960 MY brushes with celebrity

If you’re reading this you’ve probably just finished Julie’s hilarious book about her and others mostly positive contacts with celebrity.

Julie is warm, charming and truly comfortable in her skin. Not so I. Especially with famous people.

Thanks to my ex husband, a successful musician, may he drop dead where he stands, I’ve had quite a few brushes with “greatness” and most of them didn’t end well.

I can’t blame it all on him though.

I still feel the shame of disappointing my father when I was about 8. He was chatting with my Aunt Ray and Uncle Louie’s neighbor, Ted Brown of “Ted Brown and his Crazy Redhead” fame (and fame it was).

Ted asked me if I wanted him to mention my name on the radio. My response was to mumble “I don’t know” and hide behind my father.

The whole meeting was so traumatic to me that when we walked away and my father said in an annoyed tone “Why didn’t you say you wanted him to say your name on the radio?” I had no recollection of the radio star even asking.

I believe I wrote about accompanying Julie to her appearance on “The Tonight Show”. Jimmy Fallon peeked in the green room to welcome Julie and made the fatal mistake of looking at me when he was addressing the room.

The look of horror on my face made him say “You don’t want me to talk to  you, ?” I just shook my head no. He said okay and moved his eyes elsewhere.

This was only a minor of my missteps.

Probably one of the worst was when dave, may he drop dead where he stands (did I already wish that? I hope I don’t use up all my wishes on the same thing. That would be a tragedy. I’m still hoping to win the lottery and not let my hair get any thinner)

As I was saying, dave was recording and Grover Washington Jr was on the date. He struck up a conversation with me and I held it together fairly well when he mentioned that he recognized Jimmy Madison’s drumming.

“You can tell one drummer from another? Like a vocalist?” Sorry Allan Schwartzberg and Steve Gadd.

“Sure I can”.

Pleased with myself that I was keeping the convo going I said. “I can’t tell any musicians just from hearing them playing.”

Please Jesus why didn’t I leave it at that? But I was getting cocky.

“Well maybe Dave Sanborn”.

Only when I saw Grover’s eyes glaze over did I realize that they both played the same thing, the saxophone .

Yep not only did I not know what Grover played I wouldn’t have been able to pick out Sanborn’s instrument in a field of pianos.

And how can I not mention when I was leaving the recording studio when Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were overdubbing mistakes on “My Little Town”.

I waved good bye and barged out of what I thought was the exit but was in fact the studio itself so they had to start over.

Trying to make myself one of the guys when dave, may he…. well you know, was recording Billy Joel I asked Billy if it drove him crazy to hear a stranger on the street humming or singing one of his songs.

I thought about what I would say for a good 40 minutes before I actually spoke.

“Why would it drive me crazy?”

Silence for what I believe was a week or two.

Of course there are occasional diamonds in my pails of conversational shit like when I asked Billy what “Vienna Waits For You ” means.

He said he was so  impressed with the way old people were treated when he went to Vienna that he wished it could be that way everywhere.

It isn’t just famous people I have trouble talking to. I have absolute no ability for small talk. I hate parties and meeting new people.

When I speak to strangers I either babble something inane or way too personal or say something that I think is funny and leaves the other person stymied.

I really could go on and on but I won’t.

I will just protect me and the world from moments of discomfort by keeping my contacts to Twitter, Facebook and this blog.

I can be a real scream. Just not in person.





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