Frank Sinatra‘s presence will loom large over the mob museum, if the project survives some political and economic hurdles.
Museum organizers have big plans for a Sinatra exhibit, if things go their way.
One of the featured pieces in the museum would be a rare self-portrait of Sinatra, which depicts him as a sad-faced clown.
It was quietly purchased in October 2007 from Peggy King, widow of Sinatra pal Sonny King, the Las Vegas lounge legend who died three years ago this week.
Peggy King is convinced the museum is the perfect home for the artwork.
Christie’s, the famed auction house, has been pestering her for several years, she said, “but I didn’t want it in a private home, where the public wouldn’t see it.
“This is what Sonny would have wanted, and it’s what Frank would have wanted.”
Sinatra, who was the godfather of King’s daughter, gave the painting to King in 1964 after they completed filming “Robin and the 7 Hoods.” King played one of Robin’s hoods in the 1964 film, which featured Sinatra and his Rat Pack pals.
Sinatra painted the self-portrait seven years earlier, while filming “The Joker is Wild.” He portrayed Joe E. Lewis, a successful Chicago nightclub entertainer who got crossways with the mob and was left for dead after having his face slashed and his vocal chords cut.
After recovering from his injuries, Lewis returns as a stand-up comedian who battles alcohol problems.
Sinatra, who had a lifelong affinity for clowns, wore clown costumes during the film.
King’s widow has been selling 16-by-20-inch canvas-like reproductions, known as giclees, from the King estate. About 100 of the 300 remain, and one recently sold for $5,500 at a charity for a children’s cause, she said.
COMPLETING THE DREAM
Zowie Bowie is living the dream.
The duo of Marley Taylor and Chris Phillips made it official on Thursday: They’re heading for the Palms.
It’s been on their wish list since, oh, forever.
Eight years ago, they came to town on a first date, “and as we were driving past the Palms, Marley pointed to the Palms and said, ‘That’s where I want to go,’ ” recalled Phillips. “We went home and put a show together to eventually bring to Vegas.”
They start March 6 in The Lounge, which is being renovated.
“It’s the perfect fit for what we’re trying to do and who we’re trying to reach,” Phillips said.
“They’ve got a great local following,” Palms owner George Maloof said.
Phillips said Zowie Bowie’s “bread and butter is our Top 40 show,” and they’ll continue to perform their vintage Vegas show with a 13-piece big band.
Zowie Bowie has been a fixture at Red Rock Resort for almost three years. “”We have to thank the Fertittas for bringing us here and changing our lives,” he said.
Joe Pesci, at CatHouse (Luxor) early Thursday with friends at the club’s weekly after-hours party. Earlier, he was at LAX Nightclub. Pesci has a major role in the upcoming “Love Ranch,” a story line that bears a close resemblance to the Mustang Ranch brothel operated by Joe Conforte at the time of the 1976 murder of boxer Oscar Bonavena. … Also at LAX: “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Eric Green and Atlanta Falcons veteran Lawyer Milloy. … Former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, having lunch Thursday at the Wildfire Casino on Rancho. … Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx spotted Thursday night at the Venetian.
THE PUNCH LINE
“President Obama has now lost two nominees because of tax trouble. Good luck to the new Health and Human Services nominee, Wesley Snipes.” — David Letterman
Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.