GOOD MORNING: Who’s gonna accentuate the positive about L.A. in a just-wound video from the city’s Convention & Visitors’ Bureau? Wm. Morris agent Hal Ross, who is commissioner and VP of the L.A. City Convention Center plus L.A. County beach commissioner, has so far had no luck attracting celebs to convince audiences that L.A. is alive, well and the place to visit — Universal, Disneyland, the beaches, Rose Bowl. The celebs who were approved to ooh-la-la La-La-Land declined on grounds they all had other (escape) homes — or just didn’t want to lure anyone into an unpredictable L.A. catastrophe — fire, flood, riot, earthquake — you-name-it … It’s no secret the town’s hotels and restaurants, fear a KO’d vacation tourist season. And, looking ahead, they fear the loss of any chance at the GOP or Demo conventions. But there’s a bit of sunshine in all this gloom: Nothing’s gonna stop the world’s soccer fans from coming here for the final week of the World Cup July 11-17. Mayor Riordan told Joe Smith, executive producer of all the World Cup entertainment events, that the city can look forward to $ 400 million-$ 500 million from the games. They’ll have six major nights at the Hollywood Bowl plus the July 16 Dodger Stadium Night of the Three Tenors (Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras) with Zubin Mehta and the L.A. Philharmonic. Smith says the nights at the Hollywood Bowl will be offered to charities such as AIDS Project/L.A., the T.J. Martell Foundation, etc. — if they can come up with musical talent … All these conversations came about during Mary and Pierre Cossette’s “Super Day at the Super Bowl” bash at Chasen’s, where 248 of the town’s talent spent Sunday. With many from the music biz on hand, it was interesting to note the reaction to the Super Bowl opening number, the national anthem by Natalie Cole and chorus. The interpolation of the anthem plus “America the Beautiful” and other Cole interpretations brought mixed reaction. F’rinstance, Henry Mancini thought it was “fair game — there’s no law against it — but I don’t know how far I’d go with an arrangement of the national anthem.” Pete Rugulo said he never likes too many changes in a melody, “but it was exciting”… Jack Elliott, who will do the Grammys, said, “I, too, like the original — but this was exciting”… Burt Bacharach’s one-word comment: “Great!”… The Society of Singers tribute to Peggy Lee May 9 at the BevHilton has already set k.d. lang, Mel Torme, Cleo Laine, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett and Ruth Brown.
PRESIDENT CLINTON wrote a pretty funny letter, read by Marvin Davis, at the Hebrew U. Scopus award dinner to Larry King at the BevHilton. Clinton said he was going to read the (Scopus) speech as his State of the Union Address; f’rinstance: “It’s 9 p.m. and I know you were expecting to see Larry King but the Constitution requires periodic reports to the Congress by the president on the State of the Union.” CNN’s Bernard Shaw hosted a taped tribute to King showing some of the highlights of Larry’s ’93 interviews on CNN. Ted Turner and Jane Fonda, listed as co-chairs, did not attend the gala evening, which raised a million-$ for the U. … Vic Damone again proved to the audience he is one of the best singers in the business. He could have sung all night.
MICHAEL JACKSON’S ALREADY IN Las Vegas, well in advance of his Feb. 19 appearance in the “Jackson Family Honors” NBC special … Also in Vegas, Ron Perelman and Patricia Duff Medavoy … Corky Hale, record producer David Foster, arrangers Jeremy Levick and Johnny Mandel private-jetted to Vegas to meet with Kenny Rogers about creating a new album of standards … Sam Waterston is reportedly almost set to take over for Michael Moriarty in “Law and Order”… The enormous new structure rising from the Beverly Hills Hotel site has not been affected at all by the quakes, reports CEO Kerman Beriker, who says the hotel will make its spring ’95 grand opening date. Meanwhile, his sons, James, John and Timor, hotel-trained, have opened the charming Rustica restaurant on North Beverly Drive. Among celebs there, Alan Alda celebrating his birthday (58) … Oprah Winfrey celebrated her 40th birthday at l’Orangerie with guests including the Steven Spielbergs, Sidney Poitiers, Quincy Jones and Nastassja Kinski … Phil Harris, who will be 90 on June 24, returns Wednesday to the Pebble Beach Pro-Am tourney he once won. He’ll try for a 90-foot putt during the 3M Challenge at the AT&T Pro-Am … Nancy and Bruce Binkow welcomed their first son, Charley Silvers B., Jan. 28 at Cedars-Sinai. Grandfather’s the late Phil Silvers … Paul Anka quick-trips to Paris Feb. 7 to receive the Chevalier Order of Arts and Letters — and to get a tribute from their French music and recording industry on “My Way,” which has amassed 319 recordings other than Frank Sinatra’s … ICM signed Michael Caine, Jim Belushi, Tia Carrere and Hugh Grant.