“Let’s go stand by the bass speakers!” one head-bopper holle to another as they took turns passing a spliff back ’n’ forth among a group of giggly beat junkies coughin’ ’n’ gaggin’. You’d sure have to be smokin’ something to press your ears up against JOHN DIGWEED’s super sound system, from which pulsated a beat so bold that it literally shook the walls at the MAYAN. The techno tribe shrieked, “Digweed, Digweed!” and it wasn’t long before we figu out it wasn’t just the DJ they were referring to — joints were being waved around in the air like lighters at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. The groove guru (pictu) was at the Mayan to do a live recording for his next album (his third trance compilation CD) on the U.K. electronic label Boxed. Considering that his other two Global Underground releases were recorded at clubs in international meccas such as Hong Kong and Sydney, Australia, we asked him, Why L.A.? “I’ve played at the Shrine and at the Viper Room three times, and every time I’ve played here there’s such a good crowd,” Digweed told us while lounging around the pool at the L’Ermitage hotel earlier in the day. “I figu I might as well take advantage of some of that positive energy.” We’ll smoke to that! —Derrick Mathis


Sex, masochism and, of course, dressing up were the themes at this year’s COVEN 13/FETISH BALL Halloween celebration at the VARIETY ARTS CENTER, headlined by THE CRAMPS. While seasoned spookabilly pioneers LUX INTERIOR and POISON IVY (clad in sheer lace) played for devils and witches in the showroom, the lobby was the scene of a violent scuffle. The jaded whips-’n’-chains crowd didn’t look twice until one vampiric lad commented, “It’s S&M performance art!” prompting Piss Ant singer JOSIE to spank an unruly lad who was being restrained by security and was eventually tossed out the front door by his T-shirt. Also causing his own little ruckus was the guy with the best costume of the night: a burly fellow dressed as BOB’S BIG BOY with cowlick, -and-white checke overalls and a giant hamburger he held in the air. The tasty-looking prop opened up, and inside was food stuff like a “patty paddle” and a whip made from limp lettuce, both of which B.B. took great relish in using. There were plenty of protruding body parts (real and synthetic), lots of fangs and familiar faces including members of DANZIG, L7 and THE FUZZTONES, über-tattooist RILEY BAXTER, Necromance’s NANCY SMITH, and designer TERRI KING, whose scheduled fashion show was canceled and replaced by terror-rific NYC tricksters THE TOILET BOYS. —Lina Lecaro


The recent opening of DEEP (long ago the site of the Brown Derby and more recently Jacks Sugar Shack) was so packed that even those who arrived on the early side were left cursing in the rain. Those inside IVAN KANE’s latest venture (he also owns Kane on Melrose) did lewd, licking things with the minibananas dipped in white-chocolate fondue and drank way too much of the Bull and champagne — served up, most winningly, by ROB CAMILLETTI, Cher’s ex–boy toy. JUSTINE BATEMAN spent time staring at the sexy -light dancers vamping in glass boxes above the bar in the main room — which looks like it was decorated by a slightly sadistic crazed aunt, complete with a life-size stuffed lion perched in one corner — while PATRICIA ARQUETTE, PORTIA DE ROSSI, DEAN CAIN, RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, TIMOTHY DALTON and JON FAVREAU were among the sleek young things checking out the F SUTHERLAND–designed space. The real fun came when the ladies of the VELVET HAMMER burlesque show modeled AGENT PROVOCATEUR lingerie — a luxe-trash line designed by SERENA REES and JOE CORRE, son of punk priestess Vivienne Westwood. The gam-o-rama was emceed by a whip-wielding ROSE McGOWAN who brought along a posse of skater types and double-fisted the bubbly between acts. Some women found themselves as unexpected lingerie models when they had to drop trou in front of the entire ladies’ loo line — the restrooms are stall-less. —Jade Chang


Fanciful costumes by JULIE TAYMOR provided the eye candy at THE LION KING’s opening night at the PANTAGES, while the Elton John–Tim Rice–penned score provided the syrup and the froth. (By the time the show’s signature tune, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” was warbled, we could feel the love — of ticket sales — oozing from the Pantages box office.) Plenty of notables turned up for the black-tie event, including ANN MILLER (all in ), CAMRYN MANHEIM, JACKIE GOLDBERG, ERIC McCORMACK, MARLEE MATLIN, ERIQ LA SALLE, JOE MANTEGNA and ALFRE WOODARD. Puppet mistress Taymor (also in ) craned her neck to chat animatedly with Mouse King MICHAEL EISNER. Inexperienced ushers made frantic attempts to herd the glitterati into seats — perhaps the cartoonish 1930s bellhop uniforms undercut the staff’s authority. (A celebrity logjam during the overly long intermission caused one patron to demand that stun guns be used to clear the aisles.) “Chow Down,” an amusing ditty sung by a trio of ravenous hyenas in the musical, wins our vote for theme song of the after-party, where a pride of celebrities could be seen grazing at the enormous buffet tables. Hungry stars also stalked the wait staff, who circulated wearing multitie trays of edibles that resembled nothing so much as the metallic Christmas tree that nearly sank Shelley Winters’ Oscar hopes in The Poseidon Adventure. We declined these treats. Call us old-fashioned (or just hygenic), but we prefer food that hasn’t been worn. —Sandra Ross

Edited by Kateri Butler

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