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LV all shook up about Elvis star

Elvis Presley is once again a star on Las Vegas Boulevard.

In a ceremony Friday that featured three of his old pals, the Las Vegas Walk of Stars honored The King with a celebrity star that will go in front of the Riviera near those of fellow icons Liberace and Sammy Davis Jr.

“Elvis has come home to stay,” Elvis fan club president Sue Laurenz told a cheering crowd. Her group, the Viva Las Vegas Club, raised most of the $15,000 needed for the star, the 27th to go on The Strip.

With that mission accomplished, the next step should be getting a street named after Elvis, said Joe Esposito, one of the three members of Elvis’ Memphis Mafia who attended the ceremony in the Riviera’s Le Bistro Lounge.

“I don’t understand why there isn’t a street named after Elvis,” said Esposito, Elvis’ road manager and best man at Presley’s wedding to Priscilla. That brought down the house, too.

It’s become a sore point to Elvis fans, after seeing a half dozen other entertainers get streets named in their honor.

Elvis, said Riviera president Bob Vannucci, didn’t just fill the showroom, “he filled the city.”

Also attending was Sammy Shore, Elvis’ opening act for years during his long run at The International (now the Las Vegas Hilton), and Sonny West, Presley’s bodyguard and close friend, and Pete “Big Elvis” Valle, who played a big part in getting Elvis his start.


Cher has cancelled her weekend shows at Caesars Palace because of an undisclosed illness. She also cancelled her Tuesday and Wednesday performances, along with another on Sept. 7. There is no word on when she may return. She has been dogged by health issues in recent years. She was hit with a mystery illness late last year, at a time when there was speculation whether she was going to sign a deal with Caesars. … Good-guy John O’Donnell, longtime local bartender, is being roasted Sunday at McMullan’s Irish Pub to help raise money for a friend in need. O’Donnell, who has made a lot of friends during his bartending tours at The Palm Restaurant, Morton’s and N9NE Steakhouse, is taking his buddies’ best shots to raise money for the Eric Savage Cancer Fund. Another popular Irish bartender, Johnny “Pops” Cusack of Smith & Wollensky, will be emceeing the event which starts at 6 p.m. It’s open to the public. Information: www.RoastJohn.com. … Minnie Madden, who has covered the entertainment scene for almost 20 years, is turning over her publishing duties of the Callback Entertainment News to her partner, Sharry Flaherty. Madden said she’s ready to slow down, spend more time with family and friends “and walk the dog.” Callback started as the gossipy “Dirt Alert” as a way for the dance community to stay up to date.


Pro cycling veteran George Hincapie, with rising British star Mark Cavendish at Spago (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Thursday night and Postrio (Venetian) on Friday. Cavendish, 23, won four stages in the 2008 Tour de France, a record for a British rider. … Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl, giving a shoutout to Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul in the balcony during the Foo Fighters show Thursday at The Joint (Hard Rock Hotel). Grohl pointed him out and told the audience how Paul influenced his music, then dedicated a song to him. … Denay Thompson was named “Miss Hawaiian Tropic Zone Las Vegas” on Thursday. Judges included Randy and Kim Couture, Miss America runner-up 2007 Elyse Umemoto from Washington and Dr. Samir Pancholi of Cosmetic Surgery of Las Vegas. … At LAVO (Palazzo) on Thursday: celebrity hair colorist Kim Vo and Scott Mechlowicz, best known for his role in the comedy “EuroTrip.” … Corey Brewer of the Minnesota Timberwolves at ghostbar (Palms) on Thursday.


“Sen. John McCain got personally involved in bailout yesterday. He bailed on the David Letterman show.” — Jay Leno

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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