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Transcript of interview with George Levine by Barbara Tabach, April 16, 2015






In this interview, George reflects upon his life in Las Vegas, particularly the period as ma?tre d? of the Sand?s Copa Room. Joined by his daughter - and former United States Democratic Congresswomen-Shelley Berkley, George shares stories of working in the gaming industry during this unique era, including those of Frank Sinatra and Wayne Newton. He also talks about his life as a professional gambler.

Born on February 28, 1925 in Sommerville, New Jersey, George Levine?s family moved to his childhood home, Manhattan?s Lower East Side, when he was six months old. George served on a United States Navy aircraft carrier for thirty months during World War II. After returning home, he met his first wife Estelle, with whom he had two daughters, and soon moved to Kiamesha Lake, New York to work at the Concord Resort Hotel. In 1963, George and his family moved to Las Vegas and took his first job at Mr. Sy?s Casino. Six months later he began waiting tables at the Sands Hotel and Casino. He worked his way up the ranks and was ma?tre d' from 1979 until the hotel closed in 1996.

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George Levine oral history interview, 2015 April 16. OH-02287. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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AN INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE LEVINE An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach The Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries ii ?Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV ? University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader?s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE Born on February 28, 1925 in Sommerville, New Jersey, George Levine?s family moved to his childhood home, Manhattan?s Lower East Side, when he was six months old. George served on a United States Navy aircraft carrier for thirty months during World War II. After returning home, he met his first wife Estelle, with whom he had two daughters, and soon moved to Kiamesha Lake, New York to work at the Concord Resort Hotel. In 1963, George and his family moved to Las Vegas and took his first job at Mr. Sy?s Casino. Six months later he began waiting tables at the Sands Hotel and Casino. He worked his way up the ranks and was ma?tre d' from 1979 until the hotel closed in 1996. In this interview, George reflects upon his life in Las Vegas, particularly the period as ma?tre d? of the Sand?s Copa Room. Joined by his daughter ? and former United States Democratic Congresswomen?Shelley Berkley, George shares stories of working in the gaming industry during this unique era, including those of Frank Sinatra and Wayne Newton. He also talks about his life as a professional gambler. v vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with George Levine on April 16, 2015 by Barbara Tabach in Las Vegas, Nevada Preface?????????????????????????????????..?..iv Talks about childhood in Lower Manhattan. Discusses United States Navy service on aircraft carrier; the end of World War II. Returns to New York City; meets first wife. Moves to Catskills to work at Concord Hotel; ten years later, moves to Las Vegas for job at Mr. Sy?s Casino. Talks about working at Sands Hotel, as ma?tre d?, the power of the position; acts that played during his tenure. Notes changes influenced by Steve Wynn?s rise in industry??????????...1-5 Describes unique management style of captains as ma?tre d?. Mentions working for ?Rat Pack is Back? show after retiring from Sands. Talks about opening?and closing?Italian restaurant in Monticello, New York; decision to move to Las Vegas. Reflects on the changes within the city, local gaming culture, between his time at Sands and now. Discusses pride for daughter Shelley Berkley. Notes working his way up from waiter to ma?tre d?????????????...6-11 Shares interactions had with Frank Sinatra, in the Garden Room; one involving comedian Corbett Monica. Shares additional story of convincing Shledon Adelson to bring Wayne Newton to Sands in mid-1990s, based upon his previous success in selling out shows. Shelley shares her story of that transaction, working as Sand?s attorney; sticking point over replacing her father as ma?tre d?. Compares draw of Wayne Newton to other acts????????????.?12-18 Talks more about the days when ma?tre ds reigned on the Strip; importance of relationships with other ma?tre ds. Mentions Sammy Davis Jr., Steve and Edyie; shift in race relations with Sammy joining Rat Pack. Talks about daughter Wendy. Recalls influential Jews within community through the years, including Carl Cohen and Al Benedict. Recalls power of unions; impact of strikes. Describes captain?s test every captain had to pass; preparing for his test????..19-26 Tells about how he became ma?tre d, working under Carl Lamb as assistant ma?tre d; being recruited to be ma?tre d at new, renovated Copa Room, over Carl. Talks about trying to hire Carl as captain for Copa Room and continually being forced to cut him. Describes his experiences as professional gambler, the perks; story of losing a large amount at Aladdin, complications in settling up with ownership transition??????????????????????27-34 Index........................................................................................................................................35-36 1 This is Barbara Tabach. Today is April 16, 2015. I'm sitting with George Levine in Shelley Berkley's office at Touro University. Thank you for coming to talk to me today. I appreciate it. What I like to do first is to have you tell me about where you grew up. Who were your parents? Where were they from? Anything you can recall of your youth. My parents, I believe, were born in Russia. They came to the United States and lived in Lower East Side of New York. That's where I was brought up until I joined the navy at the age of seventeen; I volunteered. It was a very exciting time in the Lower East Side of Orchard Street. There was Katz's Delicatessen, which is a legend; Russ and Daughters, which is a legend. I was born in Sommerville, New Jersey, and we moved to the Lower East Side when I was six months old. There's nothing like living on the Lower East Side. Was it a Jewish neighborhood? Yes, Jewish, Italian and Spanish, Spanish Jews, and very, very exciting. What made it exciting? Why do you use that word? We did all kinds of things. We played stickball and we had dances at night in the streets. It was a different era than it is today. Today you don't see those things. The cops chasing us because we're breaking windows playing ball. It was great. It was great times. Then I put in twenty-four months out at sea without any land. You never stepped on foot? Wow. No. For twenty-four months. I was in the navy thirty months; twenty-four of them I was out at sea, and [it was] very exciting. I was on an aircraft carrier. So was this during wartime? Yes, during World War II. It was really something. We hit every island. The ship is supposed to 2 go back every six months to get refueled, to get a lot of things done to the ship. We stood out twenty-four straight months. We hit every island in the Pacific. At that time we also hit Japan. Very, very, very exciting things happened out there. I got a call from a friend that was coming in with a brand-new battleship, battle cruiser it was called. He told me he was out there. He never expected me to meet him in the middle of the ocean. I didn't tell him. He was in my (group). When we anchored on a little island to have beer, I took a boat and sailed over to this big monster ship. It was the latest ship out and he was on it. When he saw me, he just went crazy. I had another friend that was on my ship; his name was Eddie Kaytra. We were losing a lot of pilots at that time; they were being shot down, and they needed gunners. He was never a gunner, but he volunteered. It was exciting for him. I used to pray that he would come back alive when he went out on a mission. Sure. We came back and everything. During the last three months of being out there we got hit with a five-hundred-pound bomb. Everybody started to cheer when we got hit. The reason they cheered is because we knew we were going to go back home now. This is after twenty-two months being out there. Everybody was cheering and screaming and they were so happy that we got hit. The bomb landed where a couple of pilots were living. Unfortunate, a repair ship came alongside of us, fixed us up, and we stood another two months. Oh, no. [Laughing] And the war was over; a week or two later we landed in San Francisco and the war ended then. What was the name of your ship? 3 USS Langley. It was a hell of an experience, but it was fun. What was it like when the war ended? It was crazy. We were in San Francisco at the time and everybody just went cuckoo for like two or three days. They were out of it; everyone was drunk and happy and kissing everybody. It was a wild scene and enjoyable. I never went back on the ship. I got sent home and that was the end of my navy career. So you went back to New York City? Now I'm back in New York City. I started to work in a luncheonette. This girl says to me, Shelley [Berkley]'s mother, "Why don't you call me? Here's a dime. When you have time, call me." Did she work at the luncheonette, too? I didn't know her. She came into the luncheonette and had an ice cream soda or something, which I took care of [for] her. When she left she gave me ten cents and said, "Call me." I didn't call her for like around a week. Finally, I called her. I knew she was going with some guy from the East Side that was in Florida. He was a fighter. And he was saving up the money so he can buy her a ring. She forgot all about him; she just wanted me. He and I became very good friends. It's crazy. That was it; I married her and I got Shelley and Wendy. What was your wife's name? Estelle. And what kind of work did she do? She never worked Oh, okay. So she was young when she met you. She was twenty years old. I was twenty-five at the time. We moved to Queens, and from Queens, 4 I moved to the Concord Hotel. You ever hear of it? I've heard of it, but tell me about it. It was a largest resort hotel in the world at that time. It was up in Kiamesha Lake in New York. I stayed there ten years. What kind of work did you do there? I was the manager of a coffee shop. The coffee shop seated seven hundred people. It was a monster hotel. The showroom at that time, in the '50s, sat three thousand people. Vegas never heard of something like that. It was also one of my highlights. But I always wanted to come to Vegas. Why is that? What had you heard about Vegas back in the '50s? It was a very exciting town, and this is in the '50s. I never got here until the '60s. But during the '50s, I used to hear how exciting it was, but I was going to Florida to see Frank Sinatra. From the Concord Hotel, we ended up in Las Vegas. I started to work for a friend of a friend; he owned Mr. Sy's Casino that was across the street from the Stardust Hotel. After six months, the partners wanted to give me 10 percent of the place. And this friend of the friend that hired me said, "No way." He didn't want to do it. So I resigned and I ended up at the Sands. I got a job at the Sands as a waiter. Eventually, I ended up as the ma?tre d' of the hotel. If you don't think that's exciting, then nothing is exciting. I went through a lot of exciting times, but that was it. As a ma?tre d', I think you're more popular than the president of the hotel. You had more power probably. Everybody wanted to get in to see Frank and Dean and Sammy. My favorites were Steve and Eydie; they just blew me away ? not only me, they blew everybody away. We had tremendous actors. That was a great experience, the Sands. But to think that you were more powerful than the president of the hotel, it's really something. 5 When you say "power," what did you do that was powerful? Because they had to come to you if they wanted a good seat and the president couldn't help. He would say, "You've got to go see the ma?tre d'." Even the president was afraid to come over to you and say anything, not that he didn't or he wouldn't, but he shied away. You were the boss. I think the ma?tre d' was the top man in any major hotel at that time because if you wanted to see a show, you're begging the ma?tre d'. Especially when you sold out, they're begging you; they're giving you all kinds of money to get in. It was wild. It was wild years. Not today. Today Steve Wynn just blew everything away. I can understand his point because the money we were making, he wanted that money. So he cut out the ma?tre d's, and now the people instead of giving us five or ten dollars or whatever it was, they wouldn't give it to us; they would give it to Steve. I say, "Give it to Steve" the hotels; all the hotels would end up with that money because they discontinued ma?tre d's in the showroom. Then they went into a ticket policy whereas before you had to call up individually. You had to call up the reservation desk or the ma?tre d'. If you wanted a real good seat, so you would call the ma?tre d'; "I'll take care of you," and all that. How were you trained to be the ma?tre d'? The training I got was at the Concord Hotel. The people that went there were very wealthy and it was the number-one hotel probably in the whole world. When you're taking care of these kinds of people, you know how to talk to people; you learn a lot of stuff. That's how you become a ma?tre d'. So you learn by doing it. Right. It's really something. How much money would somebody give you at the Copa Room to seat them? Because that's 6 where you were, right, at the Copa Room at the Sands? I never took money. On occasions I had to take. But when I sat the room, I would tell the person, "Give it to the captain, so the captain would know where to seat them." The bigger the tip, the better the seat. Ah. So the captain was the one who actually put them at their table. That's right. Then all that money was put into one bank and it was distributed from there. Everyone got an equal share except the ma?tre d' got one and a half. It was fun. But I never took a dime. I would take if somebody came to me like before the show, and then I would give it to the captain. But I never handled any money. Other ma?tre d's didn't do that; other ma?tre d's took money. So then they took the money and they would tell the captain where to seat. But I never took any money. "Give it to the captain; the captain will take care of you." Why did you choose to be different? Why did you choose a different way of doing this? There was no reason. I thought it would be easier for the captain to know what to do. If I took the money and I would tell him to seat them, he would look to hustle the customer. So I didn't want them to double tip, really. It's very strange. I can't explain it to you. But this is my way; I thought it would be much easier if the captain sat them and they don't double tip. When I left the Sands, I retired for six, seven years, and worked for Sandy Hacket, "The Rat Pack is Back;" that was the name of his show. We were at the Greek Isles, which was on Convention Center Drive. One day one of the captains...I gave him a toke; instead of the customer giving it to him, the customer gave it to me and I gave it to him. When he sat the customer, he hustled him for another twenty dollars. He happened to be a guest of the owner of the show and he was very, very upset. He came to me and said, "I want you to fire him right now." I don't like to 7 fire people; I'm not that type; it's not me. So I copped out to him. I said, "I don't think he meant it. It was just one of those things." I told him I gave him that toke and maybe he didn't realize it was me getting the money, from your guest. He said, "No, I want him terminated. He double toked; he took two tokes. The guy gave you twenty dollars and you gave it to him and he asked the guy for another..." He didn't ask him for twenty, but he said, "I'll give you a better seat; do you want a better seat?" Strictly hustling. The guy told the owner of the show, and he insisted for me to terminate him and I just didn't want to terminate him. I refused to terminate him. I said, "I'll give him two weeks off and he'll lose a lot of money. He's a great captain and I don't want to lose him." He says, "Okay, but the next time..." And there was no more next time and that was it. Shelley told me the story about how you got to Las Vegas; that you were headed to...California when you left the East Coast? I had a belly dancing place in Monticello; this is after I left the hotel. After ten years I left the hotel and I went into business; I opened up an Italian restaurant in Monticello, New York. I went to the East Side, the Italian area, and I got the best chefs. They made Italian'll never get Italian food like that. Marty Allen's wife...she was a genius. She was the head of reservations at the Concord Hotel. Let's say in 1953 you came in and you stayed in Room 207 and you came back four years later, she knew your name, she knew the room you were in. She was a genius. They wrote books about her. What was her name? Frenchie. And that's Marty Allen, the comedian? That's Marty Allen's wife. She calls me up and she wants me to cater a party for her in the 8 restaurant. So I do that. The food was sensational. You're never going to get food like this. The food was so delicious. She didn't like it. [Laughing] That was the end of my restaurant because it's a little town, Upstate New York. And she's from the Concord Hotel, this monster hotel, and she didn't like it. I'm supposed to be catering to doctors and lawyers and then all the executives from these hotels. That was the end of my restaurant. Oh, no. Now I converted to strictly belly dancing and the bar. Then I decided to come to California to open up a belly dancing place. So there was a fork in the road; one said "California" and one said "Las Vegas." My wife said, "Las Vegas." And I said, "You saw every great show." We had major shows in the Concord. It's a three-thousand-seater. I said, "You saw every show imaginable. Why do you want to go to Vegas? Let's go. I want to open up this place in California, belly dancing." And she said, "I want to go to Vegas." We went to Vegas. The next day?we slept over?"We're staying here." And that was it. And that was it. That's how I ended up in Vegas. What did Vegas look like to you? They didn't know me. I walked into a hotel, a casino. Nobody knew me. The manager or the host or somebody would come over to me and say, "Would you like a cocktail or would you like to see a show?" It was such a different feeling. I wouldn't give you two cents for Vegas today. Hi, sweetie. I'm sorry I'm late. Hello. It's good to see you. Nice to see you. How are you? 9 Wonderful. [Colloquy not transcribed] I'll just note that Shelley's joining us. So that's how we ended up in Vegas. That's amazing. I ended up in this friend of a friend's luncheonette, across the street from the Stardust. I told you that. I stayed there six months. Then the partners wanted me to get 10 percent of the place. And this friend of a friend?Sy Husney. I know who it is. He said, "No, I don't want to give him 10 percent." So I quit and I went into the Sands. And from there...I told you the whole story. Was this within the Jewish community? Did being Jewish help you find friends and find a job? No. I wasn't really into the temple. My daughter was and then my ex-wife was; they were temple people, but I wasn't. So how did you apply for the job at Sands? I had connections. I knew some people that were working there and I got in. It was very simple them days; if you knew somebody you would have a job. Today it's different; no matter who you know you can't get a job. It's a different ball game today. Union had a lot to do with it also. If I came into Vegas today, I think I would leave the next day. I would leave my wife and my two daughters and head to California. [Laughing] Thanks. 10 It's not Vegas anymore. I don't know what it is. Yes, it's grown and it's changed. Oh, yes. I'd walk into a hotel today and people if they know me, they turn their back; they're afraid I'm going to ask them for something. And I'm not going to ask them for anything; it's just in their minds and they really can't do anything because if you're not in the computer today, you can't get anything. You've got to be in the computer. Well, let's go back to? There are certain people that can get anything, but I can't. I'm in the computer. You're in the computer. [All laughing] Yesterday we went into a little bakery in Henderson. Nobody recognized me. But everybody in the bakery, all the help recognized her (Shelley). Of course. The owner or the manager of the place took a picture with her. They were so excited that Shelley came into that little bakery on Water Street. I said, "You know, in the '60s, in the '70s, in the '80s and the '90s?'96 was it?everybody wanted to take a picture of me. What happened? Nobody knows I'm alive anymore." It's amazing how the wheel turns and here everybody is running at Shelley and they love her. They were so excited, wow. They ran out from behind the counter. They came out of the kitchen. [Laughing] You must be very proud. I'm in heaven. Are you kidding? I'm saying to myself, "Look at this. She's taking pictures and I was..." Even when I left the Sands, I was working for this person. I don't want to mention his name; I'm not too crazy about him. 11 That's fine. People, they'd come into the room; everybody wanted to take a picture of me. It's amazing. Today nobody knows me. So you had name recognition in your position of power, as you described it to me, as the ma?tre d'. Yes. That's amazing, isn't it? Wouldn't even think about that today. My dad was one of the last remaining traditional ma?tre d's on the Strip, and so everybody knew who he was. That was eighteen years I was the ma?tre d'. I was the longest running ma?tre d' except for the extra time, another ten years later. But in the Sands itself, I was the longest running ma?tre d'. Ma?tre d's don't last; something happens. I don't know. They say five years. They get an offer for a better job or whatever. They get fired, terminated. But I stayed eighteen years. I want to make sure I'm not confused. So when you started working there, you started as the ma?tre d'? No. I started as a waiter. Okay. We didn't talk about that. I worked myself up?captain, assistant ma?tre d' and then the ma?tre d'. In 1979 I became the ma?tre d' and the hotel closed in 1996; and I was there from that time till 1996. So you started what year at Sands? The end of '63. I worked six months for Mr. Sy's and I left them because he refused to [give me] my 10 percent. I think I would have left anyway; it wasn't the 10 percent. This is a person that I know and the friend of a friend and everything, and he's saying no to me, no to his partners, and 12 the two partners want me. Yes. So you mentioned the Rat Pack, and Steve and Eydie. Any personal stories? Tell her about your interactions with Frank Sinatra. What did you think of Sinatra? What did you know about him? What did you do with him? There were a couple of incidents I had with Frank. One was [when] he was eating in the coffee shop. He would always have a congregation of people with him. He had about ten people this time with him. The captain was taking the order. When he took the order, Frank wanted chow mein, no mushrooms. After he took the whole order, I grabbed him and I said, "Make sure no mushrooms." In those days the Garden Room was the place for Chinese food. It was white glove service with the silver domes on the plate when they served them. It was very high class. So that's the room we're in, the Garden Room. Yes. So I say to the captain, "Francis, make sure no mushrooms." "Yeah, okay, don't worry," like he just brushed it off. So I guess he brushed it off when he got to Su-Pong, the chef. He didn't tell the chef that it's for Frank because if he told him...all he had to do was say it's for Sinatra and he would know that there's no mushrooms. But evidently, he didn't. He comes out. Everything was silver at that time, silver plates and silver toppings, coverings. Frank lifts the thing up and there are the mushrooms. Now, there are ten people, guests of his. I know what he's going to do and I'm lying back up against the wall. He takes it and he throws it. This is a bowl. They used to serve it in bowls and then you'd take it out of the bowl and you'd put it on to a plate. He took the bowl and threw it over his head. I stepped on the side and I started to laugh. To me these are funny things. Frank gets up and he starts coming after me and I 13 run into the kitchen. He comes after me into the kitchen and he says to me, "You want to fight?" I said, "I'm not a fighter; I'm a lover." And he broke up, he hugged me and that was it. That's one experience. He compensated everybody if they did something for him. He was a remarkable person. One day he says to me, "Georgie, get a piano in the Garden Room." It was a very exclusive coffee shop. So I get a hold of like five busboys and I say to them, "Take the piano; bring it in." Everything's all right. The next day there was five hundred dollars in an envelope for me. And, of course, I distribute a hundred dollars to each busboy. There was a catering manager at the time, Mario Moreno. He was the big boss. Every big player, every big guest, anyone that had money was his guest. He only takes care of these people. He comes to me and says, "How much did Frank give you?" I said, "Five hundred." He said, "What did you do with it?" "I gave it to the busboys; they brought it in." He says, "Why did you do that? Why did you give it to them?" He wanted it; he wanted a piece of it. I said, "Look, Mario." I explained to him I'm going to give it to them and I'm not going to give it to you and that was the end of it. I'm going to give you one more experience and that's the end with Frank. I'm walking out of the hotel and I've got a beard. I'm not working and it's three days. I'm not shaved. I don't think I looked good. There was a comedian, an opening act. I don't think I ever told you this. Frank and this comedian, Corbett Monica?he was the opening act?they're playing blackjack. I walk by and Corbett yells at me, "Georgie, come over here." I go over and he says to me, "I got two dimes." Two dimes is two thousand dollars. He says, "You want two dimes? I've got it for you." I said, "No, I don't want anything, Cor." Frank yells out, "Give him three." I said, 14 "I don't want anything," and I walked away. Now, I'll fill you in what happened with Corbett. When I was working at the Concord Hotel, all these comedians and singers used to come in to the coffee shop. I never charged them when they came in; I comped them. A lot of these comedians didn't have anything; they got fifty dollars when they came out there at that time. Corbett never forgot it; him and Zero Mostel. There were so many of them that came in during that period and I never charged any of them?Marty Allen, Steve Rossi. They appreciated it and they would like me for that. Corbett got very lucky. He bought a lot of property here. In Pahrump? Pahrump. He bought a lot of property in Pahrump. Matter of fact, he begged me, "Georgie, buy property in Pahrump." He made a lot of money and was in the upper class. So he offered me this money and that was it. But Frank yelled out at him, "Give him three." That was it. That's the experiences. What about Wayne Newton? I really had nothing to do with Wayne. Wayne Newton...he didn't like me because of her (Shelley). [Laughing] Wait a minute. That sounds very interesting. This is way later, probably 1995 or close to 1996. We're closing the hotel, but we didn't know they were closing yet. I go to Sheldon Adelson and say, "You've got to bring Wayne Newton in here." I mean this guy used to draw sold-out audiences every single night and we would turn away three hundred people every show. He was a monster draw. But he ended up in Branson for ten years. So when he came back, 15 nobody knows Wayne Newton now and I don't know this. All I'm remembering is ten years before how powerful he was, and not only at the Sands, but at the Frontier, the Desert Inn. He would sell out every night, and no matter how long he played, and nobody else could do that. Sinatra couldn't do it. They can't play twelve weeks and sell out every night and turn away three hundred people every night. No act can do that except Wayne Newton. I don't think Presley could have done it in his height. It just was one of those acts; everyone that came into Vegas, the first choice was Wayne Newton. So I go to Sheldon, just before we're ready to close, but nobody knows it yet. I say, "You've got to bring Wayne in here." I said, "This man will sell out twelve hundred, one show, the dinner show, and thirteen hundred the next show. We'll turn away..." When he heard this, he was very interested. But he didn't do anything and I kept bugging him. "Sheldon, you've got to bring Wayne in here. He'll do a hell of a business." And he brings him in. He can also bring in his own ma?tre d'. And Shelley says, "Huh-uh-uh, he can't do that. My father is the ma?tre d'." Do you remember that? I remember it very well. Do you know what you told him? Yes. They wanted to make a deal with Wayne Newton to four-wall the showroom, which means that you either split the proceeds with the house, but he assumes the risk. So they came up with a contract. I was the attorney at the time; I was Sheldon's attorney at the Sands. So I have to review the contract. I'm reading the contract. It's a pretty standard four-wall contract. I'm just like, yeah, fine, fine, fine, fine. Then there's a section at the end that says that the artist will select his own ma?tre d', and I just make a mental note of it. Next day we're sitting around the conference table?the president of the hotel, Arthur 16 Waltzman; Wayne Newton; Wayne Newton's attorney, who was also his fianc?e; Frank Fahrenkopf, who was his attorney; and me. We're sitting around negotiating. The Sands wants Wayne; Wayne wants the Sands. It's mutually beneficial. We're just about to get to the stage of cigars and brandy, and I said, "Well, there is one thing that I just wanted to clarify." I go, "According to Section 8.A3, it says that the artist has the choice of his own ma?tre d'." We were all in a very jovial mood; we had just gone through the contract; we're good. I said, "Of course, you know my dad is the ma?tre d', so he's going to be your ma?tre d', isn't he?" Ha, ha, ha. And all of a sudden everybody got very serious on that side. They said, "Well, we...duh, uh, buh." They were going to bring in another ma?tre d'. I put down my contract and said, "Well, that's just not ever going to happen." And they said, "Well, we have a choice of our ma?tre d'." I said, "Well, my father is the ma?tre d' at the Sands. What do you expect him to do if you bring in another ma?tre d'?" They said, "Well, he should do what a ma?tre d' does." I said, "A ma?tre d' seats the room. If you bring in somebody else, my father doesn't have a job." I didn't realize at the time because I was very naive. I'm thinking to myself, I have really stepped out of line. I am the general counsel here. I'm supposed to do what's in the best interest of the hotel, not what's in the best interest of my father. But the president of the hotel, Arthur Waltzman, is very supportive and he is arguing on my behalf?not my behalf, but our behalf about, "Well, no, you're going to have to use my ma?tre d'." So the meeting abruptly ended. They stormed out. I'm sitting there going, holy crap, I'm getting fired right now because I should not be doing this. And Arthur Waltzman is just in happy heaven. I'm wondering, what the hell is going on? I come to realize that it's in the hotel's best interest; you've got to have the ma?tre d' who's counting the number of people that are coming in or you don't track it and you're relying on the artist to give you your cut. So while I thought I was 17 really being out of line by supporting my dad, the reality is there could have been no other decision for the hotel; they needed their own ma?tre d' to make sure there's no funny counting going on. So you were accountable? You have to be or you have no idea who's in there. If the artist's ma?tre d' comes to you at the end of the night and says, "Oh, we on