Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Will the Beatles ever get back together again?
"Nope, not a chance," said lawyer Lee Eastman Thursday night at the National Gallery at Art dinner honoring the exhibit of Henri Matisse paper cutouts opening today.
"You can't reheat a souffle. A reunion of the Beatles would be like watching four aging rich brothers trying to recapture something that's passed."
Eastman should know. Aside from being a prominent attorney representing some of the country's leading contemporary artists. Eastman also happens to be the father of Beatle wife Linda Eastman McCartney who, according to dad, "is a girl with a lot of moxie.
"Why does that marriage work? Because Paul and Linda know how to touch each other. Did you know they're expecting a baby any day now?" he asked.
Indeed. But then so is Pamela Brown, wife of National Gallery director J. Carter Brown, who despite her very advanced condition - "technically I was supposed to deliver Labor Day" - not only appeared Thursday night but spent Thursday afternoon supervising the decorations for the first dinner ever held in the Gallery Rotunda.
"No, we haven't decided on a name yet," said Pamela Brown, who was wearing a black and pink flowered maternity gown designed by her and executed by Givenchy. For his part, father-to-be Brown applauded his spouse for "doing the ultimate in being the wife of a museum director - that is, putting off having her baby until after her husband's first opening dinner of the season."
The evening itself, hosted by Brown and the museum trustees, including Paul and Bunny Mellon, began with cocktails outdoors on the Mall terrace. The party then moved inside to the candlelit rotunda, where table settings of fuchsia, red, orange, green and turquoise played off the colors in the Matisse show viewed guests after dinner.
The 171 at the dinner included some of the country's more substantial private art collectors as well as five representatives and a handful of aides from the White House. One of the White House contingent, Barry Jagoda, Jimmy Carter's TV adviser, hedged when asked about this week's White House concern, budget director Bert Lance. "All I know about Bert Lance is that he supports public TV, believes in cultural diversity, is very intelligent, a trustworthy man and has a very lovely wife," said Jagoda.
However, Jagoda was not quite so glib when it came to the receiving line, where Jagoda asked Gallery President Paul Mellon who he was.
Also on hand was House Majority Whip John Brademas (D-Ind.) and his wife, Mary Ellen, who said that married life with one of Washington's heretofore most prominent bachelors was "much easier than I expected. I thought - having lived alone for such a long time - it would take John awhile to make the adjustment.
"John's biggest chance is that he's much more relaxed than when we were dating. Of course, my schedule as a medical student is very hectic - yesterday for instance I left the house at 5:30 a.m. and didn't get home until 10 p.m."
And finally, Livingston Biddle, reportedly one of the leading contenders to take over the Nacny Hank's job as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, said he "had no more information than anybody else" on his chances for the position.
But, Biddle hastily added: "I would of course, love to have the opportunity of serving the new administration in that post."