Hedonism Then and Now

Hedonism Then and Now

By Royal Hopper

The first rock concert I went to cost me around $12, plus a coke and a $7 T-shirt. I bought the ticket with birthday money, allowance and a couple of bucks I borrowed from my parents.  I wore bell bottoms and put on my Flush the Fashion Alice Cooper T-shirt as I went in the door of the Civic Center and patiently waited for an opening band called Tchaikovsky’s Overture  to stop annoying me by playing well written poolitical relevant music so I could rock out to Alice Cooper’s shock rock Gothis Theater.
(Yes I was such a geek that my parents didn’t think twice about dropping me off at an Alice Cooper concert)

The Electric Daisies
This week more than 33 years after those hazy days the latest incarnation of non- fashionable hedonism, the Electric Daisy Carnival came dancing, prancing and tripping into the City of Sin.
Its participants paid $350 for three days of dance til you drop partying on multiple stages and likely paid more for the drinks they bought than the T-shirt I bought all those years ago.
The Daisy crowd filled Las Vegas with rainbows, bikinis, hula skirts, tutus, tabs of monogrammed pills and lots of Daddy’s now empty credit cards.

A rainbow clad Daisy stands in the corner on Las Vegas Boulevard late last week……

Las Vegas visitors enjoy lunch cooled by misters at this outdoor cafe in Las Vegas Boulevard _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Back in the Day
Thirty-three years ago I vaguely remember looking through the haze of purple smoke rising from the front row of the civis center and seeing the guy who was so enthusiastically dancing to Schools Out Alice’s signature 1974 anti-school ballad.
The police escorted him out of the concert as he continued to dance to the Alice’s rendition of School’s Out…which incidentally had been three sets before because the band was playing Billion Dollar Baby..if memory serves. The 60s had been good to that dude because he was still there in 1979.

Flash Forward to 1989
Once upon a time there was a band called the Grateful Dead. When I first arrived  in the City of Sin in 1989 they were still touring the country spreading their philosophy of not having a philosophy and being stoned while dancing to the songs of the 60s about being stoned and dancing.
I remember one of them was discovered sleeping on the rocks above the Pirate Show at Treasure Island where I worked at the time. Apparently he had climbed up on the rocks above the fake pirate lagoon while tripping on Lucy and the Skies with Diamonds and decided to take a nap. Raaahwwwt.

Later “The Dead” stopped touring because the lead singer Jerry Garcia had passed on and its difficult making tour dates when your dead. It wouldn’t surprise me if several of the bands followers, called Dead Heads back in the day, are just realizing they are gone…..

I think I saw a Dead Head filtering in and out of the Daisy crowd of the with a peace sign on their T-Shirt humming to himself “Riding that train high on Cocaine..which he may have been because he was alone and very upset at the invisible people who were singing off key and by he let them know it.

Tickets and gas are not free and the followers of the Dead sometimes financed  their travels to the next show in the next city by stealing T-shirts from out gifts shops and selling them on the side walk outside the places they stole them from for fare to the next concert.

Later a band called Phish carried on the tradition of party til you drop. Jerry Garcia tried to crash the concert according to several Dead Head shamans but the new guys brought in a medium named Puppy Power to clean up their act. (No not really be serious)

sea of signs

A sea of signs on Las Vegas Boulevard

The Rave goes Corporate
Then came the Rave. Raves are not new. At one time Raves back in the dark confusing days of the late 80s and 90s were secret dance parties held in abandoned buildings and back street warehouses. In 2013 they cover acres,  last for days and are policed ..by ..you know police….Afterwards people walk around in their underwear like the three bald headed gentlemen who sported rainbow colored briefs and nothing else as they strolled down the boulevard this week. Another enterprising raver strolled the hallways sans pants shouting her friends to come and get her and take her to her hotel room. Her friends happened to be down the street at the hotel where they are actually staying.


What does it Mean?

Costumes, hedonist, rainbows and invisible friends. What are they? In some places they are signs of decay or a bad zombie B-movie made in Holland.  In Vegas it is just another day in the sun …It doesn’t mean anything it is just another Tuesday here.


Goodbye EDCTo quote Gilda Radner ..or rather Roseanne Rosanna Dannah ..It’s always something. Either pot smoking,  acid dropping, tie die clad

As Gildner Radner once said Its always something. Either hard drinking, hard tripping pot smoking Hippies are swiping your T-shirts and talking to invisible submarines or drunk dancing,, rainbow clad, pot smoking, ecstasy loving Ravers are buying your T-Shirts and talking to invisible submarines while they are dancing.

That’s life in the City of Sin
Rock on Sinners
Stay cool









What do you do if your in Vegas and you see a Flamenco dancer, a woman in pajamas wearing Mini Mouse slippers, some in bikinis wearing fur leggings and many, many wrapped in a rainbow of colors. Well if you live in Vegas you yawn a little and look at your watch. No big deal

Sin City Journal Third Week of June

Cityscape in the afternoon _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Painting the Desert Green and Chutzpah comes to the City

by Royal Hopper

It’s not just beer. It is AMAZING BEER _ Photo by Royal Hopper

There is an old joke about the Irish that seems to fit the fans of the Glasgow Celtics FC that starts with a question.
How many Celtics does it take to drink 50 kegs of beer? I will give the answer at the end of this week’s blog.

Sometimes you have to admire the Chutzpah of the people you meet and see in the City of Sin even if you don’t want to know the details.

You have to admire the Chutzpah of a guy who gets run out of a casino because he’s living on the sidewalk, smells like dirty socks and can’t pay for the drink he ordered, waits five minutes and then comes back in and goes to the other side of a bar and orders another drink from the bartender working that side of the bar.
He probably should have waited  a day or two but you gotta admire the nerve. I’m just saying….and to the gray haired gentleman who was seen on Las Vegas Boulevard wearing a pair of white kitty cat ears …man ..I’m just saying ….that is Chutzpah and man I really don’t want to know the details so keep them and your ears to yourself.

Now lets talk about the chutzpah Soccer fans I mean football fans…from the great White North.

umbrella guy

You got me dude _ Photo by Royal Hopper

You gotta admire the Chutzpah of people so pale they glow in the dark who walk around in the desert sun with no shirt on you just gotta.

If you walked by or into a Las Vegas casino or swimming pool this week and got blinded by a flash of sunlight off a shirtless mound of pale white flesh wearing sunglasses or a giant doll with orange hair walking stiffly next to a pair of Sailor Moon lookalikes.

No, your not in a zombie apocalypse, you didn’t drink the wrong glass of juice at the rave and no the cast of Twilight is not filming a sequel in Les Vegas.
The beer drinking, pale faced fans of the Glasgow, Scotland soccer team called the Celtics invaded the City of Sin this week followed closely by Comic Book and Anime fans in full regalia.
“Oh Danny Boy,” that’s what a lot of the Irish, Scottish and Welsh, Canadian and Louisianan fans of this 120-year-old soccer team sang in groups while hanging around swimming pools and bars ( Yes I said soccer not football. I’m American sue me or don’t because Im freakin broke) . It was either Oh Danny Boy they were singing or Old Denny’s Toy, or So done the bar, or maybe Flo Fanny Koi..It’s hard to tell through the accents and green beer and the disco blaring from nearby PAs.

97 cent sign

This team has followers across every corner of the world  including Canada and Louisiana and every two years through rain and sleet and gallons and gallons of beer they trek to the City of Sin to bake their pale skins in the desert sun, sing drinking songs and trade stories with people who mostly cannot understand a word they are saying. They are good people and for the most part Happy Drunks which as always a good thing in a City dedicated to decadence, drinking and dude ranches (Okay so my alliteration is a little rusty)

Now to the question of the week….

How many Celtics does it take to finish 50 kegs of beer? The answer is yes !!!!!

Ohhhh well it was funny when I thought of it. People still sell water on the strip..pose for pictures dressed like Elvis, drag their kids the worlds largest Coca-Cola store and sometimes sing Irish drinking songs on the sidewalk.
That’s life in the City of Sin boys and girls
Rock on Sinners
And Stay cool

Telling it All in the City of Sin

Telling it All in the City of Sin

By Royal Hopper

Taking advantage of the shade a Sin City resident scans his cell while cooling off in the shadows….Royal

This week a couple from the great bland state Minnesota made a great confession to me while we traded stories about the excesses this city inspires in its visitors. I told them about the man who crawled into a strangers bed in the wrong hotel because he was so drunk and the one who sold his plane ticket to play one last shot at winning the big jackpot or the man who convinced himself he was Elvis and spent part of a week dancing on the sidewalks of Las Vegas saying thank you very much or the one who went skateboarding in his boxers playing chicken with tour busses….

I told them about the inebriated man in his towel.
Earlier in the week an Irish gentleman demonstrated the more traditional type of hedonism by walking around a casino full of patrons in nothing but a towel.


As shocking as it was to see an inebriated Irishman walking around a Las Vegas casino lost with nothing on but a towel and a colorful thong I have to say the gentleman was pleasant and polite. Even though I did not understand a word he said  (Hey Im from Texas I barely speak English ) He was finally pointed in the right direction and deposited in a room full of half naked older men wearing ascots and gym shorts ..( I don’t judge. Seriously I dont …judge…. I mean it ) Three guys in their 60s half dressed bottle of liquor everywhere, hugging and other stuff..I don’t judge…seriously… I don’t judge.

I told this cute Minnesota pair about the dirty, scraggily wayward man I saw on a Las Vegas road with his hands open cupped together to accept donations. The man was so beaten down that apparently holding a cup was to much for him.

A cowboy saunters across a Sin City intersection unbuttoning his shirt in response to the heat….

Looking like death warmed over or a freshly dead  bad B-movie zombie with his greasy leather like skin and beard so dirty it didn’t look real this man simply waited for cars to stop at a traffic light cupped his hands in hope and walked between two rows of tired after work commuters hoping for a handout that would get him out of the desert heat for a day or two.
He walked in the road without fear muttering a prayer that was suspiciously similar in cadence to an old Dr. Pepper commercial, slouching away only when the light turned green. He stopped just before the cars left the intersection somehow confidence the commuters wouldn’t risk their shiny car running over a greasy, weather worn dirt encrusted ner do well like him..and not surprisingly they didn’t

Anyway I told these fine folks from Minnesota all the weird things about life in the City of Sin I even told them about the Elvis sightings that occurred after the 68 cent drink promotion earlier in the month. Then with a smile on their faces they told me their big sin. They had drunk a beer with breakfast…”oh the horror …the horror …” a beer with breakfast how do they live with themselves.  Apparently in Minnesota having a beer with breakfast in a dangerous thing to do.

A Sin City Angel..the marble kind —Royal

The city was also invaded by chess fans this week who were in town for a big a chess tournament, they nerdiest bunch of rebels you will ever meet.
“Sir you can’t sleep in the casino ,” ….
“No I can” he said defiantly .
“No you can’t …”
“Oh ..okay..” sulk..sulk ..

It was 108 degrees in the City of Sin this week and it not even officially summer yet. Down the boulevard a man wanders the sidewalk with a three feet wide sun hat, gym shorts and pink shoes, a woman pushes her poodle in a baby carriage and tourists the color of pink lobsters clutching souvenir drinks four feet tall walk past an MTV logo with legs, two Elvi four cartoon characters and a wheelchair driving couple honking their horns as they weave in and out of pedestrians on their way to the burger joint down the street.

Ahhh Sumer is here in the City of Sin
Rock On Sinners

Superstar Wheelchair pushers and pursuing your demons in the City of Sin


Mario and Luigi pose for the People on Las Vegas Boulevard Sunday _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Pursuing your Demons in the City of Sin

By Royal Hopper

water for sale

One of the water salesman on the pedestrian crosswalks over LV Boulevard hawks his wares late last week….

I saw a man pushing a woman in a wheelchair while hauling a shopping cart full to the brim and above with heavy looking stuff.
That’s either true love or the dude is planning on trying out for the special forces and figures pushing 400 pounds of a shopping cart, wheelchair and woman is a good way to start.
If the Delta Force is looking for a dedicated wheelchair pusher for their physically challenged operatives I highly recommend this guy because he was jamming to beat the band even in the hot spring afternoon desert sun. That’s right I said spring afternoon sun.Summer is still weeks away and temps are already in the 100s.

As a rule people here play hard, often harder then they work
I saw a man walking around a park in a black trench coat. Either this man is up to something or really believes fashion trumps comfort and physical safety on 97 degree days in the desert.

This guy was hauling this load down the street without a complaint. He was either just out of Ranger School or the most whipped dude in Clark County Nevada. The woman in the wheelchair for her part was holding a sign and wowing the crowd of a few brave souls that weren’t to busy driving to notice.


One of Las Vegas finest pauses during his patrol to radio his Sin City comrades this week in Sin City _ Photo by Royal Hopper

The Crazy people that live and frolic in the City of Sin are tough, well dressed and often named after their parents childhood heroes. Can you say Elvis Jones, Wayne Newton Smith, Liberace Gomez., John Wayne Johnson, or ABBA Johanson ..I knew you could .

I am assuming that is what the man I saw dressed like Roy Rogers was thinking as he dragged his similarly dressed child down the boulevard this week. Hmm Roy Rogers…Rogers….it could happen and likely has.

Whatever demons you possess or that posses you ..legal or otherwise …you will find them somewhere in this city. If alcohol is your demon this city could float an island on the cheap liquor it sells and/or gives away.
If well used flesh is your thing there are purveyors everywhere. Most people who come here leave with a headache, fewer dollars in their pocket and a story to tell. They are all here if you know where to look.
Sometimes the demons get the better of them and they fall down, are found asleep in odd places dressed in other people’s underwear sometimes on the heads or other body parts or are found in a fetal position on the surrounded by strangers. That happened this week and will likely happen again.


Discount Tours….hmmmm _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Sometimes the demons do them in and they don’t come back from that story filled week end in Vegas. That happened this week in Vegas too and will likely happen again. Silliness, tragedy, drinking and sun.

That’s life in the City of Sin.
Rock On Sinners


Did you ever find yourself conversing with an older person in a casino and when you both walked away after exchanging stories and pleasantries you found your self thinking …what a nice old man he was…?

I did this week. I had a very nice conversation with an “old man” and was smiling at the Sin City stories we had exchanged about our Sin City experiences until the part of my brain that stills does math …did the math and figured out that I remembered almost every story he told and “the nice old decrepit guy” I was exchanging stories with was only ten years older than me. Sigh …..