The Scene: Wednesday night in West Hollywood, at what press materials called an "unparalleled opening event" for Fleetwood's, a new blues supper club. Owners Mick Fleetwood (of Fleetwood Mac) and Peter Lepore inaugurated their new venture with an opening-night blues jam featuring Bo Diddley.
The Invitation: A handsome (translated: expensive) heavy card covered in blue brocade and tied with a gray grosgrain ribbon. More than 400 invites went out last week to a guest list that included everyone from Andrew Dice Clay to Sandy Duncan.
Who Was There: Musicians Terence Trent D'Arby, Floyd Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Christine McVie, John McVie, June Pointer, Brian Wilson, the vocal trio Wilson Phillips, Bobby Brown and Rod Stewart, as well as actors Scott Baio, Gary Busey, Andrea Martin, Kimberly Russell, Katey Sagal and Dick Sargent.
Dress Code: Men wore flashy, pricey suits (the record-executive look), while women wore their best body-hugging dresses and big hair. Waitresses suffered in thick crushed velvet outfits best described as the Vegas stewardess look. The fire marshals on hand wore their usual attire--uniforms and scowls.
Fashion Police Alert: One woman wore a vest but neglected to put a shirt on underneath. Other women sneered visibly at this revealing fashion innovation, but men kept maneuvering around her.
Chow: Fleetwood's culinary staff, headed by Jean Francois Meteigner (formerly of L'Orangerie) served up a four-star buffet of lamb chops, shrimp, ratatouille, duck rolls, salmon and crab cakes with lobster sauce.
Overheard: On the sidewalk outside the club, guests behind the rope kept repeating the traditional behind-the-rope chant of club-goers everywhere: "But I'm on the list!"
Quoted: Fleetwood, a 14-year resident of Los Angeles, complained about "the lack of good blues clubs in L. A. Somehow blues clubs have never lasted in this city. They've always been fly-by-night."
Irony: The blues are a quintessential black-American art form. But the crowd on opening night was quintessentially anything but.
Triumphs: In a town where no one shows up on time, the club was packed within 20 minutes of opening. And while many grand openings serve as dry runs for new establishments, things at Fleetwood's ran smoothly from start to finish.
Glitches: Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation: the lack of it. Also, the club had no hard liquor for the opening, but organizers promised that that would be changing "very soon." (A blues club with no liquor?)