There comes a time, when Bryan heeds a certain call …
Hey, that’d be a great lyric.
We speak of Bryan Chan, the former singer of “Chippendales” at the Rio who ended his nine-year run with the show in 2015. A couple of weeks ago, Chan had became restless, or “stir crazy,” as he says, and came up with the idea to re-record the 1985 all-star anthem “We Are The World” — with sidelined Las Vegas singers.
“I thought, ‘How could I make this happen when we are not able to get together physically?’ But we could sing individual parts, everyone singing to the same karaoke track,” says Chan, who produced the clip with the help of Robert “DJ R.O.B.” Hathcock, who furnished that backing track. “We only needed them to sing with earbuds, to they could hear the recorded track, and have somebody video the process.”
Find the video at Chan’s Facebook page, or on YouTube under the search “We Are The World – Las Vegas.”
The collective work is inspired, capturing a moment in time as the coronavirus has forced entertainers off the stage. Singer after singer is shown in his or her Las Vegas residences, backyards, play rooms, front porches and (for Jassen Allen and Christina Shaw) kitchens.
Savannah Smith of The Moonshiners and “Vegas! The Show” sought quiet and privacy to nail her vocal in the driver’s seat of her car. MGM Resorts exec Stephanie Sanchez sings while petting a goat at her property in Pahrump.
“We wanted them to just record their lines from our master list and give us the best take,” Chan said. “We didn’t want anybody glammed out, either. I said, ‘Just do this wherever you’re at, with your kids, dogs, if you’re cooking. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.’”
The singers are all professionals who have worked extensively in Las Vegas. The list, in order of appearance (and be ready for some heavy boldface action): David Terry, Brett Pruneau, Anne Martinez, Rodney Arnett, Lorena Peril, Ron Remke, Mark Shunock and Cheryl Daro, Chelsea Phillips-Reid, Allen, Brandon Nix, Sanchez, Jackie Wiatrowski, Dan Schumann, Sina Foley, Emily Blick, David and Paige Nicoll, JT Semalu, Amy Edwards, Shaw, Bryan Cheatham, Ben Stone and Jasmine Trias, Lily Arce, Jaime Lynch, Kirbi Long, Cesare Quintero, Andrew Diessner, Chan, Todd Dubail and Josh Strickland, Emily Blick, Smith, and Heath Burgett.
The video is not linked to any specific cause or campaign. It’s a single piece of art. The performances are designed to lift spirits, and stand forever.
“We are not able to get together like we normally would,” Chan said, “so we’re coming together this way, until we can be onstage again.”
Clowns are sent
A project that was finished pre-coronavirus posted Friday on YouTube. This is the long-awaited, extensively hyped and singularly entertaining version of “Send In The Clowns” starring Paul Shortino and Carrot Top. The video to the hard-rock version of the song was filmed Feb. 20-21 at The Counts — Desert Moon Productions in Las Vegas, operated by Danny “The Count” Koker of the “Pawn Stars” and “Counting Cars” reality series.
Film and TV director and cinematographer Gary Orona directed the project. Orona is married to adult-film star Tabitha Stevens, who also appears in the “Clowns” project. Japanese guitar virtuoso Nozomu Wakai plays on the track, which dates to 2009 and includes the late Vinnie Paul’s original drum part. Eventually, the video is to be used in Carrot Top’s stage show at Luxor’s Atrium Showroom. As Paul would and did say, “Hell yeah!”
Michael Grimm, Season 4 “America’s Got Talent” champ and longtime Las Vegas headliner, opens a monthly series at 3 p.m. Sunday on the Crowdcast.io performance website. His acoustic, storytelling series is a partnership with Checkered Moose Rehearsal Studio of Las Vegas. I most recently caught Grimm during his residency at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz, where he is set to return whenever the venue re-opens.
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.