Mondo Lounge III, 2010
After the successful 2007 gathering, Mary-Margaret was determined to eventually bring the Mondo Lounge concept back to its cultural roots of Las Vegas. When Jay Nailor of M Modern Gallery approached her to help produce a party in Palm Springs in the fall of 2010, they soon both realized, this party needed to be a bigger event and it needed to be back in Las Vegas. With sponsorship from party kings 944 magazine and Seven, it was hoped to be the biggest and best and most ambitious Mondo Lounge ever. Sadly it was not to be.
944 and Seven Magazine failed to promote the event as they had promised. It was not even mentioned in their weekly “Seven” List.
The Palms Hotel – A Less Than Popular Location
The Palms Hotel was chosen because it had embraced the Mid Century Modern aesthetic since they first opened their doors and guests could feel at home dressing to the nines over the weekend. Attendees were given complimentary access to the Ghost Bar – a Mid Century Modern inspired lounge high above the Las Vegas Strip. It was filled with a Jetson’s futurisic experience of walking on a solid piece of clear lucite cantelievering off the edge of the sky deck on the 55th floor!
Attendees were also given free admission to The Playboy Club – an lounge complete with bunnies and supposedly inspired by the nostalgic era of the Playboy Club. It turned out to be less nostalgic inspired by the REAL elegant Playboy Clubs that featured jazz, and was more about loud thumping music. A nice treat, however was Java’s Bachelor Pad Magazine Pin-Up Pool Party held at the glamorous Palms Place Pool!
Originally, the Palms Hotel had offered to host the event all on the second floor Ballroom with meeting rooms directly adjacent. At the last minute, they rented out the ballroom, splitting the event onto two different floors – spread far apart making the upstairs vendors disconnected from the Main Stage Ballroom. They tried to overcharge for pipe and drape which was supposed to be provided by the hotel and offered no sound and lighting support. The final straw was the Palms Hotel operators told people calling on the phone that weekend”No we, do not have have a Mondo Lounge? We have a casino bar off the casino floor.” AND even better, “No, you cannot come to the Mondo Lounge Event. That is a private Party!!!” Thank you Palms Hotel.
Even despite these things working against the event, all of the participants and attendees were given a top notch time. However attendance was less than expected, due to lackluster support from key local “historic scene” community members.
The wonderful people who did show up included:
Wonderful Headliner Entertainment by Art Vargas, a Vegas institution avargas.com He had his friend, Lena Prima (Daughter of the legendary Louis Prima and Gia Maione) sing That Old Black Magic, for the ultimate Swankification.
Headliners NUTTY showed up and played jazzy versions of classic rock tunes turned inside-out and Singer Sonny Moon was fun and funny. NUTTY swung it. nuttyjazz.com
Attendees were also treated by The Las Vegas Nines parts Dave Brubeck and Booker T & The M.G.s.
And of course, it’s not a Mondo Lounge without the Thurston Howlies from Los Angeles, who play a Las Vegas Lounge Cocktail Hour soundtrack. thurstonhowlies.com
In addition, there were performances by Captain Tony (Martini Kings) and Miss Kate Campbell and Cherry Capri (America’s Queen of Modernism and Mirth! www.cherrycapri.com).
There were fantastic burlesque performances by former Miss Exotic World, Kalani Kokonuts, Ruby Joule of Austin, TX of Jigglewatts Fame and Mexican Spitfire Ruby Champagne. In addition, glamour girls, Doris May Day, Vi Vacious, and Cha Cha Velour were all standouts.
The DJs and Emcees could not have been better.
It was the who’s who of the retro music scene including: DJ Bryan Avalon, from 2nd Life entertainment the premier DJ Entertainment Service in Las Vegas who also provided all of the stage and lighting for the event. We could not have done it without him. secondlifeentertainment.com DJ Audrey Moorehead, from Luxuria Music spun Hollywood era tunes. DJ Dan Electro blended 60’s soul, garage, freakbeat and psych. DJ Drew Groove played way out wildest Loungexotica, Mod Jazz, Spy-Fidelity, Rare Soul and Go-Go! DJ Joe Malgarini, spun an eclectic mix of retro pop madness. Luxuria Music DJ Strike from Los Angeles played retro-eclectic, rare funk, latin, and acid jazz. Film composer DJ Stephen Greaves played selections from his space age pop a go-go album Escapade Velocity. And finally, DJ Lee, Burbank club and event veteran rounded out the sounds nicely. dionysusrecords.com Jason Croft, aka Java, the man behind the Bachelor Pad Empire, was the ultimate emcee. The publisher of Bachelor Pad Magazine”The Digest of Atomic Age Culture”and the host of the popular syndicated radio program “The Bachelor Pad Radio Show” javasbachelorpad.com
Incredible Vendors for Shopping!
If the success of an event can be gauged by the quality of its vendors, then ML III was quite a success. Attaboy Vintage (mid-century kitschy furnishings from Ventura, CA), Bachelor Pad Magazine (Champaign, IL quarterly pin-up print publication since 2007), Badland Beads (San Clemente, CA reclaimed vintage handcrafted jewelry), Cake Pops!, Calo Style Clothing(Rockabilly, Vintage & Swing Style), Dionysus Records (Since 1984, home to all things retro and Americana, Dulce Marina, Fez-O-Rama (From Fountain Valley – fine hand-crafted exotica head wear since 2005), Girls Drawin’ Girls, Hawaiian Lei Lotion (fragrance of Aloha from Cathedral City), Lampshade Lounge (retro style lamps and shades from East Lansing, MI), Marc Joseph of Palm Springs was our Outstanding Sponsor of the nighttime Vintage Fashion Show, Mr. California (modern reconstructions of the famous 1960s styles from San Francisco), Mr. Smiley’s Emporium of Zazz (Tiki Mugs, Vintage decor and barware and clothing), My Sex Rocket, Retro Vegas (Local pieces full of historical significance), Stevotomic (original artwork inspired by the Atomic Googie Retro Era), Nat Reed, (LA/PS Quirky, Googie inspired prints), Vintage SwimSuits by Mary Sponsored the fabulous daytime fashion show (period perfect, retro playsuits and swimwear), Viva Dulce Marina (vintage inspired fashion accessories from Los Angeles) and finally Z’Ettiquette (Custom Carpetbags in Vintage Prints, plus fabulous clothing).
The thing that always makes Mondo Lounge stand apart from other events is their special exhibits and education opportunities. This ML was no exception. The headliner exhibit of course was Josh Agle aka SHAG, famous fine artist with paintings reminiscent of scenes ala Jetson’s meets James Bond. www.Shagthestore.com His work was presented in conjuction with M Modern Gallery who also showed work by BOSKO Witco burnt-wood carving style artwork.
There were historic exhibits such as Mike Miller’s Tribute to Vegas Entertainment 1965 through 1979, Dave Weidman animator for many cartoon classics including Mr.Magoo, Gerald McBoing Boing and Fractured Fairytales. Classic Las Vegas showing photos, memorabilia, home movies, journals and letters. And a screening of the film, Shotgun Freeway, Los Angeles, CA a seminal documentary on the history of racing. There was a Sven Kirsten Book of Tiki Exhibit! And exhibits by Architectural and Decorative Arts Society, Atomic Age Alliance www.atomicage.org and the Burlesque Hall of Fame. And an extra special exhibit of Tiki Steve’s “Stag Mag Reading Room” showcasing Classic Playboy Magazines from the 1950s and 1960s. In addition there were dance instruction and performances by Rhythmic Souls, the Dance Center Las Vegas and USA Dance Las Vegas local Chapter #4038.
Although the crowds were slim and spread out across a large area (attendance was between 2-300), those who did attend and participated were treated to a 5 star Top Quality Event.