Is Kerry Simon a new fifth member of Cheap Trick? At a press conference Thursday, the veteran rockers announced their newest venture, Sgt. Pepper Live, which will set up shop at the Las Vegas Hilton this September.
During the press conference, the band explained the gig: They’ll be performing the entire Beatles’ album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from front to back in its entirety—a feat previously thought to be impossible.
So, why the heck was celebrity chef Kerry Simon in attendance?
Would Simon be playing in the 25 piece orchestra that will joining Cheap Trick on stage for the limited engagement? Perhaps he’ll be a guest vocalist during “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Or he could serve as Cheap Trick’s personal chef and create themed dishes inspired by songs from the Beatles’ album. Then again, maybe Simon just really wanted to test out the photo feature on his iPhone. He snapped away as if he was seeing his rock idols for the first time in person. (It was kind of adorable, actually.)
Nay, none of my assumptions were correct. While there was plenty of info to absorb about Cheap Trick’s limited engagement at the Hilton, that info is essentially Googleable, if you’re dying to know (or read Robin Leach’s blog); Simon showing up at 11:30 a.m. in the Shimmer Lounge for a music press conference was not.
“I saw them at the Hollywood Bowl,” Simon said of Cheap Trick. The band has performed Sgt. Pepper Live at multiple venues throughout the country and Simon caught their Cali gig. “I grew up with these guys,” he said, adding that he has been friends with Cheap Trick for years.
After the Hollywood Bowl show, Simon was so impressed he approached Ken Ciancimino, the Hilton’s executive vice president, about bringing Sgt. Pepper Live to Las Vegas. “Vegas just seemed like the right place,” said Simon. “Bands can do something larger.”
So, if you’re a Beatles fan or a Cheap Trick fan, tell Simon “thanks” next time you see him running around his Palms Place restaurant. He started the ball rolling for bringing the show to town. Impressive.
Now, Kerry, how about calling Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and asking them to perform Pink Floyd's The Wall from start to finish…