Gorbachev Plays the Hard Rock

Former Soviet leader talks peace at Florida hotel casino
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 6:27 PM CDT
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, seen in a December photo, is at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in south Florida tonight to deliver a speech on peace.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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(Newser) – An unlikely entertainer is taking the stage tonight at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., the Miami Herald reports: former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev, 77, will speak on peace in a venue where country crooner Reba McEntire and guitar legend Carlos Santana are also booked this month.

A fat paycheck from the Native American tribe that owns the casino hotel could be behind the appearance, the Herald notes, with Gorbachev commanding $125,000 in the past for one-hour engagements. But, a casino rep says, ticket business "has not been overwhelming," with 400 given away free to students at the nearby University of Miami.