Party Hearty Elton John Lights 40 Candles in the Wind for His Manager's Birthday

updated 09/25/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/25/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Saturday night was all right for celebrating when Elton John threw a star-lit and star-studded 40th-birthday bash for his manager, John Reid, and 300 of their most charming chums. Captain Fantastic, 42, who long since has toned down his own glittery getups, spared no expense in gussying up the private Beverly Hills estate he rented for the occasion. When such diverse A-list guests as Sylvester Stallone, David Hockney and Princess Stephanie approached the mansion, they were greeted by a six-foot-high ice sculpture carved to resemble Reid's Scottish family crest, surrounded by a bounty of shrimp and oysters on the half shell.

A buffet dinner was served in the backyard garden, where the Scottish games continued with a brace of bagpipers presenting the blindfolded Reid with an oversize cake topped with a living mannequin dressed to the hilt in a kilt. While Reid contemplated the candles in the wind, Elton said, "This man is 40 years old and he's been my manager for 19 years," and broke into an a cappella version of "Happy Birthday to You."

Elton's voice was in fine fettle thanks to the yearlong five-continent tour that he interrupted to fete his friend. After singing Reid's praises in an uncharacteristically restrained manner, Elton cranked up the volume and pop stars, Hollywood denizens and British imports alike took to the dance floor to boogie to Top 40 tunes. And as the evening drew to a close, almost everybody was ready to start "Sleeping with the Past"—or at least, the nostalgic present.

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