Shirt

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

An oasis: Sahara signage

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

Quackers in Vegas

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!

Vegas weddingland

I do, I do

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

Showtown: 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.