A Honey (Brothers) of a Band

Oct 17, 2005  •  Post A Comment

TV Guide partied to beat the band last week as it heralded its big makeover into a feature- and photo-driven magazine, with only 39 of the 112 full-size glossy pages in its Oct. 17-23 maiden edition devoted to listings.

And what a band! In a nifty little coup, TV Guide booked the ukulele-fueled Honey Brothers, who soon will gain as much notice for their catchy, likable and accessible music-the quintet was dubbed the “masters of Hawaiian-Appalachian Glam Rock” by the Village Voice-as for the fact that the drummer is Adrian Grenier, the heartthrob actor headlining HBO’s hit “Entourage.”

The band, which is headed out on tour this week, has been together about three years but lacks representation, so the appearance attracted a number of agents-an observation that made the thousand-watt smile on Mr. Grenier’s nicely bearded face throughout the performance even wider.

The Insider’s attempt to interview Mr. Grenier after the band’s set was cut brutally short when she was surrounded by all the young-babe types who followed him like lead filings to a powerful magnet to a far corner of the main room at New York’s hot new Home and Guest House.

Discretion being the better part of survival, The Insider contentedly made her way home in a soft and quiet rain and an unusually girly mood.

By the time The Insider left, comedian Gilbert Gottfried had disappeared into the crowd, which could not obscure actor Danny Nucci. Joan Rivers was nowhere to be seen. Melissa Rivers, who works the red carpet in Hollywood with her mom for the TV Guide Channel, was too quick on her feet for The Insider to grab a chat.

Tony Danza, the gab-about gadabout talk show host, had left by then but would say on-air the next day that he had not, repeat not, gone to the men’s club across the street. Casually glam “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville had left. “CBS Evening News” interim anchor Bob Schieffer had left. Regis and Joy Philbin had left. Mr. Philbin did not, repeat not, have to say on-air the next day that he had not gone to the men’s club across the street because he and his wife had gone together to another function.

Martha Stewart had left. But The Insider cornered Ms. Stewart’s executive producer and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia stake holder Mark Burnett, who said there’s a silver lining to the performance clouds over “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.” The show’s audience of more than 7 million “hard-core” Stewart fans is “really pushing sales of her Kmart products,” he said. The original “Apprentice,” with Donald Trump, also is in a big slump, but “It’s great to have them both on the air,” Mr. Burnett said.

He dubbed J.D. Fortune, who was chosen on Mr. Burnett’s CBS summer series “Rock Star: INXS” to succeed long-gone lead singer Michael Hutchence, “a real rock star.” But he also said that Mig Ayesa, the most appealing of the three “Rock Star” finalists, is on the verge of a huge recording career.

And he good-naturedly submitted to The Insider’s most probing questions: His signature cutting-edge jackets (about 20 of them) are custom-tailored, and when it comes to jeans he wears True Religion or nothing at all.

The most unexpected treat of the evening, however, was meeting actors Alysia Reiner and David Alan Basche. Having achieved a certain comfort level as actors-she played Thomas Hayden Church’s cheated-on fianc%E9;e Christine in “Sideways” and he was Dakota Fanning’s stepfather in “War of the Worlds”-they particularly appreciate the Zen essence of Mr. Grenier’s portrayal of up-and-coming star Vincent Chase, who can be happy whether he makes it big in Hollywood or if he has to go back to his hometown of Queens.