Hollywood’s historic Capitol Records building is closed indefinitely while it undergoes repairs. Capitol Music Group staffers began working this month from the nearby Hollywood NeueHouse complex.
“All CMG employees, are still working from home or are in hybrid mode; meaning, they mostly work from home, but will get together in-person for meetings or other gatherings,” a CMG spokesperson tells Billboard. “The Tower is under repair for an undetermined period, but all of Hollywood-based CMG will be in their offices in The Tower in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, CMG has rented space at Hollywood NeueHouse for the use of its employees.”
A representative also notes Capitol’s recording studios are still open.
While the representative did not give a reason for the move or provide a more specific timeline for when employees will return, sources say the concern may be a fault line that runs close to the iconic tower. The California Geological Survey concluded in 2014 that an active fault line ran under a 4.5-acre stretch of land along Vine Street in Hollywood, just south of the Capitol Tower, the Los Angeles Times reported. The survey’s results have put in doubt the future of a nearby skyscraper project, the Millennium Hollywood, which would be the largest and tallest development in Hollywood history. (California law generally bans new buildings on an active earthquake fault for safety reasons.)
The Capitol Tower’s staff has been informed it could be up to 18 months before they’re allowed back in, sources say. The rep noted that Universal Music Group/CMG are the only tenants and do not own the building.
The round, 13-story structure — the world’s first circular office — was completed in 1956 and became an instantly recognizable Los Angeles landmark for its resemblance to a stack of records with a 90-foot rooftop spire on top. However, the structure’s architect told Billboard a few years ago that design is a coincidence.
“Unequivocally, it had nothing to do with a stack of records. If it were an IHOP, everyone would think that it looks like a stack of pancakes or plates,” architect Louis Naidorf said. “If it were Firestone, everyone would think that it looks like a stack of inner tubes. There are lots of things that look like that.” — Melinda Newman
Super Bowl Parties Light Up L.A.’s Music Scene
Had the NFL not expanded its schedule with a 17th regular season game last year, this year’s Super Bowl weekend in Los Angeles might have looked very different.
With the omicron variant subsiding nationally, L.A. County’s COVID-19 cases are the lowest they have been since Christmas and trending downward after a holiday spike that led to canceled events of all sizes and brought much of L.A. back into a lockdown mindset. Now, a renewed levity is in the air with a packed weekend of events for fans and executives gearing up for Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI, where the hometown L.A. Rams face off against the Cincinnati Bengals.
But in a previously-normal 16-game season, wherein the schedule would have been one week earlier, it’s possible the big game could have been moved out of L.A. — or at least the all-star party scene would have been vastly reduced.
In early January, when omicron was surging in California, there were conversations about whether the big game could get moved to Dallas — much like the Grammys were moved from Jan. 31 in L.A. to April 3 in Las Vegas. The NFL’s decision to add another game to the season was the first time since 1978 that the league expanded its schedule, pushing the Super Bowl back one week — from Feb. 4 to 11 — and by luck it’s worked out to be a best-case scenario.
It’s also meant that the Super Bowl events have taken the place of the delayed Grammys events, which usually would have taken over L.A. for a week in February. The combination of uncertainty around Grammy plans — L.A. or Vegas? Indoor or outdoor? To party at all or to pass for another year? — the pent-up energy that has grown during the omicron surge and a heat wave that is making the city feel like summer is super-charging an already delirious event. Now, many are in last-minute overdrive trying to secure entry into some of the most exclusive events: says one executive, “People woke up to the parties in the last couple days.”
Since sideshow events kicked off Wednesday, music executives looking to hit the town have had a plethora of options to choose from. (“In music, people are always looking for a reason to go out,” says one exec.) While John Mayer performed at The Hollywood Palladium for a SiriusXM-sponsored event hosted by Andy Cohen on Wednesday, Wasserman Music held a smaller party in a private home on Sunset Boulevard.
Thursday night, the three-night Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest launched at the newly renamed Crypto.com Arena with Halsey and Machine Gun Kelly, while WME’s hip-hop department co-heads Kevin Shivers, Caroline Yim, James Rubin and Zach Iser held a private party at Catch LA in West Hollywood. (They’re also hosting a brunch at the same venue Saturday.)
Friday night (Feb. 11), NFT collective FLUF World is bringing its in-real-life FLUF Haus event to L.A., taking over the Petersen Automotive Museum for what one exec described as “the music/tech place to be,” with performances by T-Pain, Chromeo, Gavin Turek and FLUF World “metastar” virtual artist Angelbaby. (The list has been shut down, according to one person involved, though that hasn’t stopped the biz texting relentlessly trying to secure a spot.) Across town, meanwhile, Shaq is taking over The Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall with his Fun House carnival event presented by FTX and featuring sets by Lil Wayne, Zedd and Diplo. (Diplo performs later at Tao LA’s Big Game Weekend too.)
The events aren’t all geared towards music, with agencies leading the way for their rosters of clients in other industries too. “I think music people are going out though in general, because the sports/entertainment/music lines are so blurred,” says one exec. For instance, on Saturday, Quality Control will host a brunch at The Dream Hotel’s Highlight Room for its sports division with Migos, Pusha T and Lil Baby all attending, as well as sports stars like Charles Oakley, Michael Vick and D’Andre Swift. Later in the day, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner and Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin is hosting a party at 3Labs in Culver City where Drake, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Travis Scott, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning are all expected to attend. And that night, Drake and Justin Bieber will perform for h.wood Group’s Homecoming Weekend the Pacific Design Center, while The Kid LAROI and Kaskade take over Academy LA for Rolling Stone Live.
And that doesn’t even start to cover all the concerts taking place — see a full list here.
One exec called it as impressive an events calendar as they’ve seen: exactly what you would have wanted out of having a Super Bowl in LA. — Colin Stutz
Edited by Dan Rys