The Old Man was a Navy man. So is Andrew Bottrell.
It’s appropriate that Bottrell, wounded nearly a decade ago in Afghanistan, has received a gift paying tribute to the late Richard Harrison of “Pawn Stars” fame. It’s no ordinary gift — an extensively tricked-out Ford F-250.
Richard’s son Rick Harrison, who co-stars on “Pawn Stars” with his son Corey Harrison and Austin “Chumlee” Russell, is a major benefactor and supporter of the nonprofit Wounded Warriors Family Support organization. Harrison led the fundraising effort to select Bottrell to receive the truck, which was presented to Bottrell’s family in San Diego on Dec. 21.
Bottrell drove the truck to Las Vegas for the first time on Saturday. He met up with Harrison in the parking lot between of Gold & Silver Pawn and Pawn Plaza, inevitably attracting a small crowd of fans of the long-running History channel series.
“My dad was a Navy veteran, and we wanted this to go to a Navy man,” Harrison said of the $100,000 vehicle, with Richard Harrison’s face painted on the doors and several Sharpie-scrawled messages from well-wishers across the body.
Bottrell jokes that his 3-year-old daughter wants to perform mechanical work on the truck.
“I’ll save money on labor,” the Navy man said.
The 34-year-old Bottrell was injured while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan in October 2011. Deployed with Seal Team 10, he was in a vehicle that rolled over an improvised explosive device, suffering extreme injuries that led to a double-leg amputation and an amputation of his left arm.
Bottrell is able to walk effectively with high-tech, prosthetic legs and a robotic-style left arm. He maintains his upbeat personality, explaining, “I lost my humerus, so I’m not as funny.” Not true, Sir. Not true at all.
More ‘Pawn’ plans
Harrison has opened a framing shop inside his Gold & Silver Pawn store. He sells so much art that it makes sense to provide an option for how to present the pieces.
You can frame wedding photos, too, there, and conveniently Reverend Scott Polek’s Chapels at the Pawn has opened on the second floor of the complex. Polek was on hand Saturday, and looks so much like Harrison that I nearly started interviewing him when I showed up. Polek says he’s asked by tourists to pose for photos as Harrison so often that he just rolls with it.
They Barged in
The Frankie Sidoris/Franky Perez IE&Y band premiered Friday night at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace (Four-time Super Bowl champion 49ers QB Joe Montana swept by about an hour before doors opened). Sidoris is a manic guitarist for Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. Perez is the tireless front man for his own acts, The Truth and The Dirty.
Both Sidoris and Perez are Las Vegas natives and have deep roots.
Sidoris’s mother, Angela Stabile, is co-founder of Stabile Productions and was in the audience with her husband, Matt. The company has an ongoing business partnership with Caesars Entertainment with its “X” fiefdom, “X Burlesque” at Flamingo Las Vegas, “X Rocks” at Bally’s and “X Country” at Harrah’s. The Stabiles also produce Piff the Magic Dragon’s show at Flamingo.
The Stabiles remain in partnership with former “Absinthe” Green Fairy Melody Sweets, developing a burlesque review targeted for April (moved back from Valentine’s Day). So watch for that.
As for the rock ‘n’ roll, Perez broke in 2003 with his debut album, “Poor Man’s Son,” and has since fronted the Finnish metal band Apocalyptica, Camp Freddy, FXP and Kings of Chaos. Perez’s dad waited tables at Caesars Palace for 26 years. The singer told Friday’s crowd, “When I was a kid, just outside these doors, I met Donald Trump, and also Steve Wynn.”
The performance was A-plus, which anyone who has seen these two perform would anticipate. IE&Y drew from Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” through Joe Cocker’s version of “The Letter,” The Beatles, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and even Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”). The band was backed by Jamie Hosmer on keys; a horn section of Rob Stone on sax, Isaac Tubb on trumpet and Kevin Mullinax on trombone; Grant Fitzpatrick of the Cult on bass; drummer Daniel Conway and percussionist Tim Sellars.
Hopefully, these guys will return in February. The show kills. And, for the curious, IE&Y indicates the “ie” that ends Frankie Sidoris’s first name, and the “y” for Franky Perez. This is helpful when writing about these guys.
Who Was Where
Montana, scrambling to Nobu at Caesars Palace on Friday night. Who did he run into? Mark Davis, owner of the Raiders, or I should say, Las Vegas Raiders.
I ran into Davis afterward, while waiting in line for the Sidoris/Perez show. The owner and new Las Vegan said he and the NFL Hall of Fame quarterback “exchanged pleasantries.” Fox Sports Radio host J.T. The Brick (legal name John Tournour) laughed and said, “Go with it!”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.