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RSVP / THE GRAMMYS : Maybe They Served Sole in the Shoe Department

March 03, 1995|BILL HIGGINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Two titans did a duet after the Grammys when the Most Beautiful Department Store in Los Angeles was the celebration venue for the World's Largest Record Company. Call it the Big Meets the Beautiful.

The scene was the empty 1928 Art Deco jewel on Wilshire Boulevard that once housed Bullocks Wilshire. It was taken over by the Warner Music Group for an intimate affair for 1,800 that offered the dreamlike quality of a Fellini film outtake--sleek, elegantly dressed customers packed the aisles of a store where nothing was for sale.

Ten buffets cooked by 50 chefs from Patina lined the rooms. Doormen and elevator operators stood by in period costumes. Massive floral displays reached almost to the Lalique light fixtures.

"My job is being chief maitre d'," said company chairman Doug Morris, who greeted guests where L.A. bluebloods once bought hosiery. Among the partyers were Placido Domingo, Dwight Yoakam, Seal, Faith Hill, Coolio, Tommy Lee, Andrae Crouch, All-4-One, Atlantic's Val Azzoli and Ron Shapiro, Electra's Sylvia Rhone, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

As has become a tradition at recent L.A. parties, the guest who turns the most heads has to be an O.J. defense team member. In this case it was Robert Kardashian who sauntered in with a woman so statuesque one music exec called her "a female version of the Oscar statue." He meant this as a compliment.

While no one present seemed to remember Grammys '95 as an event for the ages ("Completely lacking in major emotional moments" was a typical sentiment), what stood out in many minds was the speech by Mike Greene, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, in support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

"It's the first time I'd seen a political intrusion into an awards show actually work," said Warner Bros. Records chairman Danny Goldberg. "It took a lot of balls to do that on national TV," said Morris.

While the party was a roaring success, the only feature that got bad reviews were the portable toilets. "They still have that smell ," said one woman scrunching up her face, "and (they don't) go with Art Deco."

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