Lewis Payton Hub
Our friend and contributor Lewis Payton (you've seen many of his photographs on these pages), attended the Obama fundraiser last night in Beverly Hills, and sent us this exclusive report, which includes video of Obama's speech, in two parts. Part one is below, part two AFTER THE JUMP:
An estimated 800 guests turned out at the Regency Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills last night. With performances by Ben Harper and Barbra Streisand, a relatively somber Barack Obama spoke to the celebrity filled crowd, all of whom contributed at least $2500 each to attend. "This should be a celebratory evening," he said. "But the truth is that I'm in a different mood tonight. Partly because we saw this week a storm sweep through the gulf, and over the last few days we've had news of the worst financial crisis that we've had in generations."
Obama spoke, without notes or teleprompter, for 20 minutes. While media were banned from the event, his speech left no doubt as to why he was in town. "It's nice to have Barbra and Ben singing, but that's not what this is about. It's about a struggle for the future, a struggle for the next generation, it's about who we are as a country and who we are as a people, and this is a serious fight, and I intend to win it, but I'm going to need your help."
The event, along with the $28,500 a head dinner that preceded it, was estimated to raise over $9 million for Obama's campaign. McCain's campaign attacked the event as "another example of Obama's out of touch celebrity," even though McCain guested at a similar, albeit far less successful, fundraising event in Hollywood last month.
— Lewis Payton
Part two of Obama's speech, AFTER THE JUMP...
Here's a special treat for you this Tuesday. A preview of the latest DNA magazine, which contains the biggest photo spread in the magazine's history, photographed by our friend Lewis Payton. I think it's some of Lewis' most inspired work to date. Click photos to enlarge.
Lewis writes: "This shoot was a fairly massive undertaking in so many ways - weeks of set up and execution, 23 hours flying each way - it was the biggest project I've ever undertaken. It's for DNA's grooming issue, and in addition to the photos, I wrote a six page feature reviewing Bali's Best Luxury Spas. I had to schlep my way through some of the most insane pampering imaginable, every day for two whole weeks, so I could let you know how to tell your sea salt exfoliation from your coconut body scrub. If you've got some $$$ to throw around, I highly recommend a spa break. Those two weeks took about ten years off my life. Post Bali existence has been a total drag. No butlers picking up my shit, no evening cocktails in my private swimming pool, no organic French facials, or Almond Milk and Ginger body splashes. I've tried to recreate the 'spa experience' back home, but my bath taps spit rust-colored waters and the dirt and dust blowing over from the construction site opposite my apartment pretty much clogs my pores as soon as I've stepped out of the shower. I've settled for a $30 mani/pedi at Happy Nails (they validate!) and nightly prayer rituals that Travel & Leisure are about to call with a job..." (more below)
"The model for this shoot is Andre (his website), who actually started as one of my assistants before I suggested a stint in front of the camera. Andre's a triple threat of looks, smarts and charm. Check out his new blog for a dose of all three. He's got a unique writing voice and a great visual eye. I should be feeling threatened by the competition, but he's just too darned sweet to have bumped off! "
More shots after the jump...
Our friend Lewis Payton has been overseas working on a photography project and sent us a special postcard of his latest subject, Andre.
Lewis writes, "Bali is incredible! The tourism industry here took a huge hit after the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, so I wanted to come here and show the world (well at least the readers of Towleroad and DNA!) what an extraordinarily beautiful culture and country the Balinese have. Unlike the rest of Indonesia, which is predominately Muslim, most of Bali's population are Hindu, and this spiritual faith is on evidence throughout the island. This has been the most special shoot I've ever experienced."
You can look forward to next week when you'll be seeing more of Andre on these pages.
What's Andre saying? Oh yeah, we have T-shirts again for those who are interested!
You may have seen up-and-coming actor/model Marco Dapper in the recent gay film Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds. Or, after having seen these shots, you may want to see him. In any case, he's he main attraction in the current issue of DNA (which we must disclose is a longtime advertiser on this site). Click images to enlarge.
Towleroad readers will recognize who took the shots - our good friend Lewis Payton. Lewis decided to make part of the shoot (against the white walls) an homage to the vintage Calvin Klein underwear shots from days of old. We'd say Dapper fits the underwear, er, the bill, perfectly.
More shots after the jump!!!