The gray stretch limo bearing the guest of honor didn’t glide up the Beverly Hills driveway until three hours past the party’s starting time. And, when George Michael jumped out, he wasn’t wearing a speck of leather.
But then, details don’t really matter, especially when the celebration Wednesday night spotlighted the closing of six successful and sold-out nights of Michael’s L.A. stint. And from Bob Dylan to Vanna White, from Dick Clark to the Beastie Boys, from Sheena Easton to Pee-wee Herman, from Her Serene Highness Princess Stephanie of Monaco to Little Richard, hundreds of the cognoscenti of camp and current crowded in.
“This is fun,” Shera Falk announced, looking for her “date,” Shelly Azoff. “You get to wear both low-cut and black.” Indeed she did--as did dozens and dozens of leather-bearing and cleavage-conscious women who filled the massive tent in the back yard of agent Michael and Nancy Lippman (and was co-hosted by Lippman co-agent Rod Kahane).
The party had a carnival theme, the hostess in a dance-hall hostess outfit and looking so cute that George Michael’s father, Jack Panoyitou, couldn’t resist picking her up and spinning her around. And also trying to help her refasten the top of the zipper on her low-cut costume, although he pointed out, with his wife watching, “I’m good at taking things off. Not pulling them up.”
A minor glitch in an evening more programmed than the invasion of Normandy.
Walkie-talkies bloomed as plentifully as starlets, all the better to control the evening. Only two photographers were permitted into the event--and only one was permitted to shoot the star himself. No pictures would be released until they had been approved by George Michael himself, who would review the prints at some time in the early a.m.
Isn’t this a little strict, even for a rock ‘n’ roll cult figure?
“In the old Wham! days, the pictures were so horribly atrocious,” publicist Phil Lobel explained, “that now he (Michael) likes to oversee his image in all aspects, shapes or forms. He directs his merchandising, designs his T-shirts. He directs his videos and he designs the stage show.” And it was pointed out by one intimate that Michaels was “a rather portly child, you know, stout, so he is very conscious of his image.”
Talk, talk, talk, while the crowd waited for the arrival of the major star. “I have an entire glass of wine in my shoe,” a pal announced to Nancy Lippman. “Do you have a blow dryer?”
Connie Selleca, just back from New Zealand and shooting “The Brotherhood of the Rose,” was present. Deejay Rick Dees was there with wife Julie. (Publicist Lee Solters proclaimed her “a real talent. She does terrific impressions.” And she isn’t even a client.)
Rock ‘n’ roll stars included Kevin Bacon (“Footloose”) and a blond Gary Busey (“The Buddy Holly Story”). In the crowd--agent Danny Goldberg with his fiancee attorney Rosemary Carroll, Triad Agency partner Nicole David, Debbie Allen, Stephen Bishop, Katie Wagner, Dylan’s steady Carole Childs, the Rams’ defensive back Leroy Irvin. Among the small handful of no-shows--Madonna, Sean Penn, Rob Lowe, Mike Tyson, Robin Givens and Magic Johnson.
For those who did not stay until the party broke up at “around 5 a.m.,” here are the events missed, according to a spokesman for the event:
--Andrew Ridgely and George Michael were photographed together for the first time in a year since Wham! broke up.
--George Harrison and Tom Petty sat at the same table with Dylan and Michaels.
--Law enforcement officers arrived to try to keep the noise down, but it was successfully resolved and the music continued until 5 a.m.
--Axl Rose, from Guns N’ Roses, got in the hot tub fully clothed with two women who were not.
LET’S GO OUT AND WATCH TV--There was no need for any guests. The three hosts of the book party at Chasen’s Wednesday night--MCA’s Lew Wasserman, entrepreneur Marvin Davis and the eternally adorable Warren Beatty--could have constituted a triple-crown event all by themselves.
But several dozen VIPs and other assorted political and entertainment types turned out to celebrate the publication of Dr. Larry Horowitz’s new book, “Taking Charge of Your Medical Fate.”
Davis lauded Horowitz (Sen. Ted Kennedy’s administrative assistant and staff director of the Senate subcommittee on health) as having taken charge of Davis’ medical fate for years: “If you have a problem, Larry calls the best doctor and gets you an appointment. Tomorrow.”
The party was marked by a unique hiatus--since it was held at the same time as the vice-presidential debate. Guests gathered around specially installed TVs, and, for the most part, followed the political action. (Beatty hardly moved a well-toned muscle as the debate progressed.)
In the crowd--Aaron and Candy Spelling, former Ambassador to Mexico John Gavin (his wife Constance Towers was in Mexico, opening another of her Operation Connie homes for children); ABC-TV exec Ilene Berg; actress Cynthia Sykes on a one-day leave from filming “Love Hurts” and Interscope’s Bob and Sally Burkett and, of course, Edie Wasserman, Lenore Horowitz and Barbara Davis. Also the author’s cousin, teen-age actress Winona Ryder, getting ready to do “Great Balls of Fire.”
Kenny and Marianne Rogers were in visiting from Atlanta--with the news that they would be moving back to Los Angeles from their Georgia farm by next summer so that Rogers can emcee a TV talk show.