Scored a last minute ticket this past Friday night to see Tommy James and the Shondells at the packed Golden Nugget Las Vegas, one of my favorite venues in town. Really satisfying gig—the ‘60s pop-rock icon jumped headlong into “Draggin’ The Line” and closed with “Mony Mony” before an encore including “Sweet Cherry Wine.”
With a muscular + tight six-piece band behind him, his voice was still thrillingly resonant. For me, it was especially cool to see James do his signature hit “Mony Mony” having heard Billy Idol perform his excellent version a week before at the Cosmopolitan. The hits kept coming: “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” “Crimson & Clover” + more.
These songs were all released on Roulette Records, which was controlled by scary Morris Levy as a front for the Genovese crime family. This is all part of James’ 2010 page-turning autobiography “Me, The Mob and the Music,” which he said onstage was finally close to being made into a big Hollywood movie.