The announcement took everyone by surprise, including the groom's grandmother who said, "I'm thrilled. I had to take a tablet to calm myself down." Five days after proposing' for the second time, British rocker Elton John, 36, married German-born recording technician Renate Blauel, 30, on St. Valentine's Day, in Darling Point, Sydney, Australia. Bedecked in a white silk tailcoat, straw boater, lilac-striped shirt and spats, Captain Fantastic exchanged vows with his more traditionally dressed bride. Then Mr. and Mrs. John headed for a lavish reception for 400 guests at a nearby hotel. The couple, who met in London 18 months ago when Renate was assistant engineer on John's Too Low for Zero album, are honeymooning in New Zealand, while the singer's lawyers are scrambling to work out a prenuptial agreement after the fact.
Since John has been candid about his bisexual life-style, the wedding had family and friends aflutter. Back in England, his mum gushed, "I always knew Elton would get married in the end." But the British press described Bob Halley, John's personal assistant and live-in companion for the past eight years, as "mute with shock."
Nevertheless, Elton has previously hinted in interviews that he could be the marrying kind. "I wouldn't consider it unless I was absolutely certain that I'd found the right person," he once speculated. "A successful marriage would make me the happiest man in the world." And give him something to sing about.
As Hollywood's favorite Mexican restaurant, Lucy's El Adobe has spiced up the evenings of such regulars as Dolly Parton, Betty Thomas and Jackson Browne. So when the abode celebrated its 20th anniversary, the town hoisted margaritas in celebration. Linda Ronstadt (left) provided a bouquet of helium balloons and, along with a mariachi band, serenaded owner Frank Casado, who was also celebrating his 60th birthday. His wife, Lucy, the restaurant's namesake and a madre figure to some of the music world's young and restless, exclaimed, "I love these famous kids." Accepting six birthday cakes and congratulations from J.D. Souther, Ronee Blakley and former Eagle Don Henley, Frank added, "I remember when most of them didn't have the price of an enchilada."
Michael's white-glove treatment
In some ways the party that CBS Records threw for Michael Jackson at New York City's American Museum of Natural History was less than a thriller. Guests were startled when cannons filled with confetti went off to herald Jackson's arrival with date Brooke Shields. But he made only brief appearances in the main room before retreating to a private chamber where such celebs as Calvin Klein and Mary Tyler Moore delivered their Congrats. The floor show, with each dancer sporting Jackson's trademark, a white glove (top), was a hit with Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson (right) and for Carly Simon (above), who arrived on the arm of John Sykes, 27, MTV's vice president of programming. By midnight, though, most guests were content to beat it.