Wednesday, August 21, 2013

LA and Vegas sightings

Holy procrastination, Batman . . . look who’s back.

Actually, I haven’t been procrastinating at all, we merely had a baby on April 1st (no fooling) which put everything else on hold, including blog writing.

Nonetheless, my wife and I figured we’d make a road trip this summer down to Disneyland before our five-year-old starts kindergarten in September. So we packed up the van, drove south through Helena, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and then on to Anaheim for a two-week stay at the World’s Happiest Place.

My first Queen sighting ended up being a “hearing,” so to speak. The mid-afternoon Pixar parade through the California Adventure Park featured Don’t Stop Me Now amongst the medley of tunes played. Here’s a video clip I managed to capture as The Incredibles family scootered by me:

This theme park sighting reminded me of the LegoLand rocks I wrote about here.

Photo by Patrick Brooks
Photo by Patrick Brooks
The big attraction at California Adventure is the Radiator Springs Racers ride at the new Cars Land exhibit. The level of detail built into the simulated landscape and associated buildings of Radiator Springs was truly amazing. Automobile-themed music was being pumped throughout the walking areas of Cars Land and since Queen made an appearance in the Pixar parade, I half-expected a cover version of I’m In Love With My Car to be included on the playlist . . . but it wasn’t.

My next southern California Queen sighting was one that I deliberately sought out . . . their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Finding it was simple;  I looked up the address for it on Wikipedia, typed it into Google Maps, and asked my buddy Mike May (aka ProphetM from the old days back in the ’90s) to take us there.

Photo by Patrick Brooks
I remember the lobbying and fundraising effort in the early 2000s by a handful of dedicated Queen fans to get a coveted pink terrazzo marble star included on the Walk of Fame. 

Photo by Patrick Brooks
And while the exact location or address of a celebrity’s star may have some connection to their career (i.e., Farrah Fawcett in front of a hair salon or Roger Moore at 7007 Hollywood Blvd), I couldn’t see any immediate reason why 6356 Hollywood Blvd. would be special to Queen. The street numbers are arbitrary and the business establishment, Hemingway’s Lounge, doesn’t appear to have any connection to Queen’s history (assuming, of course, they were there in 2002 during the dedication ceremony).

After our holiday in LA was over, we again packed up the kids and van and headed back to Vegas again on our first stop-over on the journey home. (We stayed in Luxor’s pyramid this time, just to see how the elevators worked.) On the MGM promo TV channel there was a clip of Ryan Seacrest introducing the iHeart Radio Music Festival coming up in September.

To my surprise, he mentioned that Queen and Adam Lambert would be making an appearance together. Hmm, should I plan another trip to Vegas in a month’s time? Probably not, since it won’t be a full-on concert from Q+Lambert, just a limited appearance along with other artists. I’m sure Katy Perry will enjoy hanging out with Brian and Roger backstage talking about how well her Killer Queen perfume is selling.

Photo by Patrick Brooks
The final Queen sighting on our trip was also in Vegas. There is an entertainment collectibles store in Mandalay Bay called Art of Music which I stopped into for the hell of it.

Instead of wasting time looking for Queen paraphernalia on their walls, I approached the fellow at the cash register and merely asked him what they had. He showed me an autographed drum stick by Roger up for sale. (The framing job didn’t impress me too much. In my opinion, Roger’s drum stick should be the focus rather than one of many eclectic images in the composition.)  I then asked what guarantee I have that the autograph is genuine given my previous experience with Antiquities over in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. He said he’s only had two returned items in the past five years compared to Antiquities two hundred or so returned pieces.

How he acquired those stats is a mystery but I’m inclined to believe him.