Friday, March 20, 2009

My Brush With Fame

Bored at work, I started cataloging all of my brushes with famous people. I asked around, and nobody had any interesting experiences, except for the boss. He went to a concert with Boz Scaggs' younger brother. How cool is that? Not really, I know.

My earliest memory of a brush with fame was shaking hands with Sugar Ray Leonard at a boxing match at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I still think it's kinda neat, even though at the time, I really didn't understand who he was.

Along the boxing vein, a later brush with "fame" was when "Hurricane" Peter McNeely asked me for directions on Newbury Street once. He had recently got his ass whooped by Mike Tyson, and I was more than a little amused to have a run-in with him.

Also, at the same job, Curtis Armstrong came in to the store and bought a vest. Don't know who Curtis is? He's more commonly known for the tagline "We've got bush!" in Revenge of the Nerds. That's right. Booger. Or Charles DeMar from Better Off Dead: "This entire mountain is made of snow!"

A couple doors down from that job was another job at a cafe where I had the following brushes with fame:
Greg Hawkes was a regular, and a pretty nice guy. Don't know who he was? Me neither, at the time. He was the keyboard player for The Cars.

I served coffee to Joe Perry at one point. He seemed a little freaked out to be among the commoners. It was too quick an exchange to get any sense of Joe's coolness. Also, once at the airport I saw the bass player for Aerosmith.

Recently I came within feet of the tiniest Dixie Chick. They had pretty tight security. I found out that one of the Dixie Chicks owns a monkey that she takes on tour with her. It's true.

Also, through the same friend, I got into the green room of E-40 and his posse. Don't know who 40 is? Stay there. He's a hardly marginally talented rapper. And he's a DICK. And so are his hangers-on.

The brush that I'm kind of ashamed with took place in Denver, when I ran into Charles Lewton-Brain.

He's a jeweler and sculptor who writes little books on techniques, tricks, and shortcuts. A big writer/teacher, he writes great articles about steamlining one's workspace, and lo-fi techniques. I've been an avid reader of his books and articles, and really respected his knowledge. I ran into him at a conference and was rendered nearly speechless. It was pathetic.

My coolest brushes took place over a weekend recently. I found myself having breakfast in the same room as Mean Gene Okerlund. Fucking badass.

I'm way over it now, but I was a fan of WWF as a wee kid, and Mean Gene was the voice of it. Also, on that same day, I got within two feet of Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster. If seeing Gene was a big deal, Hogan was like walking by Elvis. I also saw a bunch of superstars of the modern fake-pro-wrestling, but don't give a crap about it, so I didn't recognize any of them, aside to say that it was filled with Huge Dudes, and Smokin hot chicks.

Also, living in Boston affords some odd perks: I sat on the orange line opposite former presidential candidate Mike Dukakkis once.

(*no caption necessary)

Walking with Pollard in Kenmore Square, he claimed that we had just walked past Frank Black, but I wasn't paying attention, so I can't confirm that one.

Anyone else?

(originally published 11/10/2006)


Tyler said...

insert memory edit here: While working at a certain cafe you used to serve coffee to Greg Hawkes (Keyboardist for The Cars).

Brandon said...

Tyler Pollard, ladies and gentlemen...

Anonymous said...

While slinging coffee at that certain no longer-existant cafe, I got a bagel or something for the drummer of Aerosmith (did they all come in one at a time?) and Lou Barlow came in with the other half of folk implosion at some point. I think that Perry from cybersound or whatever the studio was called was hoping for a discount if he brought in enough rock stars. Oddly, I got Lou Barlow coffee at my next cafe job as well. (Quad cappacino) Quentin Tarentino came in there as well. Los Lobos and Muhamed Ali too, though I didn't meet the latter set of folks. More recently, my ladyfriend's birthday dinner reservation got bumped when Mike D and his family came into the restaurant and wanted a table. -John S.