|Liverpool Productions Presents:
August 21 - 30, 2017 Liverpool and London
August 19 - 21, 2017 Amsterdam Option
Weekend Of Love VIII
February 20-22, 2015
Weekend of LOVE 2015 Report by Batya Selavan
The 2015 Annual WEEKEND OF LOVE getaway for Beatles Fans began on Friday, February 20, 2015 as the members of our group checked into the iconic Riviera Hotel & Casino just weeks before they closed it down. What a classic place, and ideal for our nostalgic mini-vacation. Hard to believe that it's gone, just like legendary Vegas casinos The Sands and the Sahara (where The Beatles played and stayed - see photo above and at the end of this report).
Our guests came from all over the U.S. and even Canada (BeatleBarb yah mon!), and in the late afternoon we all made our way to the Saxe Theater lounge for a pre-concert get-together. There, o ur amazing host Charles F. Rosenay!!! handed out some really cool swag bags. Included were flyers, name tags for the trip and other goodies. Also inside was a cute Beatle note pad and custom buttons which were personally made and contributed by one of the guests, Cyndi. We were greeted by our Special Guest host for the evening, Dennis Mitchell of "Breakfast with the Beatles." He was nice enough to present us of us with gift CDs of his great Beatles radio show.
Then it was time for our main event of the evening, a great Beatles tribute show called "B" which everyone referred to as "Beatleshow."
Our new friend Dennis Mitchell welcomed the crowd, and then made way for a very funny Ed Sullivan lookalike/sound alike, Paul Terry.
He introduced the guys like Ed did all those years ago. He chatted and joked with the band. They wore the grey suits and sang the early stuff from the The Sullivan show.
During some of the numbers a Beefeaters guy danced around with a cow bell. There were also two dancers in Union Jack dresses and go-go boots who further livened up the atmosphere. Adam Joel was a great Paul, and he performed "Yesterday" in the back of the audience on a stool, which was shown on the stage's big screen in black and white.
There was a lot of audience participation, and one of guests, Pauline, was invited up on stage to rock out with a prop guitar.
Paul Terry opened Act Two not as Ed Sullivan, but dressed as Mike Myers' Austin Powers. The two go-go dancers joined him, the Austin Powers movie theme played, and it was really Shag-adelic! It set the mood for the second half, as the band began in their Pepper suits. The music was accompanied by lots of images and sounds effects.
In Abbey Road garb, the lead guitarist, Glenn McCallum, did a cool medley of "Here Comes The Sun" into "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." The solo he did was electric! Than they played "Revolution" and our Ed Sullivan guy was bouncing around as a stoned hippy. The Lennon performed a very moving "Imagine."
The show got a well-deserved standing ovation! Afterward, we had a meet & greet with the band and took some group photos. They were all very friendly, and some of our guests recognized the drummer, Bobby Taylor, from his years in "Beatlemania." A splendid time was had by all.
Our Weekend itinerary included a comedy show that Friday night with the comedian Vinnie Favorito, but most of us went to explore Vegas, but others went back to the hotel, as there was a lot more fun in store.
We began our next day with a free morning and then lunch at the original Hard Rock Cafe in front of the Hard Rock Hotel (where Paul McCartney performed his concert at the Joint). Before Hard Rock, some of us went across the street to visit the new KISS indoor golf which was like a KISS museum and gift store.
At the Hard Rock, we enjoyed their good food, Beatle videos on the screen and our Special Guest of Honor who joined us, Billy Hinsche from the 1960's band Desi Dino and Billy. Desi was the son of Lucy & Ricky, Dino was the son of Dean Martin, and Billy was the true musician in the trio. He has gone on to play with the Beach Boys. He shared memorabilia and stories and took photos with our group. Also joining us was Bobby Taylor, the drummer from the Beatle show the night before, and one of our favorite Beatle-people. We discovered that his son plays George is a cast of the show being staged in Hawaii. At the lunch party, one of our guests, Dave Carrow, did trivia and awarded CDs. He presented Charles with a nice collage.
That's Billy Hinsche on the right when he was in Dino Desi & Billy. Photo courtesy Bill Hinche
After lunch most of us went to the Mac King comedy magic show. Mac, nor Macca, was actually very funny and had the crowd in stitches. He did some disappearing acts and got some people from the audience involved. We enjoyed his goofy impersonations of Liberace and Elvis.
The next event was an early evening Elvis tribute show called "All Shook Up." It was in a very small intimate venue. There was a short intermission wherein the MC did impressions of Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, ending with Liberace singing YMCA. The Elvis guy came back out with more rocking numbers. His encore was, appropriately enough, "Viva Las Vegas."
And then it was time for Love! The Mirage Hotel and Casino lobby greets guests with a cool LOVE display, and sets the mood for Beatles fun!
Past the entrance, our group visited the not-so-revolutionary "rEVOLolution" bar. It's a small lounge, and some of the tables have TV monitors built in. We didn't stay too long in there, but spent more time looking around the Beatle gift shop, packed with t-shirts and buttons and souvenirs and even some expensive art work. It was finally showtime, and we were very pleased with the great seats we had.
Needless to say the Cirque du Soliel LOVE show was amazing. The sound system was incredible, the way the performers fly through the air and tumble about was delightful and every minute of the show was mesmerizing! Oh yes, the songs were pretty good too!
After the show a bunch of us walked the strip to get a drink. Some of us walked through Caesers Palace and wound up in Planet Hollywood for a late-night bite to eat and drink. We drank a toast to Charles for putting together such a wonderful and Fab trip!
The next day was lunch at the newer Hard Rock Cafe and our Special Guest of Honor was Phil "Fang" Volk, original bassist from sixties super-group Paul Revere and the Raiders. He was a heart-throb in the day, and was often in 16 Magazine. In fact, Playboy Magazine's annual poll listed him second among bass-players, after Paul McCartney. He came with his wife and son. He shared memorabilia, photo books and many stories with our group. One of our guests, Chuck Warren, said that meeting "Fang" and his family was one of the highlights of the weekend, noting how down-to-earth he was.
While we were there, BeatleBarb proposed a toast to a long-lost Beatle fan/friend who traveled many a mile with the tours. Her name Joyce Sanderson. It was a touching moment.
After lunch, we got a tour of the facility, including their "Cavern" Club VIP room, and we saw lots of Beatle paraphernalia, including an actual suit Ringo wore in "A Hard Day's Night."
On Sunday late afternoon/early evening it was time for us to part ways, and head to the airport. Many of us had been on past tours together to Liverpool so we were already friends; others became new friends. It was sad to see the fab-filled, fun-filled end. I hated to go home, but I had a wonderful time and left with some amazing memories.
One of our guests, Jeff Smith, from Texas wrote: "Thank you so much for a perfect weekend!!! I had an awesome time seeing you again and all my Beatle friends. The Beatles "Love" show was fantastic and I was totally blown away! Someday soon I would love to see it again. All of your trips that I have attended have been nothing but Spectacular! Thanks again buddy. All my "Love" to you Charles!!!
I'd like to clse by adding that in a city known for its gambling, the Weekend of LOVE is always a sure bet! I am sure looking forward to coming back.
We've heard the saying "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," but that's not the case with the Weekend of LOVE. What happened over our weekend we want to bring back home and tell everyone about! And remember forever! A most Beatleful weekend indeed! LOVE was all you need, but we got so much more!
Viva Las Beatles!
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