The Ultimate Party
The Ultimate Party By Scott “Scotto” Savitt During my long successful career as an event producer, I have had the great opportunity to create evaluate and attend many social gatherings. It is my considered judgment that a special event took place on Long Island’s famous East End in the late 1970’s that was outstanding. At the time my parents Dr. Robert Savitt and wife Rae-z were well known party givers. They had a glorious beach house near the seashore in Wainscot. Close neighbors included Truman Capote and George Plimpton both legendary writers and social icons. Every year on the eve of the 4th of July Bobby Van’s (renowned watering hole) was the place to be for the in-crowd. While there, George Plimpton invited my parents to his 4th of July party which included his awesome fireworks display. As I had several friends out celebrating the 4th, he also invited them to come along. The next day as we entered George’s event, we were amazed to see the invited guests that had gathered. Present were famous statesmen, authors, entertainers, socialites and celebrities. Jackie Onasis, Carolyn Kennedy, Mick Jagger, Chevy Chase, Norma Mailer (thumb wrestling with some of the younger Kennedy cousins) Kurt Vonnegut, Peter Boyle, Florence Henderson, and many more partied on the expansive lawn of George’s beach front estate. Unlike many parties of today, this was not a fundraiser or a career enhancer. These guests were truly interested in interacting with each other which resulted in a phenomenal social evening to be remembered. The crowd was delighted as the party ended with one of George’s world famous fireworks display bursting high above the crashing ocean waves. With this party, I discovered there is a magic factor that is a key element in an event reaching a high level of success. It is a vibe that can be felt the minute you arrive. It can start with the way you are greeted; I know a major club owner who fired four valet parking companies in one summer season because its employees were not friendly enough. Remember the valet is the first and last person one has contact with. The location of an event is also important, but not everything. I have witnessed many disasters in many beautiful facilities. Some of the best weddings I have attended were in a tented backyard. Often times, people will pay enormous amounts of money for a location based upon its reputation and not on its actual feel. In the words of my dear friend Levon Helm, “music is a magic elixir.” In the case of George Plimpton’s party back in the late seventies, he simply used a string quartet and it totally worked. Selecting the right music for an event is the cornerstone for creating the appropriate atmosphere. Whether it’s a DJ or a Band, variety rules; you want all of your guests to feel included. Of course, the proper hosting of a party can really make the difference. At a certain point the guests must be welcomed. One can do this by working the crowd or making an announcement to the group as a whole. Even the amount of money spent doesn’t guarantee a winner. Food certainly is a factor, but not everything. Sometimes group activities can help alot, but always watch the sophistication factor for certain events. Even guests taking a certain route to travel to your party can set the stage. Well, in the case of George Plimpton’s bash, many of these factors came together in a magical way, which resulted in a stunning evening for one and all. As in the past, the East End remains the number one point of destination for summer frolic. So let us give a Viva! Viva! for the East End, one of Long Island’s crowning jewels and the glorious setting for the ultimate party.