L.A. Mayor Race: Eric Garcetti's Jam With Moby Raises $250,000 for Campaign

Marta Evry

More than 1,000 people, including New York Giants chairman Steve Tisch and Showtime's David Nevins, turned out Thursday night to support the city councilman's bid to become the next mayor of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti appears to have set a couple of campaign records Thursday night: He might have staged the largest single fundraiser in the history of local politics, banking $250,000, but he certainly became the first aspirant to the mayor’s job to jam with Moby.

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An enthusiastic crowd of about 1,000 -- many of them the high-achieving young hipsters from the digital world -- gathered at the historic and newly renovated Fonda Theatre in Hollywood to support Garcetti’s candidacy and donate to his cause. Since it was built in the 1920s the Fonda has witnessed all sorts of performances, but nothing quite like Thursday’s event.

Edgy, cool musician Moby and his band played for nearly two hours, joined twice by Garcetti, a sometime composer of musical theater -- first on the keyboard and then on congas for the set’s closing number. Jimmy Kimmel served as the show's MC, while Will Ferrell appeared via video, joking about how he's been friends with Garcetti since they were newborns.

Garcetti’s finance chief, Sony Pictures senior vp Eric Paquette, told The Hollywood Reporter that the campaign believes the concert’s $250,000 take -- a huge sum in local politics -- set a one-night civic record.

For his part, Garcetti -- attired in a navy suit -- never broke a sweat as he mingled with his supporters, many of them friends from years of joint work on grassroots campaigns for national candidates like President Barack Obama and various causes.

Thursday's crowd included such Hollywood insiders as Forrest Gump producer and New York Giants chairman Steve Tisch, the only man in history with an Oscar and a Super Bowl ring; Showtime president of entertainment David Nevins, who was the executive producer of the Fox comedy Arrested Development; CAA agent Jeremy Plager, whose long list of clients includes current best actress Oscar nominees Jennifer Lawrence and Sally Field; and CAA's Joel Lubin, who heads the agency's motion picture talent department.

Also on hand for the concert were Dixon Slingerland, executive director of the Youth Policy Institute, a nonprofit agency providing education, technology, and training services to LA families in need; Diego Berdakin, president and co-founder of BeachMint, a Santa Monica start-up that operates e-commerce websites; and Chris Hopkins, senior vp brand management at Playboy.

During his remarks, Garcetti drew special attention to his 10-year role in cleaning up Hollywood's once-crime-ridden streets. But Moby, who recently left his native New York to live full time in the Hollywood Hills, urged Garcetti not to clean up the neighborhood too much. It's the grit and characters, the singer said, that make the area interesting. "Like the guy dressed as Spider-Man smoking crack on Selma," Moby quipped.

After the show, Garcetti mingled backstage and then retreated down two flights of stairs to the theater's dressing rooms, where Moby and members of his band had gathered for a small afterparty. Shortly before midnight, Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine, fresh from rehearsing for the Grammys, made a surprise visit to meet the candidate.

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"We all live on the Eastside [of Hollywood],” Valentine told THR. “I became familiar with Eric because of all the stuff he's done on the City Council for our area. He's a great candidate. I met some people from his campaign after I tweeted some things in support. I sent an email to him asking him about some charities to get involved with over on our side of town, and he wrote right back. It's cool that he's so accessible."

As you would expect with such a hip crowd, the evening set social media atwitter. A sampling:

"Pretty fun night out with #teamgarcetti! Not a bad way to raise $250k for our next mayor (yes, he's jamming w moby)"

"Moby going in on Purple Rain cover. #teamgarcetti."

"#teamgarcetti our own Eric Garcetti playing keyboards with Moby tonight. MAKE HIM OUR MAYOR! @ the Fonda,… "

"Our future Mayor tickling ivories w Moby! #teamgarcetti"

"So @ericgarcetti is now on stage playing piano behind Moby. Mayor Badass. #TeamGarcetti"

"With nixxila at the Eric Garcetti fundraiser. Moby's performance... Amazing! #teamgarcetti #moby… "

"Moby is playing June Carter Cash's Ring of Fire at Henry Ford Theater, loving it #TeamGarcetti"

"It's a Moby sing-a-long the crowd sings along to Johnny Cash cover Ring Fire #garcetti4mayor #teamgarcetti"

"No one can stop us now. Moby rocking it for @ericgarcetti #teamgarcetti"

"Jimmy Kimmel: "play the congas! We need a mayor who plays the congas." #TeamGarcetti"

"I'm on #TeamGarcetti (and will vote for him soon as LA Elections website puts up the vote by mail application for this election)."

"Will Ferrell said I should tweet that I'm on #TeamGarcetti so I'm doing it. That's right. I'm on #TeamGarcetti"