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CAPITOL'S 75TH ANNIVERSARY GALA: A VINE OLD TIME

Steve Barnett and team threw a helluva party on the evening of 11/15 to commemorate Capitol Records’ 75th anniversary, joined by UMG chief Sir Lucian Grainge and other biz luminaries (including an array of former Capitol execs) as well as such artists as Neil Diamond, Katy Perry, Bob Seger, MC Hammer, Beck, Halsey, Ryan Adams, 5 Seconds of Summer and Niall Horan.

The event saw the Capitol Tower creatively redecorated, with enlarged photos and album art on the walls, a giant, transparent canopy covering an outdoor portion and various other spaces repurposed. It followed the dedication of a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame during “Capitol Records Day” (as designated by the city of L.A.); as prominent as the flowing booze and photos of classic artists were copies of the hulking, lavishly illustrated Taschen book tracing the legendary label’s extraordinary history.

By some bizarre quirk of fate, a few HITS types made it inside. Here are some of the people we saw.

Capitol ruler Barnett poses with Marissa Ribisi, Beck, Sir Lucian and iHeart prexy John Sykes shortly before they all adjourned to the Pet Sounds-themed petting zoo to play with the baby goats.

Irving Azoff and Barnett, having determined to launch the new Rat Pack, enter an intense round of negotiations to determine who gets to be Frank and who's Dean

 Sir Lucian and Barnett welcome legendary (and impossibly dapper) former Capitol chief Baskhar Menon, who brought his own giant inflatable pig. 

Barnett presents MC Hammer with a plaque commemorating 50 million albums sold. How many streams is that, again? To mark the occasion, every attendee of the gala was presented with commemorative parachute pants.

Azoff, Barnett, Sykes and UMG's Michele Anthony form a human playlist with Spotify's Troy Carter

Capitol prexy Ashley Newton confides to Niall Horan that he, too, was once a member of a popular U.K. lad band. "I was known as the thoughtful one," recalled Newton, who, after several more signature cocktails, bet Horan 50 quid he could still fit into the costume.

Barnett casually observes to producer and Grammy guy Ken Ehrlich that the evening's gala would make a fine prime-time special. You know, just sayin'.

Sir Lucian and Barnett flank the great Neil Diamond shortly before the ceremonial lighting of the spleef. The Chamber of Commerce then ordered the entire city of Los Angeles to join a sing-along of "Sweet Caroline."

Barnett poses with artists Halsey and Tori Kelly shortly before building a vacation home using three copies of the Taschen book as load-bearing walls.

During this photo op with Sir Lucian, Quality Control's Kevin "Coach K" Lee and Pierre "Pee" Thomas and artist Lil Yachty, Barnett mentions that he is known in some circles as Giant Luxury Yachty.

Katy Perry joins Barnett, Sir Lucian, Newton, COO Michelle Jubelirer and UMG's Boyd Muir during the Walk of Fame star dedication. Moments later, in true Hollywood fashion, they met 361 tourists from Guangzhou Province.


It occurs to rock icon Bob Seger, joined here by Barnett and UMe'Bruce Resnikoff, that this is not exactly the sort of "Hollywood Night" he envisioned in his song. Later, Resnikoff volunteered that he loved the hit "Katmandu" and wondered if Seger had any other jams about cats.

Somehow, the following riffraff made it past security: The MGMT Company's Jonathan Kalter, HITS' Todd Hensley, Michelle Santosuosso and Samantha Hissong, manager Tom Maffei and HITS' Simon Glickman.

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