Grammy weekend– we are in Los Angeles where the temperature (l0w 80s) is the same as the age of the music industry’s still most dynamic personality: Clive Davis. As you make your way around town, more people ask “Are you going to Clive?” than “Do you have a Grammy ticket?”
Going to Clive, of course, means the pre-Grammy dinner, this year being held on Sunday night in the Beverly Hilton ballroom, a bigger event there than the Golden Globes– and it’s not even televised. (Famed rock manager Irving Azoff is being honored.) Everyone is coming, even though Interscope/Beats/Apple mogul Jimmy Iovine is getting married at David Geffen’s house nearby in Beverly Hills. Somehow the few overlap guests are going back and forth. (There will be gridlock, what with the L.A. Marathon.)
Yesterday at the Hilton, Elle King, Tori Kelly, and Lenny Kravitz all showed up for rehearsals. Today Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire are coming. (You know Clive signed those two acts at Columbia Records.) There are many more performers and a lot of surprises.
At Thursday rehearsals, Clive told our Leah Sydney : “I’m incredibly excited that this evening will live up to the memorable nights of the past. The bar is up there. We’ve got incredible performances in stock. The audience is dazzling so the combination of a star studded audience where people can’t wait to see who’s on either on the red carpet or cocktails. The electricity begins at the cocktails when they see Justin Bieber to Herbie Hancock, Serena Williams to Nancy Pelosi, Ringo Starr to Jennifer Lopez. The mixture is dazzling. Whether they are in films or music; Sylvester Stallone, Michael Keaton will be here. Jon Voight just called me, he’s coming, he comes every year. The worlds are mixing, with the common thread that they love music. From the new artists to the more established ones.”
Last night Billboard magazine named an award in Davis’s honor at a Power 100 cocktail party that would have been low-wattage in star quality if the founder of Arista and J Records hadn’t been present.
Davis scooted right out of there, and I caught up with him at Craig’s on Melrose (seemingly the only restaurant in town for the biz). There he greeted David Foster and Gayle King (not dating), who’d just come from Adele’s mini concert, Arnold Stiefel (manager of Rod Stewart), Russell Simmons, and Nikki Haskell, as well as HBO’s newly promoted Queen of Cable Nancy Lesser. It was almost 11pm, but Clive nattily dressed, impeccably turned out, was hosting a big round table. He is indefatigable. He should be Saran Wrapped at this point.
I said, “Clive, I know a few of the acts you have lined up.” He smiled and replied, “Not all of them. The opening act is going to blow you away.” Who is it? “You’ll see,” he said, with just enough mystery to make you yearn to know more. And this: “The guest list is dazzling.”