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Las Vegas In Pop Culture


Las Vegas is the topic of a lot of pop culture fun.

People come to live in Las Vegas for all sorts of reasons. It could be to run from an old life and start a new one. The draw could be a new job, or the search for new adventures. Las Vegas has a reputation for being that kind of a place - a place for reinvention.

A book was the inspiration for journalist Andy Taylor’s move to Las Vegas: Hunter S. Thompson’s 1971 iconic, “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas: A Savage Journey To The Heart Of The American Dream.”

At the time, Taylor was living in Georgia and working as a caricature artist at an amusement park. 

“I was offered a job out here,” Taylor told KNPR's State of Nevada. “And the fact that I read that book made me think: 'Yes, I could come out and see what that’s like for a couple of years and then move on somewhere else.' That was 25 years ago.”

On Thursday, August 6, Taylor will be giving a talk titled, “Las Vegas in Pop Culture” at the Clark County Library at 1401 E. Flamingo Road. It’s free, and part of the library’s “Las Vegas Stories” series.

It’s not just the people of Las Vegas who reinvent themselves – the city transforms itself, too.

“Every three or four years, it’s a completely different city,” Taylor said. “It’s always hard to tell when it’s happening. You see it afterwards.” And that makes it an exciting place to be.

In his talk, Taylor will explore the importance of location in some of his favorite movies about Las Vegas.

“Most of the settings for most movies are relatively random,” says Taylor. “It’s where they wanted to film it, where they could film it. In most Vegas movies, Vegas becomes a character in the movie.”

Taylor’s favorites? The original “Ocean’s Eleven” (1960); “Viva Las Vegas” (1964); and “Honeymoon in Vegas” (1992).

“All these old moves are a snapshot of their time,” says Taylor.  “They’re almost a time capsule.”

Caricature of Nevada Public Radio's Dave Becker by F. Andrew Taylor


Viva Las Vegas by F. Andrew Taylor - From The View section of the Las Vegas Review-Journal



F. Andrew Taylor is a reporter and political cartoonist for the View section of the “Las Vegas Review-Journal.” He covers the east valley.

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Since June 2015, Fred has been a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada.