Mr. Siegel, are you there?

In Search of the Bugsy Siegel's Permanent Suite

Posted by Chuckmonster

Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel. An east coast hood, racketeer and gangster turned failed movie mogul, turned visionary developer, turned mafia casualty, turned legend. While it is often believed that Bugsy 'invented' Las Vegas, the truth of the matter is that Bugsy was one of Vegas' first real entrepreneurs.

Year after year, Vegas casino monoliths post quarter after quarter of record profits. New mega-resorts are built on the ruins of the new mega-resort that replaced the old mega-resort that replaced the old mega-resort that was built on the site of that old hotel. We figured we'd drop in and pay our respects to the man who may have started it all.

The day started with a short drive to the 'Hollywood Forever' cemetary, which directly behind Paramount Pictures movie studio. Lots of celebrities from the golden age of Hollywood call 'Hollywood Forever' their final resting place. And fitting it is... nearly every suite here has a great view of the Hollywood Sign.

Since we had no map to go on, Miss Monkay and I wandered about the cemetary looking for Mr. Siegel. Alas, not Bugsy, but Bigsby... inventor of the jet powered missile, a device whose relationship to Vegas is probably just as close as Siegel's.

Hey Ho! Let's Go!

When I was a kid, I just loved the Velvet Underground, I loved Lou Reed, I loved The Ramones, The Clash and The Sex Pistols, and there [already] were The Ramones and The Clash and The Sex Pistols, so I thought that was a foolish area to get into. However, in magic there was nobody good, not even slightly, just some greasy guy in a tux with a lot of birds. - Penn Gillette

Why yes... it's Dee Dee Ramone! Legendary bassist of the mighty Ramones. We paid our respects to Mr. Ramone so you won't have to. I met him once in 1989 shortly after he quit the Ramones at a club in New Rochelle, NY called 'Streets'.


A previous mourner left a plastic 'Bob's Big Boy' at the foot of Dee Dee's monument (bottom right).

Rock on Dee Dee.

After scouring the headstones, we ventured into a mausoleum (cue the spooky organ music...) and after trudging up and down a number of hallways reading the slot markers, we happened across an odd little walnut encased kiosk in rear of the vestibule. In it was a touch screen computer grave locator with a complete directory of every person currently booked at Hollywood Forever.

After we poked around on it for a bit, we finally found Bugsy's entry. A complete biography with pages of pictures and very unclear directions to his High Roller Suite were to be found. After Miss Monkay and I finally got creeped out enough, we ventured forth in search of Bugsy.

Shortly thereafter the mausoleum that houses Mr. Siegel's earthly remains was located. A through check of all entrances showed that all entry gates were securely chained shut. Seven out.

"In loving memory from the family. Uh... the family. Riiiiight. The family that killed your ass. We ganked this photo from findagrave.com.

So the elusive Bugsy Siegel still remains 'at large'. Our attempt to pay our respects to the man partially responsible for the Vegas lifestyle paid off like the seas of slot machines that have replicated like rabbits in his wake. Teasing continually with small jackpots, but leaving you empty handed at the end of the day. Regardless, the search for Bugsy Siegel was fruitful for reasons even we hadn't imagined.

He didn't order any room service anyway.



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