Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Las Vegas Backstage Talk column in Casino Player Magazine-Nov.

Nov. edition-by Michele LaFong

Longevity, and the ability to stay relevant in the ever-changing music business has always proved challenging for even the most talented of artists.  Some however, have been able to transcend, and maintain their popularity throughout their careers despite taking a long hiatus. One such example is three-time Grammy Award winner Harry Wayne Casey, KC for short, of KC & The Sunshine Band. Their recent sold out performance at The M Resorts & Casino had the audience on their feet and dancing in the aisles.

K.C. & the S.B 015

KC also proved to be quite “the showman” and comic. KC, now 61, and in-spite of his new-found weight-gain, was still able to shake his booty, moving and grooving in-step with his very talented ensemble of singers, and back-up dancers while simultaneously nailing and holding those high notes!  It was quite a workout! I was getting winded just watching him!   KC was very at ease on stage and demonstrated his sense of humor, often poking fun at himself.  “We play a lot of casinos. In fact, I may have had 1 or 1000 too many free buffets!”  His smile truly lit up the stage.  It was great to see KC shine, and come alive during his performance on stage, as that does not always translate in an interview.

K.C. & the S.B 035The costuming, wardrobe, choreography, lighting and production were also extremely well executed. There was never a dull moment in this artsy, entertaining and electrifying extravaganza. The show was very well paced, contained many costume changes, and experienced no lulls.  It was like a big dance party, a celebration of familiar hits which included; “Boogie Shoes,” “Shake Your Booty,” “Get Down Tonight,” “Give it up,”  “That’s the Way (I Like It),” to name a few…as well as some cover tunes from the release of their new album.  Celebrating over 40 years of performing together, KC & The Sunshine Band continue to tour all over the world, performing over 100 dates a year.

Another example of staying-power is the group Wilson Phillips.  Singer, Talk Show Host, Reality Star Carnie Wilson, daughter of Icon Brian Wilson, one of the original founding members of The Beach Boys, recently guested on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong, to promote her up-coming shows with Wilson Phillips at The Eastside Cannery.  Carnie, and childhood friend Chynna Phillips, daughter of Michelle and John Phillips of The Mamas and Papas, co-founded Wilson Phillips with her younger sister Wendy when they were in their teens.

Carnie & husband RobWilson Phillips band

I happened to be sitting directly behind proud mom, Michelle Phillips when Chynna introduced her out of the audience. I loved watching her react to Chynna’s many dramatic vocal runs on-stage.  I got a few really good photographs of the enthusiastic crowd on its feet, and the back of Michelle Phillips head!

Towards the end of the show, when Carnie introduced the band members, she also introduced her husband, Musician Rob Bonfiglio, and credited him for many of their arrangements.

Wilson Phillips did not disappoint.  They delivered a high energy, “feel good” show.  Their hits and harmonies are still in my head!  Backstage, I felt like I was at a picnic at my neighbor’s house. Everyone was “down to earth,” and fun to hang out with.  Carnie was looking forward to subbing once again as one of the Guest- Hosts of CBS’s “The Talk” that following week.

2013-09-20 17.33.16Grammy Award winner, Meat Loaf guested on LVBST recently to plug his new starring role in “RockTellz” and Cocktails” at The Planet Hollywood Showroom, at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.   This is an inter-active show with Q&A sessions about his 47-year music, stage and film career.  Performances incorporate his biggest music hits like “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” as well as “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” from his 1977 classic Bat Out Of Hell – the 3rd best-selling album of all time.

The shows run every Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday, Sept. 26 to Nov. 5. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m.

During my videotaped interview with Meat Loaf, I also asked about his recent stint on Donald Trump’s reality show, “The Apprentice,” on NBC when he lost his temper with Gary Busey.  His answer was quite interesting.  Excerpts of this video are posted on

Meat Loaf is another fine example of a star that continues to stand the test of time and always manages to stay relevant.

Bill Maher 059Bill Maher







Speaking of relevant… Bill Maher returns to The Pearl Theatre at The Palms H&C, on Nov.2 & 3. He delivers an entirely new show with every performance.  Amazingly, he never seems to lose his place, stammer, nor ask “what should we talk about next…?  He generously invited me backstage to show me his “tried and true” way of cueing himself with notes without skipping a beat.  I’m really looking forward to that but remain painfully aware that this method may not prove to be as “user-friendly” with me!

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Lisa Lampanelli, Crystal Gayle-LVBST w/Comedian Michele LaFong

Feb. 14 2013- 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)








Lisa Lampanelli guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comic Michele LaFong, on 1230AM in Las Vegas and The Web.

In a pre-recorded interview, Lisa tells us what we can expect her to talk about on her new hour of material this Saturday night at The Palms Hotel & Casino.

Lisa Lampanelli is Comedy’s Lovable Queen of Mean. Heralded as “more than a standup — a standout,” by comedy legend Jim Carrey, Lampanelli is a cross between Don Rickles, Archie Bunker, and a vial of estrogen. She has won accolades from The King of All Media Howard Stern, who called her “a true original and a brilliant comedy mind who’ll steal the show every time.”

This equal opportunity offender is a regular on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and Howard Stern’s Sirius satellite radio shows. And she has appeared on “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Lopez Tonight”, “Chelsea Lately”, and “Jimmy Kimmel Live”. And, she made a “big splash” when she joined the cast of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” Season 5.

Lisa will be featured in Michele LaFong’s Syndicated Columns, “Getting Personal with the Stars” in Gaming Today, and “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” in Casino Player Magazine.

Lisa is appearing at The Pearl Concert Theatre at The Palms Hotel & Casino on Feb. 16, at 8pm.

For more about Lisa Lampanelli:

Crystal Gayle








Grammy Award Winner, Crystal Gayle talks to Comedian Michele LaFong about what it was like to start out in the shadows of her sister Loretta Lynn, and many other things that are not the normal struggles of every singer.

In the wake…her hit list of platinum and gold record sales was to be matched only by her awards and accolades.  CMA’s “Female Vocalist Of The Year,” for two consecutive years, she became a Grammy Award Winner for “Best Female Vocal Performance,” thanks to her beloved “Brown Eyes” – a song that she today admits she has never grown tired of singing.  Crystal swept the Academy Of Country Music Awards for three of their “Top Female Vocalist” statuettes.  As her music and her career path widened to mainstream audiences—so did her accolades.  She is the recipient of three “American Music Awards” –voted by the nation as America’s “Favorite Female Artist.”

The glamour and the mystique of the Crystal Gayle phenomena made her an instantly “ in demand”  artist.  From symphony halls to Carnegie Hall…from the best kept stages in Las Vegas to the prestige of the London Palladium… one word—“Crystal”—crossed musical genres and oceans.

Crystal Gayle will be appearing at The South Point Hotel & Casino Feb. 15 & 16 at 7:30pm.

For more about Crystal Gayle:

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