The entertainment portion of the holidays started out on Christmas Eve day at Michael McDonald‘s and me using my iphone for photos. This is a no-no if you’re expecting recognizable lifeforms when you flip the setting so you can see what you’re shooting. The shots come out like those portraits made out of of macaroni and rice. Not the best look for the holidays but here I am with the excessively pixelated Michael and Prudence Fenton:

Jai Rodriguez was also there (and also grainy):

Then we shot across town for a Christmas Eve barbeque at Luenell‘s, pictured here with me, Prudence and Constance Tillotson. At that point my Canon Elf took over so all’s clear from here on:

The next day, Christmas, it was off to Liz Heller and John Manulis’, who I forgot to take a photo with.  Their place is THE food fest spot of the holidays. Here I am after sampling four different varieties of mac ‘n cheese with Prudence and Ed Begley Jr.:

Lynne Scott was also there,…

…as was Nancy Moonves:

Bob Garrett and Storm Lee weren’t there but were at Julie McDonald‘s, who I also forgot to shoot a photo with, the next day for her Boxing Day party. Our outfits worked so great for Christmas we dragged them into the next day with the boys:

For most of the two following days I locked myself inside and worked on my new live show. I emerged on the 29th to have dinner at Street with Tony Selznick, Storm and Prudence:

Another day of intense writing the next day and then this meeting with Richard DortonRita Maye Bland, and Storm, all of whom are working on the live show.

And then it was New Years Eve. Every year for the last eight years I’ve gone to Nancye Ferguson and Jim Burn’s party, a reliably fantastic gathering of folks in one of the greatest modern houses in the city. High up on stilts with one of those mindblowing arial views of LA like you’re looking at it out of an airplane. Here I am with Nancye, Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin, comedy legends I died with joy meeting for the first time:

I was as excited about my Jeremy Scott Adidas’ as I was about meeting Paula and Dick:

The shoes were way too big for me but I will never sacrifice style for practicality. So I stuffed the toes with fuzzy balls and let the wings do the talking.

I also had never met comedy superstar artist/producer Sid Krofft before. Here we are with Beverly D’Angelo and Prudence:

Diva Zappa and her tutu provided lots of New Year’s cheer. At one point she wore it as a hat.

Ian Buchanan is a fellow regular partier at Nancye and Jim’s,…

…as is Antonio Hendricks,…:

…and Richard and Candy Clark:

And then it was 2012. I started out the new year where you can usually find me if I’m not at home, Susan Feniger‘s Street:

…where Storm and I had a hangover fix of champagne and donuts:

And then it was off to Gail Zappa‘s, whose birthday it is on New Years Day, and who has had a party ever since I insisted she do so five years ago after never having a birthday party before:

This is another one of those parties that now happens like clockwork in a fantastically crazy house with great friends, food and a bagpipe player:

Michael DesBarres and Storm were there,…:

as was Jeff Stein,…:

…Nancye and Michael Patrick King,…:

Jared Lee Gosselin, who I intend to do a lot of musical damage with this year,…:

Dweezil Zappa, one of Bubbles the artist‘s earliest patrons,…:

Pamela DesBarres and Jimmy Intveld,…:

Loree Rodkin,…:

Peter Asher,…:

Sally Kellerman and Beverly,…:

…Ian and Buck Henry,…:

…Gail, who was of course at her own party, and Eric Idle.:

Eric’s feet were looking mighty sharp:

As were mine, Charles Phoenix‘s and a token one of Prudence’s:

Here’s our top portions. Notice how much New Year’s food is stuck to my teeth:

In addition to the spotted teeth, I should call attention to the fact that I know that most of my poses and camera angles are identical. At festivities such as these, the last thing you wanna do is to continually ask someone to take a photo for you. So I’ve just learned to stretch my arm as long as possible and hit the button myself. I’m happy to do this as long as I have good friends to aim at. Which is what I hope 2012 is filled with. And clean teeth, of course.

Anyone who knows me knows that despite writing songs that have sold over 50 million copies and being obsessed with music since I can remember I rarely go to concerts. I hate waiting in line, being trapped in a row once you sit down, being blocked by someone’s head or worse yet dancing body, and I certainly don’t want to hear someone in my immediate proximity singing along who I didn’t pop down multiple clams to see. So it’s a really rare occurrence to get me to actually go out and see something. But I’ve been working with Storm Lee…

…he ex of X-Factor and very currently one of the amazing singers on Glee, so I knew I had to haul my ass out to this concert.

What an unbelievable night!! Organized by Storm as a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, all of the behind-the-scenes Glee singers sang their favorite Christmas carols or holiday oriented songs. Although I wish they sang selections from this album…

…or maybe this one…

… – oooh, that makes me hungry – though not as hungry as this one…

… the Glee singers’ killer voices, all unique from each other, made for quite a gift from Santa!

It was a night of complete joy, and even included a special appearance by Glee cast member, Amber Riley.

And unbeknownst to me, the keyboard  player/leader of the band was Chris Price, who worked with me on my first appearance in 37 years as well as my Soup to Nuts Party Mix show a couple of months ago.

No rest for the weary, bright and early the next morning, a Sunday no less, Storm and I went to work on my new show, a newly realized iteration of the technologically-train-wrecked Soup to Nuts.

We were very much in the holiday spirt and full of GLEE.


My friend, Jason Mecier, brilliant junque drawer portrait artist and whose edible art we stand in front of in the tableau above, did this portrait of me a couple of years ago when I first opened The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch at

It’s made out of junque I had lying around my house and storage garage, plus some of Jason’s own stash peppering the green background. I constantly collected tons of found objects because the art I did myself, mostly in the 1980’s and early 90’s, consisted of found objects incorporated into my paintings. This is by no means my favorite and looks all jumbled so small (actually 36″x48″) but it’s the only one I could put my hands on right away:

A couple of years ago I also used some of my junque when I collaborated with my alter-egoBubbles the artist, who I managed during her six-year career selling over 1000 paintings and ceramics. Although not as junque-covered as I would like to show here, this one’s hanging in my hallway which serves the purpose of easily sliding it into this post.

Since Jason’s portrait of me has hung in my house it’s become de rigueur to be included in any press photos I do, like this one from The Los Angeles Times a couple of weeks ago when I did my Soup to Nuts Party Mix live show.

As Jason took found object assemblage to a whole other place I gladly bestowed some of my most precious junque upon him for the portrait.

Now Jason has incorporated an entirely new medium into his portraiture, one of my favorite substances on earth and a staple here at Willis Wonderland, Red Vines. In his show at Iam8bit last Friday night, “Licorice Flix, Edible Movie Mosaics”, he interpreted the movies thusly:

Here’s me and my date for the night, Storm Lee, singer extraordinaire, with Jason:

And here we are with another good friend of mine as she arrives at the opening, Angelyne:

Lots of good friends in attendance, observing brilliant art and munching on the Red Vine “paint”. From L-R, Storm, me, Jason, Adam Ansel and Daniel Franzese.

I first met Selene Luna, co-star of Margaret Cho’s The Cho Show, through Jason and Adam:

I usually get bored at art openings, but between the art, the place – yay iam8bit -, the featured gourmet treat and medium, Red Vines, I was a happy gal Friday night.  I now leave you with Jason’s Nomi slobbering up a stripper pole in the kitsch klassic, Showgirls:



Sunday night I went to Storm Lee’s birthday party. He’s a great singer and killed it on The X Factor, the British version of Simon Cowell’s follow-up to American Idol, soon to debut here in the states. Storm and I have only rendezvoused a few times, once at his birthday party and then when he came over after we met at a party a few months ago. We got along famously from the second he walked in my place. First of all, he had on excellent kitsch bling, a bulbous brass Mickey Mouse ring.

When I admired bulbous Mickey, he immediately gave me this:

Anyone who walks into your house for the first time bearing gifts is pleasure enough. But when they hit it on the nose as severely as a sunglassed, gold grilled Michael-Jackson-as-the-Sphynx pendant you can only hope that their personality is as good as their taste in gifts as this could be the start of a wonderful friendship not to mention music collaboration. It’s an even better sign when you’re both wearing the same shoes, albeit different colors.

I believe in synchronicity. My life has always gone that way. I won’t be aware of anything and then something so pertinent to the immediate events in your life shows up all of a sudden, perfectly timed. That’s how it was with Storm and the Michael Jackson sphynx pendant.

The sphinx has always held special significance to me as I got my big music break with Earth, Wind & Fire, a group whose graphics and sets prominently feature Egyptian icons. Within hours of Storm gaving me the pendant, I went to a party for a soon-to-be-released documentary about the Fender Rhodes, the preeminent electric keyboard. I was in the documentary singing my first EWF hit, “September”, with Larry Dunn, the group’s original keyboard player who played the Rhodes on “September” and all my other EWF songs. The segment was filmed at my house a few months earlier. I had only seen Larry once since the early 80s and he had absolutely no idea that it was my house he was coming to to film the documentary. So the fact that I was seeing him once again on the very night that the MJ sphinx was bestowed upon me felt highly synchronistic to me. Here I am that night wearing it with Larry:

I remember not being happy with my choice of glasses. But Michael-as-sphnyx drew so much attention I didn’t have to worry about people focusing on my face.

So Sunday night it was only natural that I wear MJ sphynx to the person who gave it to me’s birthday party.

Also at the party celebrating Storm and admiring the sphinx were (L-R) International Chanteuse, Morganne, ASCAP’s Brendan Okent, and songwriters Robin Lerner and Ken Hirsch…

…and Jim Budman, not in the floral arrangement, who I came with and have known since I was a teenager in Detroit.

Did I mention that Michael Jackson-as-sphinx can also be worn as a pin?

I always appreciate when something is multifunctional.

I am multifunctional. And now Storm is multifunctional as both friend and music co-conspirator!

I’m so NOT the type to wear a ring with a G-clef on it or have one of those cheesy license plates like GR8T BEAT. My gold records don’t hang in the living room so they’re the first things you see when you walk in and my clothes aren’t Bedazzled with musical notes. But this ring is so stone cold handtooled 1960s my finger had to have it.

I bought the ring about 10 years ago on eBay from someone in Memphis. I can feel a heavy barbecue-grease-guitar-picking vibe every time I slip it on. It also weighs a ton, quite a surprise as it looked like a cheap plastic gum ball machine prize ring in the photo online. So I end up wearing it a lot. Like I did Saturday night when I went out with my friend, Stan Zimmerman, though the hand I’m holding up in this photo unfortunately isn’t the one my fabulous music ring was on.

As unlikely as I am to have musical notes pasted all over my personal accouterments I’m just as unlikely to show up at a party where singers and songwriters take turns singing their own songs. I’m around music and singing all day; I don’t want to be around music and singing all night. Plus, despite my musical proclivities I don’t play an instrument so the possibility of me even being able to plunk the opening note of one of my songs at a party like this is nil. But there were the ring and I and Stan at a party that featured just that, thrown by voice coach to the stars, Eric Vetro, and songwriter/producer to the stars, Desmond Child. So many of my friends were there though that me, Stan and the ring had a great time despite not participating in the main event.

I go wayyyyyyy back with the first folks I saw, from (L-R) Rick Nowels, Maria Vidal, (me), Toni Basil, and Desmond Child.

Soooooo far back that I was practically in diapers when we met. Desmond and Maria were in a group called Desmond Child & Rouge who, in the mid 1970’s, sang at Reno Sweeney, a cabaret in Manhattan where I was the person who walked around the city by day nailing up fliers of upcoming performances. I saw them sing every night because in addition to my $20 a day salary I got to eat at Reno’s for free. Maria married Rick in the late 80’s. Between me, Desmond and Rick we’ve sold somewhere around 500,000,000 records and have had just about as many great times together. What we all had in common was also Bette Midler, the biggest thing to come out of the New York cabaret scene and the biggest jewel in our show biz clique. Even back in the 70’s Toni Basil was Bette’s choreographer. She was also one of my first friends and collaborators when I moved to LA in 1976. Here were are in 1982 at a party I threw for her when “Mickey” went #1.

Here we are Saturday night with singer Sarah Hudson and X-Factor’s Storm Lee thrown in.

Maria and I also spent a lot of time in a corner chatting with Frances Fisher.

Another friend from my 1970’s NY days at the party Saturday night was Allan Rich, who sang at Catch A Rising Star, the big comedy club where I was the hatcheck girl at the time. Allan got his big break when he was a shoe salesman and gave Barry Manilow a tape of his songs when he sold him some shoes.

I spent a lot of time talking to Michael Orland, the Music Director at American Idol and with whom I’m about to start writing tomorrow.

I’m completely sick of not being able to sing my own songs at parties like this so, just like an American Idol, I’m also going to rehearse a little medley of my hits with Michael so when Eric and Desmond throw this party again next year I can get up and sing instead of chatting through everyone’s songs because so many of my friends are there.  Like songwriter extraordinaire, Diane Warren.

But despite how much musical talent was at the party there was clearly one star that shone brighter for me than any other and that was THE BEAVER!!!

Jerry Mathers, The Beaver, who I watched incessantly as  a kid…

The same Beaver whose memorabilia I’ve faithfully collected all these years…

The same Beaver who’s going to come over in a few weeks and autograph all that memorabilia!! If I collected memorabilia from anything as recent as Desperate Housewives I would also invite Marc Cherry, seen here waiting for his car with me, Stan and The Beav.

All in all, it was a great night for me, Stan and my funky l’il music ring!