It’s a Hot Time at the Black & Blue Ball

Text & photos by Shannon Kelley Gould

Sunday evening, after a blazing hot weekend spent jockeying for
position in front of our overworked fan, my husband and I peeled
ourselves off the couch, poured ourselves into our party clothes,
and prayed for cooler temps seaside, in preparation for the
granddaddy of all Santa Barbara fundraisers: the Black & Blue
Ball. The B&B, which benefits the Muscular Dystrophy
Association, is an over-the-top affair, where pretty much anything
goes, which is a good thing, as, if you ask me, this weather’s been
making everyone a little bit crazy. I was banking on a lapse in
sanity, too, when I told my husband I wanted him to come out of his
self-imposed Snuffleupagus-style invisibility and let me get a shot
of him kissing newsman-about-town John Palminteri, a k a The Palm,
in a reprise of my date’s derring-do at last year’s event. Sadly,
he determined I was the crazy one, and refused. Alas.

We arrived at the Doubletree, post-squall (squall!), to find the
VIP hour in full swing, and immediately took advantage, meeting up
with some pals to do a hands-on tour of food row, camping out in
front of Chef Karim’s station for a spell, and taking seconds
(okay, thirds) of Elements’s amazing spicy crab salad-adorned
cucumber slices. Well-fed, I set out in search of the most
peep-worthy partyers and found that pretty much everyone in
attendance qualified. There were the men who were strictly
black-tie above the belt, but sported shorts or jeans — but
thankfully, no jean shorts — below; ladies in sequins, feathers,
and denim; and then there were the bartenders. The poor, tuxedoed
bartenders were troopers, mixing drinks at a dizzying pace, the
sweat pouring out of them as copiously as the cocktails.

Returning to my crew, I was immediately instructed to turn
around: Matt McAvene had taken the stage, and, true to form, was
rocking out with the help of his band and several enormous,
papier-mâché-looking creations. I charged up to the stage to get a
shot of the action, rejoined my friends, who were busy accosting
the chocolate fountain, and determined it was high time to do a lap
upstairs, as the golden hour was quickly descending. Atop the
rotunda, we found more beautiful people, looking even more smashing
against the stunning backdrop of that incredible view, and,
mercifully, a breeze. We wandered, mingled, sat, sipped, and
peeped, and, before we knew it, Eddie Money, the evening’s headline
performer, was about to hit the stage. We headed downstairs,
weaseled our way to the front and, eventually, backstage, in time
to catch a quick shot of Mr. Money and his adorable son Julian, who
later joined his dad — who, by the way, rocked — onstage, treating
the crowd to a taste of his skills on the drums.

Before leaving, we spotted The Palm; I ran up to tell him of my
little plan, but when I turned to find my husband, he was gone.

Where will your peeps be? Email


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.