Sunday, January 14, 2018

Whispers will be jetting into LA for this event

Janie’s Fund Gala and GRAMMY Awards® Viewing Party

When: Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hot Spot: RED Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

Deets: Iconic singer, songwriter and humanitarian,Steven Tyler, and Live Nation will present the inaugural Janie’s Fund gala and GRAMMY Awards® viewing party on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the historic RED Studios Hollywood. The exclusive event will include a star-studded red carpet, live viewing of the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, live auction, dinner, and a musical performance.

Attendees will be treated to a multi-course dinner menu designed by GRAMMY Award-winning singer, best-selling cookbook author and lifestyle expert Trisha Yearwood. Following the dinner and telecast, Steven Tyler and his Nashville based band, LOVING MARY, will take the stage for a can’t-miss special live performance to close out the night.

Co-chair supporters for the event include Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Andrea Bocelli, Bo Derek, Britney Spears, Sir Elton John, Jim Carrey, Joaquin Phoenix, Joe & Marjorie Walsh, Kate Hudson, Lionel Richie, Sharon Stone, Whoopi Goldberg, and Yoko Ono.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Janie’s Fund, a philanthropic initiative created by Tyler in partnership with the national family services nonprofit Youth Villages to bring hope and healing to girls across America who have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect. Tyler first gave voice to this cause with his hit “Janie’s Got a Gun,” and his establishment of the fund ensures that these vulnerable girls will have an enduring voice for years to come.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Lost in Paradise

 Whispers has been invited several times to check out the Lost Paradise Festival in NSW's Glenworth Valley but we haven't quite made it yet. Still our spies are omnipresent and sent some snaps from the idyllic valley where the festival is fast becoming one of the main music attractions of the New Year celebrations.
The valley itself is lush as our snaps show and despite it being the middle of summer cool breezes are constant making the weather ideal.
Long gone are the days of camping in an uncomfortable tiny tent. Luxury marquees with comfortable beds and living areas make perfect accommodation.

And below: the people- they dress up, they behave, the dance and sing and make merry.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Fairfax Clanger of The Year

It's that Silly Season time of the year when tabloids print endless round-ups of yesterday's stale offerings so here is Whisper's take which we think is the Clanger of The Year.
It's a tale about our most wonderful Opera star  who took the stages of the great Opera Houses of the world by storm and dominated for several decades.
We refer of course to the late great Dame Joan Sutherland who may be turning in her grave if she read this tale in the Sydney Morning Herald to find the Sydney Opera House- where she appeared in so many triumphant performances including her final public concert (watched by Whispers) is to re-name it's theatre the Joan Sullivan Theatre (who she?)

Perhaps they are all in the local pub celebrating New Year's Eve early. Even on their uncorrected Google web search the Mysterious Joan Sullivan lurks.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hugh Jackman & Sydney's New Year's Eve

Actor Hugh Jackman who stars in the film The Greatest Showman is aiding in the organising of the sensational New Year's Eve fireworks that will be on display on Sydney Harbour on Sunday night. The Sydney celebrations are usually the first in the world and are viewed by 100s of millions around the planet. What fantastic publicity for Jackman's new flick!
Below is Hugh at the Sydney Opera House and below that a trailer for The Greatest Showman.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Fab car but it was sold

 Seda Star danced for joy when she spotted the new Lamborghini

Tony Graziana ( right) throws some pretty swell parties at his Woolloomooloo auto showroom Scuderi Graziana and the launch of the new 2017 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster 50th Anniversary model was a must to attend.
 This set of wheels costs over One Million $$ and it had been sold already. Tony wasn't saying who to but he did say he would be happy to order another one if we were interested. We'll think about it.
One nice aspect of Tony's showroom is the first floor. Here you will find some gorgeous cars that previous owners have purchased and kindly "run in" for you. Among some of the most luxurious brand names cars to be had: Bentley, Porsche, Mercedes and even the famous "James Bond"Aston Martin DB5. But not one, two are there for sale..

Sunday, November 26, 2017

She's back !

How pleasing to see our favorite chanteuse and actress Maria Venuti made it to the Bong Bong Picnic Races this week. Maria suffered a stroke earlier this year after she found a stranger in her living room. But she's looking much better and as always, larger than life. Maria is pictured here with two Southern Highlands' residents broadcaster Alan Jones and the always stylish Glen Marie Frost.

There was a time when the Picnic Races had to be cancelled for a number of years due to the attendees imbibing just a little too much in alcoholic refreshments and basically running amok. Now they have returned to calmer times and really are a wonderful day out in a superb location.

Noticeable attendees: broadcaster Alan Jones who tends to be to the right of politics but his new friendship with the former Australian Labor Party candidate for Prime Minister Mark Latham has taken on all the attributes of a bromance. Latham seems to have veered to the right at a rapid pace and now writes for the right-wing website Rebel Media and when he's not castigating "snowflakes" he's cosying up to that Milo character or getting stuck into former Labor colleagues like ex-PM Kevin Rudd and former NSW premier Kristina Keneally who has a real chance of picking up the Bennelong seat in the upcoming by-election which could put Labor in power and PM Malcolm Turnbull out.
We digress: Latham and Jones have teamed up to give the world just what it needs- another cookbook as Mark tweeted with the accompanying photo : "Here we are in the kitchen enjoying the great story about Alan's sultana scone recipe. One of many cracking recipes to feature in the book.'
We can't wait.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Backstage with George

Star Trek star George Takei is in Australia on a speaking tour where he talks about his treatment in an internement camp during WW2 and the prejudice Asian actors face in Hollywood. We managed to get some snaps backstage after his Sydney talk tonight.
 Pics by William Yang

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

News Corp Fail # 1

An occasional series:
Published yesterday in Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper, one of Rupert Murdoch's leading Aussie tabloids.
A story on the death of ACDC co-founder Malcolm Young who passed away sadly from dementia at the young age of 64.
Earth to editor : Malcolm was not a bass guitarist, he was a rhythm guitarist (big difference !) who many regarded as one of the greatest on the planet. Better luck next time. Vale Malcolm.

Will there be Redemption?

While the world is still reeling from sexual harassment accusations about Hollywood movie stars and producers, two events in New York illustrate how things may eventually end up.

Whisper's spy in the Big Apple and Hollywood disguised as Aspidistra plant in several upmarket venues spotted some interesting faces out and about recently.
Making his first appearance at a prestige NY event (according to those in the know) was Kevin Spacey accuser, actor Anthony Rapp who sang 2 songs from the musical Rent at the Harboring Hearts annual gala to raise funds for cardiac research.
Anthony Rapp (second left) and pals at the Harboring Hearts fundraiser.
Just days later a magnificent fundraiser was held at Hearst Castle in California the magnificent home built by the legendary US newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. Our exclusive photos from the event give some idea of this splendorous home where Hearst threw some of the most amazing parties during the 1940s and '50s. When he died in 1957 he left the castle to the California state so the exquisite collection of antiques and art can be preserved and viewed by the public. Each year the Hearst Castle Preservation Society holds a shindig to raise funds and promote the estate.
Apart from the cream of LA society naturally there are numerous Hearst family members on hand and the above snap caught our attention. It's Patricia Hearst Shaw (above left) with Suzanne Tucker, and Wendy Stark.
Perhaps older readers may recall the extraordinary events of 1974 when Patricia, the grand-daughter of Randolph Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a left wing revolutionary group. 

While police searched for the kidnapped heiress, suddenly she began appearing in a number of banks participating in bank hold-ups wielding a sub machine gun helping to raise funds for her captors.

Hearst was eventually arrested and jailed for 7 years and finally pardoned by President Bill Clinton. Now she's a regular again on the social circuit. 

Will Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein et all have to wait that long?

Below: some more snaps from the Hearst Castle bash.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

So that's a YES then..

Over 61% of Australians have voted "yes" to same-sex marriage which means it will be legal by Christmas.
# Whispers has been laid up with illness for 2 weeks now but will be back on board shortly. Even the Office Cat had to make a visit to the vet.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Ottos' lunch- for a good cause

Those hard working ladies of the Black & White Charity Committee have a lunch on Tuesday 14th November at the uber restaurant Ottos on the Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo. The guest of honor will be the previous NSW Governor Dame Marie Bashir and she's well worth the price of admission alone, quite apart from Ottos' superb food.
Tickets can be bought here. There will be loads of great prizes and remember- every penny raised at these functions goes to support services for children and their families.
# You may even spot superstar actor Russell Crowe escorting a group of refugees to his sensational penthouse which is at the end of the wharf.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Rock'N'Roll Row

Famed music entrepreneur Simon Napier-Bell (pictured left) was in Sydney last month and Whispers popped along to the Newtown music club Leadbelly to hear him give a talk on the music industry.  Napier-Bell discovered such legends as Marc Bolan & T-Rex, Dusty Springfield and the late George Michael and Wham. He has managed numerous stars and steered their careers including The Yardbyrds in the 1960s up to Sinead O'Connor last year.

One of Napier-Bell's themes is the influence of gay managers on the emerging music business in Britain that included not just himself but Brian Epstein and The Beatles, Kit Lambert and The Who, Australian Robert Stigwood and The Bee Gees and Larry Parnes. Parnes discovered and launched numerous stars in the 1960s including Billy Fury and Marty Wilde. One tale told by the late Kit Lambert is that Robert Stigwood rang Parnes and said " I've just driven past your office and there is a blond Adonis working on the roadworks, look out your window". Parnes looked, spotted the handsome blond and the career of Tommy Steele was born. Napier-Bell reckons gay managers had a unique feel for what teenage girls wanted and acted upon it.
Top: Epstein & The Beatles* Jann Werner Bottom: Stigwood & the Bee Gees. Kit Lambert & The Who

Parnes & Tommy Steele
The New York Times just last week featured this theme (after speaking to Napier-Bell) in a feature written by journalist Jim Farber on the occasion of the pending launch of a biography of the famous Jann Werner who launched the music bible Rolling Stone magazine. Werner, now 70 only just came out the closet recently. But an almighty row is now brewing between Werner and his biographer which you can read all about. What fun!

The articles:

The Gay Architects of Rock

Who created that gorgeous 20th-century creature, the rock star? Consider
the gay image makers of the day, like Brian Epstein and Jann Wenner.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

About NSW Kids in Need Foundation Cocktail Party

This year's event will be in the presence of The Honourable John Howard OM AC Former Prime Minister of Australia.

Alan Jones AO will host the event and interview Mr Howard about his time as Prime Minister.

6pm-8pm Saturday October 21st, Kirribilli House, Kirribilli Ave, Kirribilli
Dress code: Lounge Suit

By purchasing tickets to this event you’ll be helping the NSW Kids in Need Foundation raise valuable funds to make a real difference in the lives of children.

Event Highlights include:
Cocktail Party with Canapés and Beverages
Master of Ceremonies 2GB’s Alan Jones AO

NSW Kids in Need Foundation Limited fundraises for the following six kid’s charities:
• Bear Cottage Children's Hospice
• The Burns Unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
• Central Coast Kids in Need
• Duke of Edinburgh's International Award – Australia
• Muscular Dystrophy NSW
• SHINE for Kids.

You can purchase one or numerous tickets – Tickets are limited to the first 150 people.

¹ $285 is tax deductible

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Love Birds spotted


Whisper's New York spy disguised as America's top social snapper Patrick McMullan has sent us some pics to share. Out on the tiles this week was the legendary Rupert Murdoch owner of the Fake News Fox News conglomerate with his glamorous wife Jerry Hall.
The shindig was the opening night of The Metropolitan Opera 2017-2018 season.

And look at some of the other celebrity guests who went on to the gala dinner afterwards: the amazing Patti Smith who can make a white t-shirt and long gray hair look so elegant, actors Josh Lucas and Paul Sorvino with his wife Dee Dee and F.Murray Abraham among so many others. What a difference it makes compared to your average Sydney party where the major guests are..newsreaders and male models! (we really do love them though).
Veronika Part looked the part & actor Paul Sorvino took his wife Dee Dee to the party

Saturday, September 30, 2017

When worlds collide

PR supremo Deeta Colvin (pictured on the right) hosted a get-together this week as many of Sydney's top publicists joined Colvin who once reigned over Australia's glam social scene of the 1990s. Colvin was the mastermind behind the legendary Cointreau Balls of which Whispers attended many. They were some of the best bun fights this scribe has seen around the world. Hundreds of guests would be collected in limousines to be transported to a secret location for dinner and dancing wearing the prescribed costume theme for that year. Locations were varied from dis-used warehouses to a circus marquee in the wilds of the Wanda Beach sand hills, transformed into a fun palace for the night with top chefs catering and of course, those limos on hand to take one home which of course meant, over-indulgence was the order of the night

The several language speaking Deeta is married to heavyweight lawyer Rod McGeoh one of the clever masterminds behind securing the 2000 Olympics for Sydney. When the successful bid was announced the then Olympics boss and Spanish aristocrat  Juan Antonio Samaranch visited Sydney to look over the preparations as they proceeded.
Whispers recalls being at one small reception for Samaranch at which stage, the artist Charles Billich enters the scene. Spying a Billich print in the corner of the room McGeoh inquired why it was there and was told it was to be a gift to Samaranch. Shaking his head McGeoh responded "are you seriously giving him that"?.

The colorful wife of Billich, Christa Billich (left) was this week described as a "close friend" of the Playboy boss Hugh Hefner who died this week. A late arrival at the rather tacky Playboy Mansion, which can be hired for corporate events, it was only in the last couple of years that the Billichs descended upon the LA house. Perhaps Christa sneaked past the guards to the Hef's private quarters which the public were forbidden to enter and visited the ailing Hefner who had been bedridden for the past three years.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Lady Mary bows out

She is probably the last of an era. Lady Mary Fairfax who died on Monday at age 95 was farewelled today at a service at the church of choice in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, St Marks in Darling Point. Lady Mary was the second wife of Sir Warwick Fairfax, the heir to the Fairfax publishing empire which at it's peak published the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Melbourne regarded as two of the great broadsheets of the world.

Whispers attended numerous parties at Mary's Darling Point pile Fairwater. Fairwater has been left in trust to the National Trust with the stipulation her loyal staff live there until they too pass on. Indeed we also spent a week at Lady Mary's New York penthouse on top the Pierre Hotel which was once the most expensive apartment in the world and which had it's own full sized ballroom. Mary wasn't there at the time but she arranged for her loyal chauffeur and his wife to host us.

Lady Mary's charity parties were the stuff of legend with guests like Prince Edward and Albert, Prince of Monaco ( Lady Mary was the Honorary Consul for Monaco) hosted in a giant marquee in her garden that backed on to Sydney Harbour.
With great style, Mary would invite selected media (like Moi) and we would be treated as equal guests, usually joining a line-up with her staff to be introduced to the royal guest of the evening. In a way it summed up not just Lady Mary's exquisite manners but the way she treated all people of varying backgrounds equally. Having risen to such great heights and privilege, Lady Fairfax devoted her life to charitable causes for the disadvantaged.

At one of Mary's parties we attended spoon bender Uri Geller was the star guest, Mary sent her butler to retrieve some of her silver cutlery which Geller proceeded to bend while dozens of guests found keys in their pocket bent out of shape or watches stopped or started. One guest, the representative of a French champagne company spent the night sleeping in his car when he found his car & house keys twisted out of shape.

Party guests: Albert of Monaco* Prince Edward, Uri Geller * James Murdoch
Pals: Ron & Nancy Reagan, Pope John Paul
When Lady Mary arrived at her New York penthouse just as Whispers was departing, she engaged us in a detailed conversation as to whether she should purchase a new Rolls Royce or a simpler Cadillac in which she was to be driven to Los Angeles (inviting us to accompany her but we had to turn her down as we were traveling on to London). Mary eventually purchased a sparkling new Roller and was duly driven to LA and when she asked her chauffeur to arrange for it to be shipped to Sydney he pointed out it was a left-hand drive:" Perhaps Madam should sell it and buy another one in Sydney". Instead she donated it to a local California charity to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
While in the US Mary would always drop by the White House in Washington to dine with her pals Ronald & Nancy Reagan. As a Catholic convert, they say she had The Pope on speed dial.

At another party at Fairwater Whispers photographed a young lad who had lain down on a sofa and promptly fallen asleep. He turned out to be a 14 year old James Murdoch on work experience for his dad Rupert Murdoch's Daily Telegraph. Mary's family purchased a portrait painting of Lady Mary by Whispers and artist Skid Stuart in 1995. We like to think it may still hang in the drawing room along side her  Rodin statue.
Lady Mary Fairfax, born in Poland is survived by her sons Warwick Fairfax , Garth Symonds from an earlier marriage to businessman Cedric Symonds and children Anna Cleary, Charles Fairfax and 12 grandchildren