Saturday, February 27, 2010


American Idol's 2010 Top 24 includes a 19 year-old Texan named ALEX LAMBERT. This guy has the goods and, if he catches a break, he could catch fire. I like him.

Last year's Adam Lambert was a favorite of just about everyone, except H20. On March 8th, 2009, we selected KRIS ALLEN when 16 contestants remained. We correctly picked DAVID COOK the year before.

It's too early to try to choose a winner but it's never too soon to share an honest opinion. Young ALEX LAMBERT will be embraced by America, warble his way into the top of the heap. He's the cream of the crop.

Monday, February 22, 2010


A very talented singer posted something quite interesting on Facebook. I am an admirer of his music-his twin brother's too. I love those guys and it's A Long Road To Love, ya know? On his Facebook page, he questioned why some people, as soon as you accept their fb request, right away ask if you'd like to become their fan. That's kinda like picking up a hitchhiker who then asks you for a campaign contribution. Weird.

Here's the thing: I am a fan-a real fan- of many talented people. A few childhood friends have grown up to become some of our greatest actors and I've befriended a few sensational musicians and magicians along the way. I've represented my share of Las Vegas shows and big names but never did any star suggest I become their fan.

There are some fine fan clubs, but they are run by fans, not by a person seeking admiration. For whatever odd reason, Facebook allows questionably talented people to boldly ask for fans and I'm pretty sure that's not how it happens.

There are some really talented people I admire so much, some I follow on Facebook. The best news reporter I've ever seen- WHIT JOHNSON of CBS News- is a great broadcaster. Local Las Vegas newsman CHRIS SALDANA is a real pro and a fine community citizen. The young artist MATTIA BARBIERI is doing such intersting work in Italy and I use Facebook to follow him. These are three quick examples of guys I love. I love them for serious, but not in that way and I wouldn't want to limit my feelings by becoming a fan. I'm more than that.

Facebook? I'm not a fan, boy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Charm Lessons From Cork Proctor

Charm lessons from Cork Proctor? Really? That's like learning parenting skills from the Octo Mom. It's like asking Stevie Wonder for help picking out a tie. I mean, would you hire Donny & Marie to bartend? Or get marriage advice from Tiger Woods? I'm not going to seek diet tips from Kevin Smith yet there was Prince Charmless himself, CORK PROCTOR, telling me off.

CORK PROCTOR was a great marquee name, a funny man who played many of the Las Vegas lounges and show rooms over the past 40 years. If you think FRED WILLARD is funny, well, multiply that by 10 and you'll come close to the level of Cork.

CORK PROCTOR'S humor is authentic and his talent is real. I'm a fan. Maybe that's why his mean spirited comments hurt my feelings last night. While it's obvious that old Cork doesn't really care about such minor things as other people's feelings, I do. Now I've said-and done-some insensitive things my own self, but the difference between me and CORK PROCTOR is I've never been a prick on purpose and have always apologized. Cork, on the other hand..., hold it. Should I maybe list some other differences between me and the former performer? I mean, it's not likely we're going to be mistaken for one another. I'm the one with manners but, evidently, not much of a future. Cork is the one who grew up in Las Vegas. In his book, he recounts happy childhood memories shooting rats in the dump. What a charmer. And you probably didn't even know he was a sportsman. Now Cork started his career as a drummer and I hear he was good but it was his comedy style that I came to love. You see, most of the comics of the 70's 80's and 90's were doing essentially the same jokes, but not Cork. He was brave and always original. I mean, he'd stand on stage and say horribly funny things about the owners of the very casinos in which he was performing. I admire that. I still do but when I ran into him at a show on Saturday night, he went out of his way to insult and embarass me, and he wasn't working, he was just working the room. Telling me- and those within ear shot- that I killed my career by hanging around bad guys, saying that my future was ruined, well, that hurt. It did, does. Now as an admirer of his, I was kinda flattered that he knew me. I mean, I never hired him. Wait- the list of people who never hired CORK PROCTOR is, like, huge, but my point is, I was pleased, and then hurt that he thought he could comment on my lack of future.

All good comedy is based in truth and Cork had a point. I did screw up royally a few years back, but hey-I don't live in the past and those who do end up bitter. They spend their final years telling old stories. Well, they end up like old Cork. But truth isn't a defense for rudness. Did I comment on his weight gain? No. I mean, would you point and laugh at your friend who had spinach in his teeth? No, you'd help him out. You see, to try and make yourself feel taller by cutting others down is never the way to go.

Now I can take it. I can. I mean, after his impolite comments turned my face red I could have easily just clocked him. Maybe I should have but violence isn't the answer to rudness. Besides, I have a feeling that's what he wanted. Like everyone who fired him for being needlessly mean on stage, he may think that's what he deserves.

Listening to CORK PROCTOR talk about the future made me feel weird. Sure, he's got plenty of anecdotes; his show business stories are great and I'm told he's writing books now, which is fine. I write too only I'm no CORK PROCTOR, ya know? But maybe in a future novel I'll write a chapter where a mean spirted comic, a former shooter of vermin- DORK MOCKER- ends up in a room full of rodents. The thought of him being gnawed by rats reduces him to a mouse in my mind. A very funny, very troubled mouse.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Duck Buddy

Last year I wrote about some ducks who decided to stick around and winter in Las Vegas. The February 5th and 15th 2009 House of H2o postings resulted in some helpful emails advising how best to feed waterfoul. I had been tossing out crackers and stuff (single guys who eat out often often have odd and useless items in the cupboard and it turns out that store bread is really junk food for ducks). Thanks to the emails, I stocked- up on cracked corn and soon I was the most popular guy in duck world. Really. They told their friends who told their friends and within days I was feeling like St. Francis. Well, spring came and the ducks moved on.

I am working on a new novel and in it, one of the characters has the ability to hear the thoughts of people and also animals. He is an interesting guy and I am starting to really like him. So about an hour ago I decided to take a break and went out back for some fresh air. It's a beautiful desert night, calm and clear. As I circled the pool I heard, "Hey, Will. It's me, your Duck Buddy. Got anything to eat?" Okay, it may have been more like regular duck sounds but I recognized that quack and knew what he meant, and what he means to me. I turned to see the most confidant bird moving straight for me, his cool looking feet slapping along the cool deck.

"Hey, man, how are you, and where's your partner?" I knew he had a mate. Not sure if it was a chick or a dude and I'm a 'duck ask, duck tail' kinda guy. "You look great. Stand- by while I go get you a snack." I run inside and root around in the kitchen. I knew I was out of cracked corn (and I don't care), but there must be something. At last, I found Organic Flourless Sprouted 7-Grain Bread. God bless Trader Joe's.

By the time I returned to the pool there were three ducks, my main guy-front and center- and two rather shy birds behind him. I sat down, tore and tossed them dinner, talking to them all the while. Now my buddy came up real close, within a foot of me. I like that, the feeling of trust between us. The others stayed back and that's fine, too.

I gave them small pieces and waited while they took breaks and drank from the fountain. Ducks need to wash their food down with water and by feeding them slowly and speaking calmly, we didn't have to rush.

I told my buddy what I was working on, how I'd been and how happy I was to see him. Twenty beautiful minutes on a Sunday evening poolside under the desert sky.

I love animals. If you'll listen, they can teach you so much about yourself.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Some fine people in central Nevada opened The Desert Cafe, only to be told by state officials that their desert lobster(Australian crawfish) are illegal in Nevada. So they posted this sign.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I don't really know much about music.

Okay, I led with the punchline because I didn't want to bury the lead.

I've made my way in this world assisted by music. A soundtrack has helped, guided, and continues to underscore my life. No really. When I was a teen, I appeared on national television as the youngest contestant ever on Name That Tune. I won a total of $100,000 by knowing loads of popular songs. I'm proud of that. I used to watch FRANK SINATRA perform, twice a night, learning everything I possibly could by observing this great man. And I'd talk to his Musical Director, VINNIE FALCONE, and learn so much more. As one of a handful of guests to be present at recording sessions where Sinatra conducted an album of standards in Burbank in the 80's, I wisely kept quiet and took it all in, later writing an article that would win some kind of award. The great lead trumpet player CHARLIE TURNER played his ass off and the musicians were all First Call players, many from the Tonight Show Orchestra and man, they had great stories.

Running up-and down Highway 101, I learned more than any Into to Music class could ever teach.

When I was a college student, I'd sit still and silent in the backs of concert halls where classy people were making classical music, trying my best to understand the powerful force playing me by focusing on each section, recognizing repeating themes and melodies, fascinated by the rhythms. Later, while producing a small show at The Hollywood Roosevelt, I hung around on weekends to see the brilliant KENNY RANKIN perform in the Cinegrill. The late great singer could do more with his voice than anyone I'd ever heard, and he was cool enough to talk with me about music and lyrics. And I made multi treks to San Diego just to catch this up-and-coming singer-songwriter named MRAZ, watching in amazement at the ever-so-slight and almost imperceptible pauses in young Jason's guitar work as he'd seek out a fresh new chord change. And his rhymes? Clever and poignant. Others were entertained by this handsome guy's beautiful voice. Me? I fell in love with the magical musician's lyrics.

I've written some music my own self along the way, and also lyrics and what they call 'special material.' Prior to a series of count 'em three throat operations that literally scarred me for life, I used to sing a bit. I look back with great pride the night I sat at the piano and did 'Breaking Up Is Hard to Do' at a high class Las Vegas party, pounding out the chords in a half-way decent way. When the hostess requested I sing JACKSON BROWNE'S 'Sky Blue and Black,' a friend took over the baby grand and I somehow came up with those beautifully intricate lyrics, entertaining the party, and amazing myself. It wasn't so much that I knew the music, it was more like the music knew me. Really.

I learned a helluva lot about music visiting with NEIL SEDAKA in the Riviera Spa. For years, I represented popular Riviera shows 'An Evening at La Cage' and 'NORBERT ALEMAN'S Crazy Girls' as well as some acts in 'Splash.' I'd work in the office during the day and was often at the Riv into the wee small hours so, prior to the shows, I'd workout up in the penthouse level health club. Whenever NEIL SEDAKA was in town, he'd come up to unwind but when we spoke music, the headliner was all business and I loved that, him. We developed a real friendship based on my respect for his songs. Believe me- he knows so much about music and the business of music. Now Sedaka is a classically trained concert pianist, I mean, the real deal, but his memorable melodies are what you know well. 'Calender Girl,' 'We Can Make It If We Try,' 'Laughter in the Rain,' 'The Hungry Years,' oh, and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,' are some of his best.

So, one day, after we'd had several serious discussions about pop songs, I just admitted it to him. "Mr. Sedaka? I really don't know much about music."

He laughed and then said, "Willie? None of us do!"


My belief is that we all travel with a theme that plays just under our lives, that we move to music, only many don't stop to recognize, to remember. Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, concentrate on the roaring traffic's boom and enjoy the beautiful noise. As for me, well I hear the sound of the world where we played. Maybe we come from music and we're all just stumbling around on this earth trying to reconnect with it. It may be invisible to many, but face it: music is way too powerful not to take seriously. I've been changed by music. Music changes me still.

I don't really know music but I have a growing feeling that music knows me.


About Me

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My profile is considered: "HIGH" 40-ish, 6 foot-ish, slim-ish, trim-ish straight-ish, late-ish, creative-ish... I am an unashamed HETRO* *Heterochromatic(one green eye, one hazel-ish).