Reality TV and Boulder City are starting to become a common thing. Recently, the HGTV show “Flip or Flop Vegas” filmed in our quaint town, with an episode promised to air this upcoming summer. However, the likes of Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe) and Gear Duran aka Gear Boxxx (“Skin Wars”) have had Boulder City ties for sometime now.
Duran lives in Boulder City. I have the pleasure of exchanging Hollywood stories and realizing common connections with him often as we wait for our morning caffeine fix at the local Starbucks. Duran is an airbrush and digital artist with a background in digital illustration and computer art since the late 1990s. He spent a lot of time working in Hollywood for years before the tables turned and he became the center of attention for “Skin Wars,” which was hosted by Rebecca Romijn and RuPaul. Duran’s artwork has also been featured on the cover of a Las Vegas weekly magazine.
Duran told me he moved to Boulder City for a job related to art, but his renowned work is also popular within the Vegas convention scene. He utilizes his talents and eye for detail to build props and create body paint themes for service industry professionals. His artistic creations extend past normal convention services to help spice up nightclub events, private parties and commercial work.
If you ever see Duran in Starbucks, by all means stop him and say hi. He is always happy to chat about his time on “Skin Wars” and his latest art endeavors, as well as his favorite parts of living in Boulder City.
More notorious, and not so family-friendly, was the creation of one of the world’s most sought after XXX videos involving drummer Lee, actress-model Pam Anderson and Lake Mead.
This explicit video was distributed on the crest of reality television’s boom, and the then-married couple’s real honeymoon on Lake Mead gained an outstanding amount of international headlines. According to Entertainment Weekly, “Web entrepreneurs hawked a hard-core tape of the pair’s 1995 Lake Mead vacation (some called it a publicity stunt; the duo said it was stolen).” The intrigue and interest of the man-made, beautiful lake that sits in our own backyard was overshadowed by Lee and Anderson’s controversial antics.
On the positive side, his reality TV video on Lake Mead with Anderson wasn’t Lee’s first visit through Boulder City.
Lee has been coming through Boulder City to visit and wakeboard at Lake Mead for more than two decades. On WakeWorld.com there are photos, as well as an interesting interview, with Lee wakeboarding at Lake Mead. Further, the interview discusses how some of Lee’s music (outside of Mötley Crüe) is utilized in an early 2001 wakeboarding DVD titled “The Faction.”
Reality TV, regardless of the format, has become a major part of our society’s viewing life. And it only makes sense that Boulder City, like with major motion pictures, plays a starring role within this genre.
From artist contestants who live here to national exposure by way of HGTV focusing on our historic homes, to its ties to one of the most notorious rock ‘n’ roll bands on Earth having its members spend time here, reality TV is another vessel to help market all of the potential fun and adventure that come with living in or visiting Boulder City.
Tanya Vece is an entertainment and music writer who resides and volunteers in Boulder City. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @hollywoodwriter.