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When gigs were plentiful in Vegas
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Longtime musicians remember days when gigs were plentiful in Vegas

 

Bill Bailey remembers the days when he would say about his job: "I don't want to be doing this when I'm 50."

Bailey, 61, played upright bass in the Desert Inn's house band in the early 1980s. It was a regular job that came with a regular paycheck and benefits and, like all regular jobs, there were times when it was frustrating. So when he would say that he didn't want to be doing "this" in his 50s, he meant the late nights and the drudgery that comes from playing the same music night in and night out.

But this was not what he had in mind: a Las Vegas Strip mostly devoid of live musical accompaniment, shows that perform to prerecorded scores, a career abbreviated by a lack of opportunities in a town where there once were too many.

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