Danny Gans book tells of glory, pain

Danny Gans’ upcoming book has a chapter titled “The Glory and the Pain.” In it are details of Gans’ “incredible struggles to overcome pain,” according to the former minister who collaborated with Gans on the book, “The Voices in My Head.”

But don’t expect a tell-all account of Gans’ approach to pain control.

“It never came up in our conversations,” covering 12 to 15 hours of interviews, said R.G. Ryan. “The only thing he ever said about that to me was that he stuck to ibuprofen, because all that other stuff — he said he had doctors prescribe heavy-duty stuff — it dried out his voice.”

Gans died May 1 at 52.

According to the Clark County coroner, an autopsy indicated he died from toxic levels of hydromorphone, a powerful opiate also known as Dilaudid. The highly addictive drug has been nicknamed “drugstore heroin.”

When Gans died, “I was just as shocked as anyone else. Obviously he was taking something stronger than Motrin,” Ryan said.

Gans also had a history of heart irregularities caused by high blood pressure that placed him at great risk, and hydromorphone exacerbated those risks, Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy said.

The pain came not just from sports injuries, but two car accidents. One involved being rear-ended by a garbage truck about eight years ago. The other happened about five years ago when his car hit a water puddle and hydroplaned into a light pole.

On some nights, when his pain was unbearable, Gans signaled his band leader to play a song, “because Danny would have to run off stage and throw up,” Ryan said.

The book, due out in October, is published by Stephens Press, owned by Stephens Media LLC, owner of the Review-Journal.

Ryan, a Las Vegas writer and friend of Gans for 12 years, finished a rough draft the day Gans died.

Gans was “pushing very hard to get a number of things wrapped up. But I didn’t pick up any sign that he had a premonition that he was going to die.”

Ryan described the book as a “comprehensive, intimate look into the heart and soul of a man who, from the time he was 7 years old, was targeted to the goal of being a professional baseball player.”

The tenacity Gans “held onto, even after people told him his career was over … defined him as a man, the kind of focus that propelled him to his position in entertainment.”

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Caesars Palace headliner Cher was spotted Friday at the Malibu fair getting cozy with motorcycle customizer Tim Medvetz, a 6-foot-6 former Hell’s Angels member. They were briefly romantically linked about a year ago. …

After reality show jerk Jon Gosselin let it be known he wasn’t doing free interviews while hosting at Wet Republic, the MGM Grand’s pool party, I exercised my right to not mention his play-for-pay visit. But I couldn’t pass up sharing the above photo. Yep, a picture is worth 1,000 words. …

I awoke at 7:15 a.m. Saturday to a sound a friend described to me on Sept. 11, 2001, after he barely got out of the south tower of the World Trade Center before it collapsed. It was a sound so disturbing I awoke thinking it was a bad dream. Someone had fallen to their death near my ninth floor Regency Towers unit at Las Vegas Country Club. The loud wha-a-ck wasn’t an awful dream. The man, a resident in his 40s who drove a Rolls-Royce Corniche, had fallen from a 21st story balcony onto the tennis and pool area. Police are investigating.

SIGHTINGS

Rihanna, making appearances Friday at Wet Republic, a Hard Rock craps table and Body English. … Pro wrestler Ric Flair, bringing the N9NE Steakhouse kitchen to a standstill Friday for group photos.

THE PUNCH LINE

“Let’s be honest. This city can’t contain Lindsay Lohan. I don’t know how we can be expected to contain a wildfire.” — Jimmy Kimmel

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

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