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The Q Quality

November 07, 2001|LOUISE ROUG and GINA PICCALO | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

It was an evening out of the ordinary as movie and music business luminaries gathered Monday night to celebrate Quincy Jones at Spago in Beverly Hills. For once, celebrities were not talking about themselves. Instead, they gushed over the music legend, dubbed "Q" by Frank Sinatra.

Surrounded by well-wishers and more than two dozen family members, Jones hugged friends and autographed his newly released book "Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones." The party was hosted by Marvin and Barbara Davis.

Several friends insisted there's a certain "Q" quality--the ability to make others feel special. And certainly, there was much love in the house.

Naomi Campbell said the music maven is her mentor. "I'm very happy to get his advice," she said. So what kind of advice does she seek? "About men--which I always need," said the beautiful one. "I put him right up there with Nelson Mandela."

Michael Caine came from England with his wife, Shakira, to celebrate his "celestial twin." The two were born the same year, the same day and at the same hour, said Caine, adding that they always celebrate their birthdays together. "He's such a nice guy," Caine said. "He wouldn't be my friend for 35 years if he wasn't."

Caine, who just finished starring in Sydney Pollack's adaptation of Graham Greene's "The Quiet American," strolled over to chat with the filmmaker. Pollack, aware of our big ears, loudly exclaimed to Caine: "You're so good!"

Jeffrey Katzenberg made a tour of the room, getting a bear hug from Jones, as did Larry King.

Later, Lionel Richie told us how he marvels at Jones' ubiquity. "I will spend two hours on the phone with him," Richie said. "Then in the morning, I will meet someone who will say, 'I was on the phone with Quincy all night yesterday.' I don't know how he does it."

Songwriter Alan Bergman simply said, "Quincy makes an environment of love." James Ingram agreed: "He makes other people feel like a God."

Later, Jones spoke to his friends, suggesting how much better life would be if lived backward. "You start off with death, to get it out of the way," he said. He then described every regressive stage in life, leading to the inevitable climax.

Toward the end of the evening, an unshaven Oliver Stone arrived, refusing to comment on Q. "I'm late, and I have to go and say hi," he said. Stone then headed to the bar to chow down on pizza. As party guests drifted into dinner, the director was still busy. With the appetizers.

Take That,Bridget Jones

"The Weakest Link" host Anne Robinson, who hits the talk show circuit this week to tout her book "Memoirs of an Unfit Mother," has words of advice for single working women looking for love.

"You can't all just sit there and say there are no decent men," she told us last week. "There's always more than one way to skin a rabbit. I'm not saying you all have to turn into Barbie dolls. But I do think that using those considerable brains of yours might solve the problem.

This, as she chronicles in her autobiography, Robinson knows firsthand. In 1973, Robinson lost custody of her toddler daughter, Emma, now 31. At the time, she was an ambitious newspaper reporter for the Sunday Times with a serious drinking problem, a couple of lovers and a combative relationship with soon-to-be-ex husband Charlie Wilson, who was the editor of the London Daily Mail.

In her book, Robinson blames her misbehavior, plus the male chauvinism of the period, for her permanently losing custody of Emma, even though she eventually got sober and became one of the most successful journalists in Britain.

Robinson told us her book was not intended as a sob story: "I didn't intend it to be, 'This is a terrible thing that happened to me.' I thought it was a very good tale."

A Publicist's Nightmare

At a recent Los Angeles fashion show, publicists gasped when they realized Thighmaster mistress and "Three's Company" star Suzanne Somers would be headed for a seat in front of Oscar-winner Anjelica Huston. An immediate seat switch was made so Somers and Huston ended up across the runway from each other. Later, Somers was overheard touting the benefits of her buttock and thigh gadgets.

Rock 'n' Roll Royalty

Producer and songwriter Glen Ballard, whose credits include hits for Michael Jackson, Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews and, most recently, Shelby Lynne, is now coaching the daughter of the King, Lisa Marie Presley. We caught up with Ballard last week at his Beverly Hills home while he hosted a charity auction for the cancer research institution City of Hope, an event that raised nearly $80,000. Presley's songwriting "is going well," he told us. Her voice is "really, really passionate. It's not shy, and it's very strong. I've never heard a voice like it." So when will we hear this long-awaited debut? "It will be done when it's done."

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