Monday, April 22, 2024

Both Sides Now: Judy Collins Unveils Chic New Hairdo at Clive Davis’s All-Star Holiday Dinner


There was plenty to talk about and plenty of people to talk about it with at Clive Davis‘s annual Memorial Day dinner in Westchester Saturday night.

Among the guests bubbling under an Andy Warhol portrait of Aretha Franklin were Tony winner Adrienne Warren (from “Tina, The Musical)” — wearing spectacular heels gifted to her by Trudie Styler — to “Jersey Boys” actor Erich Bergen. famed Motown songwriter and performer Valerie Simpson, TV and movie star Brenda Vaccaro, Chrysalis Records founder Terry Ellis, MSNBC star Ari Melber, Republic Records chief Monte Lipman (he gives us, you know, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Drake, Taylor Swift, Jack Johnson) and wife Dr. Angelina Davis, Broadway powerhouse producers Barry and Fran Weissler, entrepreneur and filmmaker Nikki Haskell, NY radio personality Michael Riedel, and the amazing Barbaralee Diamondstein-Spielvogel who, like Davis, is 90 and doesn’t stop going as a New York living landmark, historian, preservationist, and philanthropist.

(How, as my mentor Liz Smith used to say, did I get into this room?)

That’s a lot of heavy hitters. But you know, then there was Judy Collins, the superstar songbird of our lives, with husband Louis Nelson, who only designed the Mural Wall for the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington. (This summer he’s unveiling a major update to the Wall in DC.)

We’ve loved Judy for decades, since she made Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” a massive, lifelong hit. Her voice sounds like a flight of angels on her many other hits including Leonard Cohen‘s “Suzanne,” Sondheim‘s “Send in the Clowns,” and her new album (should be in the Grammy race this winter) called “Spellbound.”

Collins kind of took the party by storm Saturday night. Gone were her trademark locks of silvery blonde hair, replaced by a a very chic pixie cut. The gang was abuzz. Judy’s hair has always been as iconic as, say, Tina Turner’s. Collins explained, “This is my off stage hair and I’m thinking of keeping it.” She got applause from everyone in earshot! And she wasn’t even singing! (Judy, by the way, performs at the Leonard Cohen documentary premiere June 12th at the Beacon Theater.)

Oh yeah, and Clive: he was in France for several days on a top secret mission, returned to New York on Wednesday, took a group around the isle of Manhattan on a cruise Friday night, hosted the Saturday dinner, and a Sunday brunch and barbecue, and talent show in his screening room.

“Clive,” I said, asking naively, “Aren’t you tired?”

Clive’s response: “I am.” Then he added: “But the show must go on!” And then he screened a new documentary about his long, storied career with a special audio mix of all his hits by Mark Ronson.

As you do.

PS Clive has a very cool big secret, but I’m not allowed to share it yet. Just wait…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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