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April 17, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: VIP party with Paul McCartney, John Fogerty and Robin Williams


Tom Donoghue/

Sir Paul McCartney at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 10, 2011.

6/10/11: Paul McCartney at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Sir Paul McCartney at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 10, 2011. Launch slideshow »

First it was the outrageous private party with Britney Spears, Chris Brown, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Jamie Foxx and more that we reported exclusively this month; now three weeks later comes word of another secret celebration with Sir Paul McCartney, Robin Williams and John Fogerty pulling down the big bucks to entertain.

Financial genius and investment banker David Bonderman, who runs the Texas money group that owns the majority of Caesars Entertainment, hosted 700 high-roller friends at his weekend 70th birthday at the Wynn. His company TPG is one of the world’s largest private equity investment firms, with Univision, J Crew and Las Vegas companies among interests.

He kept the Beatles legend under wraps until his two-hour concert, which in a nod to the birthday included “The Long and Winding Road.” It’s rumored that Paul was paid more than $1 million for the confidential concert. For his 60th birthday, the billionaire hired out the Hard Rock Hotel for a celebration with the Rolling Stones and John Mellencamp hauling in another big-bucks payday.

Ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John posted a photograph from the party with Sir Paul on his Facebook page. Other guests included ex-Walt Disney chief Michael Eisner and numerous Wall Street heavy hitters.

Winter in Venice Opening

The opening celebration of Winter in Venice at The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. Launch slideshow »

GILLES MARINI IN ‘VENICE’: “Sex and the City” stud and just-ousted “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Gilles Marini with his family kicked off Tuesday night’s 50-day celebration of the second annual Winter in Venice at the Venetian. Chip Davis, who created Mannheim Steamroller, was there to launch the six-week “Christmas Las Vegas” mini-residency, which is at the neighboring Palazzo through Dec. 30.

Gilles took his wife, Carole, daughter Juliana and son Georges skating on the Strip rink and a gondola ride after posing for family photos in front of the 65-foot Christmas tree. Gilles and Juliana flicked the switch for the parade and tower light show. He said he’d like to see Val Chmerkovskiy and “Peepshow’s” original Bo Peep Kelly Monaco win because his he loves them on and off camera, but he thinks Derek Hough and Shawn Johnson will pull it off again in the all-female finale Monday. Congratulations to Gilles, as this is his first holiday season as a U.S. citizen.

SNEAK PEEK BLEEPED: It’s a preview that has most of the foul language bleeped out but still has backstabbing, screaming and fighting. Welcome to the unreal world of the Learning Channel’s new reality TV show “Sin City Rules” premiering Dec. 9.

My disdain for this project is well known because such loud-mouthed ladies are not representative of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, viewers will think that’s how women here behave. Judge for yourself, but I wouldn’t want them as my next-door neighbors!

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Dot Jones and Bridgett Casteen at "Love" in the Mirage on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012.

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Dot Jones with cast members of "Mystere" at Treasure Island on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012.

‘GLEE’-FUL CIRQUE FANATIC: Two-time Emmy nominee Dot Jones of “Glee” has now seen her fifth and sixth Cirque du Soleil shows since landing in Las Vegas. She made it to the “Beatles’ Love” at the Mirage on Monday and then “Mystere” at Treasure Island on Tuesday. Accompanied by partner Bridgett Casteen and their two children, who are big Beatles fans, they all went backstage and posed for photographs. Dot appeared at Winter in Venice on Tuesday night with Gilles.

RARE MAGIC: Tropicana headliner magician Murray Sawchuck has been filming all year on and off with “Pawn Stars” as their resident magic expert. Now Monday’s new episode will feature a rare illusion that hasn’t been seen for years. Murray has to determine if the magician from the past is real or not when a magic prop is brought to Gold & Silver Pawn.

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Murray Sawchuck, Rick Harrison and Corey Harrison.


Home game tickets are on sale today for the 2013 Las Vegas Sin games. The home opener is June 22 against the Green Bay Chill, followed July 20 against the Seattle Mist. The new lineup of luscious ladies playing for the Lingerie Football League team will be seen for the first time at mini camps Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2.

Thousands will suit up Santa-style here and in Afghanistan for Opportunity Village’s Great Santa Run on Dec. 1 at Town Square with Terry Fator, “Fantasy” dancers and yours truly for a new Guinness World Record attempt.

The annual UNLVino four-day wine, sake and champagne tasting is April 18-21.

NEW FOOD COURT: A ceremonial ribbon cutting celebrated the dual opening of the newest Tropical Smoothie Cafe and the launch of Excalibur’s Castle Walk Food Court. Dina Mitchell, area developer for TSC, said it’s the chain’s second store on the Strip but the first inside a casino -- and she has another opening before year’s end in North Las Vegas with a 24-hour drive-thru.

Former Mayor Oscar Goodman, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Thunder From Down Under, “Tournament of Kings,” “Australian Bee Gees,” Kevin Burke, Mike Hammer, “Fantasy” and Murray Sawchuck were in attendance. The food court includes Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Auntie Anne’s Soft Rolled Pretzels, Popcornopolis Popcorn, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Scholtzsky’s Deli, Cinnabon, Hot Dog on a Stick and Pick Up Stix. Mmm!

Castle Walk Food Court at Excalibur

Former Mayor Oscar Goodman and his showgirls pose for photos in front of Hot Dog on a Stick during the grand opening of Castle Walk Food Court at the Excalibur in Las Vegas on Tuesday, November 20, 2012. Launch slideshow »


Comedienne Rita Rudner is at the Venetian tonight and Saturday.

Nero is at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore.

Trey Songz, Miguel and Elle Varner are at Orleans Arena.

Unwritten Law is at the Palms.

Laberinto is at LVH.

New Year’s Day, Blood on the Dance Floor and Jeffree Star rock Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.

And Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum Pin Up Girls host Dollhaus Girls Who Like Girls at Drink and Drag at Neonopolis.


We’ll report the “Top Chef Seattle” kitchen antics of Las Vegas chef Carla Pellegrino and whether she stays or goes. And comedian Bill Cosby and singers Andrea Bocelli, Melissa Manchester, Rush and Kellie Pickler are among the stars celebrating Thanksgiving weekend on the Strip; we’ve got the Royal Robin Rundown in a quiet but still busy Weekend Celebrity Preview.

It will be a holiday with special meaning for our contributing photographer Tom Donoghue, who is giving thanks for the safe return of his Marine Sgt. son Edward from his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. He returned to U.S. soil this morning and knelt to kiss it after deplaning. We have so much to be thankful for this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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