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03/17/2004 Entry: "Free Phil Spector!"

"In the ballroom, JANN WENNER, editor and owner of Rolling Stone, sat with his boyfriend, the designer MATT NYE, both wearing black and silver striped ties. At a nearby table, his estranged wife, JANE WENNER, sat with their three sons."
Braids and Beards, Genius and Jam Sessions, by Corey Kilgannon, NY Times, March 17, 2004

Hm. I love the music industry, really I do. So when is Jann going to marry the man he left his family for? I'm just asking.

Braids and Beards, Genius and Jam Sessions
By COREY KILGANNON

Published: March 17, 2004

Braids and Beards,

Genius and Jam Sessions

There's something refreshing about seeing a guy like GEORGE CLINTON, Funkadelic's lead singer, amble up the red carpet at a Manhattan publicity circus like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

At the ceremony, held on Monday night at the Waldorf-Astoria, Mr. Clinton showed up in his white suit with purple and orange splash swirls, his hair in stringy rainbow-colored braids.

Mr. Clinton was there to watch PRINCE be inducted. He said he and Prince have a duet recording coming out. So, what's the artist really like?

"Straaange," he said, drawing the word out for several seconds. "I made a tape and sent it to him. He told me he was going to urinate on it. Then he told me to urinate on it and send it back to him. And that's the only story I can tell you."

"But he's strange," Mr. Clinton continued, before heading into the Grand Ballroom. "Hey, if it's an act, it's a good act. He's shy, but he's straaange."

But the singer ALICIA KEYS insisted that her encounters with Prince were full of genius, not strangeness. "Each time it's always very enlightening," she said. "He thinks ahead: grander, bigger, wider. He's not just here for this moment."

LENNY KRAVITZ swept in dressed like Prince: purple velvet suit, white ruffled shirt, Purple Rain-style bouffant and black sunglasses.

KEITH RICHARDS clanged by, wearing fishing lure-like medallions in his hair, shored up with the help of a colorful headband. We could see why his wife, PATTI HANSEN, confided to us at a party recently that she takes no responsibility for his outfits.

Asked why he was chosen to induct ZZ TOP, Mr. Richards said that the band's guitarist, BILLY GIBBONS, "has given me some really great guitars to use, and this is a way of paying him back."

We asked ZZ Top's drummer, FRANK BEARD, why he does not wear a long beard like his bandmates.

"I always thought I was too good-looking and young to cover this face up with a beard," he said. "Now, at least I'm still too good-looking." Then his bandmate DUSTY HILL, with his long beard and black bandana and wraparound shades, said: "I'm good-looking too, but you'll have to take my word for it." We asked DAVE MATTHEWS, who inducted Traffic, if like STEVE WINWOOD, he played several instruments.

"Oh yeah, I play 15 instruments," he said. "However, they're all guitars."

We asked Mr. Winwood what he thought about today's more synthesized music.

"I just don't discount what I hear," he said. "The technology is O.K. I don't discount it completely. I happen to work in a more organic way, with my Hammond organ, and I don't use clips or loops. But that's just me."

Also in the red carpet area was BOB SEGER, who told us he did not really mind that his song "Old Time Rock and Roll" became known to younger listeners as the song lip-synched by TOM CRUISE dancing in his underwear in "Risky Business." "You don't want to see me dancing around in my underwear to it," Mr. Seger said.

Mr. Seger got a big hug from JOHN MELLENCAMP, who was smoking a cigarette. "How did you get that cigarette?" Mr. Seger said. "Why can't I smoke? You must have some pull."

Mr. Seger was introduced by KID ROCK, who showed up with the actress JAIME PRESSLY. So, we asked, is this the new girlfriend? "Oh well, go ask BEN AFFLECK," he said.

In the ballroom, JANN WENNER, editor and owner of Rolling Stone, sat with his boyfriend, the designer MATT NYE, both wearing black and silver striped ties. At a nearby table, his estranged wife, JANE WENNER, sat with their three sons.

When Prince performed, the music-biz suits all stood and danced, prompting SEAN COMBS to hop up on his chair to dance while his tablemate, CHRIS ROCK, stayed safely on the ground.

After the ceremony, many of the rock legends gathered in the hotel bar for a very proper cocktail party: JACKSON BROWNE, YOKO ONO and SEAN LENNON, AHMET ERTEGUN, Mr. Rock, Mr. Wenner, PAUL SCHAFFER, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, all chatting and mingling with no music playing.

ROBBIE ROBERTSON, the guitarist who once led The Band, stood just outside the bar and laughed at the subdued setting. He pined for the days when PHIL SPECTOR held post-awards parties in an upstairs hotel suite. "No jam sessions?" Mr. Robertson said. "No chaos? Where is Phil Spector? We need Phil."

***

 

 

 

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