Clinton Joins Galas

63,000 Party at 12 Inaugural Balls

WASHINGTON--"Work hard, play hard" might have been Bill Clinton's motto last night, as he blew off presidential steam by partying with 63,000 other Americans at 12 inaugural balls across this city.

Most of the coveted tickets were snapped up weeks ago, and tickets to the most prestigious balls were rumored to be selling on the black market for as high as $800 last week. Official ticket prices were $125 to most regional balls and $35 to the Youth Ball.

Clinton made the ball for his native Arkansas the first stop of the evening, but the hottest tickets of the evening were the MTV and New York-Washington Balls. Clinton, Vice-President Al Gore '69 and their spouses stopped briefly at the 11 official balls as well as the MTV ball between 7:45 p.m. and 2 a.m.

At the Arkansas gala, the new president thrilled revelers by climbing on stage and performing "Hot Licks" on his sax, a song he recently rehearsed with legendary saxophonist Ben E. King. First Brother Roger Clinton also put on a show, joining Salt-N-Peppa and Steel Pulse at the Youth Ball, which was geared toward the 18 to 35 crowd.

While Clinton sported in a conservative black tuxedo, First Lady Hillary Clinton glided through the evening in a couture beaded blue-violet sheath and flowing over-skirt. All balls were black-tie, the Youth Ball optionally so.


Chelsea Clinton attended the MTV ball--the only unofficial gathering to draw a Clinton family visit--wearing a green velvet ball gown. When the First Child climbed on stage with her parents, Bill Clinton said "Don't my wife and daughter look fabulous tonight?" Soon, the crowd began chanting "Chelsea, Chelsea" and would not be silenced until the president announced that she would stay at the ball all night.

The Gore's eldest daughter, Karenna Gore '95, was also seen dancing at the MTV fest.

The MTV Ball was held in the same convention center as the New England Ball, which played host to the Harvard Krokodiloes and Radcliffe Pitches as well as Little Feat and Aretha Franklin.

While the Krokodiloes' set went well, the New England Ball was a little dull, said Krok member J. Steven Schardt '94. Schardt and a fellow Krok faked stomach aches and were admitted to the first aid center, which conveniently linked the New England Ball area with the MTV area.

"We snuck out the back door into the MTV half of the convention center. This definitely beats the New England Ball," Schardt said.

Schardt and other New England Ball expatriatessaid they were most pleased by the MTV Ball's openbar.

Although the cameras were probably not drawn bythe free alcohol, the MTV ball--decorated withblack drapes and large blue neon stars--garneredthe most air time on CNN and the other networks.

The MTV Ball featured performances from DonHenley and REM. Performers at the balls rangedfrom Willie Nelson to the Fabulous Thunderbirds toLinda Ronstadt.

Bill Clinton arrived at the Youth Ball at 12:00a.m., looking tired but content.

"You and your generation were a lot of whatthis election was about and you should feel proudtoday," said Clinton to the crowd. But as theClintons turned to leave, the crowd began chantingHillary's name.

"I hope that you not only had fun tonight, buthave fun for the next four years because you havechanged this country for the better," she said tothe enthusiastic crowd.

But Jesse M. Furman '94 was less excited aboutClinton's arrival at the Youth Ball. "I thoughtClinton's appearance was sufficient," he said. "Itwas enough to make me glad I came, but not enoughto make me remember it for the rest of my life.

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