I had several ideas for a cover in the years since I started working on this book. Of course, the cover had to match the title and I had as many or more ideas for a title.
After considerable deliberation I decided to go with something that featured "king" in the title. At least the majority of the titles I came up with had "king" in there. "El Rey" means "the king" and Willie Martello considered himself to be a king in the Vegas area. For the longest time the working title was simply The King with a full title of The King: The Story of Willie Martello and the El Rey Club (or simply The King). I thought that would end up as THE title until Steve Fischer, author of the wildly popular book, When the Mob Ran Vegas, convinced me that "THE KING" would likely get people to think it was a book about Elvis and then be disappointed. I agreed and decided if I were to keep "king" in the title it needed to be tweaked.
|Photo courtesy Nevada State Museum|
[J. Florian Mitchell Collection]
My original cover design.
A very B-A-D mock-up made at home.
©Andy Martello & Just A Martello Books
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This is NOT what ended up and the cover. this was just the first in a series of concepts that led to what you'll all be reading very soon. At the time I thought I'd ask Jerry Schafer to write a foreword, but he contributed so very much to the book I asked Mark Hall-Patton (Pawn Stars) to write one.
Eventually I settled upon The King of Casinos: Willie Martello and the El Rey Club as the title. No Elvis confusion and "king" was still in there. Plus that title spoke to both the casino which I believe was a template for modern Vegas resorts and Willie himself who thought he was the King of Casinos.
Stay tuned to see the evolution of the cover for The King of Casinos!
There is still time to donate and help fund this project. there are still many great thank-you gifts available for the casino collectors out there. However the time to get your name listed in the special thanks is running out. Donate today and become a part of history!
The research & collecting of photos and memorabilia from the El Rey Club never stops! Please contact me at 702-465-5604 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have stories or memorabilia to share.