Archive for May, 2009

Bob Arum: Mayweather-Pacquiao in doubt for ’09

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2009 by ifly2lv

Pacquiao Hatton Boxing
Bob Arum: Mayweather-Pacquiao in doubt for ’09
by Brian VanOchten | The Grand Rapids Press
Saturday May 30, 2009, 7:20 PM
http://www.mlive.com/boxing/index.ssf/2009/05/bob_arum_mayweatherpacquiao_in.html

The posturing between the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao camps regarding a potential megafight between the former and current pound-for-pound champions continues.

Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao, said in a report posted on Philstar.com it is unlikely the two biggest names in the sport will be able to meet in the ring until sometime in 2010, if at all.

It has been speculated that a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown might happen Oct. 17.

Yet Arum contends Mayweather, who is set to fight Juan Manuel Marquez on July 18 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, needs more than three months to prepare for such a big fight.

“I think Mayweather would not really be available this year,” he told BoxingScene.com.

“Obviously, we’re not going to wait until after the Marquez fight. There have been no discussions whatsoever with the Mayweather people at this particular point,” he added. “And as far as I know, nobody is pushing the Mayweather fight.”

The undefeated Mayweather, a six-time former world champ and Grand Rapids native, has insisted he get the lion’s share of the purse in any matchup against Pacquiao.

“It will be a cold day in hell before that happens,” Mayweather told FightHype.com about the chances of him agreeing to a 50-50 split of the purse.

Arum, who once promoted Mayweather, has fired back that he will not let Mayweather dictate the timing or financial terms of a fight against Pacquiao.

Arum, meanwhile, continues to push for Miguel Cotto or Shane Mosley as Pacquiao’s next opponent, although the final decision will be made by Pacquiao and Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach

Promoter Bob Arum, right, says he won’t way for Floyd Mayweather’s July 18 fight to determine Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent.

Sasha Grey not closing curtain on X-rated films

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2009 by ifly2lv

Sasha Grey not closing curtain on X-rated films

Adult film actress talks about goals after crossing over to mainstream movies

By Melissa Arseniuk

Sat, May 30, 2009 (6:32 p.m.)

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/may/30/sasha-grey-not-closing-curtain-x-rated-films/

ImageDenise Truscello/Las Vegas Weekly

Sasha Grey celebrates her birthday March 17, 2009, at Tao nightclub in Las Vegas. The adult film actress recently got her first mainstream film role in the Steven Soderbergh film, “The Girlfriend Experience.”

Award-winning pornstar Sasha Grey may have made it to the mainstream but she’s not about to abandon her X-rated roots.

The AVN and XRCO 2008 “Female Performer of the Year” has recently attracted a lot of attention for her role in the Steven Soderbergh film, “the Girlfriend Experience.”

Grey’s first major mainstream role certainly won’t be her last: She has two more mainstream movies, “Quit” and “Smash Cut,” due out this summer.

Still, Grey isn’t about to turn her back on the industry that made her a (porn) star.

Unlike many adult film stars, who try to use their X-rated stardom to transition into mainstream roles, Grey said she never intended to make the switch.

“It’s not something that I ever sought out,” she said, suggesting the mainstream came to her, not the other way around.

“Stephen and his writer … contacted me,” she said.

Grey said she hoped to become the first actress to simultaneously appear in both adult and mainstream films.

“There’s never really been anybody, any woman, in the adult business to really hold both at the same time,” she observed.

And Grey, 21, is up for the challenge.

“I enjoy the challenge of people telling me no and proving them wrong,” she said.

Despite all the mainstream attention, Grey is still focusing a lot of her attention on initiatives within the adult industry.

“I just launched my own production company for adult films and I’ll be doing another film in August, so it’s busy, busy,” she said last night as she arrived for a “Girlfriend Experience” party at Lavo.

Though she may count “Escape from New York” as her favorite film (Kurt Russell was one of her first crushes), Grey is a bonafide film buff: Her top five favorite films is rounded out by 1977’s “Stroszek;” 2001’s “Fat Girl;” 1965’s “Pierrot le Fou;” and 1974’s “A Woman Under the Influence.”

As “the Girlfriend Experience” prepares to hit theaters tomorrow, Grey said she doesn’t know what to expect.

“I don’t really read reviews,” she said, “(And) it’s not easy to view something that you’ve done.”

She explained how working on a film, doing press, and now, waiting for its public release has been an enlightening experience.

“You’re done and you’ve finished with the project and you feel like that’s it, but now here it is for the world to see and it’s the first time they’re seeing it , hearing about it, relating to it, or hating it,” she said.

The enterprising brunette said she was “grateful” for everything she had experienced throughout the process and said working with Soderbergh was “amazing.”

“You can always see the wheels spinning in his head,” she said.

While Grey admitted it took her a few days to acclimatize herself to the set, she said she quickly learned to expect the unexpected from her new director, and roll with it.

“You’d expect to hear one thing or do one thing and he’d come up with the last thing that you did not think of,” she said.

Grey is a busy girl, both on camera and behind it.

“Right now I’m focusing on my brand new production company I just launched, it’s called Grey Art, and in August I go to shoot another independent film and I was just handed a couple more scripts so I’m juggling a little bit of everything right now,“ she said.

In addition to bridging the adult-mainstream divide, Grey hopes to add another title to her growing list of credentials – “director” — and produce some independent films of her own, as well.

A far as advice for aspiring starlets, the seemingly wise-beyond-her-years star eagerly shares the wisdom she’s acquired over the last three years: “I would have to say, be sure you want to do this, and tell your parents because they will find out, and save your money.”

Big Elvis Big Man Big Voice

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 29, 2009 by ifly2lv

Big Elvis: Big man, big voice
But the biggest thing about Pete ‘Big Elvis’ Vallee is the 500 pounds of him that are no longer there, thanks to old-fashioned diet and exercise and the above-and-beyond dedication of friends

Pete Vallee performs as “Big Elvis” at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon in Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 21, 2009.

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By Brendan Buhler (contact)

Sun, May 24, 2009 (2 a.m.)
Big Elvis
Eat Like A King

When Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee changed the way he thought about food, he turned to healthier recipes to help him lose weight. Here’s one:

Big Elvis’ “Stoup” (not quite stew, not quite soup)

* 3 cans of salt-free tomato sauce
* 1 large can of diced tomatoes
* 5 pounds of mixed frozen vegetables
* 1 chopped onion
* 10 skinless chicken thighs

Season with oregano, parsley, sage and Italian herb mix. Place ingredients in large crockpot and cook on medium for 10 hours

Serves two, for two or three days.
If You Go

* Where: Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, 3595 Las Vegas Blvd. South
* When: 3, 5 and 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
* Admission: Free

The first time you see him, on the sign, he’s a cartoon, an apple-bellied goof in a gold-studded white jumpsuit, tall black hair, a guitar and gold sunglasses.

Big Elvis, the sign says.

He’s the free weekdays lounge show at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, just across the Strip from Caesars Palace. Go into the lounge and settle into a chair out of granddad’s rec room for the three o’clock show.

Big Elvis’ intro music is “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” better known as the ascending theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey” — ba baa baaaa BAA-BUM bum-bum bum-bum bum-bum.

Big Elvis comes out to a karaoke track of “Burnin’ Love.” Here comes the hunka hunka!

And then the man opens his mouth.

People’s drinks pause, resting on their lips, and the unsuspecting turn from their slot machines to the stage. Men dip their longneck beers as if to say, Check that guy out.

It’s a barrel-deep, lusty baritone, flattering and conquering the crowd, an argument that can make you wonder whether maybe they didn’t crown the king too early.

Big Elvis is a large man, 400-plus pounds draped in a jumpsuit. He perches on a wooden throne when he’s not wooing and rousing the crowd, his dark eyes shimmering under his pool-water blue Elvis glasses.

He tries to start a Maracas-shaking line. “Come on up,” he teases. “Nobody’s died up here yet, and I’m the proof.”

Barely.

He’s literally half the Big Elvis he used to be, back when he was lurking on stage like a wounded animal, nursing hits of oxygen. Back when he was Way Too Big Elvis.

Back before he lost those 500 pounds.

• • •

Pete Vallee was born 44 years ago in Memphis, Tenn. He was the fourth and last child, a surprise that cut short his mother’s attempt to revive her singing career. He was raised mostly in Bellingham, Wash., and his parents divorced when he was 6 years old. Pete’s mother worked two jobs, but it wasn’t always enough to keep food in the house. Looking back, he says food meant to him that he was loved and life was going OK.

Country, gospel and rockabilly music filled his life, especially the music of Elvis Aaron Presley. Pete first performed Elvis’ music on stage at his Tukwila high school talent show when he was 14 years old. It was 1979, two years after Elvis died. Pete weighed 200 pounds, but at 6-foot-3, he was just husky.

At 19, he was 260 pounds. At 29, 550 pounds. By the time he was 40, he weighed about 960 pounds, according to the bulk mail scale at his local post office.

• • •

Dr. Louis J. Aronne knows how a human might get to weigh half a ton. He is director of the comprehensive weight control program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Aronne says the body regulates weight partly with a hormone called leptin, which tells the brain how much fat is stored. If there’s enough leptin floating through your blood, you’re not hungry. But as you gain too much weight, your brain becomes resistant to leptin. That happened to Pete. He ate because he was hungry, and grew hungry because he ate.

Pete could down a large pizza from Dominos, an order of cinnamon breadsticks, plus an order of the cheese ones — and three or four hours later, find himself at the drive-through window.

But in the meantime, Pete had a career, one that the weight didn’t exactly hurt. After all, he was performing as Big Elvis.

Big Elvis was born 13 years ago in Auburn, Wash., in a nearly empty auditorium of a community college.

After Pete stopped playing, a man named Bob Sluys struck up a conversation. You can’t hide your weight, Sluys told him. People will notice, so why don’t you use it as a show business gimmick? Milk it for all you can.

Pete credits Sluys for coming up with the name “Big Elvis,” but Sluys isn’t so sure. Either way, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Pete moved to Las Vegas to follow his ex-wife and young daughter and son.

He landed a job singing at the now-defunct Roadhouse Casino on Boulder Highway.

A year later, Pete’s ex-wife moved to Colorado with their children but Pete stayed in Vegas, figuring he had made it into show business. He got married again, for a year.

Then in 2000, Pete met the woman he says saved his life.

Lucille DiPietro Star was a criminal and divorce attorney in Boston before she moved to Las Vegas. Then she went into show business.

She and her fiance decided to become talent managers. A friend told them she had to see an Elvis impersonator out on Boulder Highway.

A big man, maybe 450 or 500 pounds, came out in a two-piece suit with a large collar and set up his own sound system. Then he started to sing.

“And I thought, ‘Oh my God, what is he doing out here?’ ”

Lucille and the man who was now her husband told Pete they wanted to represent him. He wasn’t enthusiastic. He’d known people before who wanted to be his manager, look out for his money. Right. He declined and moved further down Boulder Highway to the Magic Star (now the Wildfire). A year later, he decided he might be ready for representation after all.

The next year, Lucille and her husband got Pete onto the Strip, back when Bill’s was the Barbary Coast.

And as the Big Elvis show grew, so did Pete’s weight, to the point where he couldn’t walk for more than 10 or 15 steps. He had an oxygen bottle stashed next to the stage for quick whiffs. He appeared in Las Vegas’ centennial Helldorado Days parade in 2005, towed on a trailer. When Pete saw himself on TV, he looked unbelievably huge, pale and sweaty.

Lucille’s husband had died a month before and her dad was in town to see her. They told Pete he was going to die, sooner rather than later. Lucille’s dad paid for a psychiatrist to fly out from Boston and meet with Pete. Lucille moved into his house and slept on a couch in his office.

For a year and a half, Lucille and five neighbors and friends of Pete’s kept checking on him, preparing meals — vegetables, chicken and fish, no salt and no carbohydrates. And they pushed exercise. Lucille would take Pete to the parking lot of a soccer field and as he walked around it, she drove his car next to him so he could stop and rest against it. Gaining wind, Pete bought an aboveground pool and started swimming 45 minutes each day.

Now, four years later, Pete says he weighs 405 pounds — meaning that without surgery, using only diet and exercise, he has lost more than a quarter of a ton.

Is it possible? Dr. Aronne says yes, for some people.

When people quickly lose more than 10 percent of their weight, usually the body’s starvation defenses kick in. The weight — even the water weight that sloughs off at as much as 50 pounds at a time — stops coming off and people are wracked with hunger. At this point, most people plateau forever or break their diet.

However, some people can retrain their bodies. And, Arrone says, when it’s possible, it’s most likely to happen on Pete’s diet.

“You know how they have those disclaimers that say, ‘Results not typical?’ These results are not typical,” Arrone says. “But people can do it, and I give them lots of credit.”

Pete says whenever he wakes up starving in the night, he thinks of his children, of seeing them grow up. Then he prays.

He says he can never repay Lucille.

And, if you ask his friends, Pete is a man who tries to give back.

One of those neighbors who helped take care of Pete? His name’s Chuck Rawlings, himself a one-time Elvis impersonator. Pete asked him to sing and play guitar in the show, doing Conway Twitty and more — an addition paid out of Pete’s and Lucille’s share. Sue Laurenz, president of the Las Vegas Elvis fan club, remembers when Pete anonymously covered the funeral expenses of a security guard for Elvis at the International (now the Las Vegas Hilton).

Pete himself is inclined not to discuss these matters, and just mumbles that he’s only doing what Elvis would do.

These days, he’s got a new fiancee, Amanda Lasham, who’s roughly two fifths of his weight. She has a tattoo on the back of her neck that says “Elvis Presley” — Pete wouldn’t let her get “Big Elvis.” She lives with him, cooks for him and hides the Domino’s Pizza fliers so he won’t be tempted. And she comes to all his shows, standing just inside his dressing room door, dancing through every song.

What else could she do? Because every day, Monday through Friday, at 3, 5 and 6:30 p.m., the sound system starts up… ba baa baaaa BAA-BUM bum-bum bum-bum bum-bum …

And then there he is, without a jungle room, a custom garage full of Cadillacs or much gold anything, giving everything he has with a voice to shake Graceland, sweating down toward his goal of 250 pounds.

Big Elvis.

Brendan Buhler can be reached at 259-8817 or at buhler@lasvegassun.com.

President Visits Sin City After February Remarks Knocking Executives for Vegas Junkets

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by ifly2lv

Wow….This just pisses me off……

Big event at Ceasars to raise money….He has plenty to say about companies coming to vegas….hurting the business…
but it is ok for Politics?….wow…

Obama Rolls the Dice on Vegas Fundraiser Trip
President Visits Sin City After February Remarks Knocking Executives for Vegas Junkets
The cards may not be stacked in President Obama’s favor as he arrives in Las Vegas tonight for a fundraiser with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev..

President Obama could receive a lukewarm reception tonight when he arrives at Las Vegas’ Caesars…
President Obama could receive a lukewarm reception tonight when he arrives at Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace for a fundraiser with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Some there are still steamed the president suggested people stop traveling to Vegas on taxpayer money.
(ABC News Photo Illustration)More than three months after the president’s comments suggesting executives avoid using taxpayer money to fund trips like junkets to Vegas, Obama could receive a lukewarm reception Tuesday at Caesar’s Palace.

In a city that thrives largely on tourism, some people are still steamed, including Republican Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons. Gibbons turned down an offer to shake hands with the president today, saying he wanted more than a “momentary” greeting given the president’s February remarks. Locals with signs saying “Vegas Means Business” may greet the president as he arrives in town.

“Apparently our money is good enough for the president, but our tourism, jobs and economic future are not,” said Gov. Gibbons.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vacation/story?id=7679813&page=1

Las Vegas entertainer Gans dies at home at age 52

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by ifly2lv

Las Vegas entertainer Danny Gans died at his home this morning. He was 52. … The cause of death is unknown. … Henderson Police spokesman Officer Todd Rasmussen said this morning they received a call about 3:45 a.m. from a woman inside the home at 761 Ricota Court in Henderson. The woman said that a 52-year-old male was having breathing problems. When officers and paramedics arrived they found the man unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene. … Rasmussen said, as per department procedure, police are conducting a death investigation at the home.
gans-dead1

Las Vegas entertainer Danny Gans died at his home this morning. He was 52.

The cause of death is unknown.
Henderson Police spokesman Officer Todd Rasmussen said this morning they received a call about 3:45 a.m. from a woman inside the home at 761 Ricota Court in Henderson. The woman said that a 52-year-old male was having breathing problems. When officers and paramedics arrived they found the man unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rasmussen said, as per department procedure, police are conducting a death investigation at the home. The Clark County coroner’s office said this morning that they had not yet received Gans’ body.

Gans has been a Las Vegas entertainer for more than 12 years performing as a self-described “musical impressionist.” He was scheduled to perform his show tonight at the Encore Theater at the Encore Las Vegas Resort.

In an official statement from Gans’ manager Chip Lightman, he said Gans died in his sleep around 3 a.m.

“Danny Gans will not only be remembered as a Las Vegas entertainer, but as a man who loved his family, loved God, and loved the City of Las Vegas.

“Danny Gans has been my partner and dear friends for over 18 years, I will truly miss him. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife of 28 years, Julie Gans, and 3 children, Amy, Andrew and Emily.”

Casino developer Steve Wynn also released a statement about the entertainer.

“Elaine and I and all of us in the company are devastated at the loss of our brilliant, talented and loving friend. One of the most unique human beings and entertainers in the world has been taken from us in an unexpected moment. A profoundly tragic event that leaves us all sad and speechless. The loss of Danny to his wife Julie, his children Amy, Andrew and Emily is at this moment impossible to comprehend. We will all try to go on with our lives without our dear friend. At this moment it seems almost impossible.”

Gans’ show at The Mirage earned him title of “Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year” for 11 years in a row.

In February, Gans changed venues and had been performing his show at the new Encore Theater.