I shot this video late one night with my friend Jerry Stefani in 1988. We drove down the Las Vegas Strip and Fremont Street to capture the amazing neon-lit motels that once were ubiquitous but now have mostly vanished. The video was shot while playing a cassette of Chris Isaak’s “Blue Hotel” on my car stereo and edited in-camera to the music.
I’ve been fascinated by America’s mom and pop motels since I was a kid, associating them with family vacations and adventure. I especially like themed motels, and Las Vegas was full of them. Not surprisingly, many were gambling or desert themed. In the last few years, Jerry Stefani has researched the histories of the Vegas motels featured in our video as well as dozens of others on Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street. He created a terrific website with Then & Now photos that documents his discoveries.
I hope you enjoy our 3-minute music video from the days before Steve Wynn destroyed everything we loved.