Michael Valentine (and friends) return to the stage

Rod Pardey, left, performs as Michael Valentine July 7 at the Bunkhouse.
Photo: Mark Donoho, courtesy

You could say crooner-turned-poker player Rod Pardey—brother of Bunkhouse manager/Halloween Town principal Ryan Pardey—is well-connected. Better known by his stage name Michael Valentine, Rod Pardey is the frontman of Romance Fantasy, a post-New Wave outfit that’s been around—albeit sparsely—about as long as The Killers, who even penned a song called “The Ballad of Michael Valentine.”

Some of Rod Pardey’s old connections will come full circle on Friday, when the singer gets his longtime pals together for a night of live music that he’ll co-host with high-school friend and former Chapter 11 bandmate Clayton Scrivner. The idea came to the pair last year, but was postponed after they found their old bassist Steven Berntsen had passed away. After taking a rain check, the idea took on a life of its own. “It became kind of like a ‘let’s all kind of do that one thing we wanted to do but we couldn’t for whatever reason’” type of thing, Rod Pardey says. Some friends are even making the trek from Maine and Utah to sing originals and covers (of The Smiths and R.E.M.), some doing so together for the first time. Most importantly, the event will honor both Berntsen and the Pardeys’ late brother Dan Kemp, better known as the singer-songwriter Danny Vegas. “This started off as a reunion,” Rod Pardey says, though “it became also about these two people who have passed.”

Michael Valentine and Friends with Maladjusted, Levi Petree and the Radio Publica. July 7, 8 p.m., $10. Bunkhouse Saloon, 702-982-1764.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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