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Come Blow Your Horn

[whitespace] Peter Lawford Imagine Peter standing at a polished wooden bar lined with burgundy velvet, a frou-frou designer martini in one hand, cigarette and shot of whisky in the other. He'd undoubtedly be buying drinks for the ladies, while occasionally mingling with guys whose names sound like Rock.




Strangers in the night
Exchanging glances
Wond'ring in the night
What were the chances we'd be sharing love
Before the night was through
"Strangers in the Night" (Kaempfert/Singleton/Snyder)

By Mary Spicuzza

WALK INTO ANY SWANKY nightclub and try not to notice Peter Lawford. With his hunky good looks and self-assured posture, every woman and man within a 10-foot radius of the dashing movie star would be fidgeting, hoping they looked good enough to go home with him--or at least decent enough to not appear like the Elephant Man in his company.

Approaching Peter, one might also be struck by his perpetual tan, bleach-bright smile and a distinct smell of sculpting gel. Imagine him standing at a polished wooden bar lined with burgundy velvet, a frou-frou designer martini in one hand, cigarette and shot of whisky in the other. He'd undoubtedly be buying drinks for the ladies, while occasionally mingling with guys whose names sound like Rock.

Maybe it was his crisp British accent or his drop-dead good looks--for whatever reason, by the Rat Pack's heyday, the debonair pretty boy had a fan base of teenage girls that could send Leonardo Di Caprio into a jealous pout. Fans of the jet-setting actor say his brand of English cool was so universal it transcended cultural differences, and they labeled him the most loved Limey actor of his day.

Peter was never as famous for his acting and singing as he was for swinging with the Rat Pack, his link to the Kennedy clan and a seemingly flawless ability to insert himself in elite social circles. In his bachelor days and during his three marriages, he was linked to some of Hollywood's most beautiful women, including Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland.

Peter may not have been as cool as his Rat Pack buddies Dino, Frank and Sammy, but he certainly epitomized posh. Since he was British, people assumed he was refined, distinguished and talented--whether he was or not is an entirely different story.

Peter may be the founding father of the California beach bum stereotype and was unquestionably addicted to sex--lots of sex, kinky sex. He traced it to a childhood affair with his German nanny, according to one of his wives, Patricia Seaton Lawford. And his mother took great joy in dressing him as a little girl until he was 10 years old. Poor Peter.

But playboy Peter did well for himself. He scored Patricia Kennedy, JFK's sister, as his first wife. As a founding member of the Rat Pack, he formed the link between the continent's coolest clique and the White House. It's also rumored that poised Peter first introduced John F. Kennedy to Marilyn Monroe, and was the last person to speak to her before her mysterious death.

Peter would have favored any bar serving pretty people on the prowl and mixed drinks, especially considering his favorite toy was an Acujack, a male sex-stimulating device, which Patricia Seaton Lawford said was as loud as a kitchen blender.

A Peter Lawford Kind of Place

AJ's
393 Lincoln Ave., San Jose (408/292-3445)

Aruba's Island Grill
1250 Lakeside Dr., Sunnyvale (408/738-0111)

Brass Rail
160 Persian Dr., Sunnyvale (408/734-1454)

British Bankers Club
1090 El Camino Real, Menlo Park (650/327-8769)

Café Babylon
434 S. First St., San Jose (408/297-0695)

The Candid Club
1053 E. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale (408/246-3624)

The Clocktower Bar & Grill
The Toll House Hotel, 140 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos (408/395-7070)

Club Vertigo
175 N. San Pedro St., San Jose (408/298-9283)

Dal Baffo European Cuisine
878 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park (650/325-1588)

Duke of Edinburgh
10801 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino (408/446-3853)

Toon's
52 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose (408/292-7464)

Fanny and Alexander
412 Emerson St., Palo Alto (650/326-7183)

Elephant Bar
499 E. Hamilton Ave., Campbell (408/871-8401)

Greg's Ballroom
551 W. Julian St., San Jose (408/286-4388)

Hops
Biltmore Hotel, Hwy. 101/ Montague Expwy., Santa Clara (408/988-8411)

The Hip Hugger
948 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale (408/730-9873)

Jose's Caribbean Nightclub
2275 El Camino Real, Palo Alto (650/326-6522) PL

Kit Kat Club
907 E. Arques Ave., Sunnyvale (408/733-2628)

Los Gatos Brewing Co.
130-G N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos (408/395-9929)

Mission Ale House
97 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose (408/292-4058)

Pedro's Cabo Grill
316 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos (408/354-7570)

Pink Poodle
328 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose (408/292-3685)

Santa Barbara Grill
10745 N. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino (408/253-2233)

South Seas Hide-A-Way
10031 Judy Ave., Cupertino (408/252-0684)

Stoddard's Brewhouse
111 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale (408/733-7824)

Three Plus One Club
675 E. Gish Rd., San Jose (408/293-6289)

Toon's
52 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose (408/292-7464)

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From the June 11-17, 1998 issue of Metro.

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