Las Vegas Live Music Industry Honors Its Own, May 1st

Free Circus, with Jessica Marciel

Free Circus, with Jessica Marciel

On May 1st, all day Sunday afternoon at the Henderson Pavilion, Michael P. Selinsky will present, and honor, the Las Vegas inductees for the Las Vegas Rock Reunion Hall Of Fame. The Rock’n’Roll pioneers of the 60’s and 70’s. The bands that started it all. Little venues, it was a small town, big promoters. I wish ALL the bands could make it, but a great deal of time  and some just can’t make the trip.

When I moved to Las Vegas in the mid 1960’s, unless you were 21, you couldn’t go anywhere. Having come from Los Angeles and having already recorded six records with Capitol Records label, World Pacific Jazz,  my records got some airplay. Thank you Dennis Hunt of KENO radio. Dennis is a host and inductee on May 1st, too.

There was a life for teens here that never existed in Los Angeles. There was the Teenbeat Club and coffee houses and battle of the bands, and concerts at the Ice Palace, Las Vegas Convention Center, and National Guard Armory.

The first band I joined was The Little People: Mike Lyman, Mike Friedman, Mark Leonard, Steve Harvey, Bob Lily, (not all at the same time). We morphed into the London Fog, and Georgeanne Rock took my place when I ran off to join the circus, The Free Circus band that is. Roby Bennett, Dan Barnett, Bob Bjornsen and Larry Gann. They were college guys and I was a high school kid, still.

Free Circus had originals, good ones. And we did cover tunes, but we were good enough to open for great acts coming through town. The band opened for Cream, Steppenwolf,  Grateful Dead, Santana, Three Dog Night, Blue Cheer, Electric Prunes, Iron Butterfly, It’s A Beautiful Day, and more.  Free Circus was just one of many great bands: Bill Rosevear and the Scatter Blues Band, were the first. The Teenbeats recorded at the Teen Beat ClubWho’s The Father?, Batdorf and Rodney, Present Tense, Wolf Ticket… so many great bands.

Also being honored are the Promoters of these clubs and concerts. The staff, and producers. Stan Irwin brought The Beatles to Las Vegas. Stan will be there to get his Oscar of Rock and Roll. His son Lanny is one of the day’s hosts. I can’t wait to see Stan. I wish my dad were here.

When the late 60’s came along, I left Free Circus because Dan was drafted into the army, and we couldn’t/wouldn’t replace him. So, I flew out to Los Angeles and was cast in the musical, HAIR. While in LA, I later heard that while driving to see Dan graduate from boot camp, a drunk driver hit his family and his beautiful mother was instantly killed. I saw Dan In Los Angeles a few times while in HAIR , because his dad had a boat in Morrow Bay. He got a bereavement discharge and wound up in Las Vegas in Who’s The Father!.

I also saw Bob in the 70’s when we were neighbors. His then-wife Nancy Cannon, and their children had horses, and my roomie, Barbara, did also. We ran over in the early morning, one day, to see a little colt being born.

I came back to just be hired by Sonny Charles of the Checkmates, and toured for a year.  I toured the Playboy Club circuit, and was gone a lot. Then I won the lead in the Dunes, Casino de Paris Show, I was  touring before that , so I missed all these great bands that continued the tradition of clubs and concerts. I ran into Bob in the late eighties when he was single, a real estate agent and very unhappy. Than I saw Dan at Bob’s funeral when he lost his battle with cancer. My friend Conrad Scogi will be pitch hitting for Bob. I can’t wait to hear the ones I missed!

I will get to hear some of them May 1st, Belladonna, Sailon, Pork & BeansJohn Kaye and the Overlords,, and then I will also get to hear some of my favorites from the 70’s, Jerry Lopez & Santa Fe, Sidro’s Armada with Beverlee, whom I’ve admired, from afar, for years.

This isn’t just a concert, this is the induction into the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, conceived by Michael Selinsky. What a great tribute and such an honor, Thank You Michael.

Irv Kluger

Irv Kluger

My late father, Irv Kluger, will be honored as a mentor because he taught drums to half the drummers in las  Vegas. This is a chance to see old Vegas, raw talent, originals that I think held up. People like myself who have at it for 45 years. I started my career in 1963, and I am still going. How many people can say that. Well, A lot will be there that day doing it longer than me. So , get out your tie dye, and fringe vests, and come to a be-in.

May 1st, Henderson Pavilion, 11am-8pm: I will be on between 4;15 and 5;30pm. This is it folks, you’ll never see the likes of this kind of talent again. I know it will be a beautiful day, and I will celebrate Free Circus, also, Little People and London Fog. I had a great time with all these bands, and love them all.

Now, get into your rock gear, whatever that is for you and let’s celebrate music, live music!

Update:  We sadly lost Michael Selinsky…we all miss him very much,,

Jessica Marciel
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  1. Alison Jayne says:

    I noticed you left out John Kaye & The Overlords who were there for JK & Company as well as John Kaye & Friends. Why were they left out of your article?

  2. I Left OUT dozens of bands,,, It was an article about the guys in my bands and the whole thing was written so long ago,,5 years,,,that,,I will go back and reread it… I worked with Mary Kaye ,,at the Tropicana,,opposite her, I meant,, in the 70’s and have Great respect for John,,, Maybe it’s time for a new updated version,, Thanks,,Jess

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