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Sir Mix and Adam Ant

Clinging to youth is why I tend to gravitate toward music-nostalgia slot machines

Sir Mix and Adam Ant

I see there’s a Sir Mix-A-Lot slot machine now. And for me, that’s a dream come true.

“I Like Big Bucks” debuted a couple of months ago at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, a slot machine featuring the beat of “Baby Got Back” during game play. Sir Mix-A-Lot himself had a “major influence on the creation of the game,” said a press release from the manufacturer of the game, listed as b. POD by Bluberi.

I’ve been waiting for this game a long time, because I… Oh, who am I kidding? I’m totally mystified by everything in that paragraph above. We’ll start with “Who the heck is Sir Mix-A-Lot?” and work our way to “What on Earth is a b. POD?”

Now I know that Sir Mix-A-Lot is a famous rapper, who scored No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1992 with the song that forms the backdrop for game play on the b. POD.

This story serves as yet another reminder that I’m unfamiliar with any popular music-based theme that is more recent than, say, 1973.

Hey, I loved the Sinatra game.

While you’re spinning the reels on this slick new Sir Mix-A-Lot game, you are treated to a soundtrack of that 1992 hit, which, I found out, is not about “Baby Got Back” as in “My baby got back to me,” but is about “Baby Got Back” as in “My baby’s got a big backside.”

Ah, yes, imagine the bliss as you spin the reels to the lyrics of this romantic ballad:

Don’t want none unless you got buns, hon.
Fonda ain’t got a motor in the back of her Honda.
Do side bends or sit-ups, but please don’t lose that butt.

Man, I have tears in my eyes.

The casino industry, of course, has a way of resurrecting stars of decades past. Had the industry matured a few decades earlier, Benny Goodman would have had a residency at Caesars Palace. As it stands, our industry often serves as a sort of purgatory for otherwise dead acts.

Hey, where else are you going to find Sir Mix-A-Lot in his prime? Or Adam Ant, for that matter?

OK, as a cutoff for my pop music fandom, 1973 may have been a bit of an exaggeration. I did listen to popular music on the radio a bit longer than that. Stevie Ray Vaughan was around until 1990, after all. Also, I listened to my car radio in the 1980s, since the only other option at that point was to fumble around with cassette tapes. (They were these small plastic cases with miniature reels of tape that… Oh, just Google it.)

As I’ve said before, the 1980s were largely a trash heap of popular music, with a few exceptions. Some of those exceptions were quite amusing—like my favorite, Devo, along with Madness, Elvis Costello, and the quirky British star Adam Ant. He was the makeup-laden, psycho-ish frontman for Adam and the Ants, owners of several chart-topping hits in the ’80s—notably on this side of the pond, “Goody Two Shoes.”

Adam Ant is one of the nostalgia acts currently playing at the Chumash Casino in California, along with Air Supply, that Australian group with the mushy soft rock that forms background music on the “Soundscapes” channel on my TV. (I put it on when I want my dog to go to sleep.)

While I’m not buying a ticket to any of these shows, I note them here as a counterpoint to those who think the 20-somethings are about to take over the casino industry. People tend to cling to the music of their youth like bare knuckles grabbing at the edge of a cliff (I know I do), and the fact that Adam and the Ants are playing a casino illustrates that people who were young 30 years ago can still pack a casino showroom.

Hey, The Who is playing Caesars Palace, for crying out loud.

Clinging to youth also is why I tend to gravitate toward these music-nostalgia slot machines, although my tastes lean more toward the Willie Nelson, ZZ Top and Motown versions than Sir Mix-A-Lot. I’m probably not going to play the Adam and the Ants slot machine when it comes out.

Now, if someone produces a Devo slot machine, I’m there.

Crack that whip!
Give your loss the slip!
Step on a crack!
Bring the jackpot back!

Incidentally, it may come as a shock to you, but Adam Ant is not his real name. He evidently decided that “Stuart Leslie Goddard and the Ants” was not a good band name.

Meanwhile, this month at Ocean Casino in Atlantic City: Paul Anka Sings Sinatra.

Now you’re talkin’.

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.