The Village People are playing Fremont Street on New Year’s Eve, and if they need a sub for the Cowboy, we’ve got the guy.
A chaps-wearing Manneken Pis has been returned to his stage at the D Las Vegas. The little bronze dude was benched after a wee problem in September, when a group of revelers knocked the pis out of him as Life is Beautiful closed out.
“They did a load of damage,” hotel co-owner and CEO Derek Stevens said at the time. “It does not look like they were maliciously out to hurt him, but son of a gun, they hurt him.”
There are no reported leads on the manhunt/woman-hunt for the perpetrators. Stevens said Saturday, “We focused on getting him fixed. We didn’t pursue the vandals as it clearly wasn’t malicious, just drunk revelers.” A dozen, to be precise.
Stevens initially put the cost of the significant repair work to the piece at $200,000. After three months, Manneken was reintroduced Thursday afternoon as media streamed to an unveiling ceremony at the D.
The chaps are a new effect, honoring the National Finals Rodeo. We say, keep ‘em year-round, maybe add a hat and some strobe lights. Manneken’s lore is only blossoming, as a result of the publicity from the September mishap. He’s spent more than six years at the D’s valet entrance as a popular photo op.
The statue is a 500-pound adaptation of the iconic statue in central Brussels. His name means “Little Man Pee,” which is an effective way to explain how he creates a little pool in his basin just off the sidewalk.
Derek and his brother, Greg Stevens, are of Belgian descent, adding to the family’s affection for Mr. Manneken. May he provide comic relief for generations.
Randy Jackson, the bass great known to millions of TV viewers as an original judge on “American Idol,” had been expected to be in Journey’s lineup in Las Vegas. His return to the band was announced in May 2020. But Jackson is not in the rocking production at the Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, nor was he in the iHeart Radio Music Festival performances at T-Mobile Arena in September.
Todd Jensen has ably filled the role left open, originally, by founding member Ross Valory’s departure.
Guitar great Neal Schon provided an update on Jackson’s status during the band’s session with media Tuesday at the Theater.
“Randy is on the mend, he has had some back surgery and he’s not recovered as fast as he thought he would,” Schon said. “So he’s still limping around. He’s working on it. He’s in therapy. We hope that he gets better soon.”
Jackson was featured on the 1986 album “Raised on Radio” and its accompanying U.S. tour. He’s been a busy session player throughout his career, backing such artists as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Nicks, George Benson and Roger Waters. That resume led him to “Idol.”
Great Moments in Social Media
Carrie Underwood leads a tour of the Theater at Resorts World Las Vegas on her @CarrieUnderwood Twitter feed. We learn whence she was inspired with all those dazzling costumes in her “Reflection” production.
“There is something glitzy and glamour-y about women in country music,” Underwood said. “We love our rhinestones. We love our wardrobe changes. We’ve been doing our own version of Vegas in Nashville for generations.”
Cool Hang Alert
Returning to the “chaps” theme, cowboy up with the rowdy Tony Marques Band on Fremont Street Experience’s 3rd Street Stage from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday. Options include freestyle grooving, two-stepping or no-stepping. No cover, either, and yee-haw to that.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.