Access Vegas Insider Vibe – May 17, 2000

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This Issue: Cook E. Jarr, Jimmy Hopper

Curious about a restaurant, event, or other Las Vegas attraction that looks fun? Let us review it for you first! Suggestions are always welcome at:

Rental Cars – Don’t pay top dollar! Enter the dates of your visit and compare prices from virtually every major rental car agency (most US cities). Book the lowest price company or your regular agency. Save the hassle and some money – Car Rental Savings Search. Few regret renting a car. Free shuttles and city bus rides can be slow and smelly. Taxis can cost what a rental car costs. Your vacation time is valuable — make the most out of it!

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

CONSTRUCTION – The Strip keeps growing and changing! Caesars Palace is tossing $60 million at the place to change the old facade (it’s about time), move some restaurants, and build a nightclub. Full story at Stratosphere owner Carl Icahn is thinking about spending $15 million to put another ride at the top of the tower. It also appears he’s finally finishing up the second tower and adding a decent pool and rec center which will be a welcome addition to an otherwise pretty nice property. Full story at Word has it that if the Venetian continues to show a profit through the end of the year, they will begin construction on their second tower.

DINING – There are no end to the stories highlighting the great dining opportunities here in Las Vegas. The Miami Herald recently published at article at about the upscale Las Vegas restaurants of chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Julian Serrano, Charlie Palmer, and Emeril Lagasse. A recent Toledo Blade article at talks about Le Cirque in the Bellagio.

Piero Selvaggio has brought Valentino to The Venetian. It’s extensive wine list has 1600 labels from the major wine making regions of the world. Full story at City Life reviewed the relatively new Pink Taco Mexican restaurant inside the Hard Rock at

PLAYBOY – is hosting Club Rio’s Playboy Special Edition Party this Friday night at Club Rio. Playboy models will be present and women can sign up for interviews and casting calls to be held at a later date. Doors open at 10:30 PM. Admission is $10 for men, $5 for women.

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at

FOOTLOOSE – The musical (adapted from with movie with all the hit songs) starts it’s run at The Rio. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Rio discount rooms available at (Rio link).

Hard Rock – Robin Trower on May 26, Ozzy Osbourne on June 15, Ringo Starr on June 17, Don Henley on July 10, and No Doubt with Black Eyed Peas on July 31. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at (Hard Rock link).

Junefest – This annual classic rock festival is the party of the year for many locals and tourists alike. This year’s lineup: Sammy Hagar, George Thorogood, Pat Benatar, Paul Rodgers, BTO, and Mark Farner plus a “huge fireworks display” after the show. Tickets are only $25.96 and available at (888) 464-2468.

Mandalay Bay – David Sandborn on May 19, Kenny Wayne Shepherd on May 20, Motorhead on May 21, Toto on May 26, Jerry Lee Lewis on May 26, Jefferson Starship on May 27, The Young Dubliners on May 28, Pato Banton on Jun. 1, Cowboy Junkies on Jun. 3, Chaka Khan and The Village People on Jun 5, Megadeth on Jun. 23, Queensryche on June 16 and 17, Cheap Trick on July 3, Boz Scaggs on Jul 8, Dan Folgerberg on Jul. 14, Hall and Oats on July 21, LeAnn Rimes on Jul. 28, and the BB King Blues Festival 2000 on Aug. 1. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at (Mandalay Bay link).

MGM – Rodger Waters on June 17, Blink-182 and Bad Religion on June 24,Rodney Dangerfield on July 6-12 and again on Aug. 24-Sept. 6. Tickets are $85 and available at (800) 929-1111 and MGM discount rooms are available at (MGM link).

SJ2K – KLUC Summer Jam 2000 features SisQo, Nu Flavor, Kumbia Kings, Pink, Voice V, Angelina and more on June 10 at the Thomas and Mack Center. Tickets available at (888) 464-2468. The Hard Rock hotel is 2 blocks from the Thomas and Mack and Hard Rock discount rooms available at (Hard Rock link).

The Orleans – Peter, Paul, and Mary May 19-21 and Air Supply on May 26-28. Tickets at (702) 365-7075 and Orleans discount rooms available at (The Orleans link).

FEATURE STORY: Cook E. Jarr, Jimmy Hopper

Las Vegas has seen a real trend away from production shows and back toward headlining entertainment, with performers like Danny Gans and Clint Holmes now lighting up the Las Vegas Strip. However, the one thing this city has always been known for are it’s lounges and lounge acts. For free (or the price of a drink), these musicians keep people entertained night after night after night. In fact, the Review-Journal just had a great piece on what it’s like to be a Las Vegas lounge act at

Two of Las Vegas’ most popular lounge acts have been the infamous Cook E. Jarr and Jimmy Hopper. Although their repertoire and styles have little in common, both are over-the-top entertainers in the true Las Vegas tradition. More interesting is that both have just attempted somewhat of a jump from being a lounge act to that of more of a headliner entertainer.

COOK E. JARR – No, that’s not his real name, but that doesn’t matter. He is known to the world as the “Jarr Man”. You have seen him on MTV, VH1, movies, and most recently in the A&E Las Vegas City Confidential that aired last week. People like Tom Jones, George Carlin, The Righteous Brothers, and more show up to see him when they are in town.

cook-e-jarr-jones.jpg (11634 bytes)Jarr (seen at left with Tom Jones) has performed in lounges on and off the Strip for years, and recently made the jump to the Improv room on the second floor of Harrah’s. We were pleased to see his opening show last Friday night along with about 30 crazies from the BigEmpire.Com ( ) crew. As always, Cook put on a solid 2-plus hours of standards, soul, funk and just about anything else you could dance to! Got a request? Just “Tip the Jarr” — he knows thousands of songs.

On the downside, we are a little disappointed at the new digs and feel it really detracted from all that is Cook E. Jarr. Seating is done my maitre d’, the only cocktail service is cocktail waitresses, and the room is just too big and dark. Great for a comedy show, not a performer. Cook is a “man of the people” and excels in places where there is foot traffic walking by, where people have the comfort of coming and going, and where you can hear the whoops from the craps table in the background. Where he can be a roving party!

While glad to see him at a big name casino where he belongs, I implore the staff at Harrah’s to move him to the new outdoor lounge area. With the new bar, the dancing area, and the foot traffic, Cook would be stopping everybody dead in their tracks!

Cook E. Jarr plays upstairs at the Improv room at Harrah’s at midnight on Friday and Saturday. Two drink minimum. You can see more of him and his famous fans at

JIMMY HOPPER – is another guy we really like. He’s been tearing up the Voodoo Lounge high atop The Rio for the past couple of years, packing them in and making a name for himself. In fact, he’s been able to woo people away from the spectacular outdoor view up there and attract standing room only crowds.

jimmy-hopper.jpg (12397 bytes)Word spread quickly, and the Luxor was quick to give him a headlining shot in their RA nightclub. RA is perfectly suited to Jimmy’s eclectic look and style. This guy is John Tesh on acid, and his music is a melodious sonic assault in the very best way!

He and his 5 piece band profess a love for any and all music, and he proved it with a set list that went from Sinatra to Bocelli (“Time to Say Goodbye”, which many know as the Bellagio theme from their commercials and fountain show). He did a solid Neil Diamond, a comical Cher (always a highlight of his act), and a superb Motown medley. He is not an impressionist — you will recognize and enjoy the songs, but he and his band add their own touches and flair.

He is still getting his “stage feet”. He’s good with the crowd, but understandably not yet Wayne Newton or Cook E. Jarr when it comes to really creating that bond. We are sure that will come with time, and after a couple more months we’ll check him out again and give you an update.

Worth the $32.50? Mmmmmmm … yes if you enjoy a seeing a great vocalist front a very talented band. If you like instrumental jazz, Motown, and the standards “kicked up a notch” (thanks, Emeril), go. You’ll really enjoy the show. Otherwise, you might want to wait. The performance is great, the band is tight, but he is just getting that “headliner” experience.

Jimmy Hopper plays The Luxor Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 PM. Tickets are 32.50 plus tax. Seating is general admission, and much more comfortable than most showrooms. Drinks are available at the bar. Jimmy has a website at


Karen Rodems wrote:

> On September 26,1999 my husband and I arrived for a 5 night stay
>at Lady Luck. We paid $105 each for 5 nights.
>Friends of ours planned to spend 7 nights in LV beginning Sept.
>30.2000. Fitgeralds is totally booked & Lady Luck seems to have
>increased their rates four fold. Why have the room rates Down town
>increased so much? Also why is it so difficult to get a room this
>year in September? We have visited LV five times , always at the end
>of September and we have never had a problem getting a room Down
>town. We wonder why it is so difficult now.

Hotels frown on Saturday arrivals. It usually means a room sits empty
on Friday nights. Also, fall is prime time here. While the rest of
the country is in the grips of fall, we still have pool weather.
There also appears to be some minor conventions in town at that time. is showing Fitgeralds at $59.95 for the
weekend dates and 49.95 for the weekdays (subject to change — rates fluctuate like airline ticket prices due to demand). If they can move their arrival back to Friday night, they can get Las Vegas Club (very
comparable to Fitz and Lady Luck) for $45.95 every single night.

While we do get a small commission on each sale (similar to what a
travel agent gets), we link to because they reserve blocks of rooms ahead of time and get a volume discount.
They can then turn around pass that discount along to you. This also
means that they are often sitting on rooms when the hotel is “sold
out”. On top of that, they have a low price guarantee. Not a bad
deal in our book!

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional). Also, guest article submissions are welcome with full credit to you, your website, etc. if accepted.

Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Scenic Southwest Tours – by plane, bus, or even helicopter! You’ve seen the glossy ads in the tourist brochures. You’ve thought about it. You come all the way to Las Vegas — why not see one of the some of the most famous landmarks in the world! Don’t by tricked by web sites & magazines that offer discount tours. Taxes, park fees, permits can almost double the price. Our prices are inclusive – no hidden charges! Best Las Vegas Tours

ONLINE POLL – “Have you ever considered moving to Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinions at — results will be published in two weeks!


Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent a blank email to the specified email address — we’ll get your mailing address from you only if you win. Also, please do not enter if you have won within the past month.

Klondike Casino coupon sheet with 4 free late night breakfast and 4 free pasta or chicken dinners (24 hours). Both require regular restaurant beverage purchase. The Klondike is a small, local’s casino 2 blocks south of Mandalay Bay. Expires 6/13/00 so please only enter if you can use it. Enter at (contest closed)

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Have a request for a review? Boggled when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop. If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us at You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
May 17, 2000