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February 15, 2005

Yahoo! Alerts 02/14/2005

Artists literally sang Wilson's praises in a musical toast produced by Phil Ramone. Selections spanned Wilson's career, from Shelby Lynne's cover of the early Surfer Girl to Richie Sambora's take on the recent City Blues.
Pre-parties get good vibes going

Mon Feb 14,11:10 AM ET
By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES - Warming up for the Grammys involves more than dress rehearsals and wardrobe fittings. For most celebs, it meant squeezing into the weekend's pair of pre-eminent pre-Grammy parties: Friday's MusiCares benefit gala honoring Brian Wilson and Saturday's private dinner and concert with BMG chief Clive Davis.

The Beach Boy with towering talent and a tortured soul was feted at the Palladium by 2,000 admirers, including emcee Jon Lovitz, Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Jon Voight, William H. Macy, Lisa Marie Presley, Virginia Madsen, Jamie Foxx and athletes Evander Holyfield, Willie Mays, Jennie Finch and Bobby Murcer.

Joe Pesce, who didn't bring ID, was refused admission by a non-moviegoer until nearby fans vouched for him. "Have you been living in a cave?" he joked, then said later, "It's actually nice not being recognized."

Artists literally sang Wilson's praises in a musical toast produced by Phil Ramone. Selections spanned Wilson's career, from Shelby Lynne's cover of the early Surfer Girl to Richie Sambora's take on the recent City Blues.

Darlene Love sang Wouldn't It Be Nice, the Backstreet Boys harmonized on When I Grow Up (To Be a Man), and Barenaked Ladies did 'Til I Die after their own Brian Wilson. Neil Young dedicated In My Room to Wilson and his late brothers, Carl and Dennis.

"God only knows how much we all love Brian Wilson," said Anthony Kiedes of Red Hot Chili Peppers before they jumped into I Get Around.

Jeff Beck earned a standing ovation for his guitar instrumentals of Surf's Up and Surfin' USA. Jamie Cullum and gospel group Fred Martin and the Levite Camp also wowed the audience with Sail On, Sailor.

John Legend, Billy Preston, Michael McDonald and Earth, Wind & Fire also performed.

In addition to the fundraiser's silent auction (which included the $91,000 signature Brian Wilson Cadillac XLR convertible), the gala paused for the live auction of a leather-bound book of Wilson's handwritten Pet Sounds lyrics and chord sheets. Opening bid: $5,000. Final offer: $105,000.

Wilson's longtime collaborator Van Dyke Parks spoke about last year's release of Smile, the unfinished album that sat on a shelf for 37 years. The current rewards represent "justice delayed but not denied," he said. "What I learned is ... Brian could do whatever it took to bring those good vibrations to the world."

Wilson took the stage to sing Heroes and Villains, God Only Knows (a duet with India Arie) and Fun Fun Fun before ending the night leading all-star renditions of Good Vibrations and Love and Mercy.

On Saturday night, legions of stars from the music, movie and sports realms gathered at the Beverly Hills Hotel for Davis' annual soiree, underwritten for the first time by corporate sponsors. Some winced at the placement of Sirius Satellite Radio banners and L'Oreal products, but women happily scooped up the free micro-dermabrasion kits in the restrooms.

Post-dinner performances were delayed by industry schmoozers who refused to take their seats and by fire marshals who threatened to take their seats away unless congestion was eased.

Prince, Jimmy Page, Diana Ross and perennial Jackie Collins held court at their tables. Bands Franz Ferdinand and the Foo Fighters strolled the ballroom, as did fashion sore thumbs Steven Seagal (leather trench coat) and Andrew Dice Clay (biker garb). Among the power couples: Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson and Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri.

Gretchen Wilson finally put a stop to the milling and chatter with her brassy Redneck Woman, and Fantasia proved equally mesmerizing belting Baby Mama. After she wrapped up the song with gospelized wails, Robin Williams hollered, "Pass the plate!"

Chaka Khan joined her on stage, followed by Alicia Keys and Santana, Maroon 5, Usher, Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, who paid tribute to Ray Charles.

Quincy Jones was keeping his fingers crossed for a Charles sweep at the Grammys.

"There will never be another Ray Charles, never," he said. Although thrilled about the posthumous attention showered on Charles by the movie Ray, he says the cinematic portrayal, including his friendship with the Genius of Soul, was incomplete. "It's such a big life to pack into 90 minutes. I knew Ray all my life. Black kids didn't have a lot of idols. We had to make up our dreams and goals. Ray and I did all of that together."

Posted by riesambo at February 15, 2005 11:10 AM