As if they were in last-minute rehearsals for this week’s Democratic convention, LAPD’s riot squad swooped down on partygoers at Maxim Magazine’s soiree at the Farmer’s Daughter’s Motor Inn in West Hollywood on Thursday.
What began as a magazine promotion party for 1,000 with a perf by the Cult and motel rooms decorated in 21 exotic themes (one featured female midget Kiss impersonators) ended with a scene that evoked memories of another convention — ’68 in Chicago — with 50 police officers, a helicopter, a fire department task force and five fire inspectors responding to the scene.
According to organizers, problems began developing early in the week when radio station KROQ began promoting the invitation-only event and gave out the locale. In a case of not all publicity being good publicity, this brought out 2,000 uninvited guests who blocked Fairfax Avenue venue.
Matters worsened when a Maxim staffer misidentified a Cult band member’s wife as a groupie (a title she really, really didn’t like), relayed this verbal offense to her husband who waited until after the band’s performance to enthusiastically pummel the offending magazine staffer. Security broke up the fight.
Though party organizers had planned for a nominal increase in the crowd by boosting security from 21 to 37, from one fire marshal to three and from two traffic safety officers to six, this still wasn’t enough to keep the uninvited hordes from blocking the exits.
At 10:30 p.m. an announcement was made that the venue had to be cleared (the biggest problem was persuading the inebriated guests to leave the motel rooms) and the crowd surged out into the street where it was met by unusually friendly riot police who told at least one guest how much they liked the magazine “but you still have to leave.”
Thought there was no doubt the large crowd was blocking street traffic, some guests questioned the large police response in light of how peaceful the party was. “I was inside and it seemed fine,” said one studio exec. “What were they expecting, 500 models to riot?”
Among those guests who were told “to step away from the goodie bags and exit immediately” were Maxim publisher Stephen Colvin, Amanda Peet, Jeffrey Godsick, Vivian Mayer, Kristy Swanson, Ashton Kutcher, Carmen Electra, Marilyn Manson, Matthew McConaughey, David Schwimmer, Antonio Sabato Jr., Beck, David Alan Grier, Melissa Joan Hart, Rachel Hunter, Ali Landry, Jamie Pressley, Brad Rowe and the mag’s September cover girl Kirstin Dunst.