Neil Diamond – The Tribute starring Rob Garrett & the “Pretty Amazing Band” return to Chianti Italian Restaurant May 28 & May 29
About this Event
For over 40-years, which includes a few wars, a national recession and a life threatening pandemic, Rob Garrett has somehow managed to consistently continue to perform on a seemingly non-stop basis in the town that is responsible for creating his career as a headline entertainer. A town that has sidelined 99% of it’s local entertainers this past year. A town just about every aspiring entertainer across the globe dreams of one day performing in. A town that is known for eating up aspiring performers as much as it is for putting their name in lights. A town known worldwide as the “Entertainment Capital of the World. A town called Las Vegas, Nevada (FYI, it’s Neh-Vaa-Dah and not Neh-Vah-Dah).
Rob Garrett has not just become a local celebrity, but a local treasure. One of those people who managed to sneak through the cracks at a very young age and his story is unlike that of any other Las Vegas HOME GROWN entertainer – with maybe the exception of Wayne Newton – although the talented Newton had actual celebrity assistance early in his career whereas Garrett had to chase opportunity to carve out his own career.
Born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, New York, a pre-teen Garrett visited Vegas several times during the early 70’s with his mother and grandmother as tourists.
In 1974 Garrett’s father, a WWII veteran who was put through MIT by the Navy, was offered a job in Vegas and moved his wife, mother in law, and 2 sons to the gaming/entertainment mecca.
By December 1976, Garrett had seen Elvis Presley a total of 23 times(18 in Vegas and 5 in NYC) before his untimely death.
He had seen Neil Diamond only once in concert with his mother that very same year in July during Diamond’s first ever Las Vegas concert engagement for the opening of the Aladdin Theater for the Performing Arts.
By the time Diamond retired from live performances in 2018 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, Garrett had seen him live a total of 17 times in 5 different States.
Garrett learned to play guitar and began singing at age 14 and in 1980, already convinced that all he wanted to be was an entertainer/musician like his 3 musical idols: The Beatles, Elvis, and Diamond, formed a cover band in Las Vegas called “Rock n Roll Heaven” which performed oldies, classic rock, adult contemporary, and even country pop for 15 years (1980-1995).
The group, who gradually began accumulating a large, loyal, Las Vegas following also got to travel and tour in other states as well as overseas in Oslo, Norway, London, England and Aruba. Extremely rare for a cover band.
In 1994 Garrett was beginning to find it more and more difficult to cultivate steady work, and on the verge of divorce with a 3-year old daughter, Garrett made the decision to try and steer his career in a different direction by attempting to become a tribute artist performing as one his musical idols, Neil Diamond.
In 1995 Garrett set his sights on auditioning for a very production show in Las Vegas called “Legends in Concert” which revolved solely around tribute artists that were supposed to look AND sound like the people they portrayed. After a couple of attempts Garrett could not get the producer of “Legends” to give him an audition.
Garrett contacted a past entertainer friend, Jonathan Von Brana, a well known, successful. Elvis impersonator who at one time portrayed Elvis for a number of years in “Legends” in Las Vegas and now was doing the same thing in Honolulu, HI.
Von Brana requested Garrett to mail his promotional material to him and in turn he would show it to one of the owners of “Legends in Concert – Hawaii” who was also the director of that particular show. That person was none other than Paul Revere (of the legendary 1960’s group “Paul Revere and the Raiders” ).
Garrett was first turned down by Revere after being told that the show “wasn’t hiring at this time”. However, 9 months later Revere called Garrett back and set up an audition for him in Vegas while he (Revere) was performing in town with the “Raiders”.
Revere was impressed enough by Garrett’s one on one audition to offer him a 3-month contract in Honolulu. In June of 1995 Garrett flew out to Honolulu to join the cast of Legends In Concert as Neil Diamond. The 3 month “trial” contract was extended and ultimately turned into 3 years. Revere became a boss, mentor, and friend to Garrett until his death in 2014.
Garrett left “Legends – Hawaii” in August of 1998 and returned to Vegas where he still officially resided.
Garrett described it as “almost starting all over again” but after several more years of struggles, persistence, and a little luck, Garrett finally began working fairly steadily although not in necessarily in the town that was responsible for his musical “career”. He still worked on and (mostly) off for “Legends in Concert” but decided to forego “Legends” and make an attempt at starting his own ‘Neil Diamond’ tribute show under the heading of “Rob Garrett – King of Diamonds”
It really wasn’t until 2009 that Garrett was given the opportunity by Cannery Casino entertainment director, Kathie Spehar, to headline in a 500 seat Las Vegas showroom. Garrett’s show quickly sold out and his popularity snowballed after that setting off a successful career that continues today.
By 2021, he has become the most recognized and respected Neil Diamond tribute in the world, headlining more showrooms in Las Vegas than any other tribute artist in the industry, winning several awards, and receiving unprecedented accolades from the Vegas media and show going public. Garrett was now officially a Las Vegas celebrity.
in May of 2020, after a 2.5 month Vegas lockdown, Garrett took on the responsibility of being “entertainment manager” for an upscale Italian Restaurant in Las Vegas called Chianti. The nice sized restaurant, which had a big beautiful built in stage, was struggling even before the Pandemic. Garrett, uncompensated, solely turned the entire business around by booking many of his fellow entertainers who now were out of work and every few months or so would perform his own shows.
With the Governor of Nevada stating that Las Vegas would be permitted to move forward to 100% occupancy by June 1st of 2021, Garrett, who’s next show at Chianti is May 28 & 29, expects to be back in showrooms by late summer of 2021.