The Dave Bunker Band, for most of the ten years at the Golden Nugget, was to do what was called swing-relief. We would do five shows a day from Wednesday through Saturday. We would then headline on Sunday going directly into the graveyard shift and get off at 6:00 am on Monday morning. We were really tired when we finished. The good part was that since we played back-to-back shows after the headline, we had two and a half days off before starting again. We did this off and on for six months a year, for ten years.
At The Golden Nugget
The Golden Nugget was such a fun club. It was where many of the stars from the strip and throughout Las Vegas loved to jam after hours, and the Nugget welcomed them with open arms. We didn’t even have to do our shift many nights because we had some of the greatest artists in the world – the Johnny Cash and Elvis band members, Waylon, Merle, and so many others — doing it for us. It was pretty neat getting paid to watch some of the finest talents in America, all good people, different in so many ways.
A Start From Redd Foxx
One of my first trips with the Touch Guitar, originally patented as the “Duo’Lectar in 1962”, was to Las Vegas, where I thought I would become a big star with my new invention. It turned out to be quite a different experience. Soon after I got there, I was broke and looking for any way to make money so I could keep eating and have a place to live.
One day I walked into a club on the strip called the Silver Slipper. They had an act with Redd Foxx, and I asked if they would be interested in hiring me. The club manager said I’d have to talk to Redd Foxx. I stayed to watch his show, and after it finished, I was surprised to see him walk up to me and ask if I was the kid who wanted to go to work. I was shaking in my boots but managed to say who I was, and he invited me backstage to show him what I could do.
After this impromptu audition, he hired me to play the Duo’Lectar on his breaks between sets. Over the next few weeks, this kid from Forks, Washington learned some words and expressions from Foxx that he had never before heard, even from the wild, foul mouthed loggers. I’ll always appreciate Redd Foxx for giving this kid a chance.