Updated June 6, 2022 - 11:46 am
We learned something a few weeks ago, after Alice Cooper drove a Zamboni across The Dollar Loan Center ice rink.
The surprise wasn’t that the rock legend knows how to drive a Zamboni. Cooper can do it all — he’s about a scratch golfer, from what I understand. But Cooper refers to his dark-theater stage persona, “Alice,” in the third person.
As in, “Several years ago Alice played what was then the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts, and I’m driving down the Strip and the marquees showed ‘Sinatra!’ and ‘Dean Martin!’ and then, ‘Alice!’ Just giant, on the marquee. I was like, ‘I hope Sinatra doesn’t see that and get mad.’ ”
Why Cooper was in full-Alice regalia and driving a Zamboni bears explanation. Cooper was among a couple dozen Vegas celebs and personalities taking part in a two-day video shoot in late-April, at The Dollar Loan Center in Henderson (of course!).
The campaign centers on the company’s Loan Approval Machine. The stars in the series press an “Apply Now” button on the Zamboni, then drive it across the ice until they are approved.
The series opened May 16 with Mötley Crüe front man Vince Neil in the driver’s seat. The spots featuring Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars” and the esteemed Public Enemy co-founder and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Flavor Flav are now public. The ads are now running across the country, and are also to be played in the arena. Next up, on June 13, is Laugh Factory at the Trop headliner Murray Sawchuck and his wife, former “Crazy Girls” and “Jubilee” showgirl Dani Elizabeth.
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) May 17, 2022
Dollar Loan Center founder Chuck Brennan has a long career combining his passion for music and his business interests. He started managing bands at 18, running clubs at 21 (such as the biggest club in the Midwest in the early 1990s, The Blitz in Pipestone, Minn.), then moving on as a top concert promoter. That’s how he got to know Cooper, for starters, whom Brennan says “is like a second father to me.”
That bio means that when The Dollar Loan Center’s money man calls, his friends are ready. Even if it means driving a Zamboni for the first time, which was the case for most of those taking part.
The stream of famous folk climbing onto the ice-smoothing machine (outfitted with a spoiler and painted with flames) included Cooper; Neil; Flav; Sebastian Bach, formerly of Skid Row; Stephen Pearcy of Ratt; Danny Coker of “Counting Cars” TV series and Count’s Vamp’d Rock Bar & Grille; Harrah’s headliner Tape Face; Flamingo headliner Piff the Magic Dragon; Vegas pop artist Michael Godard; VGK’s T-Mobile Arena “The Igniter” Cameron Hughes; and national-anthem fave Carnell “Golden Pipes” Johnson.
Cooper is in play as an upcoming Dollar Loan Center headliner, too, set to appear Oct. 8 with ex-Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley. Flav was also among the more eye-catching stars to appear. He showed up in his rhinestone-encrusted shades; blue-and-gold checked suit and matching NBA cap; and his ubiquitous, bedazzled necklace clock (the time randomly set at 6:20).
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) May 17, 2022
Flav had some news, saying after his jaunt across the ice he’s recording an album titled, “It’s About Time.” As he says, “Time is the most important element in life.”
The release should drop this year.
“Hopefully, we’ll have the whole album out by September,” Flav said. “Right now I’m getting ready to put out the singles.”
”When we put together the deal for the arena, in our partnership with the Foley (Entertainment) Group, we had been in business for 22 years,” Brennan said. “We wanted to re-brand everything Dollar Loan Center. We kind of look at this as our halfway point. We are halfway there.”
Which means, it’s time to resurface the ice.
Ross in the fall
Diana Ross is returning to Encore Theater for six shows in September and into October. Specifics are Sept. 21, 23-24 28 and 30 and Oct. 1. Tickets start at $60.95, onsale 10 a.m. Friday at Ticketmaster.
Key’s to please
Katy Perry sings from a giant, open keyhole near the end of her “Play” production at Resorts World Theatre.
Related, or not, Clark County is awarding her a key to the Las Vegas Strip prior to her show Wednesday night.
The props seem endless for Perry, who last week announced eight new performance dates in October. Those tickets are onsale 10 a.m. Monday.
Too late to for ‘Lee’
If only for some advance notice, Boy George would have had use of a legendary Liberace piano in his Encore Theater performances Friday and Saturday. George had mentioned Liberace in our interview posted Thursday, saying he wanted to open his show with, “Liberace sent me!”
Liberace Foundation Chairman Jonathan Warren followed up on the Liberace link. Warren offered Culture Club the Swarovski-decorated Baldwin from Liberace’s last performances at Radio City Music Hall in November 1986. But the opportunity arrived too late to deliver the piano, also offered to Lady Gaga for her return to “Jazz + Piano” at Dolby Live in October.
George did say, “Liberace sent me!” but at the end of the show instead of at the start, closing out with “Karma Chameleon.” More on the former George O’Dowd in an upcoming column.
Cool Hang Alert
Naughty Ladies Saloon at Arizona Charlie’s Decatur presents a no-cover barrage (barrage, I tell you!) on Fridays and Saturdays. Coming up Friday it’s 20-year Vegas R&B, rock and pop cover outfit the San Fernando Band. Satruday it’s Pyromania, a tribute to our friends Def Leppard. The righteousness kicks off at 8 p.m., both nights.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.