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[The Backstory]

A big fake tongue at First Friday

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Photo: Corlene Byrd

Update: After this Backstory was published, we heard from the man pictured, Gary Downe. Downe has worked as an impersonator for 14 years and does Slash, Dee Snider and Alice Cooper, as well as a mean Gene Simmons. He says that he was upset during First Friday because people were taking pictures without tipping and saying derogatory things. Downe, who usually works the Strip, says people who want a photo of him are welcome to tip whatever they want to give. "Whatever they feel the picture is worth."

First Friday | August 2, 2013 | 7:56 p.m.

He wanted to rock and roll all night—until 7:56 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. That was probably when reality set in that he could have made more tips by giving up his Hoveround parking space to First Friday-goers and charging the going rate. It was a prime spot, right across from the art installation antARTica, which spanned one city block and was manned by staffers and volunteers. But Gene Simmons wasn’t carving Styrofoam penguins or enjoying the whale-calls soundtrack.

As obscenities poured out of his mouth from behind his cardboard-duct-tape-axe-guitar-social-media-shield, I pondered how much soap it would take to wash out his mouth, because that’s one big fake tongue he has. He probably could have traded it in for three parking spots.

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