Jeff German’s Legacy Highlighted in Epic Wayne Newton Interview

When you’ve known someone for so long, it’s hard to imagine they’re not there.

That’s how it is with Jeff German. The respected and accomplished RJ investigative reporter was found stabbed to death at his Las Vegas home on Saturday morning. He was 69 years old.

It’s impossible to fathom that Jeff is no longer there, no longer a member of the RJ family.

I met Jeff when I arrived at the Las Vegas Sun in 1998. We spent a dozen years working there, and another six at the RJ.

Although we were teammates professionally, it was rare for our rhythms to cross. Once in a while we would chat about a story he was working on, if I had any information on a topic or subject he was pursuing. This was especially evident when he asked about the Oct. 1 shooter’s game activity at Mandalay Bay.

But our correspondence grew closer and more frequent in the fall of 2020, when Jeff was developing the second season of the “Mobbed Up” podcast series. The episodes centered around the story of the Aladdin hotel-casino. I was asked to interview Wayne Newton about his history with the property. Newton was a necessary and invaluable voice on the show. But interviewing him about those often problematic years wouldn’t be easy.

Jeff had crafted a series of pointed questions for me to ask Wayne about those days, particularly his contentious relationship with Johnny Carson (who also wanted to buy the hotel) and the subsequent libel lawsuit against NBC, which had him linked to reputable mafia figures.

Among the questions posed to Mr. Las Vegas, “What was the worst experience in your efforts to buy the Aladdin?”

I had told Jeff that this was uncharted territory for me. I had never formally spoken to Newton, a friend for about 25 years, of that time. This could be a risky conversation. But Jeff stayed on point, saying, “Just stick with the facts and you’ll be fine.”

He was right, of course. We got these answers during a long and often long session with Newton at his ranch in Montana. This conversation is the cornerstone of “Mobbed Up” Season 2. Listen for yourself to see how it went.

Jeff really appreciated the effort, the teamwork and the finished product. Me too. “Stay with the facts” was Jeff German’s enduring message. This is how I will remember him.

Why pay more, or not at all?

Aside from union wages and production costs, the NFL does not pay performers at league-controlled events. That includes, of course, the Super Bowl halftime show. The league has just hired its first music manager, Seth Dudowskywho has been part of the league’s entertainment team for nearly a decade.

In an interview with Billboard, Dudowsky’s explanation would sound familiar to artists who are asked to work for free on any level. This is especially true in Las Vegas, where “exposure” is considered payment for a gig.

But the NFL’s music overlord says the exposure is worth it for the superstars playing the Super Bowl spectacle.

“The most valuable currency that exists in our culture at this point is a captive audience – people’s attention. That’s the hardest thing to capture, no matter who you are,” Dudowsky said. “So, the real value our platforms provide is the promotional value of being on that stage.”

The Super Bowl, of course, is a great stage.

“In the case of the Super Bowl halftime show, we’re talking hundreds of millions of viewers, plus the marketing campaign, the assets we’re building, and the music we’re licensing,” Dudowsky said. . “So when you look by Shakira “Whenever, Wherever” becomes a No. 1 song (on the US iTunes chart) almost 20 years after its release (after its 2020 halftime performance]in terms of value, it’s something that, for many artists, is not ‘ not even quantifiable.

The Pulse of Vegas

“The 26th Annual Serenades of Life – Doctors in Concert,” organized by and benefiting Nathan Adelson Hospice, will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. at Myron’s at the Smith Center. As usual, the show features a group of music-loving Las Vegas doctors.

Frankie Moreno (with his doctorate in directing) is making headlines, with a strong supporter of Adelson Hospice Brad Garret presenting an award on behalf of the organization. In fact, I was kicked off this event last week during a doctor’s appointment (seriously). So I will inquire as well.

Books by Stirling Rudner

Dates and details are set for “One Night Only”, by Rita Rudner unique performance at the Stirling Club on October 28 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $54 for Stirling Club members, $69 for non-members. Go to thestirlingclub.friendlysky.com for more information. The show is Rudner’s first non-casino performance in Vegas, where she has previously performed at residencies at New York-New York, Harrah’s and The Venetian.

cool hang alert

Stay in Stirling mode, preferred column Lisa Marie Smith takes the Spirits Supper Club to the Stirling Club at 6 p.m. (doors and cocktail) and 7 p.m. (show) on Tuesdays. Night runs until 10 p.m. The cost for non-members is $25 for food and beverages. no coverage for members. Call 702-732-9700 for info.

John Katsilometes’ column airs daily in Section A. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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