Dinner with Eurythmics, Green Day in Beverly Hills

Tuxedo time at the Beverly Hilton in 2006, hanging out by the pool knocking back as many free Jack & cokes as possible before heading into the ballroom to acknowledge the writers and publishers of ASCAP’s most-played songs of the year.

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when 50 Cent (or “Mr. Cent” in The Economist) is named songwriter of the year. Anyway, we were all there for Green Day and Annie Lennox, who got some special honors. Here’s my report:

Eurythmics Reunite in Rare L.A. Performance
By Dean Goodman
BEVERLY HILLS, May 23, 2006 (Reuters) – Sweet dreams were made in Los Angeles on Monday as the members of U.K. synth-pop duo Eurythmics reunited on stage at a music industry event.

Pretty cool. Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart playing to several hundred folks at a Beverly Hills ballroom.

Singer Annie Lennox, a guest of honor at performing rights group ASCAP’s annual Pop Music Awards, teamed up with guitarist David Stewart to deliver a stirring version of her hit solo single “Why.” She also took to the piano to dust off her solo tune “A Thousand Beautiful Things” and the Eurythmics anthem “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves.”

Lennox, 51, had flown in from her British home a day earlier to receive ASCAP’s Founders Award, which goes to songwriters who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. She paid generous tribute to Stewart, 53, a former lover with whom she co-founded Eurythmics in 1980, and went on to enjoy 20 international hits, including “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” and “Would I Lie To You.”

“David is the person who facilitated me happening. There’s no question about that,” she told the black-tie crowd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. “You are the person who did that. He’s the one who knows the journey.”

After winding down the group in 1989 so that she could concentrate on starting a family, Lennox and Stewart reunited 10 years later for a new album and brief tour. They made a few promotional appearances last November to coincide with the release of a greatest hits album.

Also honored were punk-rock trio Green Day, who received ASCAP’s Creative Voice Award “for advocating change, questioning the status quo and supporting the truest of ideals.” Green Day singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong also chose the theme of mateship in his speech, saying “the best advice you can give somebody is to play music with your friends.”

But before things could get too sappy, he snapped back to reality, and asked, “Is this where I’m supposed to say ‘F— George W. Bush?'” As the laughter and cheers died down, he answered himself, “You know what? He’s done a great job of f—ing himself.”

NOTE: If you liked this, try my gossipy rock bio Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock ‘n’ Roll Journalist in Los Angeles, available here. For more info, go to strangedaysbook.com

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Dean Goodman