April 4, 2002: The Day (New London, Connecticut)
Dr. Tune's Casino Quiz
By Rick Koster
This is one of those things that happens with the regularity of Kahoutek: both David Cassidy and The Osmonds are appearing in the area this weekend (Cassidy performs at 9 p.m. Saturday in the Fox Theatre at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, and The Osmonds do free shows at 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday in the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den).
In commemoration, Doctor Tune has decided to have some Memorabilia Fun. Which is to say, The Doc has a crisp $20 bill and will now go online at eBay to find which artist - Big Dave or The Osmonds (touring without Donny or Marie, by the way) - has the best souvenir.
One intriguing possibility from the Osmonds side of the ledger is an EP made in Israel ($14.95). Based on the news out of the Middle East, do you suppose the disc consists entirely of The Osmonds chanting slogans? There seems to be a preponderance of slogan-chanting in the Middle East; perhaps to release an entire EP of chanted slogans is the short route to radio success on the Gaza Strip - or maybe all those disgruntled citizens are chanting anti-Osmond slogans.
As for Cassidy, The Doctor is tempted by a 1974 issue of 16 Magazine that features not only Cassidy but ... Randolph Mantooth, the Shakespearean actor noted for his role as Johnny Gage on "Emergency!" (Only $4.99.)
But in the end, why, look at this! There's a package for $14.95 that includes four LPs by David Cassidy and The Osmonds!
And now we have time for a quick test:
1. True or false: At the height of his popularity, Cassidy's fan club had more members than those of The Beatles and Elvis Presley.
2. Choose the correct answer: Since Donny and
Marie are not on their tour, the actual participating Osmonds are:
Answers: 1 - True; 2 - None of the above.
April 09, 2002: Las Vegas Review-Journal
Former 'EFX' star drops MGM Grand lawsuit
A lawsuit filed by former "EFX" star Michael Crawford against the MGM Grand resort has been dismissed because both parties are in the process of reaching a settlement, but no one will reveal the details.
In District Judge Mark Gibbons' courtroom Monday, attorneys for Crawford, the MGM Grand and related parties notified Gibbons that the lawsuit was being dismissed because of settlement negotiations.
Yet no one would discuss the details of any settlement either immediately after court or later in the day Monday, saying they were confidential.
Crawford, known best for his Broadway role in "Phantom of the Opera," opened the "EFX" show in 1995. He later was let go by MGM officials, prompting his civil suit against the Strip resort.
Crawford claimed he was first injured in March 1995 before "EFX" even opened, resulting in some cancellations of the show. He said he was sidelined for good in September 1996 with excruciating and persistent hip and groin pain.
The hotel terminated his $150,000-a-week contract that month, and "EFX" was revamped to suit the talents of replacement David Cassidy, who has since left the show.
In dismissing Crawford, the MGM Grand cited his cancellations of several shows because of injuries.
An MGM spokeswoman said the resort will release
a statement on the matter today.
April 11, 2002: Evening Standard (London, England UK)
David Cassidy: Fame ruined me
by Richard Barber
Thirty years ago, David Cassidy could have any girl he wanted. And did. "I might have a little time to spare in my dressing room," he recalls. "One of my people would show in a female groupie. I'd say, 'Look, I've got 10 minutes. Do you want to talk? Or shall we have sex?' They weren't interested in talking."
For a man who hardly drank and who only occasionally smoked a little pot, sex became like a drug. Cassidy lost count of the girls he bedded, barely registered their names. On one occasion, he even had sex with a willing groupie through the locked, wrought-iron gate of his Hollywood home.
"I was a young, wild buck," he says now, a touch superfluously. "I'd go from being concealed in the boots of cars to backstage dressing rooms to secret hotel suites. It was a crazy life. It was life in a bubble." And sex was as freely available as room service. "Yes, but this was a period, pre-Aids, when sex was safe. And I never bragged about it. I was never cocky."
Nor does he regret his actions. "If you had put any red-blooded young man into the situation in which I found myself, he'd have behaved as I behaved. I wasn't outrageous. I wasn't cruel. No one got hurt."
Except Cassidy, of course. He'll be 52 on Saturday, when he gives the first of two concerts at the Hammersmith Apollo, before beginning a nationwide tour. In 1971, he was the biggest star in the world. His fan club was larger than that of either Elvis or The Beatles. His TV show, The Partridge Family, was a global hit.
But it all got too much. "I had everything anyone
could want. But I was miserable. I couldn't feel good about myself because
there was a hollowness about my success." So, in 1974, and with a dozen
hit singles under his belt, he did the bravest thing, he says, he's ever
done. He walked away from it all. No more stretch limos. No entourage of
32, including three bodyguards, a
Cassidy rapidly fell into a downward spiral, making up for the alcohol-free years and sampling more than his share of drugs, too. "I felt ashamed - of who I was, what I'd come from, the mistakes I'd made. I felt a failure."
In 1977, he married actress Kay Lenz. The following year, she went on record as saying their marriage was so happy that even David's stress-induced acne had cleared up. Three years later, they divorced.
In the Eighties, he dated horse breeder Mary Tanz. They set up a ranch with 60 thoroughbreds in Santa Barbara and married in December 1984. Two years later came an acrimonious divorce. Cassidy had hit rock bottom. He recalls being invited to go skiing in Aspen. At a celebrity party he was ignored, except by old friend Don Johnson, who sneered at him.
The turning point came the following year. Cassidy embarked on analysis. And then he met again singer/songwriter Sue Shifrin. The two had first been introduced after one of Cassidy's Wembley concerts in the early Seventies. "We'd remained friends. She'd been writing songs for Tina Turner, Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton-John. I'd been running around the world. In 1987, back in LA, she contacted my attorney for my phone number. I rang her back. We were both single by then. I suggested dinner. We've been together ever since.
Now married, the couple live in Las Vegas with their 10-year-old son, Beau. And this one's going to last, says Cassidy.
His private life in good working order, Cassidy determined to put his career back on track. Last November, three decades after it all began, he released a new album, Then and Now, his first for 17 years. It has sold more than 300,000 in the UK alone. His current happiness is palpable.
In middle age, Cassidy turns out to be eerily like his teenybopper counterpart. He's still as thin as a whippet. The cheeky smile still crinkles the corners of his mouth on a face suspiciously free of lines. A little plastic surgery, perhaps? "No, no face-lift," he says. "I don't smoke. I hardly drink. And I take regular exercise."
He's also free of emotional baggage. Vast amounts of money were said to have been siphoned off by so-called advisers. "I was left with $15,000," he says, without rancour, "and yet I'd made millions." But that was then. "I'm so much more comfortable with it all now. This time, I feel I'm driving the bus."
Looking back, he has mixed feelings about his
rollercoaster life. "I'm proud of what I achieved. But fame isn't good
for the young. How could a 19-year-old know how to cope with the level
of fame that happened to me? I was lucky enough to talk a lot to John Lennon
about this. When you get so famous you can't send out your laundry for
fear it'll be stolen as souvenirs, you
Does he have any regrets? "I just thank God every day that I've been dealt this kind of a hand and that I've been able to play it right. I survived superstardom. Then I came back and did it my way. You're looking at a very contented guy."
David Cassidy plays Hammersmith Apollo, April
12 and 13. Tickets: 0871 220 1080
April 13, 2001: M Magazine (Daily Mirror), England UK
Hanging on the telephone with...
Seventies pop idol David Cassidy is still as cute as a button. You can see for yourself on his UK tour this month, which kicked off last night in London. On the tour, which finishes in Edinburgh on 28 April, David will be promoting his latest album, Then And Now, which went gold on release. We called the chappie up for a chinwag.
Us: What time did you get up?
Us: Who was the first person you spoke to this
Us: Where are you right now?
Us: What are you wearing?
Us: What did you do last night?
Us: When was the last time you were drunk?
Us: What's the most recent domestic thing you've
Us: What's the last thing you put in your mouth?
Us: When did you last have a snog?
Us: When did you last cry?
Us: What are you going to do when you hang
Interview by Nina MyskowTo see David on tour, call the ticket hotline on 0871-220 1080 or log on to www.ticketnetuk.com.
13 April, 2002: Daily Echo (Bournemouth, England UK)
Tour de force
Hilary Porter finally gets to speak to her former heart-throb on the eve of his sell-out UK tour...
WHEN I was 11, I stood on a chair at my primary school and recounted my amazing news from the weekend to the rest of the class... I'd been to a David Cassidy concert!
This was seriously impressive. I'd travelled from Leicestershire to London, to the Empire Pool Stadium at Wembley, to see the man whose face adorned my bedroom walls and whose records I played day and night.
Proudly wearing my silk scarf, rosette and badges, I told my classmates how I'd nearly been crushed to death in the rush of fans coming out of the venue as I was temporarily separated from my 14-year-old sister.
And how hundreds of us had encircled the building for ages, singing "We shall not be moved" and chanting "We want David", effectively holding him prisoner there and fully believing that if we did it long enough he would pop out and see us.
Eventually dozens of riot police turned up and started spraying us with hosepipes and threatened to set their dogs on us, so we left.
If only I'd had a crystal ball then - I just wouldn't have believed it! For, nearly 30 years later, David Cassidy had my home phone number and was calling me from Los Angeles to chat about his forthcoming visit to Bournemouth International Centre (on Wednesday, April 17). Oh, the perks of being a journalist!
I sat by the phone for three nights waiting for the call. The first night it turned out he'd been stuck on an aeroplane. The following night he was caught up in rehearsals. But the third night, at 10pm, the phone rang.
"Hi Hilary. It's David Cassidy. How are you?"!
I'm sure I giggled nervously like the teeny-bopper I once was.
He instantly apologised for being on a strict time limit as this was the fifth of seven back-to-back trans-Atlantic interviews he was doing and he wanted to get away to spend "quality time" with his son, Beau.
This was quite a scoop with the idol whose fan club in the early '70s became the largest in history - exceeding those of Elvis and the Beatles.
He rose to fame as Keith on TV's The Partridge Family. His records - including Cherish, Rock Me Baby, Daydreamer, I Think I Love You and Could It Be Forever - sold 25 million copies worldwide.
His face was on everything from the cover of Jackie magazine to bubblegum cards and cereal boxes.
At 21 he was the world's highest-paid performer, working 18 hours a day and simultaneously pursuing careers in television and music. His concerts were riotous, hysterical - then, at the end of his 1974 world tour, one British fan died of a heart attack and 800 more required medical treatment. These tragic events were the last straw for the overworked star who complained of feeling trapped in a "claustrophobic bubble". He went into retirement for about 10 years and concentrated on building up his horse-breeding business.
There was a tentative comeback in 1985 (including a fabulous show at Poole Arts Centre, in which he promised to be back, but the Echo's reviewer prophetically commented: "I got the feeling he was moving on to bigger and better things").
Indeed he was. He starred on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Then he appeared alongside Laurence Olivier in the West End in Time and in the early '90s he starred alongside his half-brother Shaun in Blood Brothers.
In 1996 he moved to Las Vegas and replaced an injured Michael Crawford in a special-effects extravaganza called EFX for three years. Then he co-wrote, produced and directed a show called The Rat Pack is Back - a tribute to the Vegas of yesteryear.
Finally there was At the Copa, a semi-autobiographical show he wrote and co-starred in with Sheena Easton - a combination of Broadway play and live concert.
He closed it last year and went on a massive US tour before coming to the UK for the first time in more than 15 years for a triumphant, sell-out tour. Having worked continually on his stage shows for years, David seemed positively euphoric about spreading his wings again.
The Bournemouth show - one of just nine UK dates - was initiated by him as a thank you to the fans who have supported him for more than 30 years.
During our eight minutes of conversation his main aim was to stress how happy and contented he is with life as he approaches his 52nd birthday. He has been happily married to his third wife, songwriter Sue Shiffrin-Cassidy, for 13 years, and they have an 11-year-old son, Beau.
And he paid tribute to his loyal fans. "They've always been so incredibly supportive. Last year's concerts here far exceeded my expectations and were totally sold out. My CD, Then and Now, has just gone to number five and almost turned platinum. It feels incredible to have that love and support. I believe it's extraordinary. I don't know anyone who goes away and comes back with that love and loyalty.
"I spend a lot of time in London and I've friends of 20 years there. It feels like my second home and this tour is like my second homecoming.
"I've been working in the US for the past decade. In Britain it seems like I've been away, but I've never stopped working - every night for 48 weeks of the year. That's close to 3,000 shows in a decade - it's a lot of work.
"The shows have been phenomenal and the fans have been incredibly supportive. I've had success in so many areas but coming back and doing this tour I'm having more fun than I've had doing anything else in my life. It's a celebration.
"It's as enthusiastic an audience as you could expect," he laughs, adding: "There's a lot of high energy in the room - it's rockin'!"
After your "retirement" at 25, I asked, at the height of your adulation, did you really say that was the end?
"Never say never is what I believe. I knew I wanted to do other things in theatre, TV and making records and I have been very fortunate with the opportunities that have presented themselves.
"You have to have the desire to carry on at that pace, but I was burnt out working seven days a week continuously for five years. It was a long time and I had absolutely no time to myself.
"I started at 19 when most people are going to college. I was working the equivalent of four jobs. I needed personally and professionally to move away and recreate my life."
This will be David's first concert in Bournemouth but he revealed he did once visit the BIC, in disguise, to see a Wham! concert: "I'm always very incognito in public. It was in 1985 when Last Kiss was out. I came down to Bournemouth with George Michael and a mutual friend.
"George was trying to describe to me what his show would be like and he said, `It's nothing like when you were performing. The fans yell and scream - and then stop. The real hysteria you had doesn't exist any more.'"
Was it a nightmare to be on that non-stop merry-go-round of fame and adulation? David is positive and philosophical. "It was a fantastic experience and unprecedented. I had the biggest fan club in history and five years was a long time to sustain that.
"I walked away at the top when I was playing stadiums. At the age of 24 or 25 I needed to be a human being again.
"My life has never been better than it is now.
My family is great and I have a great balance in my life. I'm very happy."
April 14, 2002: Las Vegas Review-Journal
FAMOUS FACES: Seeing Stars
By SONYA PADGETT
Maybe you've seen them in your neighborhood grocery store, or maybe you've never even heard of them.
They're actors, singers, musicians, sports stars and various VIPs who just happen to call Las Vegas and surrounding cities home. While we like to think our hospitality and favorable weather are selling points, it's just as likely celebrities decide to move to Southern Nevada for the tax advantages.
Trying to identify all the celebrities who live here is difficult because many prefer to keep a low profile. Our list was originally much longer but if a residence couldn't be verified through reliable sources, Internet searches or residency locators, we crossed it off.
So what follows is by no means comprehensive.
What may be interesting to note is just who calls Southern Nevada home. It is popular among professional athletes including baseball players, golfers, football players and tennis professionals. Not surprisingly, several comedians and musicians who spent most of their careers performing in local casinos planted roots here, too.
Some of those listed have a home elsewhere and call Las Vegas a vacation getaway. Whatever their status, unless otherwise noted, these VIPs have a Las Vegas address.
Andre Agassi: The professional tennis player and multiple Grand Slam winner is currently ranked seventh in the world. Once known for his rebel image, Agassi is a little more mellow these days thanks to his family life with wife Stefanie Graf and their new son Jaden Gil. Agassi also is well-known locally for his philanthropic activities through the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation.
Marty Allen: The self-described "love child of Phyllis Diller and Buddy Hackett," this wild-haired comic -- formerly of the comedy duo Marty Allen and Steve Rossi -- is still drawing laughs at age 80.
Bud Allin: The former Senior PGA Rookie of the Year makes his home in Boulder City.
Greg Anthony: The former University of Nevada, Las Vegas basketball star has made the rounds of several professional teams during his 11-year career, including the New York Knicks, Vancouver Grizzlies, Seattle SuperSonics, Portland Traiblazers, Chicago Bulls and now the Milwaukee Bucks. But Anthony maintains a home where he got his start.
Susan Anton: An actress, singer and dancer on Broadway and the Las Vegas stage for more than 20 years, Anton, a former Miss California and second runner-up to Miss America in 1970, made a name for herself in the movies and on television, including a run on "Baywatch."
Desi Arnaz Jr.: A Boulder City resident and an actor, Arnaz is the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
Bob Arum: Arum has promoted some of the greatest boxers of all time, including Muhammad Ali, Roberto Duran, George Foreman, Joe Frazier and Larry Holmes.
Cholly Atkins: The dancer, director and Tony Award winner taught such Motown artists as Smokey Robinson how to command the stage during musical performances.
Pete Barbutti: A comic and musician who made numerous appearances on late-night television shows, Barbutti holds local workshops tutoring young comics.
Marty Barrett: The former Red Sox second baseman whose career was cut short by a knee injury in 1989 (although he continued playing until 1991, finishing with the San Diego Padres) has supported local youth baseball and even did a stint as a color commentator with the Las Vegas 51s last year.
Surya Bonaly: A former Olympic figure skater, the French-born Bonaly pursues a professional skating career and, in her off-time, likes to travel in her RV.
Bill Branon: The former military man has found success as a novelist with the books "Let Us Prey," "Devils Hole" and "Spider Snatch."
David Brenner: A longtime comedian, Brenner recently pitched Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Ruth Brown: A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this legendary vocalist is a rhythm and blues pioneer who dominated the genre in the '50s.
Lance Burton: The first American and youngest performer, at the age of 22, to win the title World Champion Magician in 1982, Burton now performs his magic in his own theater at the Monte Carlo.
Sam Butera: Hailed as one of the greatest tenor saxophone players, Butera was Louis Prima's sideman and performed with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.
David Cassidy: A former teen heartthrob who gained fame on the 1970s television show "The Partridge Family," Cassidy has gone on to perform on Broadway, star in Las Vegas productions and go on concert tours.
Jim Colbert: At age 60, Colbert was the oldest winner on the Senior PGA tour last year and, for the 11th straight year, finished in the top 31 money-winners.
Pat Cooper: The comedian and longtime Las Vegas performer recently appeared in the movie "Analyze This."
Marty Cordova: A left-fielder for the Baltimore Orioles, Cordova was born and raised in Las Vegas and still maintains a home here.
Randall Cunningham: The longtime NFL quarterback and former UNLV Rebels standout finished out last season as a Baltimore Raven.
Tony Curtis: The actor, artist and father of actress Jamie Lee Curtis is rehearsing for an upcoming stage run.
Celine Dion: An international recording artist, Dion and her husband and child are moving to a custom-built home in Lake Las Vegas. Next year she is scheduled to perform in a theater being built for her at Caesars Palace.
Sheena Easton: A singer who made her mark with such pop hits as "Morning Train," "For Your Eyes Only" and "Sugar Walls," Easton performs at the Las Vegas Hilton.
Kevin Elster: He is a former Major League Baseball player who spent the majority of his 13-year career with the New York Mets.
Eric "Butterbean" Esch: He is a super heavyweight boxer who serves as pitchman for a local automobile dealership and casino.
Paul Fisher: Inventor of the Fisher Space Pen, which writes in outer space, Fisher holds several patents for writing instruments. He lives in Boulder City.
Carl Fontana: Called a "trombonist's trombonist," Fontana played with the famous big bands of Woody Herman and Stan Kenton, among others.
Jamie Foxx: An actor and comedian, Foxx starred in his own television show "The Jamie Foxx Show" and recently appeared in the movie "Ali."
Robert Gamez: The home-grown golfer, born and raised in Las Vegas, has won nearly $3 million as a professional on the PGA Tour.
Danny Gans: The impressionist headlines his own show at The Mirage.
Robert Goulet: A Grammy Award-winning singer, Goulet played Sir Lancelot in the original 1960 Broadway production of "Camelot," then returned years later in the role of King Arthur.
Buddy Greco: A jazz pianist and vocalist, Greco performed with several famous bandleaders, including Benny Goodman.
Butch Harmon: A golf coach who gained fame coaching Tiger Woods, Harmon operates a golf school for all levels at the Rio Secco Golf Club.
Lori Harrigan: A two-time Olympic gold medalist softball pitcher and former UNLV standout, Harrigan now does motivational speaking.
Susan Hawk: The unforgettable contestant from the first year of CBS' "Survivor" parlayed her celebrity into guest-speaking spots.
Frank Hawkins: A former city councilman, Hawkins played professional football for the Oakland Raiders.
Dave Hickey: A professor of art theory and criticism at UNLV, Hickey was awarded a prestigious 2001 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and $500,000.
Clint Holmes: The vocalist and entertainer headlines his own show at Harrah's Las Vegas.
David Humm: He is a former quarterback for the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Colts.
LaToya Jackson: She's a singer and Michael Jackson's sister.
Don King: The wild-haired boxing promoter is naturally attracted to a city where boxing is big.
Gladys Knight: The rhythm and blues singer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As lead singer of Gladys Knight and the Pips, she had several hits including "Midnight Train to Georgia." She currently performs at the Flamingo.
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme: The husband-and-wife singing duo are veterans of Las Vegas stages.
Robin Leach: The host of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" is living champagne wishes and caviar dreams right here in Las Vegas.
Jerry Lewis: The veteran comedian and actor who appeared in several movies such as "The Nutty Professor" has been a longtime resident of Las Vegas, where he has hosted the MDA telethon and headlined at local casinos.
Rich Little: He is a comedian and impressionist, famous for mimicking the voices of politicians and celebrities such as Richard Nixon, Frank Sinatra and John Wayne.
Greg Maddux: A starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, Maddux has won 12 consecutive Gold Gloves and four Cy Young Awards during his 16-year career.
Christine McGuire: A singer and member of the McGuire Sisters.
Phyllis McGuire: A singer and member of the McGuire Sisters.
Ted V. Mikels: A writer, director and producer of horror and science-fiction B-movies.
Pat Morita: Nominated for an Oscar for his role in "The Karate Kid," Morita gained fame as Arnold on the television show "Happy Days."
Wayne Newton: The singer gained fame as a teen and has performed ever since. He now heads the USO Celebrity Circle and recently returned from a tour of Afghanistan.
Jean Nidetch: She is the founder of Weight Watchers. She also has been generous to UNLV, providing money for the Jean Nidetch Women's Center and setting up a scholarship endowment.
Paige O'Hara: The voice of Belle in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," the actress and singer recently finished a stint as the narrator in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in California.
Shaquille O'Neal: Center for the world champion NBA Los Angeles Lakers, O'Neal recently purchased a home in Las Vegas, said to be five minutes from the Strip.
Tony Orlando: The singer, who gained fame in the 1970s with such hits as "Tie a Yellow Ribbon," is headlining at the Golden Nugget.
Penn & Teller: Frequent Las Vegas headliners, the funny magicians are known for their off-the-wall tricks.
Debbie Reynolds: A singer, dancer and actress who starred in movies during the heyday of Hollywood musicals, Reynolds remains a trouper.
John Robinson: The Rebels football coach and athletic director at UNLV, Robinson once coached the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and the University of Southern California Trojans.
Rita Rudner: A Broadway dancer turned comedian, Rudner headlines her own show at New York-New York.
Rudy Ruettiger: A motivational speaker, Ruettiger was a member of the Notre Dame football team and the inspiration for the 1993 movie "Rudy."
Steve Schirripa: He is a character actor who plays Bobby Baccalieri on the HBO hit "The Sopranos."
Tasha Schwikert: The teen-age gymnast won the American Cup last month and continues to improve on her 2000 Olympics performance that far exceeded expectations.
Julian Serrano: Hailed by Mobil Travel Guide as "one of the finest culinary talents in the nation," Serrano is the executive chef of the five-star restaurant Picasso at Bellagio.
Carol Shelby: Inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame for his creation of the Cobra sports car and special versions of the Ford Mustang, Shelby owns and operates a local driving school.
George Sidney: He is the legendary director who was responsible for such films as "Bye Bye Birdie," "Anchors Aweigh" and "Viva Las Vegas."
Siegfried and Roy: The longtime magicians who perform at The Mirage have tied their careers to preserving wildlife.
Kevin Sorbo: The actor gained fame for his starring role on the quirky television show "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys." He currently stars in the science-fiction adventure "Andromeda."
Wole Soyinka: The Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian author holds the Endowed Chair of Creative Writing at UNLV.
Alessandro Stratta: The executive chef of the Mobil Travel Guide's five-star restaurant Renoir at The Mirage.
Mike Tyson: Although he was turned down in his latest bid to box in Nevada, the former world heavyweight boxing champion has a home here.
Jimmy Vasser: A CART driver, Vasser won the 1996 PPG Cup Championship. He remains a solid performer on the racing circuit.
Jimmy "J.J." Walker: We think it's pretty "dyn-o-mite" that the comedian and former star of TV's "Good Times" calls Las Vegas home.
Richard Wiley: The UNLV professor also is a novelist whose first novel, "Soldiers in Hiding," won the 1987 PEN/Faulkner Award.
Dick Wilson: The pitchman for Charmin toilet
paper, Wilson is better known as Mr. Whipple. But he has had an extensive
career, with more than 300 television show appearances to his credit.
April 17, 2002: The Las Vegas Sun
For kid's sake
Headquartered in Las Vegas, KidsCharities.org is a nonprofit, Internet-based organization that serves as an umbrella for a multitude of productive children's charities, including Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Chances for Children, Special Olympics and City of Hope.
Founder Sue Shifrin-Cassidy, a Las Vegas resident, is proud to explain her organization has distributed approximately $290,000 to 30 charities in just two years. The funds have benefited emergency and medical care for children around the globe, in addition to impacting programs fostering the fine arts, the environment and education for children in our community.
Thinking creatively, kidscharities.org's online auctions, sponsored by Internet search engine Yahoo!, have included Valentine's Day events made possible by Ethel M Chocolates, which contributed velvet heart-shaped boxes of chocolates autographed by such stars as Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicholson, Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, David Cassidy and others. Equally successful have been events including the annual David Cassidy Celebrity Golf Tournaments, Totally Groovy Polyester Ball, the Desert Passage Mystery Tour at Aladdin and, most recently in New York City, the Sotheby's Night of Miracles, which included the sale of the original Santa Claus suit from "Miracle on 34th Street," donated by Las Vegas-based americabilia.com.
Recently the Stirling Club at Turnberry Place, with General Manager Brad Millsap, provided support by hosting an elegant luncheon for Las Vegas contributors and charitable recipients. The occasion, marking the charity's two-year anniversary, was enlivened by the presence of Shifrin-Cassidy and her husband, David Cassidy, who serves as the organization's spokesman. With the Cassidys were KidsCharities.org board trustees Sandy and Roger Peltyn, who have chaired local efforts on behalf of the charity.
Included in the gathering were Rose Dominguez, Dawn Merritt, David Griego, Whitney Thier, Cindy Wirth, Julie Murray, Sloane Arnold, Nancy Arrington, Mandy Elliot and Mercedes Warrick.
Local charities receiving funds during luncheon ceremonies were Special Olympics of Nevada, City of Hope, Emerging Artists Fund and the Mike Maddux Foundation. Listening attentively to the program were guests including Fleeta Goldstein, Rob Wilner, Barbara Silver, Robyn Hadden, Linda Crane, Eric Polis, Cynthia Dunn, Melanie Van Burch and Judy Fleischman.
Ongoing efforts to help children through online auctions and announcements of special events are available at kidscharities.org. The 4th Annual David Cassidy Celebrity Charity Golf Tournament will be held in association with the EAT'M Conference beginning May 28 in Las Vegas, with proceeds to benefit Las Vegas children.
(Columnist Elizabeth Foyt).
April 19, 2002: Manchester Evening News (England UK)
by Kevin Bourke
DAVID Cassidy, who follows up his triumphant show last November with a pair of dates at the Manchester Apollo this weekend, genuinely seems to enjoy his close relationship with his fanatically loyal fans, taking time out to talk to them at every opportunity.
"It's so rare that you have the opportunity, after 30 years, to go out and play for people who know it and love it and want to see it," admits David. "I'm having the time of my life. I'm always an optimist. I mean, you have to be with my career,'' he adds, laughing. "I've never gone out and changed my style to suit my times. It''s important to reveal your own fragility, faults and mistakes. That honesty is naturally compelling and, in general, it's what people want to see.
"Without that, all the flash in the show is merely empty effects. Bringing that human element to my work is the most important thing I can do as an entertainer."
Hailing from a family of actors, including mother Evelyn Ward and father Jack Cassidy, his fate as a performer was sealed at a young age but his roller coaster ride to fame really started in the seventies when he joined the hit show, The Partridge Family. By the end of 1970, the year the show premiered, David had been on the cover of virtually every teen magazine in the world. By the age of 21, heart-throb David was the world''s highest paid performer, with his poster on the wall of every pubescent girl in the country. His official fan club became the largest in history, exceeding those of Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
A bit more recently, Cassidy has starred on Broadway in the original production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, appeared in London''s West End in Time and toured with a hugely-acclaimed production of Blood Brothers. In 1999, he pre-empted George Clooney, Brad Pitt and their pals by writing The Rat Pack Is Back, a show that has been running to packed houses ever since at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas.
"They were tearing down all these fabulous buildings there and it just seemed to make sense to save a building by paying tribute to the stars who had, in many ways, created that town," he remembers.
The last UK tour happened almost by accident, beginning with a promoter advertising some stadium dates for him, even though he says he knew nothing about them. As soon as he got wind of them, he took legal action but was then faced with the prospect of disappointing fans who'd bought tickets in good faith. So a series of smaller dates were set up and promptly sold out. Thus, the current Rock Me tour and, doubtless, more inappropriately lustful squeals from all the women who, in their hearts, are once more 12 years old and in love for the first time.
"I love doing it more now than I ever did," laughs our boy gleefully.
David Cassidy performs at the Manchester Apollo,
Ardwick Green, Friday and Saturday. 7.30pm. Please call 0161-242 2560 to
confirm ticket availability.
April 21, 2002: Las Vegas Review-Journal
Which Rat Pack is back?
Here's a familiar dilemma, sometimes used by comedians or floated in classrooms as an ethical quandary.
You get a really, really good deal for, say, a camera at a swap meet. You don't ask questions, but you have to wonder if the deep discount signifies stolen merchandise.
You go somewhere and leave the camera on your car seat with the window down. You return to find it missing. What are you going to do now? Call the police?
I think of this because of a convoluted situation involving three Frank Sinatra-related "tributes" vying for a home on the Strip.
On its way out: "The Rat Pack is Back," leaving the Sahara April 30. The theatrical revue, co-produced by Don Reo and entertainer David Cassidy, has held on since 1999.
So far at least, it has successfully defended litigation by heirs of Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.; the case is being appealed. At this writing, the producers were still seeking a new venue.
On its way in: "The Main Event," opening at The Venetian April 28. Like "Rat Pack," this one will avoid licensing fees by relying on a 1989 state law protecting stage impersonations, and restricting legal challenges to "right of publicity" claims about the use of celebrity names and faces in advertising.
Even though they appeal to the same market, you're not likely to hear either show whining about the other, since both are treading on the same legal eggshells.
After all, we never heard any protest from the producer of "The Pack is Back," a dinner show that played Piper's Alley Theater in Chicago in 1996-97.
Proof of the show remains on the Internet, but I had never heard of it until Michael Berk, co-creator of "Baywatch," recently acquired the rights.
But he doesn't plan to produce it. Told you this was convoluted.
Instead, Berk obtained "as many rights as we could" on the road to a licensing deal with the estates of Sinatra, Martin and Davis to produce an "official" show called "The Summit: Two Evenings With the Rat Pack."
Mort Viner, representing the Martin family, confirms a verbal agreement for "a show we kind of like," one that begins on the opening night of the 1988 "Together Again" tour before flashing back to 1963.
"I'm a big believer in literary rights," says Berk. He knows what it's like on the other side. The TV comedy "Son of the Beach" borrows freely from "Baywatch" with the legal protection of parody in its "Airplane!"-style format.
Rick Michel, who plays Dino in "The Rat Pack is Back," is on board with Berk as a co-producer and star. "The biggest challenge is finding a room," Berk says.
It's up in the air which show will prevail here. But it's safe to say that only Berk is paying for the rights to call the police.
(Mike Weatherford's entertainment column)
April 23, 2002: Liverpool Echo (England UK)
Cassidy signs up for Pops
SEVENTIES pop sensation David Cassidy is the latest signing for Liverpool's Summer Pops.
The American singer who starred in TV's the Partridge Family will play the big top at Kings Dock on July 11.
It will be his first appearance in Liverpool for more than 20 years.
David Cassidy has added the date to his UK tour, as a special bonus for Liverpool.
He said today: "How could I not play Liverpool, the place with the most amazing musical history in the world."
For tickets call 08707 460000.
April 23, 2002: CMP Entertainment
What a scream! DAVID CASSIDY for Summer Pops
SEVENTIES pop sensation DAVID CASSIDY is the latest big name to confirm for the Summer Pops!
Tickets for the show, on Thursday July 11th at Liverpool Kings Dock Arena, are on sale now, priced at £22.50, £27.50 with limited availability Gold Circle seats at £37.50.
Cassidy is currently in the middle of a sold-out tour of the UK but has agreed to play another UK show in the Summer, and his first in Liverpool for two decades, since his heyday as the biggest teen idol on the planet when No 1 hits such as "How Can I Be Sure" and "Daydreamer" sold in excess of 25 million copies.
He joins Bryan Adams, Shirley Bassey, Van Morrison, Culture Club, Tony Bennett, Supertramp, Bryan Ferry, BB King, Jools Holland, The Australian Pink Floyd Show and Carl Davis & The RLPO as the Summer Pops bill looks ever more impressive. Yet more shows will be confirmed over the next few weeks.
Cassidy still has a huge army of fans in the UK, with his recent Greatest hits collection "Here and Now" having already gone Platiunm in this country.
Summer Pops promoter Chas Cole said: "Another major notch on the Summer Pops bedpost...and we're not finished yet!"
Mike Storey, leader of Liverpool City Council,
said: "The sheer quality and diversity of the Summer Pops bill shows Liverpool
is a now a hugely popular destination for the biggest names in music."
April 25, 2002: The Evening News (Glasgow, Scotland)
The original pop idol
Seventies superstar, David Cassidy was the highest paid entertainer in the world before quitting. Andrea Mullaney finds out why he's back
YOU'RE only young once, says David Cassidy - which in his case, is not quite true. The former teen idol who was, in his day, briefly the highest paid entertainer in the world, is 52 now, believe it or not. But to most he's still the fresh-faced, doe-eyed singing son of The Partridge Family, the wholesome musical sitcom which launched him to that success.
It's an image which has long dogged the singer, actor and now theatre producer, who's back in Edinburgh for the first time since 1985 this week.
Ask him about the days when he was bigger than all today's boybands rolled into one and he's keen to emphasise that that nice boy next door wasn't really him.
"As a teenager I went to see Jimi Hendrix when I wasn't working and I used to sit in my dressing room on the set playing Voodoo Chile," he points out.
"My own personal musical taste was vastly different from the stuff that we were doing, so the references that I had were people like BB King, Eric Clapton, Hendrix, Marvin Gaye. Growing up as a teenager in Southern California there were a lot of opportunities to see those legendary performers and they were the people I was a fan of."
And ask if he's ever compared notes with fellow Seventies heart-throb Donny Osmond - who, if anything, was even more whiter-than-white than Cassidy - and he's quick to differentiate the two.
"Well, he was probably 13 or 14 when I was 19, 20, so I never knew him and only in people's minds was there competition between he and I," he says firmly.
"It had nothing to do with me, I never felt in competition with him or any other artist - we were very different guys. When I was watching Jimi Hendrix he was singing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, so you're talking about a completely different life. Our paths actually never crossed."
In fact, it was the rather more rock'n'roll John Lennon who Cassidy buddied up with back then, at a time when he was ready to quit performing live.
"In some respects he was kind of a role model for me. We had discussions over dinner a few times before I decided to walk away from my last tour. We talked about how he approached the demystification, as he described it, meaning he wanted to be able to walk down the street and wanted to be able to have a family and go out to restaurants and be a human being. He understood what I was going through better than anyone, so he was always kind of an inspiration for me and very insightful."
The young Cassidy, after a troubled last tour and not terribly successful new direction - his flop 1975 concept album about the rise and fall of a pop idol is still held up as a warning to all over-confident pin-ups who think they can go it alone - did end up quitting pop.
"I don't know that my popularity dipped, I just chose not to work," he insists, with a touch of wounded pride.
"I just didn't want to do that experience anymore. There wasn't any more I thought I could get out of it and there were a lot of other things I wanted to do with my life, particularly personally."
HE adds: "I think it would be one thing if you were going out and making records and wasn't successful, I just wasn't working."
Instead, Cassidy moved on to various other projects including acting (he was nominated for an Emmy Award for his cop-in-disguise drama Man Under-cover) and theatre production, with hit shows on Broadway and Las Vegas, where The Rat Pack Is Back! - which got in on the Sinatra, Martin and Davis Jr revival early - has been running for two years.
But, having spent more than two decades trying to get away from the cheesier side of his early career, of late the singer seems to be embracing it again.
An album of reworked old hits and cover versions, Then and Now, came out last year and is about to go platinum in Britain, while he's touring again performing all those breathy, lovelorn songs like How Can I Be Sure and I Think I Love You.
"It's a wonderful thing to come back after so many years and have such incredible fan support and loyalty and love from people who care about my work.
"I had a very strong sense about this record, it's my 20th album, and I knew the fans were anxious about my coming back," he says confidently.
"So I don't think it surprised me as much as it pleased me that there is still that kind of enthusiasm.
"I have been performing in the US a lot and been very successful here over the past decade, so I knew that there were a lot of fans out there who wanted to hear what I was doing."
But he's not going all the way back: there will be no Partridge Family reunion with them all piling back into the van for one last singalong adventure.
"I've turned down for the last two decades' reunion shows and lots and lots of money to do something like that which, frankly, is the only reason anyone would ever do that and fortunately I don't need to do that.
"I did that, I walked away from it and it was perfect. Why change and taint it by doing something today?
"For me, it would be counter productive ultimately, I wouldn't be happy. I'm happy with what I do now and I'm happy that people loved it, as I did, in its time. But the world is such a different place now. If you want to have longevity, you have to learn not to compete with that kind of fame, because you can't.
"You're only young and becoming a superstar in that genre once."
David Cassidy, Sunday, Playhouse, 8pm, £22.50-£27.50, 0870 606 3424
The life and times of David
IT must have been obvious casting when the 19-year-old David Cassidy got the part of Keith in the Partridge Family, a 1970 sitcom about a singing stepfamily who travelled America with their own van, a handful of songs and some cheesy jokes.
After all, he was a teenage Broadway veteran and the son of performers himself, actors Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward. When they divorced, his father married Oklahoma star Shirley Jones, who played his mother in the TV show.
Before the show even went on air, a Partridge Family single featuring him on lead vocals, I Think I Love You, had stormed the charts, selling nearly six million copies.
Over the show's four-year run, Cassidy became one of America's biggest heart-throbs, with colouring books, lunch boxes, dolls, comics, clothes and books all featuring his image. His fanclub was the biggest ever, with more members than that of The Beatles or Elvis Presley at their peak.
But by 1974, he'd become disillusioned, quitting a stadium tour after a 14-year-old fan died of a heart attack at a London show and then quitting the Partridge Family to go it alone.
His solo records flopped in the US, but did well in Britain, where he reached No 1 with How Can I Be Sure and Daydreamer.
He returned to TV in a well-received police drama, Man Undercover, before going back to the stage with appearances on Broadway in the original production there of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and in Blood Brothers with half-brother Shaun Cassidy (youngest sibling Ryan is also an actor).
Like many an ex-chart star, he ended up in Las Vegas, where he took over the MGM Grand Hotel's flashy extravaganza EFX, turning the show into a hit and winning several Best Performer awards.
He went on to co-write and produce The Rat Pack Is Back - in which he's occasionally appeared as Bobby Darin - as well as At The Copa, which ran for a year.
He's married to songwriter Sue Shifrin-Cassidy - who's written songs for Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and Cher - and they have a ten-year-old son.
April 26, 2002: Las Vegas Review-Journal
Packing it in
"The Rat Pack is Back!" won't be opening at another hotel for a while. Producer David Cassidy is concentrating on his solo career and is tired of dealing with the show's continual changes and individual egos! We never knew we entertainers had egos!
(Norm Clarke's column)