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January 04, 2005


"I Was Paul Anka's Lighting-Man," Sobs Distraught Stagehand

Tearfully Confesses: I Still Have No Idea Where Joe Was, Or Even Who the Hell He Is

The shocking details follow exclusively for you, Ace of Spades readers.

And yes, this is real, baby.

Or at least it seems real. The guy gave me his name and his performing-arts union. He just discovered blogging a week ago, and found me through Michelle Malkin's site.

I was a (stagehand) lightman for Paul Anka around 1974 - 1976... went out on tour a few times but I don't remember that particular reaming incident.

He chewed out the Caesars crew one time on opening night when we really deserved it. After the next show, he called us all into his dressing room and gave each of us a $100 chip. At the time I was on tour with him, he treated the crew pretty good. We stayed in the same hotels that he did and one time he picked up everybody's Room Service tabs (for 2 weeks). Later on, I heard from other stagehands that he got kinda cranky.

I believe the conductor that Paul was chewing out was Johnny Harris. He was pretty exciting to watch... really got into the music and jumped around on the stage. I liked him.

CJ Powell drove one of the trucks on the first tour and became his Road Manager later on.

I'm thinking "Where's Joe?" might be Joe Guercio who used to be Elvis' conductor, but it might just be a Zen thing after all.

Vinnie Falcone was the Caesars Palace house piano player around the time that Anka appeared there. He later became Frank Sinatra's music director.

In 1970, after a career’s worth of touring and working with the industry’s biggest stars, Falcone relocated to Las Vegas and became the house piano player at Caesar’s Palace. It was there that he caught the attention of Frank Sinatra.

In addition to working with Sinatra, Falcone was music director for the inaugural gala for president Ronald Regan, and has worked with Andy Williams, Tony Bennett, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Fisher and Sammy Nestico.

All in all, that tape was hilarious and so was the Entrance Exam for Paul Anka's band.

Keep up the great work, Ace.

I asked my correspondent-- whom I will only identify as "Man of Substance," even if compelled to disclose his identity by a federal judge investigating the Plame affair -- who Graham might be, and if he knows the name of the lighting-guy getting reamed out on the tape.

When I have plumbed this mystery further, you will have these answers.

Man. Sometimes blogging really is fun. Right out of the blue. Paul Anka's lighting guy. What a funny ol' world.


Don't remember Graham, that's why I think it was after I left. I can tell you exactly what he's talking about with the blue light though. He had some video playing on a projection screen that was hung over the band... shots of his kids... yada yada. I think the song was "The times of your lives". He wrote it for Kodak and they got a lot of mileage out of it. Anyway, the blue light was probably the conductor downlight. We kept it on all the time so the band (and the pilots) could see the Cut-Offs. It probably got bumped and slashed across the projection screen like a fucking hammer.

If anyone has any questions for "Man of Substance," feel free to submit them, and maybe he'll be so kind as to answer in the comments.

Just don't make a fuckin' maniac out of him.

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posted by Ace at 03:24 AM

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