But there's enough of a beat for Hef. He's standing back in the shadows, grinning away and doing a little side-to-side boogie. Kind of like the way Herman Munster used to dance.

"This one's a tribute to my dad," says Nance, gazing out at the crowd through those black-rimmed eyes. It's a light-samba take on "One for My Baby," and her voice is just weathered and lived-in enough to do justice to the classic Frank saloon ballad. But let's face it, if Nancy doesn't do "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" each time the curtain goes up, she might as well kiss this whole comeback thing goodbye. No fool she, NS closes the short set with "Boots." The clouds part, the planets align, truth is revealed, we are as one, God is love, praise Allah, make mine a double.

A waiter bearing a silver tray with two lonely artichoke croquettes passes in front of me as the crowd thins out. I ask him what he thought of the show. "She's all right," he says conspiratorially, "but I'm a singer, too. And I'm a Louis Armstrong look-alike." The guy proceeds to sing half of "Ain't Misbehavin'" into my ear as some record-industry type walks by and shoves a croquette into his mouth. He pauses to give us the once-over as Satchmo keeps bellowing, then scuttles away. You know, that waiter really did sound like Louis Armstrong. Looked like him, too.

Nancy is once again surrounded; everybody wants a piece of her. Hef has disappeared, the bar is closed, it's time to go. Will the children of Cobain--the same ones whom MTV tells us are digging Tony Bennett--welcome Nancy with open arms? Will she bloom on the retro circuit--something she's said she's not interested in--like the Monkees? Or will she slip off those boots and go back to a comfortable existence as the mother of two grown girls, a woman with a famous dad and enough coin to live nicely for the rest of her natural life? I don't know, but this much is certain: Nancy Sinatra has earned a permanent paragraph or two in the big book of American pop culture; she had a look and a song that are still downright cool.

As for Nancy today? At the very least, there will always be the, uh, inspirational May '95 issue of Playboy, which, if treated with proper care, will last for quite a long time in the bottom of a desk drawer.

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