No, I'm not talking about the snow falling to the ground.
Check out this dart shot I threw the other day.
I know this sort of thing happens upon occasion, but it is still pretty cool to look at. I threw one dart and then immediately threw a second dart smack dab into the center of the flight. It has that Robin Hood quality to it.
I left it in the dart board for a few days for fun.
In case you were wondering, that dart doesn't count towards any score. Only the one actually sticking in the board counts for anything.
Anyway, wish me luck. Today is the first day of what could be a great weekend or a shitty weekend, depending upon how much snow we get. I HAVE to get to my gigs. Fuck!
I'm out of town until Sunday eveing. I've no idea if I'll have any sort of access to a computer. Please click on any of the links in my blogroll for good things to read. Better yet, get caught up on the Golfwidow/Andy Martello podcasts. You know you've been meaning to listen.
I know I don't believe in you much...And it's been made ABUNDANTLY clear over the years that you don't much believe in me either, but I have a little request.
If indeed you are out there and do have a little pull in such matters, I really, reallyREALLY need you to ease up on the snowfall coming our way. Word is you're personally shitting a holy blizzard on all of creation over the next couple of days. More specifically, you seem to be voiding your bowels directly on top of whatever road I will be traveling this weekend. If this blizzard ain't a soft serve ice cream treat with chopped Snickers bars & peanut butter cups then we've got a fucking problem!
I know it is supposed to stop snowing by midday Friday and I SHOULDN'T be worrying about such things, but "SHOULDN'T" may not be good enough. See, I have had fewer than FIVE gigs all the month of November, something I was planning on talking to you about at a later date. As soon as November turns into December I'll be able to start making a living again and not coming to George Bailey-like conclusions about how I can keep my small family from being tossed out on the street. Your shit-storm of icy Hell on Earth COULD jeopardize me making my shows and that simply cannot happen.
I do not have the luxury of being allowed to be late for a gig. I'm not allowed to get stuck by weather, death, auto accident - NOTHING excuses me from being tardy from a performance. That's just one of the things I accepted when I took on this life of complete anonymity and frequent poverty.
Well sir, this is nearly a two thousand dollar weekend for me and it involves a lot of necessary, albeit redundant driving (To Milwaukee, then Oregon, IL and back to Milwaukee again - UGH!). I wouldn't even have had to take one of these gigs (the one sending me two hours back into Illinois only have me return the following day) were it not for the fact that your infinite wisdom saw it fit to relegate me to my cluttered apartment for a whole fucking month without reason to don my shiny shoes. I had to "make hay while the sun was shining" and take all the work I could cram into the weekend. NOW I find out that there's a chance my very existence, and I'm NOT kidding here, is at risk.
Make some calls. Shake down some Republicans. Do whatever you have to do to make it so I can make all SIX shows (in three separate locations) this weekend WITHOUT INCIDENT! Seriously, you don't want to piss me off any more than you already have over the years. Have you any idea how many people read this blog? Literally, like tens of dozens of people every year! I'll really make life difficult for you, you hack deity! I'll start a meme or something.
Just get me happily into and through ALL my busy sections of the month without some horrific disaster. I haven't the money in reserve to live through another dead month nor do I have the fortitude necessary to "weather the storm", be it a genuine snow storm or a symbolic trial of my will & patience.
And I'd like the crap going on with our landlord to fucking stop, RIGHT NOW too! Fuck, I know you're going to just ingore me anyway so I may as well as for something else that probably won't happen.
Football is possibly the most ridiculous and least interesting of any sport. I just can't stand the game. I've tolerated it in the past and even purposefully taken in a game over the years. I always return to my belief that football is utter pants.
It is the absence of baseball and the presence of football that brings me to the earliest forms of winter doldrums long before the first flake of icy white has hit the ground.
There's less for me to listen to and enjoy on the radio when there's nothing but football discussion hitting my ears. I'm not as happy to enjoy a beautiful day knowing that football is on the minds of the mindless enthusiasts and fans of the sport.
I appreciate the brutality and the aggression of the game, but as for a sport, it leave me wanting more. Easy to follow rules would be a good start, but I doubt that I'd ever truly enjoy a game of football even if I created the rules myself. It is just an awful sport that brings out the worst in the spectators and generates no love nor excitement from me when watching the players. Truthfully, if I were to watch football with any enjoyment ever again it would need teams filled with high-quality individuals and true heroes of athleticism like Walter Payton. Sadly, his brand of intensity, integrity, and sportsmanship died soon after he left the game.
During this awful time of the year when my only sporting options include basketball (UGH!), hockey (Eh?), and the aforementioned football I find myself watching more of the favorite baseball movies such as Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, or The Natural. Tonight I was reminded of the greatest collection of videos a true baseball fan can own, the perfect antidote for the poisonous swill that is football. I still own a copy of Ken Burns' Baseball.
My copy is still on VHS. Until we replace our aging DVD player, which doesn't read the data on DVD copies of the box set properly, I take this out very sparingly. When I do pop a tape into the machine, my pain is rather promptly soothed.
Some people have as strong an opinion about a Ken Burns documentary as I have about football. Therefore those people simply won't understand when I say that this remains as one of the finest examples of storytelling in all of film. It is a wonderful series of information and anecdotes that play more like a feature film than a documentary.
I've watched the entire series many times over the years and even though the subject matter is something I'm more than familiar with, I find myself being delighted, surprised, enthralled and saddened by all of the details that emanate from my television set. There are still times when, even though I KNOW the story and know how it all happened, I find myself crying when a Babe Ruth passes and cheering when a Ted Williams hits that home run in his last at bat. This is all due to expert storytelling and wonderful, emotional attachment to the material.
I doubt I'll watch this series many times this year as I don't want to risk ruining my tapes. However for now, a time when I'm missing the beauty of a summer day's baseball game and eagerly awaiting the start of December's busy season for an entertainer, I know that I'll weather this storm. More importantly, I have something much more interesting to pass my time with than a lousy football game.
Ten Things Tuesday: Ways Our Podcast Can Improve Your Life
I am of course referring to the weekly (not WEAKLY) internet radio program known as...um...we're working on a new name - The Golfwidow/Andy Martello Podcast. If you haven't been listening, sharing with your friends, subscribing, then what the hell are you waiting for? Here are ways that out podcast can improve your life. Maybe these will convince you to tune in once in awhile.
Were it not for us, you'd NEVER hear dick jokes anywhere near as funny.
Listening to our podcast will make you considerably more attractive to the opposite sex.
Krausening. We're the only podcast that is fully krausened. You listen to us and you'll be fully krausened by proxy.
You'll lose weight every time you send a link to the podcast to one of your friends. At least 5 pounds per e-mail.
Other podcasts make your ears bleed and your bladder explode. Ours doesn't do that anymore.
Four out of five dentists surveyed said our podcast is preferred by their patients who listen to podcasts. Plus we remove unsightly plaque build-up.
It's 99 44/100% PURE (with the exception of a LOT of swearing)
Listening to the podcast JUST ONCE will add a full 1 to 3 inches to your cock. If you have no cock, you'll grow one. A HUGE ONE!
If there were a God, He'd let you into Heaven just for listening.
100% of the proceeds go to help cure everything and aid everyone.
OK, that's not really the title of the latest podcast by Golfwidow and yours truly, but it certainly could be. We talk all about great martini recipes, strip clubs, and offer a lot of interesting and unusual things to do if you find yourself in Paducah, Kentucky.
Golfwidow has even added a new profile photo to our little chunk of the Podomatic world. I snapped this photo, tweaked it, and sent it off to her. She, in turn, did a little bit of her own adjusting, which the prompted me to add one last thing to the image before I posted it here. WHEW! All that for one lame photo.
I've been really enjoying doing these little bits of internet radio with her. We try to keep things brief, but we find ourselves having so much fun, sometimes the episodes run longer than expected. We don't mind because they all end up as interesting listening, but most importantly, they are F-U-N-N-Y! You'd know this if you were listening.
What many of you don't realize is that she and I have never met face to face. The first time we ever spoke was to record our first podcast together. I only recently found out what she actually looks like.
We never make any claims nor bold proclamations about production value or anything like that (we do this all with free software found online), but I can honestly say that to be able to put together such enjoyable "radio" without any real plan or prior relationship (other than that of mutual blog reading) is quite astounding to me. I've known many performing teams, featuring folks who've worked together for YEARS, that have never achieved the levels of fun and interest that we have. For no other reason, I am hopeful that you will take some time to listen, comment, and share with your friends.
You can leave it on in the background while working on something else, remembering that if you're at work...We may say some things that could get you fired for blasting them from your speakers. No matter, you'll be laughing too hard to notice the pink slip landing on your desk.
I discuss, among other things, the little-known fact that the James Bond Martini (his classic "Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred") is actually a gin drink with Vodka in it. In fact, it also has WINE in the glass.
Long before people were mixing martinis with vodka instead of gin, which is technically a Vodkatini, for you purists out there, a "Vodka Martini" was a gin martini that had vodka as an ingredient. See a true martini is made with gin. Therefore a vodka MARTINI would be a gin drink with some vodka in it.
Here is the recipe for the actual James Bond Martini, as written by Ian Fleming himself in the book, Casino Royale.
In an ice filled cocktail shaker add..
3 oz. Gin (Tanqueray preferred) 1 oz. Vodka (Stolichnaya preferred) 1/2 oz. Kina Lillet Blanc Shake well. Strain and pour. Garnish with a lemon peel.
Among the MANY reasons why I love the new Bond film so much is that it remained true to the Ian Fleming recipe and the drink is rattled off word-for-word so as to knock out any confusion. There's even a great scene later where James orders a Vodka Martini and the bartender asks, "Shaken not stirred?" Bond simply shakes it off with, "Oh I don't care. It doesn't make a difference." He does, however, drink the Ian Fleming drink several times and even gives it a more recognizable name, The Vesper.
A great variation of the Bond martini uses...
1 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin 2 oz. Stolichnaya Gold vodka 1/2 oz Kina Lillet Blanc Shake, strain, and pour using the lemon peel as a garnish.
Please see Casino Royale. Better yet, see the film and later enjoy a TRUE James Bond Martini, a traditional gin martini with a few slight differences.
Oh yeah, and I suppose since I'm regaling you with James Bond trivia, perhaps you were completely unaware that the first on-screen portrayal of James Bond in any medium was on a live 1954 television program called "Climax" (also known as Climax Mystery Theater).
As an added note, I'll mention something else about that day that I didn't put into the initial post.
Altman was very easy going. I'm certain he was as prone to anger and tension as the next man, but for this scene he was extremely fun to be around. Everyone wanted to get things right for him and his film, but I think it had more to do with his laid back nature than his legendary status as a director.
Among the things I remember most was watching him do some physical comedy for the crew. In the scene, an awards dinner ceremony, there was a long table filled with a panel of esteemed guests facing the crowd of esteemed attendees (I was an esteemed attendee).
He wanted a few set pieces moved to better fit within his envisioned shot. He pointed with his finger to a spot along the table where he wanted a chair moved. When the crew guy moved the chair towards Altman's finger, Altman yelped out in pain. It appeared to everyone that he'd gotten his finger pinched between the chair and the table's edge. This startled the room and panicked the crew.
"Bob" (See my earlier post) shook his finger and blew on it as anyone would do if they'd just had their finger crushed. The crewman, now worried he'd just lost his job for hurting an Academy Award nominated director, rushed to his side to lend aid. As soon as the crewman got close enough to help, Altman smiled, tussled the crewman's head, and laughed loudly as he said, "Oh. It's alright. My mistake" (Or something to that effect).
Everyone got a good laugh, especially the crew and the likes of folks like me. I've always had an appreciation for the well done physical jokes. When I was at Ringling Bros. Comedy like that was simply a must and we all took to it with a passion. I still do similar jokes every now and again to poor unsuspecting types. It made me happy to see this venerable icon enjoy the same kind of simple comedy with his friends.
Ten Things Tuesday: Things I'm Currently Selling or Soon Will Be Selling on eBay
Tascam 4-Track Recorder. Yep, you too can record your demos the same way the pilgrims did on the Mayflower. I never really used this thing as much as I should have. We recorded a few Mr. X's Briefcase sketches on this, but as you know...that group died on the vine (Not on the stage. We rocked our only performance.)
Fratelli Shoes. SWEET Italian shoes. Nice leather. Textured. Cool light purple color. Stylish square toe. Damn these are too nice to sell. Shame I don't wear them much anymore.
Outlaws, by Tim Green. One of the few works of fiction I ever read. Good book. Not great. Would make a pretty good movie actually.
White Bowling Shoes. COOL! Men's bowling shoes. They say 9 1/2, but they fit my size tens just fine. I got these from a girl I used to date. her family owned a bowling alley and was selling the place. When they cleaned out the joint I got lots of goodies. I still juggle the bowling balls I got from her, but I don't really need these shoes.
Passing the Hat, by Patricia Campbell. This is a book about street performers. History, technique, dos and don'ts...it's all there. A good read for a performer, but a silly thing to hold on to for all these years.
Circus Animals Puzzle Pictures for Boys & Girls. This is a promotional item from the 1920s that features lots of beautiful circus lithos and illustrations. The thing is filled with seek & find puzzles and the like. The item was a promotional item for a children's laxative company. Odd things in Andy Land!
I can embed it into my blog! Maybe you can do the same! If not, could you at least tell your friends to listen?
I understand there's a bit of a tinny sound on this one. We've been experimenting with a few things to make sure that people with one or two speakers can hear us just fine. Don't bother e-mailing us to complain. We know what the hell is going on and we've got something new and different planned for next week that should get rid of any sound irregularities.
Plan Your Blue & Gold Dinner NOW! Entertainer for Hire! (Cub Scouts, Pack Leaders, Den Mothers, Boy Scouts of America)
I know it seems too early to think about such things now, with Thanksgiving and the holidays in the forefront of our minds and all. However, 2007 is almost here. Take a look at your calendar. It is closer than you think. Once the year ends many moms & dads who are active in the Cub Scout world get stuck with the arduous task of trying to find fun, affordable, and professional entertainment for their pack's upcoming Blue & Gold Dinner.
Pack leaders, den mothers, scout masters...LISTEN UP! If you wait until after the new year it will become harder and harder for you to find high-quality entertainement for your event. Why? Because many of the high-quality acts (let's say...my own), get other bookings. Most all of the better acts out there book far in advance. Sometimes by groups like yours, other times they are for different organizations altogether. The fact is, the good acts work a lot. The bad acts...not so much (especially when people see exactly what they're paying for).
If you're committed to the scouting program and your children enough to be a den leader or any other position within the Cub Scouts, you owe it to yourself to provide the best programs for your kids that you can find. The best way to go about this is to do your homework and book a good act early.
I realize this is a self-serving post. I want to be the person you call for your events. In fact, every year I am busier and busier and find that I don't get to do as many of these events as in the past because of this growing popularity. Yes, I am happy for the work and I always hope for the bigger and better events. However, I would much rather you book me now, than have to disappoint you later. Every year I find myself having to refer folks looking to make their Blue & Gold Dinner a fun event to other qualified entertainers. I always refer people as professional and entertaining as myself. More often than not, the sheer fact that I know these people to be as good as they are means that many of them are already booked. You, the poor den mother, someone who's probably never had to try and find an entertainer before your kid got into the Cub Scouts, ends up finding some awful act who charges you for too much money for far too little entertainment.
So please, if you are finding this blog and you're involved with scouts in any capacity, pass along my information to whomever is booking the Blue & Gold Dinner in your group (Generally running anytime from January through March) or any other scouting events (jamborees, monthly pack meetings, etc.). I can provide you with plenty of promotional materials and testimonials to help make your decision easier.
In fact, let me reprint one great testimonial I received from a scouting group not too long ago. "Andy was hired for a Boy Scout 50th anniversary celebration. Current scouts, past Eagle scouts and their young families, cub scouts and leaders of all ages from the last 50 years were in attendance. All I can say is WOW! The children, the Boy Scouts, the young parents, the older parents, the empty nesters, the Pastors; EVERYONE was thoroughly entertained and gave me feedback of "EXCELLENT" on hiring him.
I would recommend him for any type of event. Good clean fun and entertainment. He is quite a comedian along with his acts. No one should hesitate in hiring him. DiAnn Behrens, 50th Anniversary Coordinator, Troop 92, Lake Zurich, IL --D B. Lake Zurich, IL"
Speaking of games, here's yet another hint in the massive Martello Anniversary Contest, or as I like to call it, the "I'm just gonna give Purring a prize since she really wants one and nobody else can seem to figure out how easy the answer really is, although Bud Buckley is on the right track (but he's already got lots of free crap from me already)" game.
So here's another hint. What I was doing a year ago is a matter of public record, since I manage to post something just about every day at my blog. Of course I didn't get to post anything on the 8th last year because I was out of town. I was back in town by the 18th.
What's that? Is that the sound of me handing you the answer? Yes.
Plus, I recently got an e-mail from Isch2k complaining that there aren't enough incoming hits to their site from mine. They even suggested I place their damned link in a more prominent place on my site, as if the blogroll isn't enough. So, please, click the link for the video. Click the link to Isch2k. Click the hell out of something here in this post!
Bear in mind, I don't post a lot from this site because there's a lot of not safe for work stuff there. In any event, they're linked to me and I shoudl do something to let them know I care.
And if you like the penguin action, check out this post from Golfwidow. Ahhh...Remember the good ol' days when people would get free stuff from me and then read & comment regularly? I loves me some Golfwidow!
Here's another hint for the blog contest that is apparently impossible to figure out.
This mystery anniversary...the one year anniversary that I had on November 8th and will get to enjoy again on the 18th...pertains to something I talk about often here at the blog. If only there were a way to figure out what I was doing a year ago.
Ten Things Tuesday: Jokes I Didn't Write About Robots
I've been busy preparing for a showcase for the Suburban Parks & Recreation Association which is today. So I honestly haven't given any thought to a Ten Things Tuesday list. Thankfully, my friend Kellie sent me some jokes about robots written by some guy named J. Alex Boyd. I liked them. I laughed. I'm pimping them out here.
Maybe later in the wek I'll write my own Ten Things list. Until then, enjoy...
A rabbi, an Arab, a robot, and a Catholic priest walk into a bar. Only the robot exits.
A robot walks into a pharmacy. The pharmacist asks him if he'd like anything. The robot replies, "A soul."
How do you stop a robot from destroying you and the rest of civilization? You don't.
"Waiter! Waiter! What's this robot doing in my soup?" "It looks like he's performing human tasks twice as well, because he knows no fear or pain."
Knock knock. Who's there? A robot. Oh, shit.
What's the difference between a regular robot and a killer robot? The gnawing jeers of men.
What's a robot's favorite cereal? Rob-os. (Note: Rob-os are made of the tears of human children.)
Little Susie tosses a clock out the window. A robot inquires, "Why did you do that?" She replies, "I wanted to see time fly!" The robot says, "Ah ... A perfect subject for elimination," and shoots her with a laser beam through the face.
Why did the robot order a milkshake? To blend in with the general human population, making it easier to infiltrate society and—in time—conquer it.
Why was six afraid of seven? Because seven was a robot.
Andy Martello's Plate-Spinning Act: Old School. New Vaudeville
Oh yeah! Who doesn't like new promo photos?
Speaking of plate-spinning, I finally got around to editing down an mp3 file from the Bob & Tom radio show.
You may recall that some time ago the well-known radio duo was rather jokingly discussing having a plate-spinner perform at their Christmas shows, starting in late November. Well, November is here and I don't seem to have any bookings for the boys. So we can safely assume that they were not only poking fun at my profession (And really...Who wouldn't?), but they also had no intention of bringing a plate-spinner along for the ride. Notice how I don't even allow for the possibility of them hiring a different plate-spinner. That would be just too cruel.
If anyone can help me turn a .WMA file into an mp3 I can post a segment of me discussing Louie Louie and plate-spinning (there's a combo!) on the Steve Dahl show. Somehow when I saved the show it didn't save as an mp3 and now I can't do anything with the file. It keeps opening up in Sonic Stage and I've no freaking clue on how to use that crap. So any techno help...Call me.
HEY! While you're listening to things, don't forget to listen to "We Got Nothin'", the latest podcrap from myself and Golfwidow. It's big silly fun all wrapped up in convenient mp3 form.
So far we have one reasonably close guess on my silly anniversary contest. If you need another hint...[sigh!]...the anniversary pertains to something I've blogged about before. I'll still reveal the answer on the 18th and encourage you to continue guessing. I'm sure I've got some penguin things to toss into the crappy prize box.
Good lord. OK, I'm going to reprint the original post and then offer up a simple hint or two.
Yesterday (November 8th) marked an anniversary for me. Ten days later (November 18th) will mark another one. Both dates mark anniversaries pertaining to the same subject.
Seriously, that should be more than enough for any regular readers to at least toss out a guess that's close. However since it's obviously a much harder quiz that I thought I'll give you a hint.
Actually, there's a hint in that above statement. I'll rephrase and say it slowly. If-you-read-my-blog-regularly-you- should-be-able-to-at-least-guess-the-subject.
Since I've already told you that the anniversaries pertain to the same subject don't have to work to hard to come up with answers.
I know I should give you a bigger hint and will likely have to do so tomorrow. But you've got all you need already. OK, since I'm a softy, here's another small hint. It's only a one-year anniversary.
You'll win something. I don't know what, probably a copy of "An Unseemly Man" by Larry Flynt, or a Hohner harmonica I got at a gig I worked. I'll probably add something new to the prize list every day this goes unanswered. The point is you'll get something and it will probably be something you don't really need. Guess what? I don't need it either. That's why you're getting it. Don't let crappy prizes be the reason you're not guessing correctly.
Oh yeah, I forgot. You don't NEED to listen to the Golfwidow/Andy Martello podcast to find the answer to this quiz, but you should probably listen to it anyway. Perhaps listening to my voice while pondering this question of the ages will jog your brain a bit.
be online. When I say "millions" I really mean, "about three".
Well kids, you can hear the first of several new podcasts RIGHT NOW! This first one is titled, "We Got Nothin'" because we managed to successfully talk for over 20 minutes, seemingly about nothing. Now bear in mind that when most other people talk about nothing, they have nothing to say. When we talk about nothing we are saying something funny and entertaining. So go listen to our nothing and hear something you've been missing. Bear in mind there are some naughty words so if you listen at work, use headphones.
I should also mention something our new sponsor, DJ Fred Stadtler (he really needs a website for me to plug), told me.
This is called a "podcast" because that's the most commonly-used term. However you do not need an iPod, nor do you need any special portable mp3-playing equipment in order to listen to this. I suppose this is really a "netcast" or even a "webcast", but if we call it either of those things people with iPods will get pissed because they think they can't listen to us. So let me just say...
ANYONE CAN LISTEN TO THIS PROGRAM!
If you are reading this you obviously have a computer and it is likely you can listen to an mp3 (Windows Media Player, Real Player, etc.). You don't need an iPod, but if you have one you can subscribe and get our program sent to you every time it is up there.
OK, this is either really cool or really awful that nobody has been able to muster up a correct guess in my silly blog contest. I mean...Cool because people are guessing and comments are being left. Awful because anyone who reads this blog regularly SHOULD be able to figure it out or at least get in the ball park with a guess. I'll choose to keep it on the cool side instead of assuming you're all just here to be polite.
I wonder what would happen if I actually had a cool prize to give away. If I get no correct guesses by today I'll try to find a good prize to really inspire you.
I was going to go out and buy a copy of the paper, but I forgot. Today I did a search and found the story. Good thing I didn't waste my time. Maybe the reporter should tell you what the story is about before he starts asking questions. I thought it was a piece about having talent and the inherent need to display and be recognized for your talent. Who knew?
Of course, I could do the bad thing and reprint it here. I shouldn't. The Tribune has so many money troubles they may feel it necessary to sue my ass for the measley twenty bucks I've got in my pocket.
Ah heck, I'll just reprint the section where I'm mentioned and quoted here, let you know the Tribune has the copyright, and take my chances.
The only thing more embarrassing than the depths to which a man will sink to impress a potential mate is the positive reaction he'll sometimes receive. We'll call this the David Blaine Phenomenon.
Some women--and men--are attracted to guys whose greatest quality is the ability to spin a dozen plates at a time, Rollerblade backward through a series of cones or perform other parlor tricks that fall under the label "talent."
Magician David Blaine, for example, has legions of pining female fans, even though his greatest talent is holding his breath for non-record-breaking lengths of time.
It's a peculiar phenomenon. Although the talent for making money and providing food and shelter is an obvious draw to women, who are psychologically hard-wired to seek stability in their mates, that attraction is even stronger--for some women--toward a guy's ability to juggle while standing atop a board balanced on a bowling ball, which is by its very nature unstable.
To investigate the David Blaine Phenomenon, I headed to Navy Pier last week to study applicants for NBC's show "America's Got Talent," a title that--based on last season's performers--seems to be missing a question mark.
Pacing the hallway before his audition was Carol Stream's Andy Martello, a comedian/juggler/fire eater who performs the old balancing-on-a-bowling-ball trick. "A professional quarterback is only going to have a 3- to 10-year career," the 36-year-old explained, citing a talent that is highly valued and highly rewarded by our society. "I've been making a living at this for 21 years."
Good argument. But is the motivation to develop your odd talents flesh-based or financial? "Anyone will tell you it's for the love of the art," Martello answered, "but it's just a way to meet girls, right?"
Read the rest of the story, including where some musician first says that every man does everything for some woman and then follows it up with a comment about it all being for love of the art, by clicking HERE...Fantastic.
WANTED TO BUY: El Rey Resort & Casino Items, Part Two: The Wish List
This is part two of my "Wanted" posts. Today features Items I know exist and hope to find, as well as a plea for damn near everything else out there.
Items I'd Like to Find
These are items I've seen around, but haven't been able to purchase. Click on the photos for a larger image.
Newspapers & Magazines
Original Las Vegas Review-Journal, Dated October 17, 1957
I can't get a high quality scan or any decent microfilm of this issue, featuring TWO, FULL PAGE ADS promoting the grand opening of the NEWEl Rey Lodge.
The real HEY-DAY of the El Rey was a result of the remodeling and additions to the classic El Rey. There are great photos, descriptions, and names of several people who worked there within the ads. If only I could fully see them all.
Original Las Vegas Review-Journal, Dated January 22, 1962I have been able to procure a high-quality reprint of this photo from the fire, but I'd love to get a hold of the original paper.
Original Issue of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Dated May 25, 1951
Not only a great photo of the El Rey CLub bar with Buddy Martello's gun collection, but an article detailing the closing of three Searchlight houses of prostitution.
Original Issue of The NEVADAN, Dated February 16, 1964
A compelling, but fluffy, and not entirely factual column by the late, great Ray Chesson. read more about this column HERE.
Original Issue of The NEVADAN, Dated February 11, 1968
An equally compelling, reasonably fluffy, and decidedly more accurate column by the late, great Ray Chesson. This features a lot of anecdotes provided by Chef Luigi Scirocco and speaks well of Willie after his death.
(NOT PICTURED) Original Issue of The NEVADAN, Dated February 6, 1961
Not at all sure what's in this as I can't find a microfilm copy anywhere, even though a few places have it archived in their microfilm files. Lost? Misfiled? I need to know.
Don't tell me there are no 20th century newspaper collectors out there!There are several other issues I have interest in owning, but these top on my list!
Chips Always interested in different denominations or styles!
El Rey $5.00 Poker Chip (Undrilled) I have recently purchased a canceled or "drilled" one of these at an auction. I'm hopeful to find another one some day in better shape . I wonder if there's a $10.00, a $50.00 or even a $100.00 chip out there somewhere.
El Rey Free Play Chip
What can I say? This one of the white whales of the El Rey gaming chip world. I have hope to get my hands on one, but am grateful to have been sent this scan from James Campiglia, author of "The Official US Casino Chip Price Guide".
El Rey Advertising Chip, Variant Design
HOLY CRAP! Where did this come from and why didn't I have enough cash to outbid the guy on ebay? Ahh, nuts!
(Not pictured) El Rey $1000 Business Card Chip featuring Chef Luigi Scirocco's name
In fact, if there are chips like this one with anyone else's name on them I hope to find them! I've seen a photo of one and hope to have a scan soon. They guy who owns it isn't selling, but some day I'll have one.
El Rey Club Gaming Chips (Grey)
Only seen these at the Searchlight Museum, but I MAY have a line on where to get some. We'll see if any of my new contacts are willing to part with their artifacts.
Dice There is no way to know how many styles are out there. These are the ones I know of that are not in my collection.
Willie's family made it possible for me to get the ones I currently have. Perhaps someone out there has these others available for trade or purchase.
For now, these scans and the dreams of adding the real things to my collection will have to suffice.
Brochures, Menus, Etc
El Rey Brochure I'm certain there are quite a few different brochures that were designed to encourage the vacationers and tourists to arrive.
This is at least the third I'm aware of and I lost this one on eBay in the last seconds. Naturally, that buyer isn't returning e-mails either. If I can't buy it I'd at least like to get a decent scan of the thing. I'm fine with good scans of any items I don't have. They all help with the research even though they make me drool otherwise.
Menu from the El Rey Continental Cafe
Thanks to Sharon Richardson I know what one looks like and I know one exists. Some day... I'm also keen on finding old photos, newspaper articles, advertisements, and other items pertaining to the El Rey and Willie Martello. I'm certainly happy with photo scans of actual items as well. Knowing the items exist and having a photo to keep not only helps with the research, but it gives me something else to search for.
El Rey Bow tie These also come in an orange color. I've seen examples of both colors at the Searchlight Museum.
These ties were worn by all the dealers at the El Rey. You can clearly see them in the film, "Tonight for Sure".
I MAY have a lead on where to get one of these. Keeping fingers crossed!
El Rey Resort Hotel Hats
These fall into the "Never knew they existed before" category. Thanks to an image sent to me by Suzan Martello I have even MORE "new" things to look out for.
I don't know if any other collector one out there has one, but I may actually have a decent chance of scoring one. Keeping fingers crossed. Until then I admire the "Vintage Trucker Hat". Some day I'll share the entire photo from which these images were taken.
El Rey Resort Hotel Sash
No, this wasn't a "Miss El Rey Club" costume piece, though I wouldn't have put it past Willie to come up with such an idea. This was worn by a lovely lady at tourism networking events. I truly doubt there were more than one or two of these in existence and to think that one actually exists today is a LONG SHOT. However, if anyone can find one it would be me. Speaking of long shots...
El Rey Resort Hotel Advertising Balloon
Yup. No chance in hell any of these survived the years. the rubber wouldn't have lasted. nobody would have thought to keep one. Why should I even hope? It is my WISH LIST ya know.
Truthfully, ANY items (furniture, desk blotters, receipts, business cards - whatever may have survived) are all welcome.
If you have an item to sell please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 702-465-5604. If you simply have a scan or a memory to share, the same contact info applies.
WANTED TO BUY: El Rey Resort & Casino Items, Part One: Items I Own
CLICK PHOTOS FOR LARGER VIEWS
Many eBay vendors hoping to find info on value on El Rey Casino items are finding this blog. I thought it would be a good time to post a list of what I currently own and what I'm looking for. I'll do this in two posts, starting with what I already have (but could always use more).
If you eBay folks would like to know what I paid for these items you can contact me. While you're at it, you can tell me what you're selling and ask if I'd be interested in purchasing from you directly. I know it is not as exciting as starting a bidding war, but it certainly would be much nicer.
#3:El Rey Coaster. I actually have a couple of these. I bought a lot of 4 of them not too long ago andgave each of my siblings one of them so they could share in the El Rey fun.
#4: El Rey Mailer/Brochure This one is very cool indeed! It folds up for easy mailing and unfolds to reveal some great photos and descriptions. This is one of two that were available on eBay some time back. I got outbid on the other one. I wish the seller would have called me first!
#5:El Rey Post Card #1. This is one of three post cards I own (Two are of the same image. One mailed, one not.) This seems to be the rarer of the two cards I've found thus far.
#6:El Rey Post Card #2. This is the one I have two of. The photo is fairly common among the few websites out there with El Rey info and I believe this to be a more common card, even though it may actually be an older card.
#7 & #8:El Rey Poker Chips (Later issue). These are fairly common. They are probably from after the 1962 fire and may be from a time when Willie was less involved with the club I bought two more of these and donated them to the Searchlight Museum. Why? Because I'm a nice guy and I'm hopeful others reading this will be equally as nice to me one day. :)
#9: El Rey $25.00 Chip I just got this one recently. This one is supposed to be the "thrid issue" of the chip, but I don't care. I'll happily purchase others of earlier issue if I can afford it.
#10: "Tonight for Sure" Not technically something from the El Rey, but the casino is prominently featured in the film. Since it is something of a harder to find item I included it here. You can get your own copy of the film at Something Weird Video. #11: El Rey Matchbook. Gold foil (Not that you could tll by the scan). This is one of two matchbooks I'm aware of. There may be more. All I know is that I got my heart broken losing an auction for the other one and I can't quite get over it.
#12: El Rey Matchbook w/Willie Martello's Image
Yeah, baby! I not only managed to get a hold of one of these beauties, I have one with all the matches inside, and some winning hands of poker printed on the matches. For the complete story of just how I got this fantastic matchbook click HERE.
#13: $1.00 Poker Chip in DAMN EXCELLENT CONDITION!
Jerry Schafer himself gave this to me personally. I'm more than honored. The whole story about this chip can be found HERE.
#14: El Rey Dice in EXCELLENT CONDITION!
An eBay purchase gone right & one AMAZING bit of generosity! I know there are several other styles to collect, but I'm happy as a clam to have these. So far as I can tell I have seven different styles and know of at least 11 in total, maybe more.
The bottom set has matching serial numbers. Details on the first pair of dice can be found HERE. Details on the other two sets can be found HERE.
And speaking of dice...
#15: Christy & Jones El Rey Resort Dice in Original Packaging Serial #209
TOO COOL! More from the amazing generosity of Ed Darling. I can't thank him enough! Read all about these beauties HERE.
And the dice keep on rolling...
#16: Midwest Game Supply "Certified Perfects" El Rey Dice in Original Packaging
HOLY CRAPS! These are just beautiful and they have the date hot-stamped on the box from when they were packaged (April 27, 1965).
These are smaller than all the other styles of dice.
This design is very cool as well. Don't believe me...
A close-up of the above dice.
Info about these dice (AND THE DICE I HAVE AVAILABLE FOR TRADE) can be found HERE.
The following dice added June 1, 2009
#17: EL Rey Dice, Script Logo, Non-Matching Serial Numbers
This is the only set I've ever seen of these. VERY cool, even if they're not "perfect" by collector's standards. I'm not selling them anyway so it doesn't matter.
#18: Christy & Jones El Rey Dice, Smaller Size, Matching Serial Numbers
These are the same design as the above pictured C&J dice with the embossed serial numbers. However, these are a smaller size, the same size as the "Certified Perfects" above. I am fairly sure these were made by C&J. If anyone has info about them, let me know. Yet another style that "didn't exist" until i got my hands on them!
#19: Single El Rey Club Die (Circa early 1950's???)
Not the prettiest of my collection, but certainly one of the most rare!
#20: TWO Original 8x10 glossy promotional Photos from "Tonight for Sure"
Will get scans up soon!
#21: Original "Tonight for Sure" Advertising
All too cool to limit this to a small jpeg. Check out the whole post HERE.
Currently I own two of these and I may be able to get my hands on more. I am looking into their history as they may not be actually form the El Rey Era. Not sure yet. Also, these may available in different colors. OOH! The extras I accumulate over the years COULD be available for trade and MAYBE for purchase. Contact me if interested.
#24 El Rey "City Ledger Card" (Line of Credit), #336, 1956-1957
This item is believed to have come from the home of Mary Patterson (Click image to enlarge). There is writing on the front and back detailing a gambling story (front), a rather colorful story about a guest at the El Rey, and possibly the combination to the safe at the El Rey (back, not pictured). The bearer of this card (if properly issued and signed) was allowed a line of credit at the El Rey Club.
#25 1961 W2 Slip for M.A. Patterson, Employee of the El Rey Generally the collectibles people find have more to do with the items you've already seen in this post. Ashtrays, gaming chips, and the like. Finding something tangible from a person who worked there is special for me. I've been looking into the history of the person who worked there and when I have something to share I certainly will do so.
#26 El Rey Resort Hotel $4.00 Gaming Voucher #1777
So far as I know, prior to my finding these, they simply "didn't exist anymore". I've not met anyone with any to share or sell and I certainly never saw one until I managed to get my hands on SEVERAL of them. These are printed on check paper and were used as "comps" back in the day (Willie was ahead of the game I tell ya!) I believe these were also handed out to passengers on the airplane while heading to the El Rey. These will likely be used as special incentives to buy my upcoming book. Meaning, a special edition will feature my signature as well as an El Rey artifact. However I can be persuaded to trade or sell some of them, if a collector would like to have one.
#27 El Rey Resort hotel $4.00 Gaming Voucher, Signed by Willie Martello
This is just another "impossible" thing to find. I can't believe I have this one in my collection. Far too cool!
#28 & #29: El Rey Advertising Chips These had no real cash value (accept for collectors) and were used as Willie Martello's business card for some time. I FINALLY got my hands on not one, but TWO of these through an eBay sale. I even know where to find one additional one, but currently it is not for sale. Why do I have TWO of them? Well, one is the Willie Martello chip and the other is the even more rare W.M. Sawyer chip. Looking into who Sawyer was and what capacity he worked for the El Rey. #30: Searchlight Business Men's Association (Willie Martello, President...of Course)
Amazingly, with all the old Nevada memorabilia collectors, with all the casino collectors, with all the El Rey hounds out there, NOBODY bid on this fabulous item on eBay and I won it for a GREAT price. I'll get a full scan up here one day soon.
The names alone are worth some cash, if not historical value. Sixteen names appear on this great stationery and I intend on learning about all of them.
Because of this I did learn that M.C. Patterson was NOT a lady who worked at the El Rey, but rather a man who worked for Willie and ran his Texaco station in town. This is a cool item and I have TWO of them (One available for trade). #31: Metal El Rey Ashtray (RARE!)
Details on how this very rare gem came into my hands can be found HERE.
32: $5.00 Navy Blue El Rey Poker Chip (Large Crown Mold) One of the "white whales" is now in my collection! It is estimated that there are fewer than 15 of these left in existence. I am very happy to have this one, even if I paid...some money for it.
This one came from 1946, the year the casino opened. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that other chips will surface from Willie's family members as there are not many other types of casino chips known to be around eny more. Rest assured, if it exists somewhere I WILL find one.
#33: $5.00 El Rey Poker Chip w/Willie's Picture (Drilled)
Bought this one at an auction. Didn't spend as little as I wanted, but didn't spend as much as I thought I would. So I'm very happy. This was the second one I picked up in the same day. YES!
#34 & #35: El Rey Beer Cans
The beer that inspired the names for the El Rey Clubs in California and Nevada! Not the greatest or most pristine examples of either can, but that's no matter to me. I'm happy to have them in the collection.
Sure with this beer were around today. I'd love to find out why the Martello's liked it so much.
#36: El Rey Barboot Table???
This one is actually a bit of a mystery, but I think I've figured it out. Barboot (aka Barbooth, Barbudi, Barbut, Barbotte, Bar'Boot, and Even-Up Craps) is an even money game pitting player against player (two players at a time). When played in a casino, the house generally takes a percentage of the losing players wager.
While it has origins in Greece and the Middle East, a little homework online shows that this game was heavily favored by Italians. Illegal Barboot rings are cited among many mobster families (including Capone) and could be found in the back rooms of taverns & cigar shops. It was also played for fun among Italian families.
I'm still looking for some confirmation that Willie's large family may have played this game, it is very possible that it could have been played or offered at the El Rey. It is a licensed game in Nevada, though you'll rarely find it anywhere.