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Mike Randle


“Me, Ringo and how to pull a fast one in Las Vegas.”
May 13, 2003

“LOVE and BABY LEMONADE Consigliere, Mike ‘Ringo’ Harrison (in Pink Suit) takes a moment to chat with The Yards’ lead singer/guitarist, Chris Helm, at Ringo’s recent wedding”

Next month I am going to Vegas for a few days holiday. One of my closest mates, Ringo, will be in town (from the UK) with members of his family for his mums b/day. Ringo and I first met at a LOVE show in Venice beach back in 1993. We’d just finished our show and walked outside and there was Ringo with his uncle, Nick, telling us how much they dug the show. On Ringo’s next visit to LA (6 months later, with London’s cheekiest trouble maker, Richard “Rocky” Meehan), he had planned to stay for 2 weeks. Rusty and I let them stay at our place and, after 2 weeks, Richard went back to England but Ringo, having been made redundant at his job, stayed in LA for a couple of months. I would describe him as quite a fun character and a damn good drinking partner. His (newly wedded) wife, Toni, is top class as well.

So I was more than happy to make time to hang out with Ringo in Vegas. I love Vegas. Of course Vegas is everything that the rest of the world despises about America. But you gotta love a place where you can go ANYWHERE at ANY HOUR with a beer in your hand, EVERYTHING IS OPEN at ALL HOURS of the night, prostitution is legal, nearly EVERYTHING is cheap as dirt, where they give you FREE DRINKS just to stay and gamble and where Elvis once called home. See, I ‘m not much of a card game gambler guy. I do play slots a bit but my thing is SPORTS BETTING. I love it.

Stick me in that big room with those disgusting, cigar smoking, smelly slobs and i’m right at home. See, as long as you have a betting ticket visible, the waitress just keeps bring out the drinks, REGARDLESS how much money you bet. My thing is balance, and it goes like this. I usually take 5 or 6 bets at about $20-$30 each. On half of that, I take the underdog with (hopefully) nice pay-off odds. The other half, I take the favorites to, you know, sort of cover my ass. Now, I’m much better at betting on NFL football games than anything else but that doesn’t start till September so the NBA finals may still be on. baseball will certainly still be on (when isn’t it?) and Horse Racing is always a go. But i draw the line there and would never dip into dog racing and weird stuff like that.

Now, when I order beers, I ALWAYS order 2 at a time. ALWAYS. Trust me. Order 2. Now, tip her $1 every time she comes by. She’ll come by a lot. Assuming you can drink 10 beers and still stand up ( I would just be getting warmed up), you will have paid $5 on $50 worth of drinks. If you look at it they way my friend Erica looks at it, you just made $45. Now, what are the chances you would lose ALL SIX BETS? Highly unlikely, like winning all six. But if one of your bets pays 3-1 odds and you bet $30, you’re $90 ahead (plus you get your $30 back) So on the original $120 you laid down, if just one of your 3 underdog bets comes through, you’re doing OK. Now, you gotta figure to win at least 1 of your favorites, but most likely you’ll win 2, especially if they have a good home record and bookies placed the odds that way. Depending on the odds, you might get $15-$20 back on each $30 you bet.

So let’s say, at the end of 3 hours time, after betting $120, you got back (roughly) $150, PLUS you got absolutely tanked for only $5, on Heineken no less. That’s a $30 gain. Now take that $30, go to Emeril’s and order the Cajun Catfish, which will run you about $23.99 and it comes with Gumbo. After tip, yer right back where you started; at zero. But look at all the fun you had, the great food you had, you’re totally pissed and it didn’t cost you a red cent. You lucky bastard. Of course, this is a totally different thing than when we went down to Rosarita, Mexico, several years ago and lived like kings. Everything was so cheap, they were practically giving it away. At one resteraunt, they mistook Ringo for Liam Gallagher! Lots of Tequila, lots of Coronas, lots of Carne Asadas and lots of fun. But I’ll save that trip for another time…

Mike Randle


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