Updated August 14, 2019 - 9:16 am
To himself and to the world, Matt Goss has asked, “When Will I Be Famous?” It was a big hit 30 years ago for Bros, the boy band formed by Matt and his twin brother, Luke.
The lads lorded over Great Britain for the proverbial hot minute, drawing 77,000 shrieking fans to Wembley Stadium but burning out fast over mismanagement and their own diverse artistic ideas.
Goss went to work to fulfill his dream as a Las Vegas Strip headliner with his own band and brand. Today the Mr. Goss-Tastic celebrates his 10th anniversary Sunday night at 1 Oak Nightclub at the Mirage.
Goss still sings that song from the Bros years, calling out the lyric, “When will I see my picture in the paper?” His song about chasing fame is as current as the latest Twitter post.
“I think it’s more relevant now than it ever was,” the 50-year-old Goss says during a phone chat. “Fame has become something that is acquired rather than earned. You don’t have to be a singer or an actor to be famous. You can be an Instagram star, a social-media star, but I’m not sure how long that is going to sustain you.
“What my brother and I have is a career, and that will sustain you.”
But social media did add fuel to Goss’ Las Vegas career. When he opened his Goss Airlines-themed show at the Palms in 2009, Twitter was still in something of a novelty, and he dove into conversations with his new fans. At the time, a public exchange between a media type (hello) and Vegas headliner was not so common, and Goss was soon volleying back such public posts as, “Goss-a-Rator! Is it yet the Gossy hour? It’s all Goss-ome!”
“That’s how it all started here in Vegas,” says Goss, who wound up naming the rooms at Palms and Cleopatra’s the Gossy Room. “Now it’s a thing.”
Goss opened at the Palms in August 2009, he was 39 and looking for something of a career renaissance. The Palms’ then-owner George Maloof set him up at The Lounge, a chic, new entertainment haunt with inventive touches such as half-inch audio tape lining the walls, elevated seating on one side of the house and high stage for a fake fuselage.
Early in that run, Caesars Palace execs pulled into the Palms and came up with idea to present him at Cleopatra’s Barge. That venue was a tired and tawdry nightclub standing on stale water but with great foot traffic. With Caesars looking at options to diversify acts at the Barge and Gossy reestablishing his professional partnership with his brother, the Gossy Room closed in September 2016.
In December, Goss was drafted once again to change a Las Vegas venue’s atmosphere, headlining at 1 Oak Nightclub at the Mirage. The show is similarly styled as the Cleopatra’s Barge production: A well-suited band powered by the Gossy Horns and a sinewy dance troupe. Goss performs Sunday, his original three-night-per-week schedule scaled back to maximize sales and allow for his outside projects. The single-show approach inevitably boosted interest and demand in Goss’ 8 p.m. show.
“I’ve do feel peace there, on stage,” Goss says. “It’s taken me 30 years to say this out loud, but I feel I’ve mastered what I do. I know what I can do to an audience and I know what I can do to a crowd, big or small. I look forward to going out and doing what I can do.”
Goss is also still riding the success of the “After the Screaming Stops” documentary and dates in the U.K. The Bros reunion documentary has earned critical acclaim and social-media energy centered in Great Britain. The doc explores and reveals the tension between the brothers, with Luke struggling to cope with being an equal creative partner from his positions behind the drums as Matt plays front man.
The film also catches Goss’ occasional oratory explorations, called “Brent-isms” in the U.K., after Ricky Gervais’ David Brent character in the British version of “The Office.” (In a Jan. 13 interview, British TV host Piers Morgan has latched onto Goss’ comment, “I made a conscious decision, because of Stevie Wonder, never to be superstitious.”)
But beyond those moments is an effective chronicle of how the brothers dealt with their teenage fame, including the May 2014 death of their mother, Carol.
“Me and my brother categorically did not want that to be a promo piece,” Goss says. “The music business is not a promo piece. It’s absolutely raw. It was very difficult for me, because I am such a private person, but finally I thought, ‘OK, what will be, will be.’ ”
Goss emphasizes, “My brother and I were in deep, deep mourning over our mother’s death, and still are.”
Having reunited for the film and concert dates in the U.K., the duo is creating new music and plans to have an album out by the end of the year, in a new multimedia partnership yet to be disclosed.
Goss has no dates set after his Sept. 1 show at 1 Oak, but does plan to play Vegas in 2020. His name pops up in relation to the chic supper club Delilah, expected to open next year at the Wynn. Goss says he likes 1 Oak, but is also waxing nostalgic about his days at Caesars, and officials from that company are expected to attend Sunday’s show.
“I always say, ‘Leave a friend, come back a friend,’ ” Goss says. “In regards to the properties that are approaching me about where I go next, I will say this, wherever I end up next year, wherever that place is, that will be the last.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.