Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Don Felder, Kelly Hansen, Henry Fambrough

June 1, 2017

Audio is posted below

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Singer/Songwriter Don Felder, guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Don Felder is appearing at Sunset Station on June 3.

Best-known for his years as lead guitarist for the Eagles, during which time he co-wrote such classic tracks as ‘Hotel California,’ ‘Victim of Love’ and ‘Those Shoes.’ His outro solo with Joe Walsh on ‘Hotel California’ is widely considered one of the most important guitar solos of the rock era.
Felder was fired from the group in 2001 after a number of disputes with Don Henley and Glenn Frey. He later sued the group and recounted his experiences with the Eagles in a best-selling autobiography.
Last year he released a solo album titled ‘Road to Forever,’ which included an all-star cast of guest stars and saw the musician moving forward musically and personally.
After years of relative backstage secrecy, the Eagles officially sanctioned a documentary titled ‘The History of the Eagles‘ that premiered on Showtime.

Kelly Hansen

Foreigner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lead Singer for Foreigner, Kelly Hansen guests on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Answering an ad seeking a lead vocalist, Kelly joined Hurricane in 1985. Signed to Enigma/Capitol during the late eighties and early nineties, Hurricane recorded three critically acclaimed albums, racked up five Top 20 MTV videos and landed the top 35 single, “I’m On To You”.

After Hurricane disbanded, Hansen worked in a group with Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille, toured as a vocal group arranger and backing vocalist with Liane Foly for her album, Caméléon and composed music for television.

As the new lead singer in Foreigner, Hansen explains, “the best part about being in this band is getting the chance to do something I feel I was meant to do. I feel extremely fortunate to be given this wonderful opportunity to play with such a substantial group of people, and it just keeps getting better. I think there are times in life where the right combination of people come together at the right time, through luck, timing or for some other unknown reason to create something magical. What happens onstage with this group of guys is something that is rare and palpable. It’s like the old saying, “if I have to describe it, you wouldn’t understand.”

For more go to http://www.foreigneronline.com/kellyhansen.html

Henry Fambrough-Original vocalist with The Spinners

Spinners Photo #1(2014)Henry Fambrough...Spinners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Fambrough is an original vocalist and current member of the R&B quintet The Spinners (aka The Detroit Spinners). He is the last surviving original member of the Spinners.
During the group’s heyday from the early to mid-1970s, Henry served as one of the group’s lead singers (along with Philippe Wynne and Bobby Smith ) and his rich baritone provided lead vocals for the Spinners classic, “I Don’t Want To Lose You,” as well as co-lead vocals with Wynne on “Living A Little, Laughing A Little.” He also was in a duet with Dionne Warwick on the Spinners’ “Just As Long As We Have Love,” from their album “Pick of the Litter,” and also sang lead on the classic album cut, “If You Can’t Be in Love,” from the album “Happiness Is Being with the Spinners.” Henry was noted for the handlebar mustache he wore at that time.

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Oct. LV Backstage Talk Column

by Michele LaFong

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(Click on articles to enlarge)

G.T. 9-30-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Las Vegas Backstage Talk’s syndicated monthly column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today-Oct.

Finalist on Last Comic Standing Lachlan Patterson on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong (10 min. edited)

Oct. LVBST column
When Randy Bachman, founding member of The Guess Who, the Canadian band responsible for such hits as “No Time” and “American Woman” left to explore his personal musical horizons, he joined forces with Fred Turner to create Bachman-Turner Overdrive and rock & roll history was made. I, along with millions of other fans worldwide, grew up and sang along to radio hits such as “Taking Care Of Business,” “Let It Ride,” and “Roll On Down The Line.” So when I heard that after 20 years of fan demand these two giants of hard driving tunes were reuniting, touring, and appearing at The Cannery August 30, billed as Bachman & Turner, I knew I had to get an interview, which I finally landed with Fred Turner. You can imagine my shock when backstage, before their concert Fred casually dropped the bombshell scoop to yours truly that this was his very last show with Bachman. “I am retiring and have lots of other unfinished business to take care of…I’m just taking care of unfinished business, you might say…loose ends to tie up. I’ve got a bucket list with lots of things I need to do.” When asked how Randy Bachman took the news, he responded “Randy’s got so many things going on all the time with so many artists, and new projects, he’s just fine! …Maybe I’ll be back in a few years…you never know.” While watching the concert I was kind of sad but felt blessed to be witnessing the last historic show of Bachman & Turner. They never announced the news to the crowd and I haven’t heard a peep about it since.
Another thing that has come to an abrupt end is the celebrity impersonating “dealertainers” that the Imperial Palace, now The Quad soon to be the Linq was so famous for. It seems this was not a popular decision with many of their loyal customers. Also, the Clarion Resort on Convention Center Drive formally Royal Americana, Debbie Reynolds Hotel & Casino, Paddlewheel, and Greek Isles has closed for good. It’s been an interesting quaint little property that opened as the Royal Inn in 1970. Debbie Reynolds gave me my first running show there, “Vegas Live” starring Michele LaFong.
It is with a heavy heart that I am addressing the untimely passing of Comedy Icon Joan Rivers who at age 81 seemed ageless, and invincible. I was asked to join WTTG-TV (FOX 5) Washington via Skype to share some of my personal interactions with Joan when guesting on her afternoon talk show back in the 80’s and speak on the impact that she had on comedy in general. Like so many other stories being shared by industry over the weeks about Joan’s generosity, graciousness, and wonderful sense of humor, I experienced much of the same. Joan’s approach to comedy was fearless and unapologetic- breaking ground and paving the way for other female comics. Ironically she hated being referred to as a pioneer or a trail blazer because her work was not even close to being done. In fact, in a recent interview before her passing she was quoted as saying “I hate when female comics come up to me and say “Oh you broke barriers for women… I’m still breaking barriers….” Sadly her work was unfinished but her legend lives on and she is sorely missed.
Another feminine comedy ground-breaker of sorts is New Jersey native “Queen of Comedy” Sommore, who began her career as the first woman to host BET’s ”Comic View,” and then later hosting Russell Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam” and “Showtime at the Apollo.” She was the 1995 recipient of the Richard Pryor Award for Comic of the Year, and in 2000 she entered “The Guinness Book of World Records,” performing for an audience of more than 50,000 people in Atlanta as part of the “Queens of Comedy” tour. A recording of the show became the longest-running and highest-rated special in the history of Showtime Networks.
I recently interviewed Sommore, who was promoting her upcoming weekend at Suncoast Hotel & Casino on Labor Day Weekend. With credits which include her status as being among the top-grossing stand-up comediennes in the United States and abroad, as well as Oprah Winfrey proclaiming her “a force to be reckoned with in the new millennium,” it’s of no wonder that Sommore sold out both nights at the 500 seat theatre before the weekend even began with Suncoast having to turn away hundreds of fans. Her show equally as impressive had substance and she drew a drinking, spending well-dressed crowd. I think it was obvious just from her credits that Queen of Comedy Sommore deserved to be performing in a much bigger theatre on The Strip. I’m sure Las Vegas won’t make that mistake again as word gets out fast!
Another impressive comedienne making a difference in comedy is Wanda Sykes. Wanda is Executive Producer of NBC’s Last Comic Standing which got renewed for a second season. I recently interviewed runner-up Lachlan Patterson, and Winner Rod Man who were promoting their upcoming Last Comic Standing Tour with all 5 finalists in the show. The audio of their interviews are archived on our site. I will be doing a backstage videotaped interview with both Lachlan, and Rod Man in between their sold out shows at Aliante Casino. An edited portion will be posted on gamingtoday.com, casinocenter.com.
Bill Maher returns to the Palms on Oct. 10 & 11. He always puts on a solid, funny, relevant show, and is one of my favorite return guests on LVBST. Bill’s interview will air on Oct. 9.
My Picks:
Wanda Sykes, Treasure Island, Oct 3, The Beach Boys, The Cannery, Oct. 4, Lewis Black, The Mirage, Oct. 4, Daniel Tosh, Mirage, Oct. 10 & 11, Legends of Motown: the Four Tops, Temptations, Spinners, Cannery, Oct. 10 & 11, Loni Love, Venetian, Oct. 10 & 11,
The Eagles, MGM Grand, Oct. 11, Queensryche, Eastside Cannery, Oct. 11, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull, Mandalay Bay, Asia, Red Rock Resort, Oct. 17, John Fogerty, Palms, Oct. 17, Ray Romano and David Spade, Mirage, Oct. 17 & 18, Zac Brown Band, MGM Grand, Oct. 17, Carlos Mencia, Treasure Island, Oct. 17, Smokey Robinson, Eastside Cannery, Oct. 18, Ron White, Mirage, Oct. 24 & 25, Bill Engvall, Treasure Island, Oct. 24, Wendy Williams, Venetian, Oct. 31.

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Don Felder, Kelly Hansen, Henry Fambrough

July 24, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

don felder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singer/Songwriter Don Felder, guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Best-known for his years as lead guitarist for the Eagles, during which time he co-wrote such classic tracks as ‘Hotel California,’ ‘Victim of Love’ and ‘Those Shoes.’ His outro solo with Joe Walsh on ‘Hotel California’ is widely considered one of the most important guitar solos of the rock era.
Felder was fired from the group in 2001 after a number of disputes with Don Henley and Glenn Frey. He later sued the group and recounted his experiences with the Eagles in a best-selling autobiography.
Last year he released a solo album titled ‘Road to Forever,’ which included an all-star cast of guest stars and saw the musician moving forward musically and personally.
After years of relative backstage secrecy, the Eagles officially sanctioned a documentary titled ‘The History of the Eagles‘ that premiered on Showtime.

Kelly Hansen

Foreigner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lead Singer for Foreigner, Kelly Hansen guests on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Answering an ad seeking a lead vocalist, Kelly joined Hurricane in 1985. Signed to Enigma/Capitol during the late eighties and early nineties, Hurricane recorded three critically acclaimed albums, racked up five Top 20 MTV videos and landed the top 35 single, “I’m On To You”.

After Hurricane disbanded, Hansen worked in a group with Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille, toured as a vocal group arranger and backing vocalist with Liane Foly for her album, Caméléon and composed music for television.

As the new lead singer in Foreigner, Hansen explains, “the best part about being in this band is getting the chance to do something I feel I was meant to do. I feel extremely fortunate to be given this wonderful opportunity to play with such a substantial group of people, and it just keeps getting better. I think there are times in life where the right combination of people come together at the right time, through luck, timing or for some other unknown reason to create something magical. What happens onstage with this group of guys is something that is rare and palpable. It’s like the old saying, “if I have to describe it, you wouldn’t understand.”

For more go to http://www.foreigneronline.com/kellyhansen.html

Henry Fambrough-Original vocalist with The Spinners

Spinners Photo #1(2014)Henry Fambrough...Spinners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Fambrough is an original vocalist and current member of the R&B quintet The Spinners (aka The Detroit Spinners). He is the last surviving original member of the Spinners.
During the group’s heyday from the early to mid-1970s, Henry served as one of the group’s lead singers (along with Philippe Wynne and Bobby Smith ) and his rich baritone provided lead vocals for the Spinners classic, “I Don’t Want To Lose You,” as well as co-lead vocals with Wynne on “Living A Little, Laughing A Little.” He also was in a duet with Dionne Warwick on the Spinners’ “Just As Long As We Have Love,” from their album “Pick of the Litter,” and also sang lead on the classic album cut, “If You Can’t Be in Love,” from the album “Happiness Is Being with the Spinners.” Henry was noted for the handlebar mustache he wore at that time.

The Spinners will be performing at The Cannery on Aug. 26.

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Las Vegas Backstage Talk column

Feb. CP mag coverLayout 1GamingToday 2-25-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feb. Las Vegas Backstage Talk column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today.

by Michele LaFong

With the advent and popularity of Smart TVs, where it is now possible to watch web TV on your main set, alternative programming and new opportunities for entrepreneur talent for internet entertainment is growing daily.  This new popular trend couldn’t have been more evident than at the IAWTV awards, “the Oscars” of the Internet Shows held at The Rio H & C last month.

Many familiar faces were seen on the red carpet like “Fitness Celebrity”, and “Infomercial King” John Basedow, inventor and star of “Fitness made Simple.” Basedow was a presenter, and was also nominated for three awards.  When John guested on LVBST with Guinness World Record holder, Comedian Fran Capo, “World’s Fastest Talker, John explained what awards he was up for this year; “(Best Variety Series) is for CULTURE POP, my YouTube series where I take to the streets getting people’s opinions on the top entertainment, celebrity and pop culture news. The second is for FIT NOW with BASEDOW (Best Writing), in which I give fitness, exercise and nutrition tips for people to improve their bodies and lives, The third is for the work I do with Buzz60 Entertainment News (Best News Series) and that’s awesome since they’re one of the first companies to give me a job where I get to keep my shirt on.”  Both Fran Capo, and John Basedow’s interviews are archived on lasvegasbackstagetalk.com

Following a successful 7 month run at The Laugh Factory at The Tropicana, Legendary prop comic and watermelon-smasher Gallagher quietly closed his seven-night a week show on December 30.  It’s a wonder that this eccentric free spirited, flighty, highly creative, mad comedy genius could stay in one place for that long!  I’m definitely going to miss him and the backstage drama that always seemed to follow him.   I’m sure every comic that has worked at The Laugh Factory in the last 7 months, has a “Gallagher story” to tell!  When I asked what his plans were after his out of state gigs were over, his response was “wherever I end up!”  He explained his state of mind at this stage of his life quite well in a recent interview that I entitled “Getting really personal with Gallagher.”  That video can now be seen on casinocenter.com.

Dana Carvey, one of my favorite and funniest guests returned on LVBST to promote his upcoming dates at The Orleans Showroom, Jan. 31 & Feb.1.  Right off the bat, he did a very funny but scary impression of me…I hope it wasn’t as dead-on as it sounded!  Not only is he always upbeat, freshly hilarious, and topical, but he’s also one of the nicest mega-talents in show business.  Dana shared some of his comedy writing, and developmental process. “I tape all of my shows but it’s really hard to get myself to listen to it…yet it’s incredibly instructive.  I’m really hard on myself.”  After a show, from time to time, you might find Dana trying his luck out at The Black Jack tables. “Paul Anka taught me how to play… You gotta whack it.  You really gotta whack it!  I was reminded what Paul Anka sounds like when he’s talking…and I must say…it was a little eerie.  We touched on many interesting subjects including Mike Meyers and the possibility of more Wayne’s World projects.  The interview will air on Jan. 30.

Grammy Award-winning musician and acclaimed actor Meat Loaf will return to the RockTellz & CockTails stage at the PH Showroom inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.  Meat Loaf will perform 24 dates, beginning Feb. 13, kicking off the 2014 series.  Shows will be every Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday, Feb. 13 to April 8, at 7 p.m.  Meat always delivers a dynamic and dramatic show and is a very interesting character.  The legendary musical group and Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Jacksons are the next legacy artists of the RockTellz & CockTails series. The Jacksons, including Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, will perform 40 shows, beginning Feb. 20.  Thurs.-Sun. 9:30pm

I finally went to check out Golden Globe winner,Pia Zadora’s new nightclub show at Pia’s Place @ Piero’s.  Her residency there started in Sept. and is open ended Thursday-Saturdays at 9pm.  Pia Zadora is at home working the room, singing, telling funny stories, and even has special guest drop- INS like Jerry Lewis, Rich Little, Steve Rossi, and other notables.  Pianist Vince Falcone, former musical director for Frank Sinatra heads her quartet in an intimate, throw-back setting that recreates “Old Vegas”.  A great time!  Pia invited me to do some comedy…and next time I will…

Another gem not to be missed of headline entertainment without a cover charge is Singer/Piano player/Funnyman Michael Shane.  Shane was hand-picked by Steve Wynn, to perform at Wynn’s Tower Suite Bar, and is a regular on LVBST.   Michael keeps the night moving from behind the piano with never a dull moment and lots of personality.  He also takes requests and can’t be stumped.  I love it!  Like Pia, Michael is popular and puts on Special Guest Star drop-ins .  He can be seen on some Thursdays at Bootleggers Bistro at 5:30pm. Be sure to check their schedule as they don’t give out dates too far in advance.

Other acts not to miss this month include Comedian Amy Schumer, Feb. 7& 8, The Mirage, Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone, Feb. 7-9, Clint Holmes, Feb. 8, Smith Center, Clint Black, Feb. 13, The Smith Center, Dion, Feb. 13 & 14, The Orleans, Crystal Gayle, Feb. 14-16,  The South Point, Ron White, Feb. 14 & 15, The Mirage, The Eagles, Feb. 15 & 16,  MGM, Boz Scaggs, Feb. 15, Eastside Cannery,  Mike Epps, Feb. 15, The  Palms, Helen Reddy,  Feb. 15, The Orleans Showroom, George Lopez, Feb. 21 & 22, The Mirage, John Pinette, Feb. 21 & 22, The Orleans, Adam Carolla, Feb. 21, TI, Danny Wright, Feb. 23, The Smith Center, George Thurgood & The Destroyers, Feb. 27, The Smith Center, Rob Schneider, Jan. 30- Feb. 1, The South Point, , Ray Romano, Feb. 28 & March 1, The Mirage.

Your comments are always appreciated.

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Las Vegas Backstage Talk column-Casino Player Magazine by Michele LaFong

Sept. edition 

Online version: http://digitaleditions.walsworthprintgroup.com/publication/?i=172620

Casino Player-Las Vegas Backstage Talk

2013-08-03 15.08.23What a great summer this has been for entertainment in Las Vegas!  Last weekend I did a backstage interview at The Eastside Cannery with Little Anthony.  What fun!  We both played The Catskill circuit for years, and one time were even billed together on a show.  I thought only comedians had “nightmare stories” about their first experiences playing to that tough “seen it all,” aloof, Catskill crowd, but according to Little Anthony, he was not at all spared!  “It took some getting used to…” but all pros find a way to adapt, and luckily Little Anthony Gourdine was no exception.  Having learned about comedy timing from his good friend Comedian Redd Foxx, he had no trouble adding a little “shtick” together with Jewish songs which he learned phonetically, and sandwiched them between his hits, “Tears on my Pillow,” “Hurt So Bad,” “Going out of my Head,” and “Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop.”  Can you imagine a sprinkle of Halvah Nah Gila in that mix?  What’s really scary is I’m sure it seemed very normal to me at the time!

Now, at 73, this Vocal Group Hall of Fame inductee sells out in casinos nationally.  I never expected to enjoy their music as much as I did!  Their contemporary musical arrangements and great choice of covers keep the show relevant. (Edited portions of our backstage interview will be posted on casinocenter.com.)

Starship Live ! 033Rock Vault! 144Mickey Thomas, legendary singer from Starship, known for hits including “We Built this City,” “Jane” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” was another fun guest on my radio show.  He was promoting his stint as “special guest performer,” in RAIDING THE ROCK VAULT, at The LVH. Following the interview, I went to see the show, and I’m really glad I did.  It was impressive with an all-star lineup, consisting of original members of various known bands, they featured classics from The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Eagles, Queen, Van Halen, AC/DC, Journey, Free, Bryan Adams, Supertramp, Toto, Deep Purple, and more.  This show had great energy, but the only problem was it was too loud; however it was still a terrific presentation none the less and had a really entertaining storyline. Mickey Thomas, added even more excitement and authenticity to the show.  Singer Stephanie Calvert joined him on-stage.  It was simply fantastic!  Mickey will also be at The Silverton on Sept. 13.

pablo-franciscoI went to see YouTube Sensation, Comedian Pablo Francisco’s sold-out show, at The South Point Showroom, and I must say, The South point Casino seems to be successfully drawing a younger crowd.  I’ve never seen so many loyal fans, lined-up to buy things following a headliner’s performance at The South Point Casino!  Not bad for a comedian that many people are still not familiar with.  Yet, he is a popular ticket especially with young people in the casino circuit.   His brand of comedy consists mostly of high energy, characters, impressions, and sound effects.  He’s like a wind-up toy that never stops!   Having a serious conversation with Pablo during my interview proved to be almost impossible, but funny… as he seems to be one of those performers that are always on!  If he doesn’t have ADD…he should!  However he was entertaining, and a really nice guy.

 

Two comics that I was really excited to finally get on LVBST radio show were Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho, who not surprisingly are friends.  Kathy, who recently had her own talk show, “Kathy,” on Bravo, was promoting her up-coming performances. “I just love Las Vegas,”  “I love everything about it…slots and all!  She was constantly promoting…”If you come see me at The Mirage, you will hear different material than you’ve heard any time before. If you come see me a month later, you’re going to hear different material than last time.”   I let her know that I was a big fan of her reality show “My Life on the D List,” “Thanks,” she replied…but was quick to correct me…  “It’s “Two-time Emmy Award- Winning- My Life on the D List!  I’ve also just broken the record for having the most comedy specials, male or female, with my latest Special called “Calm Down Gurrl.” Boy was she “working it,” and sure knows how.  I just love her.  Kathy will return to The Mirage on Sept.8.   If you missed the interview, the audio is archived on lasvegasbackstagetalk.com

 

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BPG Drop Dead DivaMargaret Cho’s interview was much more low-key and cerebral.  Promoting her Stand-up Tour “Mother,” she had this to say about what can be expected from her Sept. 6 date at The Mirage. It’s different every day.  With stand-up comedy, you really have to change with the audience, and change the way it’s done, taking into consideration the way things are happening in the news.   The “mother” in the title, refers to “I’m like the mother of comedy now…I’m like everybody’s mom.  It’s kind of like achieving mastery in the art form, where you can do a lot…it’s almost like you’re giving birth to it.  Margaret’s full interview will air on Sept. 5.

tony-orlando2Tony Orlando, my friend, as well as one of my favorite performers is returning to The South Point Showroom on Sept 20-22. I never miss his show when he is in town.  Tony is an “old school” showman that simply knows how to entertain, still has great chops, uses killer musicians, and consistently delivers a “feel good,” up-beat, contemporary show.  I also love that he incorporates blues, country, and Led Zeppelin in his repertoire. Believe me… there is a reason his show is always sold out.

Watch for Heather Marianna,  Host of” Beauty Kitchen”-An extremely popular and successful internet show, that specializes in teaching us how to use food combinations that double as Beauty Products.  She has generously donated gift bags made exclusively for our celebrity guests, made from her own Beauty Line of products without the spa prices.   Heather and her products have been extremely well received. Marianna is scheduled to host the Pool Party at The Luxor, on “Gay Day,” on Sept. 6, 10am-6pm.  She is destined for big things!

As always, I look forward to your feedback at Michelelafong@gmail.com

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