I’ve been going to the Elton John famed Academy Awards party for years, to benefit his AIDS Foundation. Last night was the 24th under a swanky tent at the Pacific Design Center. Near the stage, the rockin’ 68 year old Elton pounded the piano so hard playing like he was like a 20-year-old upstart. The floor shook like it was a typical LA earthquake.
Sir Elton, in a jewel studded, glittering jacket emboldened with the words, “Captain Fantastic,” on the back, started with hits of old, including: “The Bitch is Back,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man,” Levon,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues,” and “Your Song,” as well as some tracks from his excellent new album, “Wonderful Crazy Night.”
Elton ended with “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.” Some of the celebs, including Sheryl Crow, who was cuddling platonically with pal Steven Tyler throughout the night. Tyler also canoodled with his very young girlfriend. Other guests at the event– which raised $6.2 million– included Caitlyn Jenner, Melanie Griffith, Hilary Swank, (who modeled a Bulgari diamond ring that sold for $40,000 at the auction) Mariah Carey, Heidi Klum, Beck, Zooey Deschanel, Vince Vaughn, Brandy, Sarah Hyland, Jeffrey Tambor and Lana Del Rey.
Charlie Sheen arrived after the Oscar telecast and told anyone who’d listen: “Hey, I’m bringing my HIV to the party.” To keep the narcissism going, he wore a t-shirt with his face on it saying, “stay positively negative.”
Most of the aforementioned stars left after the telecast ended, probably to head over to Vanity Fair, but the adoring crowd could have cared less. They stayed to watch Sir Elton rip the roof off the place. I asked Steven Tyler about his good pal Diane Warren– who wrote Aerosmith’s Oscar nominated song from “Armageddon, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” –what he felt about her surprising and shameful loss for her eighth nominated song, ’Til It Happens To You,’ sung by Lady Gaga.
“Diane completely deserved it. Still can’t believe it. She’ll get one; she’s one of the best songwriters ever. Shocking really.” Elton said about the event that “This started off as 150 people at a little restaurant around the corner and now we have 950 people for dinner. We used to go around to every table, but my legs ain’t what they used to be.” I asked Mariah as she was leaving why she didn’t go on stage with Elton. “I have a cold” she explained, but gamely added, “I just love Elton. His commitment to charity is amazing. I strive to be like him always.”
Speaking of diamond rings, you could be blinded by Carey’s 35 –carat ring from billionaire Aussie James Packer. Boy George left because he needed to get back to his “Celebrity Apprentice” gig with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He told me, “it’s high speed crazy.” Steven Tyler hung around and greeted Mary J. Blige who came in while Elton was singing “Bennie and the Jets,” which they warbled together in the back of the room. Lady Gaga made a drive by appearance, before she went to the Vanity Fair party, where she was joined by Elton and his husband David Furnish after Elton finished his set. This famed event raised 6.2 million. Bravo Sir Elton. On to the 25th!
photo c2016 Showbiz411