The best Rene Angelil story I’ve heard was once told by his wife, the electrifying singer and stage performer Celine Dion.
While being interviewed on American television by Barbara Walters, Dion was asked point blank about her husband’s reported high-stakes gambling, which constituted a significant portion of his recreational time. Angelil lived in Las Vegas during the final ten years of his life. No doubt during much that period, Angelil enjoyed hanging out at casinos, and spent many hours in poker rooms, especially. Angelil entered tournament events at the World Series of Poker every year and was often seen sitting down in No-Limit Hold’em cash games nightly at Caesars Palace while his wife was taking center stage to standing ovations at the sold-out Colosseum Arena.
“Is your husband a compulsive gambler?” was the gist of the question.
“Poker Night in America” is currently filming its sixth extended session of high-stakes cash game action — this time at Turning Stone Casino in Upstate New York.
The first day of action was capped off by an unrehearsed jam session with poker pro Liv Boeree (on lead guitar), along with show producer Tony Mangnall (on guitar) and cameraman Mike G. (on bass). They performed a Metallica cover song which can be seen in this six-minute video. Note that Liv has not played guitar in nearly five years. But she basically was willing to go with the music and have a good time. Pretty amazing and lots of fun to watch. Here’s a look:
If I had to to pick a single favorite artist over the last twenty years of poplar music, that would have to be Lenny Kravitz.
Kravitz brings it all to the stage and to the studio — raw talent, boundless energy, natural charisma, and a gift for both music and lyric. His songs and style are often criticized as “retro,” but there’s nothing wrong with taking the best sounds of the past and mixing them with a modern interpretative. Amy Winehouse used to catch this same flack, too. Frankly, I wish there was more “retro” music, not less.
My relationship with Kravitz is something quite personal. Think of it this way. Most of the music we enjoy is personal. It touches us. More importantly, it connects us with key moments in our lives, and frames the memories we hope to cherish forever. I’ll bet most of you remember certain songs and music based on the events of your lives. In a sense, our music is our own personal soundtrack.
Back in 1989, just prior to leaving the United States for two years to live and work in Romania, I entered a music store in Arlington, VA. Remember music stores? They’re now a thing of the past. Back then, whenever a new album came out, it would be played inside record stores. So, you came across entirely new sounds and brand new artists, just by walking in and browsing the shelves (this was when people used to go out and buy CDs, rather than stealing them for free off the internet).