Last night a few hundred guests and your’s truly were in attendance at my favorite Rock and Roll watering hole, the Morrison Hotel Gallery at Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood. The occasion? “Winners”, a celebration of the rich history of the Oscars and Grammys, and the people who have been nominated and won, either or both of these awards. Last night was the invite-only kick off for the event.
The evening was co-hosted by Julian Lennon and gallery co-owner, photographer and the hotel’s cultural curator Timothy White. “Winners” is being sponsored by Morrison Hotel Gallery, the Sunset Marquis Hotel, John Varvatos and Allaire Collection Tequila, Vodka and Rum, and will be running for the entire month of February.
In the gallery, the exhibition features images of Grammy winners like Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell and Van Halen, and past Academy Award winners Marlon Brando, Audrey Hepburn, Jamie Foxx, Woody Allen and Heath Ledger taken by such legendary photographers as Herman Leonard, Henry Diltz, Barry Feinstein, Milton Greene, Danny Clinch and Timothy White among others represented by the gallery.
I’ve been in attendance at a bunch of these events and last night’s was by far the most packed I’ve ever witnessed. People in this town do take their award shows seriously. In attendance were the aforementioned Julian Lennon and Timothy White, along with Arsenio Hall, Cuba Gooding Jr., Judd Nelson, Jeff Goldblum, Bai Ling, Downtown Julie Brown. DeObia Oparei (Game of Thrones, Santa Clarita), Andy Rourke from The Smiths, Joey Santiago from The Pixies and Grammy winning composer and recording artist Omar Akram.
Only an event like this at The Sunset Marquis, an “outdoor” venue (and I call it a venue because it’s got so many rock stars) could generate so much heat, both figuratively and literally, and in the middle of a cool February night. It was wall-to-wall people inside the gallery and around the pool, where Vintage Trouble played their guitar-powered rhythm & blues while guests watched a video compilation of performances, appearances, speeches and some rare footage of moments from the Grammys and Oscars, that played on a 30-foot screen. It got so hot, I had to take off my jacket and grab a lounge chair poolside. I’m sure it wasn’t the Vodka…
I did manage to squeeze off a shot of Lennon with Timothy White in spite of the former asking that no pictures be taken. No, I did not paparazzi him, he was cool and posed for me. It’s always a wonderful experience at Morrison Hotel Gallery for me. If you didn’t get your invite to the Oscars or Grammys this year, here’s the next (actually first) best thing!