ROCK HISTORY RETURNS WITH SALLY STEELE’S VEGAS ROCKS AWARDS 2024!I wasn’t sure I could do a better Vegas Rocks! Magazine Awards show than I did at the last one in 2016. With Twisted Sister, Scorpions, Doro Pesch, Stephen Pearcy, Rudy Sarzo, Quiet Riot, Bullet Boys, Pretty Boy Floyd and so many others there was no way I could do better than that! I was wrong! 2024 marked my magazine’s 20th Anniversary so I knew I had to do something special and throw one killer party! And that I did!In mid 2023 I started contacting some of my rock star pals to invite which included Kip Winger and Rikki Rockett. They were in! It’s on – let’s go! I sent out so many emails and texts and with much, much determination, confirmations slowly started coming in; Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom from Blue Oyster Cult, Simon Wright, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Blas Elias, Danny Koker and Count’s 77, Frankie Moreno, Lizzy Borden, Bruce Kulick, Marco Mendoza and Crashing Wayward. I had been working on bringing Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick in for some time and when he came to town I got a confirmation from him for the date of the show. I was so excited. Then about a month before the show Billy Gibbon’s manager called me and said the show date was on Billy Gibbon’s calendar and he needed more information! Really?!? On Billy’s calendar? I was so excited when I got off the phone I rode my bike up the trail to Boulder City and when I got to the Railroad rest stop, I jumped up on the bench and shouted  “I’m king of the world!”…all by myself of course with no one around LOL.  And then as the show date got closer Orianthi and Five Finger Death Punch confirmed at the last minute! This was going to be one cool shindig!The days and week before the show were extremely hectic, getting graphics, step and repeats, program booklets, laminates done, videos narrated and edited, getting airport pick-ups and hotel rooms confirmed and going crazy with details. After all I was the host, Producer, Executive Producer with a hundred different details coming at me all at once! The day of the show I swung by the airport to grab Robert Sarzo and Daxx Nielsen on the way to the venue. After arriving to the venue, I rushed into the venue to make sure soundcheck was going okay. Orianthi was really late getting to the venue and I had to wait to give her her passes for her and Mark Davis (Owner of the Raiders) and her manager. I was totally stressed out now and late for the Red Carpet but as soon as I met up with her I melted. She is so sweet and smooth and complimentary and she put me completely at ease. She was so breathtakingly beautiful as always it was worth the wait.I was so stressed out to get ready and I was barely dressed but I was already 45 minutes late to start the Red Carpet so I headed down with only one side of my hair done. The Red Carpet was packed with a huge line of celebs and performers ready for  action with the paparazzi. Rick Nielsen, Billy Gibbons, Kip Winger, Rikki Rockett, Lizzy Borden, Frankie Moreno, Buck Dharma, Eric Bloom, Tim Ripper Owens, Marco Mendoza,  Orianthi, Bruce Kulick, Danny Koker and Counts 77, Crashing Wayward  all showed up for the press along with other special guests Zowie Bowie, Murray Sawchuck and Dani Elizabeth, Raiding the Rockvault members with Sir Harry Cowell, Chris Kattan and so many more!

Then it was showtime!Jason Walker and the Majestic 12 did an excellent job with Kevin Leonard and Michael Maysonet to complete the trio and I was so fortunate to have such talented artists perform throughout the night onstage to play the presenters and performers on and off.Paul Casey had a great idea to have a Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons walk me out for my entrance to start the show. And sure enough Mike Campion and Steve Mitchell completed the role with perfection. It was great! I don’t use cheat sheets or monitors for my introduction so it was pretty much shoot from the hip to announce and try to remember all the incredible artists sitting before me. Somehow I made it through! I introduced Danny Koker and Count’s 77 with Stoney Curtis, John Zito, Barry Barnes, Tommy Paris and Jeff Tortora and they kicked off the show putting on an amazing performance before being presented with “Superstar Vegas Rock Band” Awards.  Troy Patrick Farrell presented Blas Elias with his award, Phil Soussan presented Bruce Kulick his award, Eric Sardinas gave Marco Mendoza his award and Brian Slagel from Metal Blade presented Lizzy Borden with his award. It was my pleasure to present Rikki Rockett his well deserved award for “Outstanding Career Achievement in Music” Award. And then Crashing Wayward put on an absolutely killer performance with Peter Summit leading the charge in his Blue velvet suit and Stacey Blades smoking on the guitar with the rest of the guys Shon McKee, Carl Raether and David Harris.

Chas West, Jason Cornwell and Dave “Chili” Moreno from Westbound presented Simon Wright with his award before Frankie Moreno got onstage with amazing his band and did a jam with Chris Brady. I wanted Frankie do perform his killer rock song “Red” but he started doing a country rockabilly jam. I was so upset! This wasn’t “Hee Haw”! After he got done I marched right onstage and said: “Hey! You aren’t done! You need to do “RED”! Frankie tried to explain his voice was shot after his European tour but I wouldn’t hear of it and demanded he do the song he promised he would do at the show. Frankie didn’t hit all the high notes but did a fabulous job cranking out that great song. I was glad I forced him to do it because I wanted the rock fans in the audience to see how amazing Frankie was at doing rock. The man about town covering every inch of entertainment John Kats from the Review Journal gave a great speech and presented Frankie with his “ Las Vegas Icon” award and then it was time for me to present Orianthi with her award.Comedian Craig Gass was set to present Five Finger Death Punch their award for “Best Metal Band.” He did a hilarious monologue impersonating Gene Simmons saying “Gene” couldn’t be there but you could click on his website “Cod Piece” for his speech. Andy James, Zoltan Barhory and Chris Kael came onstage and Chris captivated everyone’s attention with commanding speech.Kane Roberts did an awesome job with his speech and presenting Kip Winger with his “Lifetime Achievement in Music” Award!  I coordinated a performance with Chris Kattan from Saturday Night Live (He was in the famous SNL skit “More Cowbell”) to come out playing a cowbell and to present Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma from Blue Oyster Cult with their Lifetime Achievement Awards. I got him a wig and mustache just like he had in the skit. It was hilarious!I brought in Daxx Nielsen to honor his dad and he was great! It was so funny because as soon as Daxx got to the podium and started talking Rick sprung right out of his seat and came up to the stage and Daxx had to hold him off: “Hold on just a minute – I’m not done talking yet – my dad is so impatient!” Rick did a hilarious speech with thunderous applause. He thanked me in his speech and also thanked the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for charging him so much that he couldn’t get all his grand kids in. Criss Angel rushed down after his show to get to the venue just in time to give Billy Gibbons his award as planned. He was awesome! Billy is so wonderful and gracious. He said in his speech to “Follow John Kats from the Review Journal and stay in touch with Sally Steele and you will always know what’s going on in this great state of Nevada.”Then I introduced Tim “Ripper” Owens to perform “Breakin’ The Law” with Stoney Curtis, Simon Wright, Marco Mendoza and Robert Sarzo. Tim Ripper is one the best frontmen in rock world. His performance was absolutely SPECTACULAR! He held those notes forever and blew everyone away!

Then it was time for the Grand Finale All Star Performance with “Surrender” with Rick Nielsen, Rikki Rockett, Orianthi, Robert Sarzo and Marco Mendoza. I took it upon myself to sing back-up on the side of the stage with Peter and Stacey from Crashing Wayward. What a performance and experience! Billy Gibbons joined us for the line-up at the end of the show that put a great ending for the books for Rock history Sunday January 21st 2024!

See you next time for the 8th Vegas Rocks! Magazine Music Awards!

Sally Steele

Photos: Steve Spatafore/ Joe Schaffer / David Plastik/ BayLee Guedes Media

Special thanks to our sponsors who made our event possible!

Dollar Loan Center, Count’s Vamp’d, Metal Blade Museum, Findlay Toyota, Nix Rock Star Garage, Svanlund Design, Rock N’ Vodka, Las Vegas Talent Agency, West Coast Tattoo Parlors LV, KOMP and 97.1 The Point! 

For videos for all speeches and performances go to 


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