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August 14, 2003

Derby's queen lost

About three weeks ago, Tony and Tammi Gower were remarried after being divorced for over a decade. The owners of the Derby, one of L.A.'s most delightful nightclubs, had always remained the best of friends, and Tony wanted to remarry because he knew he was about to lose her. Tammi, a hot-rod loving, Harley-riding rockabilly queen, had battled a rare form of sarcoma cancer for more than a year. On Saturday, she died.

Tuesday's touching memorial at the Los Feliz club offered a chance for everyone to reminisce about Gower, who triggered the '90s neo-swing explosion by putting such punk-swing bands as Royal Crown Revue and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on the supper club's stage. The Derby was her dream, and despite her illness, she made it to the club's 10th anniversary party in April. Gower will be remembered for her generosity and spirit, and condolences can be sent to 4500 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027.

Beauty inside Chi

Chi, designer Dodd Mitchell's latest creation, is gearing up for a September opening at the Hyatt Hotel on Sunset. We hear Chi, operated by brothers Art and Allan Davis (A.D., the Lounge), is going to be over-the-top gorgeous. And in more Davis brothers news, word on the street is they're selling the Gate, a nightclub they've owned since the early '90s. Their plans to reopen it as a new spot called Kama Sutra have been iced, and now Kama Sutra may be appearing as a rooftop club at the Hyatt.

While getting jiggy at the Forbidden City, we bumped into Devin Haman, the owner of the 4-month-old Sunset Tan -- Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Brooke Burke's browning salon of choice. Its success is already spawning the opening (Sept. 18) of a sister spot on Sepulveda Boulevard in West L.A.... Speaking of sizzlers, DJ Chris Paul says the Hustler store's been hosting some blow-out bashes starring, you guessed it, adult film stars.... Took my chances and popped by North, a favorite Sunset Strip restaurant. Turns out, its original chef, Monica May, is back in the driver's seat creating a fresh new menu. Oh-my-gawd, the ribs are so dang good, Dr. Dre keeps coming back for more. Owner Marc Smith tells us he's plotting a few other changes. The fab spot has always had a back-door entry, but now he's opening up the front to create a more neighborhood bar vibe. Hey, it worked for Coach & Horses.

Aaliyah's tattoo artist, Mark Mahoney, says the party for her memorial foundation, held last week at Quincy Jones' Bel-Air home, was as lovely as the singer herself.... We hear Lynn Hasty's new Tuesday night spot, Green House at Vine, is a groovy place to hear house and techno music while noshing on fondue (!).... In more Tuesday night news, the Knitting Factory's Bluebeat Lounge is a choice spot for ska, rock steady and reggae sounds.... Spinning everything from the Stooges to Sinatra, DJ Roky Manson is ripping it up at Swank, a Saturday night spot at Three Clubs, which also features DJ Big Daddy Carlos.

And to the lickie'd up girl in Hollywood who rear-ended me on Argyle Avenue and then proceeded to pass me on the right, cocktail Nintendo's for amateurs.

-- Heidi Siegmund Cuda

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