Monday, February 20, 2012


Jackie just tore it up at the Grammy Museum to a sold-out crowd, and now its time for her husband, Randy, brilliant composer of many films--"Dragonheart," "While You Were Sleeping," "Last of the Mohicans," "The Mummy," "Underdog"--so many--, records, and The Olympics theme as well as the award-winning theme for "Gettysburg." He's amazing. February 27th at Cafe Cordiale--a benefit for Ginny Mancini's Society of Singers!


Katrina, Donna, Mona and Alexandra. Please note the Warhol of Alexandra in the background

Betsy Bloomingdale and Anne Johnson
When Alexandra Dwek gives a luncheon dinner, or any event, you can bet your life that it will be exquisite. This woman has extraordinary taste. She has moved into a beyond beautiful home in Bel Air that looks like France, but it is simple, comfortable elegance--if there is such a thing. You can be at home there in black tie or pajamas. You pick. To celebrate the holidays (yes, I know I'm late but I don't care), she had her poolhouse done as a dining room in a villa in France--not it was that hard since it sort of is. So many fantastic women from many fields comprise her table--civic leaders, charity leaders, businesswomen, housewives with the good taste to NOT be on "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," and all around good folk!


Desi, Lucie and Me on stage. He was quite hilarious.

My dream moment--singing and playing

Lucie with my dear friend Naushaba and her children Moiz and Moeed
It was my honor to be asked to host and moderate the Paley Center for Media's event celebrating "The Music of 'I Love Lucy,'" Desi Arnaz was such a talented man, that it was very special to be able to hear his music and talk about not only the TV show, but how he brought Cuban music to the forefront for the whole United States. As for me, I got to play percussion with Desi while Lucie sang. It was one of the best times in my life. Lucie and Desi do a show called "Babalu" with Raul Esparza and Valarie Pettiford honoring their father. They recently did it for the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Lucie and Desi donated all Desi's original sheet music to them.


Candy Spelling told me how much she is enjoying designing her new place. We've known each other since we were kids at the merry-go-round.

Barry Sanders, Sandy Pressman, Candy Spelling

Sandy and Barry Pressman, (Barry is on the LA Phil Board and he and Sandy chair the Board of Overseers for the LA Phil)  opened their home to honor former LA Phil Chair Barry Sanders to congratulate him on his new book, "American Avatar." Their Beverly Hills house was jammed with well wishers. It was a crazy day, because it was also the day of the Emersons book party, so it was like a caravan.


Kimberly Emerson

John Emerson and Richard Kagan
They gave a beautiful book celebration for the publishing of John's brother Jed Emerson's book called "Impact Investing," which tells you about ways to invest that will make you money and have impact for the greater good. Gee......what a good idea. Everywhere you went there were political strategists huddled in suspicious corners telling secrets. John is president of Capitol Group, was the former chair of the Music Center, and worked for Bill Clinton in DC for many years. He and Kimberly chair many charities and really contribute to our betterment.


I'm crazy about Latin music, and I went to the Pasadena Armory where they decorate the floats to hear Arturo Sandoval and Muse-ique Director Rachael Worby in conversation and music. WOW


Trevor Kirschner, Jason Thomas Gordon, Tony Thomas, Terre Thomas and her other half Gary.
Terre's friend and St. Jude Gala co-chair Robert Ellis

This is kind of obvious

OK. I went as a rabbit
Every year Terre gives the BEST birthday party. This year it was a costume party at McCormick and Schmick in Beverly Hills. Terre (and most of her guests) are die-hard Trojans, and each year she has a USC football cake that is practically the size of their football field. THIS YEAR SHE HAD THE BAND!!! YES...LIVE...THE TROJAN MARCHING BAND!!! (Not hundreds of them, of course, but a good amount). We went crazy.....and then the party culminated in brother Tony Thomas, and Terre's children Dionne and Jason, singing their traditional "Mustang Sally." Terre does constant work for St. Jude, but she's also very active in Beverly Hills politics, trying to preserve the city WE LOVE. It's a hard thing to do, believe me.


I never met "Whitney Houston," but I met Nippy three times. I had heard bout this kid with an amazing voice, so I made it a point to be backstage at the Grammys the first time she was on. I remember seeing her and her friend Robyn running around like two kids set loose in a chocolate factory. Their eyes were shining; they were giggling and pointing at people--but they weren't acting silly. It was so sweet. I was so happy to see the joy on her face, and I remember thinking about how long she would remain joyful.

The next time we met was after her first concert in Los Angeles. I don't even remember where it was. It wasn't a tiny club, and it wasn't an arena. It was some sort of hall, with folding chairs around a portable stage. She'd had a couple of hits and was heading toward her third. The same skinny kid came up on stage. She wasn't fully groomed yet with the sleek wigs and sequined dresses. She was so scared you could see her knees knocking, and she barely moved when she sang. BUT THAT VOICE WAS THERE, and you knew she'd grow into it.

The week that "I Will Always Love You" was released, to the best of my knowledge "The Bodyguard" was not yet out, and that song had just started going up the charts. To the music business people, she was about to be a very big star. To the younger public she was about to be a big star. But that week she was scheduled to sing at a fundraiser for an extremely prominent charity at, of all places, The Beverly Hilton Hotel. Like all charity dinners, the singer came on after dinner when most people just want to go home. And, like most charities, it was an older crowd. She gave a fantastic performance of about four songs, and the audience was polite, but not cheering. In fact, at the time a performer usually goes offstage and then comes back to huge applause for the encore, Whitney was getting weakening polite applause. She didn't leave the stage, and when the applause ended she just stood there at the mic. Looking unbelievably vulnerable she said, "Don't you want to hear 'I Will Always Love you?'" I've never heard a performer be in that position, and she was so new, that her question simply came from her truth. The audience applauded; she sang it and was fabulous; then she walked off stage. The next day I got a call from the person who was the head of the charity. She had received a call from Whitney's father the next morning. He said Whitney was very upset because she thought she hadn't been good and that she was a failure because of the response. She hung up from him and called me immediately and asked me to do a column devoted to how brilliant Whitney was that night. It was my pleasure because it was the truth, and I couldn't bear that she was unhappy. The column appeared the next day, and that night I got a call from my friend saying that Whitney's father had read the column to her and she was now feeling very happy. I'm so happy that I could do a little something for someone who gave me such joy. God Bless You, Whitney. I wish for you always that you should be as happy as when you and Robyn played backstage.


It's Conrad's Bar Mitzvah tomorrow night on "Joan and Melissa," WE TV at 6 or 9 or forever. Conrad lives with Melissa in a separate guest room next to Joan's. He looks like he should be in Hitler's Youth Party, but a few months ago he found out the big family secret---his mother was Jewish!!. So, Conrad decided to convert. Who better to give the Bar Mitzvah than Joan??? It airs tomorrow night, Feb. 19. It is a "SURFING BAR MITZVAH," with Jason Alexander as the party MC. You can hopefully see me with Joan, Conrad and Melissa doing the Hora!