Times are a-changing

The Rat Pack doesn’t play casinos anymore. Well, unless you count Rat Pack imitators. Instead, you might see the Doobie Brothers. Is this progress? If you like the 1970s, yes.

From Buffalo Business First:


Frank Sinatra and casinos went together like peanut butter and jelly.

But, Gregg Allman or Steve Miller at a casino?

What gives?

Just as the demographics have changed for who goes to a casino, so has the demographics changed for how the gaming venues book their entertainment.

The days of tuxedo-clad entertainers singing lounge lizard classics has changed to be more appealing to the baby boomer generation. That’s why at casinos, their performing arts centers are as likely to book a Wayne Newton as they are the Doobie Brothers.

Casino music scene ain’t Sinatra any more – 2005-01-31 – Business First of Buffalo

I wonder, can anyone really rock out in a casino venue? It’s got to be hard to rock when, a few feet away, people are lining up for the buffet.

I saw Henry Rollins do his spoken word thing once in the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. He talked about how strange it was. I don’t want to speak for him, but I imagine in his early years, he never thought he’d be working a casino one day. I don’t recall any Black Flag songs about splitting tens or always using your player card.

As far as the 60s and 70s icons working the shrimp cocktail circuit, it makes you envy artists who die young. Would Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix be playing casinos if they were alive today?

It might be fun to start a “casino entertainer pool” and lay odds on who will be the next work at a gambling hall near you. As a matter of fact, I’m going to start that page myself as soon as I get the time.

1 thought on “Times are a-changing”

  1. Speaking of 60s and 70s icons, I saw Bob Dylan perform at an AC casino in 1989. Somehow I suspect that the "dead rock icon trinity" you mentioned would still have ended up playing a casino if they were alive now. Of course a club like the House of Blues is much different than your typical lounge lizard venue. The artists are following their audience, which, as it gets older, is getting more interested in the best buffet and shrimp cocktail deals.

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