HOLLYWOOD There were more than a dozen standing ovations until the entire audience simply remained on its feet for the last few minutes of the Sept. 18 banquet for Adopt-a-Minefield. While entertainment at showbiz banquets usually consists of one or two obligatory numbers by Vegas-imported performers, Sir Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson were on for more than two hours, wowing a tough industry crowd.
The group’s worldwide mission of eliminating military mines and minefields is the cause celebre of McCartney’s new celeb missus — Lady Heather Mills McCartney. As such, she carries a mantle once borne by Britain’s Princess Diana.
In the cheering audience of 900 were Stephen Stills, (who did a surprise serenade between the headliners’ sets), Chubby Checker, Rob Reiner, Cameron Crowe, Saul Zaentz, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mickey Rooney, Sally Kellerman, Jeff Lynne, David Spade, Pierce Brosnan and Dee Dee Myers. Evening’s honorees included anti-minefield and victim-assistance activists Jody Williams, Ken Rutherford and Jerry White.
Jay Leno emceed the Century Plaza shindig.
“I hear Warner Bros. is doing ‘Exorcist 3,’ ” he cracked. “They’re bringing Satan in to get the priest out of the teenager.”
Pop princes Paul and Brian played separately and together, dueting on Lennon-McCartney’s classic “Let It Be” and Wilson’s Beach Boys gem “God Only Knows.”
McCartney inserted brief remarks urging the U.S. to join other nations in signing a treaty banning the use of military mines.
“Mr. President, please, let’s do it,” said the beknighted moptop.