Cheap Trick close to headliner deal

The iconic American rock band Cheap Trick is close to finalizing a headliner deal with the Las Vegas Hilton that would feature the group performing The Beatles‘ epic album "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" live with a full orchestra.

Word has it their performances could begin as soon as March and stretch throughout 2009.

Cheap Trick’s original members would be involved in the exclusive agreement with the Hilton.

The band has sold 20 million records and produced 29 movie sound tracks. They hit it big in 1979 when "I Want You to Want Me" peaked at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 40. "The Flame" topped the charts in 1988 and their cover of Elvis Presley‘s "Don’t Be Cruel" reached No. 4 a couple of months later.

VH1 listed Cheap Trick No. 25 among the "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock."

F.O.B. PARTY

Friends of Bill Fry are gathering at the Bootlegger Bistro tonight to welcome him back to Las Vegas after battling some serious health issues.

Fry, now 72, was a newcomer to Las Vegas when his acts of generosity made headlines about three years ago.

He was the mystery man who had allowed a homeless father and his teenage daughter, a promising blues singer, to stay rent free in his $1 million luxury condo for six months in 2006.

He also made a $250,000 donation to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth after being appalled by what he saw.

"If you ever saw the cubbyhole these homeless kids were living in, no self-respecting rat would want to live there," Fry told me by telephone the other day.

After meeting Phil and Sarah Todora at a 2005 benefit, Fry turned over his condo to the father and daughter, after hearing the teen sensation sing. The Todoras had left New Orleans hours before Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, hoping that Sarah’s career would bloom in the desert. She became a national story when the Sahara gave her a headlining gig and Fry gave them a place to stay.

Fry’s extraordinary generosity continued last year when he donated $15 million to the Indiana University Kelley School of Business to fund an undergraduate scholarship program for financially challenged students from underrepresented areas of society.

Struggling with cancer, he moved to Indiana, his home state, where his daughter lived.

He’s feeling downright chipper these days, he said, having bounced back from seven rounds of radiation for multiple meloma. "I was down the tubes. My daughter pulled me out."

We’ll be gathering about 8 p.m. at the Bootlegger bar to say thank you to a prince of a guy.

SIGHTINGS

Kid Rock, joining The Peter Monroy Band in the La Scena Lounge (Venetian) Friday for an impromptu version of Aerosmith’s "Walk This Way." … Former "Saturday Night Live" star Jimmy Fallon, doing a photo shoot Friday for W Magazine near the thrill rides atop the Stratosphere. … The Fontana Lounge at Bellagio was all abuzz on Wednesday when a dead ringer for Kiefer Sutherland, the star of the hit TV show "24," attracted a lot of attention at Dian Diaz‘s show. He was buying drinks for a number of tables and when he got up to leave he was seen pinching the guy he was with, in a friendly way. … New York Yankees pitching star Joba Chamberlain, among a number of sports figures pitching products at the Consumer Electronics Show on Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Also spotted: Fallon, NBA legend Robert Parrish, and Florida Marlins star Hanley Ramirez. … Pussycat Dolls‘ lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, with her boyfriend Lewis Hamilton, the Formula One champion, at The Bank (Bellagio). The Dolls performed for a private event last night at The Joint (Hard Rock Hotel) before heading back to London to jump back on their tour. …. Former Miss USA 1995 Shanna Moakler, at Pure (Caesars Palace) on Thursday, taking in a private event that featured her husband, Travis Barker, and DJ AM.

THE PUNCH LINE

"A couple of days ago, there were UFO sightings in New Jersey. But don’t worry, it’s not an invasion … The aliens were just here looking for some of that bailout money." — David Letterman

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

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