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Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his website at:

My most embarrassing moments as a Vegas wheel man

1961 - The owner of the station quickly realized what a jerk he had hired when he went down to the police impound yard to bail out his expensive mobile unit that reeked of beer and vomit.

1987 - "Stupak made a surprise appearance at the opposition victory party. He was accompanied by his 11-year-old son, Nevada, with newly elected City Councilman Steve Miller at the wheel. 'Bob is a tremendous sport,' Miller told reporters. 'He wanted to come over to just wish Ron all the luck in the world, and I respect him very much for that. Here's Nevada Stupak next to us. And this is a lot of fun. It's the American way.' "

KENO mobile unit courtesy of Tim Watters, George Thomas Apfel, & Cheryl Cross          Gov. Mike O'Callaghan, Las Vegas SUN

                                              Bob Stupak and Steve Miller, courtesy of Tom Hawley, KSNV TV News

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
October 20, 2014

LAS VEGAS (long ago) - I am driven to share these two stories. Not because I'm proud of my actions, but because they're both so "Only in Vegas."

The beginning and end of my radio career:

The first story involves my job in 1961 as a full time janitor-part time newsman/DJ at the local Top Forty radio station. As a seventeen year old high school junior, my dream was to be a disk jockey - not a very lofty goal, but my dream nonetheless. To get exposure to the industry, I took the janitor job at Las Vegas' number one radio station, "Color Radio"  KENO AM 1460, located at the intersection of Paradise and Flamingo Roads.

After a month or so of getting to know the KENO DJs including G.L. Vitto, and Gus Giuffre who helped me get a one hour stint each Sunday spinning records and telling jokes for no pay, I was on a roll!  Each Sunday's soirée playing Dick and Dee Dee, Neil Sedaka, Ray Charles, Bobby Vee, and Elvis got me so charged up that I burnt off my excess energy spit polishing the entire station. I was making friends, the kind of friends who refrained from throwing cigarette buts on the floor in respect to the kid who idealized them. (Gus later became my realestate business partner.)

Early on a Sunday morning after a flash flood, I received an emergency call from the station.  KENO was located smack in the middle of the Flamingo Wash, a river bed leading from the Spring Mountains to Lake Mead. In those days, there were no flood control facilities in our city of 80,000. The station's rule was to NEVER open the back door if it was raining, but the late night DJ needed a smoke and inadvertently opened the west facing door and couldn't close it before the station was inundated with mud.

When I arrived, I was met with an inch of mud running through the station from end to end. I dutifully cleaned the mess up, and was thankful the floors were covered with linoleum. That's when Max Hurst the station's owner complimented me on my cleaning skills and ask if we could talk when I finished cleaning the toilets.

Mr. Hurst asked me questions about my life including my ambitions. I told him I want to be a disk jockey, and that's why I was cleaning his radio station. He then asked if I would like to drive his brand new VW bus mobile unit around town on weekends reporting breaking news, traffic, and doing remote broadcasts from advertisers?   I blurted out YES!   My pay? $2.25 per hour.

The first and second week at the wheel of the mobile unit went well, but then something happened that ruined my fledgling radio career and caused my parents to pay a lawyer to have my juvenile criminal record sealed. So as not to be repetitive, here is a LINK to the story as told in the INSIDE VEGAS column of March 15, 2004, a column dedicated to my probation officer Mike O'Callaghan, the man who straightened me out.

The beginning and end of my political career:

The second story is inspired by a call from Nevada Stupak, a long time friend. He wanted me to look at a KSNV TV Video Vault story by Tom Hawley about an embarrassing moment Nevada and I shared in 1987.

Hawley's story includes a video of Nevada's late father Bob Stupak arriving at a party to purportedly congratulate his opponent Ron Lurie for winning the 1987 Las Vegas mayoral election  Lurie's victory party had been orderly until Bob arrived on the scene. I had the dubious honor of driving Bob and Nevada to the event, something I should regret - but don't - because the result was so hilarious.

Here is a LINK to the raucous video, and story as told by Tom Hawley.

During the melee, Channel 3 reporter Hank Tester stuck a camera in my face and ask me "Why did you bring him here?"   Without thinking I answered, "Its the American Way," and the rest is Las Vegas' history.

Following these two events, I'm very leery of who I offer a ride.

Bob Stupak's Private Photo Album:

Bob Stupak's Wikipedia Page:

* If you would like to receive Steve's frequent E-Briefs about Las Vegas' scandals, click here: Steve Miller's Las Vegas E-Briefs

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