Friday, March 20, 2015

Flying high over Las Vegas....

 The posters and exhibits in movie theaters are getting pretty wild.

They tout upcoming films and are pretty elaborate.

(Yes, sometimes, I do have my camera with me when I go to a movie theater.)

Just for moments like this.

This example is when I joined the actor Kevin James, starring in Mall Cop 2, opening April 17.

He had already grabbed the skid of the helicopter landing gear when I came through the lobby and decided to join him.

Some Photoshop touches and then there were the two of us, high above the Vegas Eiffel tower and Caesar's Palace, soaring over the famed Strip.

Not my first time inserting myself where I didn't belong and being part of an upcoming movie exhibit.

When the famed couch was stacked with all of the Simpson family, in a theater lobby setting, I found me a comfy spot.

I sat and joined Homer and Marge and their charming kids, Bart, Lisa and Maggie.

"Don't have a cow," I mouthed at the usher who came to ask me to leave the couch - and the colorful cartoon family - alone.

Maybe if I had blue hair, stacked high, there would not have been a problem.

Actually this was early in the evening, on my way to see "Kingsman: The Secret Service."

I had seen it once before, liked the fast-paced James Bond-ish antics and convinced my buddy to come see it. I enjoyed it a second time.

After the movie, we headed for The Mill to listen to a one-man Blues band.

North Charleston had decided to let the individual shops, stores and bar owners elect whether or not to allow smoking.

The Madra Rua tried one side for smoking and the other for non-smokers for a while.

But, gave that up when customers decided they wanted smokers to step outside with their second hand smoke.

Almost next door, The Mill allowed smoking and I usually tried to sit where there was some ventilation when I went there to listen to a band.

This night Lou Shields, a vagabond Bluesman from Chicago,  had returned to the bar with his collection of handmade guitars, a shitar and a banjo.

He explained the "shitar" was not even remotely related to a real instrument from India - the Sitar - but was merely a poorly-made guitar that looked crappy but sounded good.

He made his own percussion sounds with a series of former skateboards.

They had bells and bottle caps attached and he pounded them rhythmically with his tennis-shoe covered feet.

With four guitars of varying sounds, a banjo he felt he played badly, and harmonicas, he did indeed put out a LOT of music.

Oh, and - briefly - a kazoo.

There was a small, but enthusiastic, crowd on a rainy Thursday night in the smoky room.

Pool players came in carrying their own sticks in black canvas bags. I did not challenge anyone to a game.

He had performed at the Mill back in November.

Lou was  entertaining and played many of his own songs, available on CDs that he had for sale, along with t-shirts and some of his original art.

So, I started with some pizza slices at Andolini's, saw a fun movie, "hung out" over Vegas with a famous Mall cop and heard some unique sounds of the Blues.

Lou mentioned he had hit the road - literally - and was now living in his van as he traveled around, playing his songs and entertaining people in different venues.

I especially liked the sounds of his odd-looking Shitar.

(Click on the photo for more details).

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