As unlikely as it sounds, every Memorial Day weekend a crowd of punk rockers arrives in Las Vegas for a long weekend of music, partying and bowling. Yes, bowling. The centerpiece of this gathering is a bowling tournament with teams, prizes and a distinctly punk attitude. Since Las Vegas can be a bit daunting and the potential for losing one’s hard-earned dollars is a possibility, author Bob Oedy, a punk rocker himself, created this travel/survival guide to help navigate the festival and have a good time.
A good portion of the book, as expected, concerns the tournament and the music venues, however the scope of the book is far broader. The opening pages deal with how to get to Las Vegas and offers advice for traveling there. Bus and plane information is laid out with options for both types of transportation. More importantly, those opting to drive in are given solid safety advice like keeping your tires inflated, maintaining fluid levels and carrying plenty of water. Like many travelling to Las Vegas, even punk rockers can be so focused on the glitter that they forget that this is a city in the middle of North America’s most arid desert. While these sections are de rigeur for a travel guide, Oedy raises the level by offering tips on fun places to take the kids and whether or not one should go with their ex. This latter section was supposedly done tongue-in-cheek but the advice itself could prevent an impetuous decision from tuning into a disaster. There is an excellent chapter dedicated to non-headliner bands like Kilroy, The Bad Samaritans and Glue Gun. These recommendations as well as the information about the festival show venue round out the musical experience of the weekend and insure that even the most eclectic punk rocker finds his sound. While the descriptions and recommendations are well presented, the interviews with members of bowling teams and others not associated with bringing this festival into existence are the only real flaw to this book.
THE PUNK ROCK LAS VEGAS SURVIVAL GUIDE is exactly what the title states: it is designed to help a punk rocker navigate the city and get to the events with a minimum of hassle. Covering everything from sun block to bail bonds the book is ideal for both veteran and new festival attendees. Oedyuses savvy and straight talk for the purpose of getting to the fun experiences, enjoying them and returning home safely.