Grrr! Pretty Vegas

When singer J.D. Fortune won last year's "Rock Star" competition to become the lead singer of INXS, his claim to fame was a tune he wrote called "Pretty Vegas."

Today, that catchy tune can be heard on top 40 and adult alternative rotations on both terrestrial and satellite radio several times a day.

"Falling asleep at the wheel again baby..."

But the song's catchiness isn't all it has going for it.

Out here in Las Vegas for the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention, the lyrics Fortune wrote for his winning entry on the CBS reality show keep popping into my head, especially at young, hip and ridiculously pretty casinos like The Hard Rock.

"If you think you want it, just come out and get it?"

The Hard Rock casino can be described as both heaven and hell. One could easily take a look around and say "I think I've died and gone to heaven," and two hours later say "I think I've died and gone to hell."

"It ain't pretty..."

At poolside, muscled, toned, tattooed and tanned bodies in the teeniest bikinis are in abundance. Young women with so-called "tramp stamps" (lower back tattoos) and bleached blond hair sashay from the casino floor to poolside cabanas, where inevitably some guy signing $20,000 markers is picking up the tabs.

Waiters, waitresses, bartenders and gaming staffs are equally beautiful.

I watched a casting director from an extremely popular reality show approach "TJ," a beautiful blackjack dealer of Panamanian descent, and ask her if she would be interested in trying out for the show.

These days, Vegas, especially the Hard Rock, where celebrities hang out -- Tom Brady and Nicky Hilton were there Saturday night -- is a place where dreams come true.


"You're drifting over the line, yeah..."

The new Vegas is one giant shopping mall with marble floors and vaulted ceilings, five-star restaurants and top-shelf liquor. It's where Cuban cigars aren't even the best you could buy (if they sold them) and beautiful people from Beverly Hills come to be seen and heard.

There's more sightseeing at poolside and inside casinos then there is a few miles up the road in the beautiful Red Rock canyon.

"Fix me can you read the sign..."

After a while, however, the beautiful people melt away and become one giant mosaic of casino chips and paper money, makeup and silicone, "Juicy" rear ends, exotic perfumes and rock 'n' roll music. It's all fun and games until somebody loses their shirt, but the pretense outweighs the risk.

This is the place to be seen and to see, worth the ebb and flow of the slots and the cards and the booze and the smoke.

"Save your tears and laughter because this is the ride, this is the show."

Downtown on Fremont is the Vegas the mob built. Seedy and dangerous, where $2 tables do exist and gamblers eye one another with suspicion, but as one of my FOX News Channel colleagues put it, there's something more honest about this part of town.

The old Vegas isn't hip and it ain't pretty, but here you know where you stand, and the pace is slow enough for you to realize you just may not belong here.

Downtown, the distractions and the shows and the beautiful people will suck you in, until you become part of the mosaic.

But hey, it's Vegas and it's fun. Just keep it all in perspective.

"It ain't pretty."

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