After a long Grammy afternoon that turned to night, and capping a week in L.A. shooting “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on the West Coast, The Roots’ bandleader Ahmir Khalib“Questlove” Thompson was almost ready to go home.
His last stop on a West Coast swing — GQ’s cross-label, cross-genre party at the Hollywood Athletic Club.
Questlove had a “3 a.m. redeye” to catch, he told TheWrap. By 2 o’clock p.m. ET Monday, he’d be back on stage at 30 Rock shooting sketches for the show. Just last week, the “Saved by the Bell Reunion” went mega-viral. As did Khloe Kardashian and the younger Jenner sisters, he slotted one more Hollywood bash before the needle lifted on the revolving record of faces dotting Grammys weekend 2015.
Mingling among the dapper drummer in the under-utilized event space on Sunset, which has not looked better from a production standpoint since its days as “Social” around 2006, a varied collection of familiar faces filled the two front rooms: Armie Hammer, Jason Derulo (with, or just hanging with, a Kim Kardashian knock-off who said she is signed to Lil Wayne’s label, and who drew photographer and guest attention), “Glee’s” Darren Criss, Samantha Ronson, A-Trak, and the man watching over the well lit sleek arrivals, GQ creative boss Jim Moore.
Wiz Khalifa headed into the ante bar at the right, trailed by some intimidating and bearded security, and looking both much taller and thinner in person. The green advocate accepted compliments for his YouTube viral video on how to roll a joint. We “saved a lot of lives” he said while getting manhandled in the throng of people.
Rita Ora came east to the GQ bash, having already hit the Warner Music party at the Chateau that hit capacity early and drew the attention of all the local West Hollywood authorities — multiple fire trucks, lights, sirens, and cops. The men and women in uniform cleared the driveway and entry way completely, shutting down the door to all comers after Charli XCX performed in the garden. Chateau host Anya Varda was last seen negotiating with authorities on who could even breach the driveway.
Inside the party palace, Chris Hardwick, Hunter Hayes, Icona Pop, Diplo, Courtney Cox, members of “Muse,” Ed Sheeran, Aisha Tyler, “Spice Girl” Mel B., and Clean Bandit, who also performed, went shoulder-to-shoulder in the courtyard. Later, when Kaskade would arrive up the hill, one of the few acts to sell out the Staples Center where the Grammys took place on his own, handlers snuck him in despite the “total door hold.”
“Where’s Sam Smith’s party?” people asked throughout the night, a nod to the man who pulled off a Grammy hat trick and still had room to put one on top for good luck.
Update: Sam Smith had his own party up on Sarbonne Road in Bel Air, and it was, like him, a winner.
The sisters he beat for best new artist, Haim, turned up, as did Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran (together), Diplo, Katy Perry, guys from The Weeknd and Disclosure (who hit it big together with Sam on “Latch”), Rita Ora, Paul Oakenfold, and Johnny Wujek amongst the 200 or so people there. Sam’s manager coordinated the event that went strong until 4 a.m. ,and had stragglers as late as 5:30 a.m. on Monday morning. Hangar 1 Vodka and Dobel tequila gambled right on sponsoring this one.
Earlier on Sunset at the Mondrian, Red Light Management covered the pool and put a cap on it, branding the deck with their signature red bunting and a lattice pattern that ran throughout the space. Under the tiki hut above the pool, guests crammed the couches as margarita pizza wedges floated throughout and the TV-quality waitstaff slung moonshine. This party columnist did not see the rumors of appearances by Prince and Adam Levine come to fruition.
Two weeks from now, the awards season wave crashes to a close with the Oscars. As the “yanks” celebrated the Oscars, the Brits had already given out the top film prizes in London earlier Sunday.
Those packing statues through customs — many of the same faces who are expected to grace the Dolby stage on February 22.