The scene: Monday evening/Tuesday morning anniversary bash at the Central, the venerable rhythm and blues club on the Sunset Strip. The evening honored five years of Monday night performances by Chuck E. Weiss and the Goddam Liars, L.A.'s popular purveyors of rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues.
The buzz: Like good fans, the crowd hummed with boasts about everyone’s longtime ties with the band.
Who was there: The tentative guest list had names like Bette Midler, Robin Williams and Carole King, but by 2 a.m., the only celebrity to be seen in the crowded room was Tom Waits. (Michael Jackson could have gone unnoticed in that crowd, however.)
Dress mode: The less, the better. Sport coats just kept coming off, and the few people in shorts looked comfortable. Though the standard rumpled rock attire was all around, most people seemed to have come in blue-collar whatever like auditioners for a beer commercial.
Fashion statements: Spandex and vinyl on a few trendy ladies--though the only statement those fabrics made was that the wearers must have been sweating.
Overheard: “See my new tattoo? See?!” demanded one man thrusting his biceps at a young lady, who was impressed enough to begin some very dirty dancing with him near the bar area.
Quoted: “Am I nervous? Nah,” Weiss said seconds before he took the stage with a blistering rendition of “Saturday Night Fishfry.” “Well, maybe a little. And maybe a little sentimental, but I’m fighting it.”
Triumphs: Several hundred people packed the club and stayed, stayed, stayed, even when oxygen and humidity levels began to reach the danger zones. Tobacco haters would have fled in horror as chain smoking seemed not only prevalent but mandatory.
Glitches: Running out of cold beer. You could grow hothouse orchids in the Central when it gets crowded, and a $2.75 beer went down like a Dixie Cup of Kool-Aid.
Chow: None, but at 1:30, Weiss generously offered to buy the whole crowd breakfast downtown at the Pantry, if everyone wanted to convene there at 3 a.m.