Now that his transition team is in place, Bill Clinton has a really important job ahead: planning a fabulous party for his Jan. 20 inauguration. And thanks to strong celeb backing throughout the campaign, it shouldn’t be too hard booking A-list performers. ”The entertainment and arts communities are going to be very supportive,” promises TriStar chairman and Clinton fave Mike Medavoy, who will be holding his own private party during inauguration week for a few hundred of his closest friends.
While Clinton friend TV producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason won’t confirm her involvement in the activities, she does offer, ”It would be very representative of Bill and Hillary’s style if the theme was ‘Populist Elegance.”’
The President-elect has yet to form an inauguration committee, but the names of those who might serenade the First Couple are already being tossed about. The top of the list includes Michael Bolton, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Stipe of R.E.M., all of whom made appearances for the Democrats this year. Also at the top is Fleetwood Mac, whose ’77 hit ”Don’t Stop” became Clinton’s theme song. While he hasn’t officially been asked, Mick Fleetwood says his group might reunite for the first time in three years to perform at the inaugural, adding, ”I’d jump at it. I’d love to.” And Clinton has said he’d like to ask Judy Collins to perform, since daughter Chelsea was named after Collins’ version of a Joni Mitchell song, ”Chelsea Morning.”
Following tradition, 8 to 13 formal balls will probably be held in Washington Jan. 20, but there’s one new touch. A ”Pre-Inaugural Rock n’ Roll Ball” will be thrown Jan. 19 by Rock the Vote and MTV (which will air it live); performers have yet to be announced.
How much the inaugural will cost is anybody’s guess, but consider the inflation rate for the event. John F. Kennedy’s 1961 gala, which featured Frank Sinatra, Nat ”King” Cole, Sidney Poitier, Ella Fitzgerald, Sir Laurence Olivier, and what seemed to be half of Hollywood, was staged for $1 million. By contrast, George Bush’s more modest 1989 inauguration, starring Loretta Lynn, the Oak Ridge Boys, Anita Baker, Julio Iglesias, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Sinatra again, ran up a $30 million tab. Maybe this is a job for the Economic Security Council.