Never meet your idol (unless his name is Elton John)
From left to right: Josh Sapan (Rainbow Media), Martin Katz (Prospero Pictures), Lynne Kirby (Sundance Channel), Sir Elton John, Evan Shapiro (IFC/SUN), Mala Chapple (Sundance Channel) Sarah Barnett (Sundance Channel) and David Furnish.
I usually have a rule: If you love someone’s work NEVER meet them. Seriously – I’ve suffered too many disappointments over the years. And really – if you know someone’s a walking septic tank – how can you enjoy their work afterwards? It’s like Pearl Cleage wrote in Mad At Miles, “How can you celebrate a genius in the face of a monster?” But this week has proven the rule wrong. Twice. First Danny, now Elton John.
Last night, Rainbow Media and Sundance Channel held a big dinner at the Stein Erickson Lodge and my Tiny Dancer was there. He executive produces SPECTACLE ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… along with hubby David Furnish – who once came to my 30th birthday party with Cornelia Guest at the Sunset Tower. He didn’t remember, but who cares? I got the pics to prove it!
Evan Shapiro – head of Sundance Channel and IFC, is my hero. He sat me at Elton’s table – which sent my inner drag queen into a fit. We had a mind meld: he wore pink sunglasses. I wore pink underwear. My little sister Emily – quite possibly his biggest fan – flipped her wig when she heard. “Oh my god!!” She screamed. “Did you tell him about me?!” (I did). She once danced at the Red Piano in Vegas at his feet and lost her purse and her shit. And here’s the thing. He’s great. He’s funny, intelligent, articulate (you would be surprised at how many celebrities have a hard time forming a complete sentence sober). And he wants to go back to Vegas – THANK GOD! I can’t believe I missed him when he was there last time. Although I did catch Cher – who I will never get over. Seriously – she arrived on stage from the back rafters in a gilded cage belting out “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,’ sang a Peter Cetera duet alone in a gondola on a lake of dry ice, did a song while coming out of a plastic oyster like she was the pearl and donned the semi-obscene Bob Mackie V outfit for “If I could Turn Back Time.”
Elton didn’t stay for cocktails after dinner (I, naturally, did). Then I went to the filmmakers lodge and hung out with the RESTREPO guys – producer Nick and director Tim (sadly, all the enlisted boys in the movie left the day before. Deep sigh) before packing it in at 2 a.m. This whole going out and covering the scene thing is like a Muscle Memory (not Milk) thing to me. My body was so relieved when I quit Page Six, but eight months later… man. I will need to sleep for a week after this.
Other happenings: Access Hollywood shut down main street with their trucks for causing traffic confusion while Tony Potts had a meltdown. Funny. Tony Potts was also under the (untrue) assumption that Brita was sponsoring their show, so therefore no other show, like “Entertainment Tonight,” could shoot in the Sundance Channel headquarters. Either that or he’s still pissed “ET” fired him all those years ago. I love an angry man! (Full disclosure: I was the one who was doing the stand up for “ET” – and I’m working out of Sundance Channel’s offices).
The altitude is getting to me (or is it Elton?). I was convinced that Celine’s party for THE RUNAWAYS was tonight. It wasn’t. It was last night. Gar. Shit like this always happens to me. Am just glad I didn’t show up to some random house with a fifth of Jack, slightly buzzed and screeching, “PAAAAAARTAY!” Which, incidentally, has happened before. The incident wasn’t pretty and not worth repeating. Ever.
It is DUMPING snow again. I mean… enough already!
I pulled a “Page Six” today. Was so tired I slept on a sofa for a couple of hours at Sundance Channel’s offices. Which is better than what I used to do at Page Six – when I got so tired I’d crash under my desk. Almost got caught by Rupert Murdoch once. Now that would’ve been interesting…
Ran into “the George Clooney of Bollywood” today, Aamir Khan. My pal Pooja lost it. I took her picture with him so she’s happy. He’s hot, but George Clooney? That’s a whole ‘nother level.
My dog Karl, the wonder weenie, has started acting out. Apparently he’s furious that I haven’t been home lately and grudge pooped on my pal Les’ floor. Nice. How’s that for houseguest hospitality? Wait till he hears I may cover the Oscars…
It’s getting pretty quiet in Park City right now, which is nice. Tao closed down, the partiers have left and tonight I can actually catch a movie (I’ve only seen RESTREPO and HOLY ROLLERS so far) – the Joan Rivers documentary. Joan is amaaaazing. Her house in NYC is modeled after the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. She did a Q&A yesterday about the movie and when asked about Johnny Carson teared up. She was Johnny’s permanent replacement but then Fox offered her a show. “I waited a year for NBC to give me a contract – an then what could I do?” she asked. “I had to take the Fox job, because there was no contract at NBC. Johnny never talked to me again. I tried to call him to tell him what I was doing so he wouldn’t hear about it from the media – but he hung up on me., Twice. Then the Fox deal fell through and my husband committed suicide due to the stress. Johnny never called or wrote me. I had been such a loyal friend all those years and nothing. When his son died years later I sent him a note – but never heard from him.” It shined a nasty light on Hollywood and Carson and gave new perspective to the Leno/Letterman/Conan shenanigans going on.