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Backstage With a Rising Country Rock Star

September 20, 1993|KEVIN ALLMAN

The Scene: Friday night's party following Vince Gill's sold-out concert at the Universal Amphitheatre.

MCA Records threw a small outdoor buffet reception for the singer, who's received eight nominations for the Country Music Awards to be held later this month. The evening was more an expression of corporate support than a big bash, and Gill spent most of his time signing autographs and posing for photo opportunities with regular folks. "Vince Gill is great. I'm so over Garth Brooks," said one woman.

Who Was There: Gill, MCA music chief Al Teller, Bruce Hinton (head of MCA's Nashville division) and about 200 other guests, but no stars.

Noted: Backstage parties for country stars are so different than the ones for rock stars. Everyone's groomed, there's not a groupie within miles and the strongest mind-altering substance on the scene is beer.

Dress Code: City-slicker Western wear--immaculate cowboy hats and shiny boots that looked as if they'd came straight out of the box. A few people had bandannas tied around their heads for that grunge-on-the-range look.

Quoted: Regarding the controversy over retailers selling used CDs, Gill was diplomatic. "It's tough to take sides, because both sides have a totally valid argument," he said. "I can see the record industry point of view, because songwriters deserve royalties. But if somebody buys their CD, they've already been paid once. So both sides make sense."

Favors: None, but concert-goers had the opportunity to purchase memorabilia such as Vince Gill guitar picks ($5).

Overheard: Said one man to his friend, "Some people look good in a hat. You're not one of them."

The Continuing Crisis: The Universal Amphitheatre, City Walk and the on-site movie theaters add up to a universal traffic nightmare. Imagine if Woodstock had been populated by yuppies who all brought their cars.

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