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David Jones at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino

Las Vegas, Nevada U.S.A.
August 6, 1999 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

By Karen Sorensen
(With Input From Jan Chilton)

 

It had been nearly one year to the day since the last time I saw David in person, which was August 8, 1998 at the Teen Idols show in Phoenix, Arizona. (Not so long for me! I saw him in Pittsburgh, PA, in April of this year! I can never get enough!)

The anticipation leaving Phoenix on the evening of August 5 was almost unbearable. I had been thinking about it all day long and could not get out of my office quick enough to get home, get my bags and get to the airport and on the plane! David Jones is the only man in the world I will get on an airplane for. I arrived at the airport nearly 2 hours earlier than I needed to, just to calm myself before the flight. In the meantime, I sat in the bar at Sky Harbor International drinking a Pepsi and getting more wired on the caffeine. However, the little bar I was waiting in was called the Phoenix Roadhouse. And it kept me occupied in that it was a little bar totally dedicated to Route 66! There were old signs, license plates and various bits of memorabilia plastered all over the walls, showing some of the old signed and places that were famous for the Mother Road. There was an old Wurlitzer Juke Box playing songs from the 50s and 60s. Even the chairs had the Route 66 logo sign etched into them. So, of course, I needed to remember this to tell Sue.

(For me, Las Vegas was the first time I had ever been further than the eastern seaboard. I'm in Myrtle Beach, SC, and from looking at a map, Vegas looked to be a million miles away! I've always wanted to go west, and I had been excited for months! I'm not afraid to fly, so other than having to get up at 4am to make the plane, and being on a ridiculously tight budget, I started the trip without event)

I was finally able to board the plane, which was a Boeing 757, America West Airlines. Basically, a one hour flight. We were finally able to take off 40 minutes LATE because the carpeting had come loose at the entryway and it took them 40 minutes to repair it with duct tape (let's hope that's the only thing that needed repair with duct tape!). My flight arrived in Las Vegas, just in time for me to miss my free shuttle and had to pay another shuttle service to get to the Palace Station. Walking through the terminal, I did see Dave Alexander. However, I did not stop to speak to him.

Arrived at the hotel finally, but by then, I was wide awake and needed some gambling time. Met all my friends that I planned on meeting from around the country, Jan from South Carolina, Peggy, Jill and Lauree from California. I met another David fan, Stephanie from New York, who is a friend of Jan's, and now a friend of mine, as well.

(Stephanie and I both arrived at the airport almost simultaniously. She had a direct flight from New York, and I had a layover in Cincinnatti, Ohio. We got to the motel around 11am, and she was able to check right in to her room. The motel was everything you would expect from Vegas! Video gaming machines ((South Carolina's innocent sounding term....we have them,too)) were everywhere!! I'll bet there were close to a thousand of them! I'm already an addict, and I still picture all those machines and the seritonin jolt I got when I first got there!

We spent the day gambling, checking out the place, having lunch, and waiting on my room to be cleaned. Peggy and Jill from California showed up around 10pm. It was my first time meeting them, but after months of talking on the internet, and exchanging pictures, it was as if we had known each other for years! As with all of us, our deep love for David united us immediately! But Karen was so late, we were all hanging out in the lobby waiting on her, and very worried. When she finally showed up, about an hour and a half late, it was like a family reunion! After 10 minutes of hugs and introductions, we were old friends.

David had come in around 7pm, I think, and we were all excited to know he was in the same motel as we were. It was like we all had so much to say, and all wanted to say it at the same time. He had come in wearing a suit, looking like a million dollars, and stealing hearts every step he took!)

Finally, went to bed around 4:30 a.m. Of course, we had lots of talking to do since we had only met on the Internet and this was our first meeting in person!

I woke up early Friday morning and was in the casino playing video poker at around 9:00 or so. I looked up just as David and Gillian walked by. It appeared they were just checking out the casino and getting a bearing on their surroundings. I did not speak to him or acknowledge him, as I did not want to invade his space at this time. And the old shyness sneaked in too.

A couple of hours later, I received a page from Jan, to tell me David was at the pool with Gillian and to get up there, get my suit on and let's go hang out by the pool!

We spent most of our time at the pool trying to pretend we weren't staring, but he probably knew better. I couldn't take the heat anymore and finally took a quick dip in the water just to get wet and cool off! It was over 100 degrees out there! Or was it just David being there? Either way, I had to cool off! David was writing in a journal or some kind of notebook. We speculated that it may have to do with horse racing. He walked back and forth a couple of times, once to eat, another time sit in the jacuzzi, and we just waved to him and he waved back.

(Well, I wasn't going to mention Gillian, and I still won't, but yes, she was with him when he first came in. And yes, we weren't happy to see her. But at the pool, it was unimaginable to think we were sitting across the pool from DAVY JONES, and just looking at him. I had brought my camera, and I tried to speak up and ask him if I could take a picture several times. Either he couldn't hear me, or just didn't answer, but I was afraid of making him mad, so I didn't use it. I wasn't about to get in the same pool, so Karen and I went to the other pool where there was no one around, and swam, and I worked on my tan some.)

It was almost showtime, so it was time to head back to the room to clean up and get ready!

The first show started at 7:00 p.m., and was initially a private show for the "high rollers" and promotional-type people. I heard later that they were then selling tickets to the public for that show as well. Luckily, we already had our tickets in advance. Our seats for the first show were in the fifth row, to the right of the stage. This is where it gets confusing, because I have virtually no recollection of what songs he did when and for which show! He looked absolutely fabulous! What was he wearing? Can't remember, but he sure looked incredibly handsome!

Of course, he did all the songs you expected, Little Bit Me, Little Bit You, Somebody Slap Me, I'm a Believer, Let's Dance, etc. He joked as usual, and talked and chatted quite a bit. All I know is I smiled the whole time. When he sang I Wanna Be Free, and then segued into I'll Love You Forever, my eyes welled up with tears! They were happy tears of course, just so happy to see him again after nearly a year! He ended the first show with Daydream Believer with the audience sing-a-long. He left to take his break to shower and change for the 9:00 show. It was an outstanding show.

(Stephanie and I are still arguing over this, but I distinctly remember him opening the first show with an old vaudeville tune, "Is you, or Is you not my baby?" I connect that tune with Rose Marie, the lady with the raucous voice from the old Dick Van Dyke show. One of the Monkees shows had her on it playing a mafia boss lady, and it seems like she sang it then, but I could be wrong about that. David did a polished, professional job on it, proving again his extreme versatility with almost ANY type of music. The man is just incredibly talented!)

Now, if it were at all possible, the 9:00 show was even better. This time, our seats were third row, center. Is it possible to be more handsome two hours later? To sound as good, if not better, than the first show? But he did. He looked so happy! He never stopped smiling or laughing! He repeated some of the same songs, and added and deleted a few others. Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow was in the second show, and he repeated Somebody Slap Me, and some of the others. It's all such a muddle at this point. I'm sorry, I wish I could remember them all! The two shows started to get a little jumbled together. I certainly didn't waste my time taking notes! The show on the stage was too good to have to miss any part of it. I was just trying to remember it all!

Both shows we got treated to the unbuttoning of his vest and he showed us his chest (and breasts) as he spoke about as men get older, their breasts get larger. He said that he felt he now understood why women had bad backs, having to carrying them around all their lives, and that they really did belong on women's backs, instead of in front. He said their husbands would most likely dance with them more often if their breasts were on their backs!

David, of course, spoke highly of the others, Peter, Mike and Micky and had kind words to say about them all. He did say that Mike was very cheap - "he looks under the bed every morning to make sure he hasn't lost any sleep!" And of course, the actors home jokes, and the Micky Dolenz look-a-like contest "threat" if you don't sing along! In the second show, we all sang along to the Brady Bunch song. Two little girls sitting next to me took him a pair of green maracas which their mother had purchased for David in Mexico, tied up pretty with ribbons. David thanked them, then gave him a couple sets of drumsticks - then turned around, called them back to the stage and gave them HIS maracas! I saw him autograph those for them after the show. Oh, we were all jealous!

Again, David sang I Wanna Be Free and I'll Love You Forever, and I managed to keep my emotions in check this time. However, when it came to what we all know is the end of the show, when he sings Daydream Believer, I knew it was almost over and my eyes again welled up with tears. I wondered when I would be privileged again to see him again! But he surprised us! He ran off stage, and within seconds, he ran back out and sang a rousing Let Me Entertain You, and everyone was on their feet! No one even had time to ask for the encore.

(I agree the second show was even more wonderful than the first! I don't know how that man can look so GOOD!!! He is just the most incredibly handsome man I've ever seen in my life! When he sings the old Monkees songs, he transports us back to being the innocent little girls who loved him enough to want to die 30 years ago. I don't think any man can understand how our hearts ache to see and hear him, and relive our youth that way! Its a wonderful feeling, and will explain why I would travel thousands of miles to see him! But that's not to overide his new material! The new songs, "Somebody Slap Me" and "Hanging by a Thread" are magnificent!)

After the show, David came out to sign autographs and take photographs and it seemed he was always smiling. He was gracious and sweet to everyone - even to the most obnoxious women who would not leave and give others their turn. I stood and watched him through the entire signing and photographs. At one point, I believe Sandy Gennaro told everyone there would be no pictures taken with David. Apparently, David was not listening to that, because he continued to have his picture taken with the fans. I waited until nearly everyone was done, and Jan and I got into the end of the line. I spoke with David and gave him regards from Sue and Kirk, he was delighted to hear from some familiar friends so far away! He signed my favorite picture of him with the beard that was taken by Sue at Lingfield when he raced Digpast. This is the photograph on the ________, 1999 [FILL IN THE DATE OF THIS ISSUE] issue of the Band 6 newsletter. I think he was surprised to see the picture, I was the only one that had that particular photo at the show. We he finally left, he smiled and waved to everyone. According to David, he said he planned on getting some gambling in, but we did not see him later that evening, unless he went to another casino.

(I think there must have been more than a hundred people wanting autographs and a picture with David afterwards. I'm sure he spent several hours catering to every last person who wanted him! It never ceases to amaze me that he can come from such a high energy show and then spend so much time with his fans afterwards. How can you NOT love him? Karen and I both got our pictures taken with him, and I got my umpteenth autograph. God, how I love that man!)

Can it get any better? Yes! The following morning, my dear, dear new friends, Peggy, Jill and Lauree (of Manchester Productions fame!) told me that David was on his way down to check out and to stick around. I was nervous and anxious, but David finally showed up and we waited for him to finish checking out. He then came over to speak with Jill, Peggy and Lauree and I just watched from a few steps back with my heart pounding. They had some lovely parting gifts for David and spoke with him briefly. They talked a little about what he had planned for the future, and he talked of putting more shows together, with the possibility of the House of Blues being one of his venues (I don't know which one!). At this point, I found my voice and piped up with one word" "Arizona!" He smiled, and looked at me and repeated "Arizona?" and I said "yes!" And he nodded. I sure hope he remembers!

A few minutes later, Peggy waved me over and proceeded to introduce me to David as "her friend Karen from Arizona." He put his hand out to shake mine, said he was happy to meet me and I think I said the same thing! He was getting anxious to leave - he was on his way to the airport to fly to California to pick up his daughter Annabel from an actors' camp.

(I slept thru all of this....sigh......)

There just simply are no words in the English language that can properly describe how wonderful David was at these two shows! Perfection? That is about the closest I can come. No-one - does it better!

(And I can't add anything to that either! He brings sunshine in the rain, and shines brighter than the stars in the night sky! We Love you, David, and hope you have a joyous and wonderful life!)

 

Karen and Jan