Arts & Life
Mon June 30, 2014
Casinos Demanded Taped Music And Got It
Last month was a major anniversary in the cultural life of Las Vegas. Twenty-five years ago, the local 369 of the American Federation of Musicians - the Las Vegas local - struck the Tropicana Hotel-Casino. Why? Because the resort had demanded the right to use taped music in any show. It would severely limit the work available for musicians in Las Vegas and they knew it.
The strike dragged on into the next January, with pickets outside Bally's, Caesars, The Flamingo, The Las Vegas Hilton and the Tropicana. Musicians at the time were predicting a big drop in the work available to musicians and a severe loss in the cultural life of Las Vegas.
Three veterans of the strike tell us what happened and how music has changed in Las Vegas.
Mark Massagli, former president, Local 369, Federation of American Musicians
Ron Simone, former musician, Tropicana Hotel
Bruce Armstrong, former band leader, Caesars Palace