Monday, April 8, 2013

Brushes with Fame

Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey was friends with my sister in high school.  I talked to him for a while at her HS graduation party.  I advised him to go directly into MLB instead of college.  Oddly, R.A. Dickey ignored my advice and instead went to college, then the pros.  His troubles so far this season are probably attributable to disregarding my advice.

I was waiting for my ex-wife to get off a plane at SFO (this was when you could stand at the gate and wait for people) and Jerry Garcia was the first person off the plane. There were people waiting for him and they hustled him out the door and into a limo.  He looked like shit.  This was about 1993, 1994.

I interviewed a band called Contocook Line in Richmond, Virginia, back when I was a sometime music writer.  The drummer of that band, who then went by Jonah West, later started calling himself Steve West and joined another band called Pavement. I don't remember much about him because we did the interview in a bar and we were all a little drunk.  Good band, though.  I also interviewed Dave Brockie from Gwar at their warehouse and he wasn't in character and was just a regular, down-to-earth guy.  He had just gotten a NeXT computer (or however you spell it) and was really into it.

I met former 49ers quarterback Steve Young once and it's a really funny story, actually, but I can't figure out a way to tell it without giving away too many personal details, so you'll have to take my word for it.

I ran into Willie Brown at Tosca once and shook his hand.  It was unbelievably rough, like the hand of a manual laborer.  He was super nice and personable.

I brushed up against Uma Thurman in a very crowded bar in West Hollywood in the late 90's.  She was so unbelievably rail-thin you could almost see her internal organs. On another night at this same bar, one of the chicks from Melrose Place and her dbag British boyfriend were sitting at our table because there was nowhere else to sit and they made a very studious point of ignoring us and our friends.

There are probably a bunch of others I can't remember right now.  What's your brush with fame story?

14 comments:

thesoniashow said...

I used to work at a movie theater, and I once sold a pack of Junior Mints to Eddie Money. I turned to my coworker and said, "That guy looks just like Eddie Money."

"That is Eddie Money, idiot."

Eddie Money was seeing "Elvia Mistress of the Dark," by the way.

Andrea Prete said...

I was having a conversation with Dusty Baker about fishing. I told him I would go fishing more often if my husband would buy me a rod painted Barbie Pink with gold fleck added so it would be like a bass boat. He called me a fickle woman. I also showed Terence Hallinan how to tap a keg. Cliff from Finding Bigfoot is a friend of mine and whenever I sign a guest book I usually sign it "Claire Barackman" which was his basset hound in high school.

Stephen said...

There are more substantive ones, but for purposes of this comment, working at Tower Records on Sunset in Hollywood circa 1989 provided some pretty good fame viewing. From Adam Yauch (RIP) to Iman (chinless), to Slash (barely-standing-up drunk), to members of Pink Floyd (old), it was pretty regularly celebritized.

Unknown said...

I get the feeling that you can't grow up or live in Southern California without a brush with fame or 10, but I didn't grow up there and have never lived there. That said, I served coffee to Tom Skerritt and his son in Seattle (B&O Espresso, not the other, more famous one). I met John Corbett at a loft party when he briefly owned a bar in Seattle and he said "neat" when my friend gave him a custom made Elvis Pez dispenser. Yes, the friend had the Pez with him! Why?? John Corbett is seriously tall. Also, met Herbert Jefferson, Jr. (Battlestar Gallactica) when he was walking through the ZCMI mall in SLC and got a signed photograph from him. And then there are countless musicians of varying degrees of fame I've met or hung out with over the years and don't really count.

Tamagosan said...

Brian Sabean walked by the valet bike corral during the World Baseball Classic and looked kind of confused when I stuttered his name and generally looked like an idiot. Does that count?

Unknown said...

I shook hands with Walter Matthau when they were filming a cop movie on my street back in the 60s (San Francisco).

I was in a Streets of San Francisco episode quite by accident.

I bumped literally chest to chest into James Caan on Union Street. I was exiting The Deli and he was entering. I just about crapped.

I know Willie Brown.

I was in the Examiner newspaper in 1964 with Mayor Shelley in my ice skating costume. I skated at the Emporium downtown during the Christmas season.

There are tons of other sightings/brushes. Fun to think about these.

Unknown said...

Oh, I was having lunch next to Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Bobby Bonds and Juan Marichal in Maui and got all their autographs!

Stoney said...

I saw Jeff Bridges when they were filming Fearless. It was weird because it was downtown during lunch on a weekday and they didn't block traffic or anything. Just, "hey look, it's Jeff Bridges." I shook hands with Jerry Rice and high fived Pablo Sandoval. Oh, speaking of Mayors, I saw Frank Jordan the other day walking down Gough St. I said "Hi, Mr. Mayor" and he smiled and waved. Very old.

HeHa said...

David Hasselhoff kissed me at SFO. I was just a toddler at the time... Does that make him my first kiss?

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hez said...

The only thing I can focus on in this post is EX-WIFE! Whoa!

Ok, well, just this past Friday I was sitting in a restaurant in the fancy terminal at JFK (like SFO's terminal 2) and I was looking around for my waitress who was taking the order of a woman at another table. I looked at the woman, looked away and did a double take and she was looking right at me. It was Carrie Brownstein (Sleater Kinney/Portlandia/Wild Flag). Then I knew that SHE knew that *I* knew who she was. I snapped a covert picture and posted it to Instagram. I didn't tag her or any of her creative endeavors because I needed another glass of wine and, if she is interested about herself online, would've known it was me who took the picture.

I've also seen Rob Zombie at LAX and sat in the row in front of Carlos Cavazzo (Quiet Riot guitarist) on a plane to Buffalo, NY. I accosted him at baggage claim.

I saw Rosario Dawson in line at Victoria's Secret in Union Sq in SF. She had a hand basket FULL of lingerie.

When I worked at Harvard, I was sitting outside of my building and Al Franken walked by and I involuntarily yelled AL FEANKEN! and he was like, Yup! and kept on walking.

the default attorney said...

I ran into Bill Fagerbakke (Big dumb blonde guy from the tv show "Coach" or voice of Patrick Star in SpongeBob, although that hadn't happened yet) in the 90s. He approached me in Vons in my hometown and asked me where the cereal aisle was. I saw Anthony Kiedis in a gym and asked him if he needed a spot on the bench press. He declined. Had Arnold Schwarzenegger stare me down from across a small cafe in Santa Monica. I didn't recognize him at first. I know that sounds hard to believe, but he just looked so short and...average. I only really noticed him because I thought he was giving me crazy eyes. I actually said to my wife, "why does that guy who looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger keep staring over here....wait...holy shit...that IS Arnold Schwarzenegger." He was having brunch with (I think) one of his kids. I had the singer of the Counting Crows be rude to me when i worked at a bar in Berkeley. That might be it.

Mingalingadingdong said...

I once snuck into the front row of a Smashing Pumpkins concert and touched Billy Corgan. I also high-fived Kevin Costner at the ATT Pro-Am many, many years ago. (Does it count if you're in their habitat? Or does it only count if it's in the wild?)

I saw Robb Nen in Vegas once. I said hello and shook his hand. Ditto w/ Todd McLellan (Sharks' Head Coach) at a SJ Giants game. And I got Steve Wozniak's autograph at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass a few years ago. I FREAKED OUT when I saw him. I have no idea why. He was really nice but his wife/girlfriend was cranky. (Come on, people don't go on Dancing With the Stars if they don't want the attention.) I also made eye contact with Neil Young at a Sharks game last month.

I saw Fred Savage at Disneyland once. And saw Angela Kinsey (from The Office) at SJC.

Oh, and I saw Amy G. in the Club Level at a Giants game a couple weeks ago. She is gorgeous in person.

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