SOCIAL CLIMES : Blues Club Opening Safer With Shaffer


At the House of Blues' official opening last week, there was an unexplained 45-minute pause between Isaac Hayes' performance and the appearance of Dan Aykroyd with the Blues Brothers Band.

For a while, a platoon of Scottish bagpipers marched through the room, but that could hardly be called bluesy.

It turns out the 1,000-strong crowd was waiting for Paul Shaffer. A private plane had been dispatched to Palm Springs, where the bandleader of "The Late Show With David Letterman" was attending a wedding. When he arrived, the show went on.

The importance of having Shaffer at the opening could be explained two ways: He was an original member of the Blues Brothers Band.

And he'd been at the opening of the other two House of Blues establishments.

We're told that the restaurant-club's owners, strong believers in the spiritual, thought it a good omen if Shaffer was there when the third opened its doors.

Although a spokesman for the House of Blues downplayed the idea that having Shaffer was superstitious, he did say it was "definitely sentimental."

Thanks But No Thanks: One person to take off the list for the job of director at the L.A. County Museum of Art is Tom Krens, the director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Although Krens says that during a lunch in Los Angeles "somebody asked if I would be interested," he was not officially approached about the job.

"The art world is rife with these kinds of rumors," he says. "I have no intention of leaving here. After all, I was born in Brooklyn."

Got Money to Spare?: Also in the museum world, now that UCLA is operating the Armand Hammer it will be interesting to see what happens to one of its partially completed sections.

Right off the Lindbrook entrance is an unfinished, potentially state-of-the-art movie theater. The sloping shell is there, but the theater wasn't completed because funds ran out during construction.

This would make a perfect locale for movie premieres because party-bound guests could exit directly into the Hammer courtyard.

It's the kind of high-profile structure a philanthropist donating funds for completion would love to have his name on.

Although if someone else's name ever went on a plaque in the Armand Hammer Museum, it might be the ultimate irony in the individualistic millionaire's life.

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