Las Vegas Rock Reunion Hall of Fame: Induction and Concert

When Michael Selinsky wrote me via Facebook, about being inducted into the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I was very excited. Not only would I see  my band-mates again, but we would play, together again, on stage.

You see, when I was a teen, I didn’t date, and take time to go to the movies. I rehearsed and played gigs every weekend and summers in Lake Tahoe with college boys. I grew up very fast and loved it.

First I started as a solo artist as Jessie Paul, a stage name Capitol records gave me. Then I moved to Las Vegas from Southern California. Dennis Hunt was the DJ at KENO Radio, and he played my songs. Then some local Valley high bands started hiring me. First was The Little People, where I met my first love, Michael Friedman. Mike’s dad was co-owner of one The Desert Inn Hotel. He lived on the golf course on the grounds of the property. He was really raised by the nanny, so we had the run of the place. Michael died in the 90’s and we had  re connected at that time.

Steve Miller, Jessica Marciel, Dennis Hunt

Steve Miller, Jessica Marciel, Dennis Hunt

The Little People morphed into The London Fog, and it was a really good band, but I was known as the Grace Slick of Vegas. Then,” Free Circus”, asked me to join them. Roby Bennett, the guitar/singer, wrote all the songs! Wow, originals! That’s what I was looking for. We did a Janis Joplin song once in awhile but mostly we had our own vibe.

All inducted: The Little People, Glen Cooper, Mike Friedman, Steve Harvey, Howard Salstein

Mike Lyman and me.  London Fog: Mike Friedman, Bob Lily, Mark Leonard, Me, then Georganne Rock,

Free Circus in Concert 5/1/11

Free Circus in Concert 5/1/11

Free Circus: Danny Barnett, Roby Bennett, Bob Bjornsen, Larry Gann, and me.

As Free Circus, we opened for: Cream, Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, Santana, Sweetwater, Grateful Dead, Iron Butterfly, Electric Prunes, and many more.

The first fame meeting we found out the name, “Rock and Roll Hall  of Fame” couldn’t be used, due to copyright infringement. So they settled on Rock Reunion Hall Of Fame.

The first meeting at Linda Freeman’s home. What a great reunion, and she had so much food,  it was quite amazing! We had the meeting finally after stuffing our faces. We realized how difficult this was going to be!

The venue, staffing, public relations, rehearsing, the line up, who would be where, who would be nominated. Who would sponsor, how long would this take? The first thing we decided was that people like ME, who were a nominee, should not be at the meetings, because I can’t nominate myself! So that was the last meeting  I attended.

Kickin it with Free Circus at the Meet & Greet

Kickin it with Free Circus at the Meet & Greet

I got in touch with Roby, and Dan. Bob passed away, in the 90’s, from cancer. I told the guys I had a drummer, Conrad, and Roby said his brother, James, could play bass, because we could not find Larry Gann.

Roby just wanted to do originals, that was fine, I kind of wanted to do ONE Cold Blood or Joplin song, I just wanted to wail a bit and let people know I could still sing. The excitement of being with guys again, outweighed everything. When Roby got to town, we met and I swear we were giddy!

I was so happy to just be in Roby’s presence. We drove to the venue to see it: The Henderson Pavilion. I had been there to work an event. My students opened for Jesse Mc Cartney at the place and I had been in and out of the loading dock all day!

After seeing the venue, we went to look for some doggie flea meds for Roby’s brothers dog. So I took him to the District, then time to go home.  Finally, Danny and Conrad, and James were in my studio and wham!, We were back! It fell together fast, I think we only had three rehearsals and one vocal rehearsal.

Seeing everyone at the Meet and Greet at the Four Queens Hotel was a trip. I saw Dennis Hunt… and Stan Irwin, who brought the Beatles to Vegas, I also saw  Keith Austin, Steve Miller, Mike Tell, the promoters who had hired us back-in-the-day.

The bands were there, Sidro’s Armada, Beverlee Brown, Jerry Lopez & Santa Fe, The Teenbeats, Pork and Beans, Bill Rosevear, who started it all with Scatter Blues. Who’s the Father, members of Wolfticket, Batdorf and Rodney, Sailon (who became prominent after I moved to Los Angeles)

Free Circus: Wonderworld Concert

Free Circus: Wonderworld Concert

The hosts  were:

  • Lanny Irwin (I knew from High school, took lessons from daddy, and I crushed on.)
  • Lark Williams
  • Freddie Woods
  • Dennis Hunt

The day of the concert sped by, Right before we went on, Roby and I started dancing backstage to the break music, I had no idea anyone was clicking away but it’s all on film. What fun we had, we got all winded right before going on, brilliant, but it was worth it. Danny’s Rheem organ needed repair and the guy got there 30 minutes before we went on! Talk about a close call.

After we performed, it was time to go to the Interview Room. We talked about the band for half an hour, I found out how Roby named the band! It was great, can’t wait to see it.

We played four songs, saved the rocker for last, we rocked it that day and the video, thanks to my student Joey Miceli is on my YouTube channel.  Leaving was bittersweet, we went to Ricardos to eat, and James grabbed the check.  We all said goodbye in the parking lot. I looked back at Dan, then Roby one last time, knowing, that because of this concert and recognition, we will never lose our friendship, ever again. We will always be “Free Circus” dancing backstage freestyle hippies who love each other.

I floated, off the ground, for weeks after the concert. It’s a rare feeling, and one I won’t soon forget.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

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
Las Vegas Vocal Training

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