Vegas Indie Artists June 2014 - Page 14

And, they get another guy that does Sammy and they throw them together and call them the Rat Pack and they're terrible, they really are bad.

VIA: I've been to a show like that and I was really disappointed and that is why when I checked out what you do I was impressed. I was like, WOW, he really does sound like Dean. Now that was a big thing because, like I said, Dean has always been one of my first loves, I just love him and then Sammy. Sinatra is my least favorite of the Rat Pack but I do love the Rat Pack.

So, what other impersonations do you do?

Tom: Well as far as singers go I do Elvis, Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, Paul Anka, Julio, Willy, Englebert, Kenny Rogers. I do 25 singers, I do Cher...

VIA: You do Cher?

Tom: Yeah she's in my show. Jolson, Sammy, of course I try to do Frank. I don't do a great Frank but I gotta pay tribute to Frank so I do "That's Life". I have my own one man show too, "An Evening With Dean and Friends", where I do Dean and a multiple of impressions.

VIA: I want to see that show. I can't wait.

Tom: I was trying to get things started on Sundays at The Viva Las Vegas Event Center. Have you been down there yet?


Tom: It's just north of Charleston. Right by the Wedding Chapel. They took over the building next door too and started the Viva Las Vegas Event Center. And it is really like an old supper club. I was there last night and did a bunch of impressions and they go from 5-8 pm. They have live musicians and when the band takes a break I go up and do 20 minutes.

VIA: Nice!

Tom: We're trying to get something else going. I'd love to have a room where I could just go and perform three nights a week and just do Tom Stevens Unplugged and just go up there and do my Dean and do all the voices I like to do.

VIA: Right. I remember when I first started coming to Vegas you'd go and see the floor shows, and then the lounge shows, and all of that is gone. Corporate took over and completely destroyed it! The mob, yeah they were bad guys but they knew how to run things.

Tom: You know what it was, they knew that the gambling would make the money. Right now everything is the pencil pushers and everything has got to make a bottom line. Did that showroom make money? That's what they throw out...did it make money. If it didn't, they say, we had a loss and they complain. They don't realize that these people are spending money in the casino. Give them something for their gambling money. Let them see a show.

VIA: Exactly. And the concept of Vegas has been lost completely with corporate. It's a sad thing.

Tom: It is!

VIA: I don't know about you but when you go to see an opera. When you go see an opera you wear opera wear. I wore a sequin gold gown to go see the opera. Everyone else was wearing shorts and street cloths. What do you think about all of that?

Tom: I am sad about it. That's what they are trying to do with the Viva Las Vegas Event Center, they are trying to get people to come dressed up. Come looking nice! Wear a jacket. They are nice people there. I think if they do it right it will work. You gotta stay top notch, you gotta stay classy entertainment. You really do.There are too many guys out there not doing the do. They're just going out for a hundred, two hundred.

VIA: You said you started doing this when you were how old? Six?

Tom: Six, yeah, six years old. I used to do Frank Fontaine from the Jackie Gleason show. When we were kids my Mom used to dress us to go to church. We had little fedoras. I was a six year old kid and I had a fedora. So, I used to turn it around and do Frank Fontaine (in Frank's voice) "Hey Joe, how's it goin..." and do all these faces and everything like he used to do, and my Mom and Dad used to get hysterical. So, I used to...every time we had company...Tommy go get your hat, come downstairs and do your Frank Fontaine impression. So, then I started really working on voices and studying, doing Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne and Bogart and Henry Fonda, and watching Rich Little, of course, he was my idol.