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Into the Night

February 07, 1991|KEVIN ALLMAN

THE SCENE: Monday night, after the first of Sting's five sold-out L.A. performances at the Wiltern Theater. Sting must be a music executive's dream: He gets described in magazines as "intelligent" and "sensitive," he gets involved with good causes like the peace movement and the rain forests (even his posters announce that they're printed on recycled paper), and he attracts people like Bruce Springsteen to his events. And his latest album, "The Soul Cages," just went platinum in its second week of release. Such selflessness deserves more than a mere plate of cold cuts backstage, and A&M Records pulled out all the stops for their golden boy at the Atlas Bar and Grill.

THE BUZZ: You could either talk about how terrific, how breathtaking, how mind-boggling the concert was, or you could impress fellow party-goers by talking at a meant-to-be-overheard volume about how well you know Sting. Some people did both.

WHO WAS THERE: A lineup of musicians and actors who were more VH-1 than MTV material: Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Joni Mitchell, Stewart Copeland, Billy Idol, Don Henley, Jeff Bridges, Judge Reinhold, Michael Keaton, and more. Most of the guests looked like the kind of good folks who buy biodegradable diapers, boycott grapes whenever they're told to do so, and tape "thirtysomething" on Tuesday nights.

DRESS CODE: Lots of Stingwear--tour jackets, baseball caps, backstage passes worn ostentatiously around the neck, and buttons. The ponytails for men look has finally faded, becoming the exclusive province of waiters and balding men over 35.

CHOW: Seafood tacos, chicken gumbo, mini pizzas, and beans and rice, all quite good. And it just isn't a record company party these days without the requisite ice sculpture, so there was one of those too.

QUOTED: "I'm surprised it's a platinum record because it's so miserable," said Sting. "But when there's a war on, I guess people want to be miserable."

OVERHEARD: "This party could really be our big break," said one eager young man. "I'm in a band, and we have major label interest. Major label interest ."

TRIUMPHS: Most of the stars were reasonably tolerant of the photographers and the camera crews who were bothering them while they tried to eat. No snarls, no curses, no opening their mouths to display half-chewed food. Today's rock stars are so mature.

GLITCHES: Sting's admirable one-world philosophy notwithstanding, it has to be said that the event was, well--how to put it nicely--about as ethnically diverse as a Lawrence Welk polka party.

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