Sunday, May 24, 2015

BB King passed to the Heavenly Hall of Fame

The death of B.B. King shook the world, literally. In losing such a magnitude of talent perhaps it is no coincidence that Las Vegas had its first  major earthquake in several years, which in itself is a very rare and strange occurrence. This just goes to show how much B.B. King rocked the world and made an impact on the face of this Earth. The aftershock of his death will affect fans for years to come, but he is memorialized forever in the hearts and ears of many and has now joined some of the greatest musicians who have ever lived, and died, for a reunion concert in the sky. 

One of B.B. 's last appearances in Las Vegas was hosted by business man, philanthropist, public figure and publisher Ronald Q. Quilang who's printing company 360 DPI printed all of King's fliers, memorial buttons and created a photo banner for daughter Rita King-Washington as a personal keepsake free of charge. The memorial viewing was open to the public and held at Palm Mortuary on Jones Blvd, Friday, May 22, 2015 from 3 p.m.- 7 p.m. Guests entered through the south doors of the building and were greeted by pleasant and poised location manager Matt Phillips and funeral director Joel who handed out memorial prayer cards with the singer's photo, name and life dates on the front and the lyrics to his timeless song "The Thrill is Gone" on the back. Visitors were directed to the front of the chapel where Mr. King who was protected by velvet ropes, a personal body guard and Palm Mortuary staff, laid peacefully in a dark, half-couch Batesville casket with a personalized casket insert with an embroidered black and gold guitar and the title of one of his greatest songs "Lucille". Two shiny black Gibson guitars were placed affront of the casket, one at the head and the other at the feet, while a multitude of flower arrangements provided by Flower Fair florists accented Mr. King's tribute. 

The lobby displayed a large memorial blanket, one of the "family support option" items provided as part of Palm's funeral packages. The large blanket  was embedded with a photo of the Blue's King playing his guitar and a large floral piece with a backdrop of white roses sprayed black and the name "Lucille" spelled out in large white roses. Among the attendants were Jenna G, Palm care center and mortuary staff member, and care center manager Mike Finke who stated that within the first hour close to 700 people had come to pay respects to the legend and the line was wrapped around the building. +Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers were stationed at each entrance of the mortuary parking lot and estimated that they were expecting over 1,000 visitors that afternoon. 

In addition to B.B. King's daughter, Rita King-Washington; special guests included Denise White, daughter of the late, great; velvet-voiced singer Barry White and Jerome Jackson of the Jackson 5. Rita thanked Ron Quilang for his contribution to the service and Ron responded "It was an honor, I was one of your dad's biggest fans". Rita replied to Ron, "I am one of your biggest fans". Several news stations were present to cover the public event but only Fox 5 News got the exclusive of the behind the scenes story of these named guests and Ron Quilang's intimate involvement in B.B. King's homage. 

American Hall of Fame blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, B.B. King, born September 16, 1925 Riley B. King; rocked the world until May 14, 2015. Throughout his life, King was named the 6 th greatest guitarist on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 greatest guitarists of all time"; number 17 on Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time" and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. His influential style and effortless talent earned him the title of the "King of the Blues" and one of the "Three King of the Blues Guitar". B.B. King continued to perform in over 200 concerts per year well into his 70's until he was stricken with high blood pressure and diabetes and finally passed to the Heavenly Hall of Fame following several small strokes related to his illness.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A True Horsewoman

by Sally Kuehn

As a true horsewoman who has trained and ridden horses for twenty-five years, I believe Las Vegas is, and has been, an oasis for people interested in the sport.

For example, there are new equestrian centers and riding trails being built for both English and western riders. There are also horseshows and rodeos that have been, and are still being performed at Horseman’s Park, Symphony Park and the Thomas and Mack Sports Arena. For locals and tourists who just want to rent a horse for a short time, there are riding stables at Mount Charleston and the Red Rock Conservation area.

What fun it has been to train and ride horses as a professional for horse breeding for establishments such as +Wayne Newton and +Dawn and Curley Schroeder’s Arabian Horses. And what a ball it has been socializing with the people in the Las Vegas Arabian Association with whom I have assisted to organize  its horseshows and conventions. 

It was such a great experience to help +Frank Maggio, public relations director, at the Union Plaza to organize a big trail ride to raise money for the American Cancer Society that ended with everyone riding in the Helldorado Days parade.

During my professional experience with horses I’ve been awarded as many as 20 trophies and 100 ribbons performing in horseshows. That includes English, Western pleasure, Trail horse, costume and driving classes for Arabian and Saddlebred horses.

It goes to show, you can’t beat Las Vegas for ongoing activities for every kind of horse  in the equestrian world. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Helldorado Days Parade

by Charity Griego

The Helldorado Days festival is a 3 day event which encompasses the old western spirit of Nevada and its frontier roots. Beginning in 1934, shortly following the economic boom of the building of the Hoover Dam, sponsored by the local Elk's Lodge No.1468 and supported by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, the Helldorado Days events were created as a means of maintaining state pride and attracting tourists to the area for more of a family friendly shindig than the usual rowdy gambling halls and saloons. 

The festival includes a rodeo with bull-riding, team roping and barrel racing; show horses, art shows; beauty contest, and the famous Whiskerino contest, in which gents from all bow-legged walks of life spend months growing grizzly whiskers to win the state's best beard or mustache and of course -the Helldorado Days' parade.

This year's parade was led by the Color guard and a line of bagpipers who made way for Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her husband former Mayor Oscar Goodman
who rode down 4th street a top a vintage pink Cadillac convertible strun with western motif. 

The processional headed north on 4th street from Gass Avenue and rounded up at Stewart Ave, downtown, and included a variety of businesses, non-profit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, political groups such as Veterans in Politics; the Las Vegas fire department and metropolitan police department, dance groups of all ages and ethnicities; marching bands, entertainers such as comedian +Paul Scally and promotional managing groups such as Endeavor Media Group who's Beauty Queen client flashed a brilliant smile and poised wave from the sunroof of a Cadillac Escalade.

The 2015 event donated proceeds to local charitable groups such as the Animal Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of Southern NevadaShade Tree Shelter and Project 150!. Folks were also given a discount for bringing donated items to the door of any Helldorado Days event. With all this community involvement and charity work the Wild West is truly a force to be reckoned with, in defending the trailblazers and onward road of the Silver State.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Downtown Container Park

Downtown Container Park
 a unique, open-air shopping center filled with boutique retail shopping offers everything from apparel, jewelry, and accessories to art galleries, home décor, and fixtures. 

With three levels of shopping and more than 10 fashion boutiques, the park offers an experience unlike anything else in Vegas. 
Created from re-purposed shipping containers and locally manufactured by Xtreme Cubes, the stores at Downtown Container Park offer an intimate shopping experience. 

Downtown Container Park is home to seven restaurants and bars with indoor and outdoor seating: Pinches Tacos, Simply Pure, Big Ern’s BBQ, Cheffini’s Hot Dogs, Bin 702, The Perch, and Oak and Ivy. From barbecue and hot dogs to fine dining and craft cocktails.

For kids delight, there is an interactive playground featuring The Treehouse, a 33-foot-tall slide, NEOS play system, over sized foam and building blocks.

Every weekend the Container Park offers free live music, movie nights during the spring, summer, and fall, and a variety of family-friendly events. 

From late-night weekend concerts to family-focused seasonal and holiday celebrations there are plenty of entertainment and events for all ages.

The Downtown Container Park is is located at 707 Fremont Street, in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas at the corner of Fremont Street and S. 7th Street.  (702) 359-9982

Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday- Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Restaurants and Bars
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday- Saturday: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Things to do around Downtown Las Vegas


Container Park Lot
118 S. 7th Street
Monday-Thursday: $2/hour (before 6pm) and $10 flat-rate (after 6pm)
Friday: $3/hour Friday (before 6pm) and $15 flat-rate (after 6pm)
Saturday & Sunday: $15 flat-rate

Downtowner Lot
108 N. 8th Street
$2/hour – $10 flat rate
$10 flat rate on nights (after 6pm) and weekends
$Vary – special events

Llama Lot
910 Fremont Street
$1/hour – $6 daily maximum
$5 flat rate on nights (after 6pm) and weekends

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Celebrating the Life of Kirt Taylor

Kirt Taylor Memorial Fundraiser, benefit show to assist LouiseKirt's grandmother with memorial services at the Backstage Bar and BillardsDowntown Las Vegas, featuring the bands Goldfish Don't BounceLauren Coleman and Jessica Lankford of PebalunaRhyme N RhythmRobert StokesZabi Naqshband
Kirt Taylor was the guitarist of the Retrolites band.

      Backstage Bar and Billards
601 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 382-2227

The Retrolites videos:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Steven Briggs

A off the wall performance created with storytelling, sound effects and unique act outs Steven Briggs is an exciting performer to watch. He currently lives in Los Angeles where he works the comedy circuit as well as film and commercials.

He is currently based out of Los Angeles, where he performs regularly. He has also been seen at several of the most notorious comedy clubs throughout the country, including the +Laugh Factory, Flappers Comedy Club, Ice House Comedy Club, and Gotham in NYC. 

I first met Briggs a couple months ago during his performance at +Paul Scally's Grand Laughs Comedy Show at the +Downtown Grand Las Vegas and I instantly recognized him as a remarkable comic talent. Briggs is no stranger to the Vegas Stage. In fact, his busy tour schedule typically has him headling somewhere in the city at least one week out of every month.

"The first place I ever got on stage in Vegas was 
+Mulliagans Landing 3 years ago," says Briggs. "I fell in love with the scene and the people and now Las Vegas is one of my favorite places to perform. I have a bunch of future dates coming up in Las Vegas that I am really excited about!"

In addition to his extensive domestic tour schedule, Briggs typically tours internationally 2-3 per year as well. Most recently, he spent 3 weeks traveling through Africa and the Middle East performing for the troops as part of his first AFE tour. Performing for the troops is a cause that Briggs feels extremely passionate about. 

"People say I'm brave for getting on stage every night in front of a bunch of strangers," says Briggs. "That's nothing compared to these men and women who are out there risking their lives for a bunch of strangers."

For more information about Steven Briggs and to find out when he will be performing at a venue near you, be sure to check out his website at 

  Performing in Las Vegas May  14th at Grand
 Laughs Comedy Show
Downtown Grand
 Las Vegas

  Social media
Google+   +Steven Briggs
Fb  stevenbriggscomedy
Twitter @mrstevenbriggs
ESPN commercial:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rock in Rio USA. "If you build it, they will come" (?)

+Rock in Rio USA is around the corner. Organizers of the mega event, which will span two weekends in May 8 and 9, 15 and 16, are in a rush speed mode for the construction of the City of Rock, the zip line and everything else. I took these pictures today to show where the project is by now. The event in less than a month away.

Rock in Rio's inaugural event, in January 1985, broke records with 1.38 million attendees and last year's event in Rio sold out all 500,000 tickets in just four hours

Rock in Rio USA organizers are struggling to sell at least 50,000 tickets for each day of the event, a modest proposal, comparing to 90,000 thought before. 

According to Medina, Rock in Rio founder, "The delivery of these open events is not good, not as good as [Brazil's] Rock in Rio." Hmm... 

Building from the scratch
Even taking in consideration that in Vegas, the organizers have to build the event literally from scratch - from the City of Rock building to the zip line - the prices are a little bitter, not to say outrageous. In such  hard economic times, in my humble opinion, the ticket prices are out of reach for most students, who are the majority of people attending the event. 

Since I found out +Rock in Rio was coming to Vegas, I've been asking concertgoers if they would attend the event. Most of their answers were "I wish, but I can't afford it", while others stated "even if I had the money I would not pay this much to attend this event". Single day admission price for general Admission is $169 but it has been set at a mandatory two-day spend; VIP admission sells for $498.00. If you are attending 4 days of the event, just do the math! More bad news, if you already got your tickets during the pre-sale event, which were originally around $280, you cannot exchange them now for a single admission ($169). 

Tickets for the Rock in Rio in Rio de Janeiro
Single day admission for the Rock in Rio in Rio de Janeiro is around $100. There are also specials such as cut in half for students, seniors, and so on. Many Brazilian natives as well as Las Vegas locals are asking why the tickets are so expensive here?  

So, in justifying the cost of the tickets it may be due to the initial construction of the City of Rock, advertising/marketing/promotional fees, the cost of the selected entertainers could perhaps be very high. 

Las Vegas is home of many big name artists featured on MTV, movie soundtracks, as opening acts for large bands such as Three Days Grace, Grammy contenders and award recipients. Just as the host of a successful party must be present, local Las Vegas artists would be honored to perform on these stages. 

In adding the event to Las Vegas the promoters must learn to accommodate American culture and understand the economic standing of its citizens. The City of Las Vegas is host to a multitude of large events and local celebrities, artists, comedians and entertainers of all types are a part of the events. This is not the case for the first Rock in Rio USA, who's hodge podge of guests would be prudent for the attendance and budget of the event to invite local artists along with major headliners. 

Las Vegas taking the lead?
Rock in Rio is one of the largest events in Rio de Janeiro, second only to Reveillon (New Year's Eve - attendance of 2.5 million people). Its guests have included such legendary acts as Queen, the Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osborn, Foo Fighters, Guns N' Roses and Prince just to name a few. It was thought that Las Vegas's Rock in Rio would take the lead in size and glamour, comparable to other Las Vegas events. 

Now, the question is "If you build it, they will come"?

+Imagine Dragons
Etiquette rules when you are having a party in other people house, you must invite people who live in this very house, such as +Imagine Dragons.