Monday 30 May 2005

Andy Warhol Stepped On Me

THIS POST IS ABOUT FAME. How we brush up against it, how it brushes up against us, and how it can knock us over, step on us, and even trash our house.


Before I write about some of my interactions with well-known people, I think it’s interesting to look within my own family, where a mix of good and dubious fame exists.

The good fame blood relation is Franz Kafka. His mother was sister to my great grandmother. If you look at pictures of him, and then meet my brother Morris and my mom, you’ll find the family resemblance is downright uncanny. My brother Linus has a picture of Morris somewhere that looks exactly like this one of Franz.

The dubious fame comes from my father’s side of the family, where several of his brothers had deep ties to organized crime. Milton Holt, my uncle (not the Hawaii senator, who was also a crook), was indicted many times on racketeering charges and is said to have been one of Jimmy Hoffa’s right-hand men via their activities in the Teamsters Union.

My own father’s history within the organization remains unclear, even if he were alive I doubt he’d talk about it, but the chances he was fairly involved are high. It’s possible my brother Linus knows more about it than I do, and if he happens to come by the blog, maybe he’ll say a word or two about that.

Interestingly, Uncle Milty’s wife Toni had a career as a Hollywood actress and even has a star on Hollywood Boulevard.

Me n’ Howard

Howard Thies was my best friend in high school. We were both rebellious misfit types, very bright and creative. Howard had the most amazing green eyes and long, thick blonde hair which made us a very outrageous looking duo with our wild hair and hippie clothes. We were always making mischief somewhere and giving anyone perceived as authority lots of grief.

picture of washington square park

Howard’s mom was an artist from Germany who ran an art gallery on the edges of Greenwich Village in New York City – more near The Bowery, really. Howard and I would often cut school, take the train out of New Jersey where we lived and go to Washington Square Park. There, we’d hang out drinking cheap beer, getting stoned, and generally being teenage slackers.

Hey, it was the 70s.

When we did go to school Howard and I both did theater work. I started out with an interest in acting and singing and then got pulled into the technical side of theater when I found I had a lot more in common with the geeks running light boards and sound than the thespians. It was the first outward sign of my moving away from being a creatively focused person to a technically focused one. I kept working in technical theater well into college, but eventually moved on to other things. Howard, however, focused himself brilliantly within the field and is now an award-winning stage lighting designer in New York.

We’d go to lots of shows. I was exposed to some of the most influential music of my life via Howard and some other friends within our crew. We’d do anything to sneak into shows at the infamous CBGBs and The Palladium, where we witnessed first-hand the emergence of punk and 80s rock – Patti Smith, The Ramones, Mink DeVille, Dead Kennedys with Jello Biafra, and the list goes on.

With Howard as my partner in adventure naturally some majorly interesting brushes with fame came through my experiences with him. First up, actress Karen Allen, right after Animal House came out. We were hanging in Washington Square Park on the fountain when she came bouncing through the park, flashing us a smile so full of light and joy and friendliness that an easily-impressed 16-year old Howard couldn’t shut up about it for months. We waved at her and she waved back, and then some kid came swooshing up on a skateboard for her autograph. She gave such an aura of being at ease with her surroundings. I remain inspired by her natural way of being.

Andy Warhol Stepped On Me

picture of andy warhol

One night, Howard got hold of tickets to the “Bring Abbie Home” rally at Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum.

Now, many readers here won’t even know who Abbie Hoffman is, so I hope you’ll read more about him if you don’t. In a very small nutshell, he was a radical social advocate and political activist in the 60s and 70s, and author of “Steal This Book.”

The rally is infamous, largely because rumors abound that Hoffman showed up at the party, which was a call to political leaders to drop the drug charges that had kept him a fugitive from the law for many years.

Many prominent representatives from Beat and Hippie culture were at this event, with a healthy smattering of early Punks.

Howard was leading the way toward our seats when I got caught in a group of people. Some pushing and shoving landed a couple of us right on our asses. So there I was, on the floor trying to get my bearings when all of a sudden a very dramatic man in a cape steps over me and misses clearing my poor teenaged self, clipping my finger with his shoe. He never looked down, not once. He was immediately followed by about three other wildly dressed people, each who stepped over me as if I wasn’t even there. It was a maddening moment, and then suddenly it dawned on me: I’d just been stepped on by Andy Warhol.

Fortunately Howard found me and got me on my feet. Within minutes we got to our seats up front where, I kid you not dear readers, there was Allen Ginsberg holding forth. I was introduced to him, and he was extremely gracious to me, a refreshing salve for my pained hand and Warhol-bruised ego.

My Trashed House

Sometime in 1980 I ventured out of the east coast and came to Tucson, where my grandmother was in very poor health. I lived at her place until she died, after which I had her house for a few years before it was sold.

What my mother was thinking when she let a 17 year old crazy child have an entire house to herself I don’t know, but you can imagine that it quickly became the party house. One summer, I went back east to visit my mom and my brothers, and when I got back to the house, I was absolutely shocked.

Mattresses had been pulled off of beds, there were cooking pots on the floor encrusted with pasta remnants, empty bottles of beer, wine, and hard liquor piled up or broken all over the kitchen, someone had spilled dog food for the dogs in a corner, and god knows who was feeding the cats, despite that I’d left some of my more responsible friends in charge (or so I had thought). This is the desert during the summer, mind, so the place was blistering hot with the cooler going full blast and every window in the house open. Not a soul in sight.

My friends eventually showed up and explained just what the hell happened in that house: The J. Geils Band had been in town doing a show, and somehow they ended up at my place for the weekend for one hell of a crazy party.

And I wasn’t even there. But hey, my house got trashed by the J. Geils Band. If you think Love Stinks, you ought to have smelled the place after they visited for a weekend.

. . . and Others Along the Way

Other brushes with fame are less dramatic but certainly noteworthy. I got to meet Penn & Teller. Teller’s much nicer, but Penn is one hell of an exceptionally bright human. Also, the fabulously funny John Pinette who was a gentleman and a charmer in person and the sexiest fat man on the planet (hell, he makes me laugh, that’s always sexy).

One time I came out of my hotel in San Francisco and chatted on the street about how shitty a city it is to try and hail a cab in with Nicole Kidman who was completely lovely. Later that same night I went for dinner in a local sushi bar. My attention kept being drawn to this rattily dressed guy at the end of the bar who was talking to some slick LA type. I kept thinking “God, who is that?” and finally I realized that no, it wasn’t a slacker friend from Tucson, but the unparalleled Sean Penn. It turns out both Kidman and Penn were in town doing a stage production.

Brushing Up

So, those are my memorable brushes with fame. How about you? Who have you met, run into, been run into by, been stepped on or otherwise met or are related to in some way?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 04:19 | Comments (49)

Comments (49)

  1. I was taught bio-psychology by the cousin of Ginger Spice. From what I remember, he wasn’t particularly good. Oh, and I once met the guy who plays Curly Watts in Coronation Street. He was eating a sandwich and seemed depressed.

    Yeah…living the dream…

  2. I don’t suppose the name will mean much to anyone outside the UK (or to those IN the UK under 25) but I once spent a train journey betweem London and Sheffield with ‘King’ Arthur Scargill.

    Scargill was the last of the great British trade union leaders, whose attempt to topple the government of (the tyrant Margaret) Thatcher in 1982 was the last great Miners Strike. After ’82 Thatcher dismantled union rights under the guise of bringing ‘democracy’ (sic) to the unions.

    Anyway, on the 3 hour train journey, he said nothing and neither did I. He just read the Telegraph (right-wing Capitalist rag). Not so much a brush with fame but a missed opportunity.

  3. I said ‘hello’ to Sting at Narita Airport in Tokyo, once brushed past Sean Connery in a street in London, had a chat with Brit Comedian Dom Jolly (again, in an Airport) and had a chat with famous (old) footballer/soccer star George Best in a pub once (and we didn’t even talk about football/soccer). Plus two of my family lines can be traced back to the Norman conquest of England, both families were lords of their lands, one set actually ruling the Channel Islands outright (freaky!). My Grandad was a famous national radio celebrity in the UK for the over 70’s (!) Robin Boyle on BBC Radio 2. My own skills haven’t achieved any fame though.

    Interesting reading your article Molly – so diverse and fascinating! :)

  4. Andy: I remember Scargill…he was always in the news wasn’t he? I was pre-teen back then, most politics went WAY over my head at the time. He was definitely one of the names/faces of UK in the 80s wasn’t he? #nods#

  5. Oh, and once made Comedian Lee Evans laugh with a comment I made to him about an autograph-wanting fan who was a bit too obsessed with her pen! #Laughs @ remembering that one!#

  6. I met Mickey Mouse once. I’d like to see anybody top that!

  7. It was 1973. I had gotten tickets to J. Geils Band “Bloodshot” concert and the after-show party; I didn’t get a pass to go on the special bus (which was a Sheriff’s prisoner bus driving VIPs from Atlantic Records to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium) so I drove to the Civic, I watched the show and then I drove to West Hollywood for the the after-show at the Kit Kat Club. The Kit Kat Club was an upscale stripjoint on Sunset Boulevard. I spoke with Peter Wolf (J. Geils flamboyant singer, if someone didn’t know) and Jerry Wexler (who ran Atlantic, if someone didn’t know, either) before they did a Rockettes chorus-line by themselves on one of the tables. I – Mostly – chatted-up the strippers.

    And, again in 1973, I got tickets to the first Electric Light Orchestra show in Los Angeles for ELO II and after-show party. I spoke with Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan at the after-show; we spoke about The Move. Wizzard was playing a show in Las Vegas on the following night and me and a friend were gonna drive to see the show. It was my attempt at “seeing” The Move over two nights. It didn’t work out.

    My Grandfather chased Pancho Villa with Black Jack Pershing; my Grandfather later liberated Luxembourg.

  8. Well, I’ve been bought a drink by *you*, Molly, so that’s pretty famous.

    And the preacher at my wife’s church says he’s seen God and that Jesus loves him.

    Beat that!

  9. Well, I’ve never met Mickey Mouse but I can say I was one – sort of.

    My biggest claim to fame (besides drawing Molly as a “CSS Jedi warrior”) was being a University Sports Mascot. Even got on local, regional TV (Radford University’s “Rowdy Red”).

    I had big asperations of becomming “the next Chicken” (as in San Diego Chicken).

    I’ve also met several professional sports players and attended a baseball camp run by three ex-major league brothers – Brian, Denny and Blake Doyle.

    I’ve also met and talked with lots of people who are only famous in the comic book industry – George Perez and Frank Miller are about the two BIGGEST I’ve met and talked to over the years.

    Used to be I was highly intimidated by “celebrities” when I was younger – and I still get that way occasionally so it’s really weird when people came up to me at TODCon and told me they were a fan of my work. Talk about throwing your whole perception of yourself off kilter! :-)


  10. Back when I lived in Chicago (and my number was still listed), I got a phone call from Morey Amsterdam (am I dating myself, or what?). But he was looking for a different “Danny Goodman.”

    And film/TV director John Badham (e.g., “Saturday Night Fever”) was once quoted in Vanity Fair (!) that my “HyperCard Handbook” was his bedside reading. OMG!

    These days, brushes are mostly vicarious through famous peoples’ blogs. I’m on a plane sitting next to Joichi Ito right now….

  11. Ruth Montgomery is my great-aunt– probably not familiar to you unless you are an enthusiast of the paranormal. Oh, and aliens too.

    I have also met Dr. Kevorkian, who was my aunt’s employer for many years before he became well-known.

    As far as movie stars go, I had lunch at a table opposite of Sean Penn in San Francisco once, and spent the whole time trying to get the wait staff to actually take our order. Seems we were a bit invisible…

  12. Family histor-wise, my father’s maternal grandfather ghost-wrote for Paderewski. That’d mean more if I knew more about classical music, I’m sure. :-) My father’s father’s cousin-by-marriage (or some similarly remote relative) was also a Polish national tennis champion and slated to go to the Olympics had WWII not interfered — she wound up fighting the Nazis as a ‘tunnel rat’ in Warsaw instead.

    For myself, I got to chat with Jake Black (AKA the very Rev. D Wayne Love) of Alabama 3 backstage at last Friday’s show in Cardiff, and in fact walked into the venue with keyboardist Orlando (AKA The Spirit) — though that’s not exactly A-list. :-) Billy Crystal’s daughter was my upstairs neibor one year in college, and I met Kimberly Williams (Father of the Bride) and Danielle Crawford in college as well (you might be more familiar with Danielle’s older sister, Cindy ;-). As well, the woman who baked most of my birthday cakes when I was growing up had a daughter who ended up marrying Graham Russell — used to see his Ferarri cruise down the street from time to time.

    My SO is the one with all the real connections though: she went to high school with Johnny Thunders and Chris Stein, was in various hotel rooms with the ‘Stones (and walked down the street with Andy, Charlie and someone else; was in some video or other shot on St. Mark’s Place in the early ’80s and was on stage with them at one point). She lived across the street from John Belushi and was at a Hendrix show at the Café Wa where her friend did the nay with him in the middle of the floor. She also ‘dated’ one of the Clash, lived next door to Sid & Nancy in the Chelsea (yeah, she was living there when Nancy was killed) and was in the boardroom when Ozzy bit the head off the now-infamous dove. That’s off the top of my head; there’s lots more, though most of it probably oughtn’t to be published without first consulting a lawyer. :-)

  13. These are really interesting posts!

    Setmjer’s has got my head spinning….(not literally of course!)

  14. the sherry: Actually, I got the same ‘Eat Sh**’ look from Sting…and that was just for saying ‘hello’ to him…(nice eh?! #Laughs#)

  15. Matt: Garrr, do I love the Police. Never had a run in with Stang, but I did have some email back and forthy with his son, Joe. I was complaining about how shite the website for Fiction Plane was because it wouldn’t work in Safari. Joe was HILARIOUS about it. My biggest regret about the Police was never seeing them live. Ah, well.

  16. About two months ago I was in the Apple Store in Santa Monica waiting to talk to one of the resident geniuses, when I looked at the person in front of me and realized it was Jerry O’Connell. I’ve grown up watching him on TV. Before that I worked with Tom of MySpace fame, was an extra in the movie K-PAX with Jeff Bridges, and went to school with the nephew of Kevin Harvick (NASCAR).

    I’m not going to go into detail about the numerous bands that I’ve met over the past couple of years, mainly because they’re mostly indie bands, and I’m not too sure how many people would know who they are.

    Don’t know how many people know who Robert Beltran is but my mom was in high school with him, and lived down the street from Lindsay Wagner. And on top of that, for a number of years, Rick Mears’ brother lived around the corner from my grandmother.

  17. the sherry: Yeah, I like The Police too, and I think Sting is a talented musician…so that’s why his reaction was a bit of a disappointment to say the least! (But to be fair: he had just landed from an 11-hour flight and his mind was probably elsewhere!)

  18. Molly: I think you’ve opened a whole can of worms with this blog article! #Laughs#

    Juicy stuff!

  19. Malarkey: my Mom met Buck’s Fizz in London. How scary is THAT? She also met that guy from the Style Council/The Jam. At least that was cool. But Buck’s Fizz. *shiver*

  20. my dad lived next door to Stephen King in college, did some illustration work for some of his early stories, and occasionally appears as a minor character in his books.

    most of my brushes with fame have been from being at Columbia for a few years. i almost literally ran into Al Gore when he was teaching at the journalism school. i was walking to class, head down, not really paying attention to where i was going and probably would have run into him if a secret service agent hadn’t brushed me out of the way.

    I’ve worked on projects with Uma Thurman’s father (Bob Thurman is a prof. here), Brian Greene (famous physicist), and Salmon Rushdie.

    I’ve run into (not literally this time) Julia Stiles and Anna Paquin (two of our current famous students) on campus a bunch of times. both very attractive in person.

    i’ve had lunch with William Hinton ( and my picture appears in a book about him.

    one of my friends is a high school teacher and has Sigourney Weaver’s daughter as a student. last fall he had to have a parent-teacher conference with her. he says she’s very tall. and he had a horrible time trying to keep from accidently addressing her as “Lt. Ripley”.

    another friend of mine once ran over Tori Amos’s mom in a parking lot. she wasn’t hurt though.

    i’ve met a bunch of people in various metal and industrial bands but i won’t waste space listing them all. i managed to freak Jim Thirlwell out pretty good once though…

  21. Anders: Very cool encounters. I was once confused *for* Sigourney Weaver at the Piggly Wiggly in Warner Robins, GA by some kid who said, “Hey, it’s Ripley!” to her mom. This was during my perm days of the late 80’s. What a sad memory.

  22. anders: Great stuff indeed! I like the ‘nearly running’ (literally) into Al Gore bit.

  23. One of my favorite brushes with fame…my mom. Under the stage name of Ginny Owens, my mom landed many leads on Broadway with her fabulous voice. Laurie in Oklahoma, Julie in Carousel…but my favorite moment comes from Most Happy Fella. Mom was singing on the Ed Sullivan Show the night that Elvis made his second appearance. Elvis asked to spend some time with her and they were escorted to a private room where they danced. At one point, Elvis stopped to look out the balcony window, and the girls below screamed with excitement. My mom reports that Elvis said “I wonder why they do that?”. To which my mom replied coolly, “I have no idea.” Fame never swept my mom off her feet.

  24. Phil Keaggy has ridden in my car. My dad promoted a concert when he teamed up with Wes King and Scott Denté for the KKD tour.

    My mom was hit on while on a train from Neon, Switzerland to Paris by one of the initial founders of the current EU movement. (His picture was on the front page of every Paris newspaper two days later).

    As far as relatives go, one of my cousins taught a very young man how to dance before his starring role in the movie “Saturday Night Fever”. Another cousin was on ST:TNG and their mother was Ms. Ohio.

    Last, but not least, My Dad’s Dad’s Mom’s Mom was a Vanderbilt.

  25. I used to be a security guard for the town home where Clint Black lived in Nashville. I knew who Clint Black was, but since I wasn’t a country music fan, I didn’t know what he or any of his band looked like.

    I happened to be learning accoustic guitar at the time, so one night, I was in the foyer plunking out some trivial piece, and a guy comes up to me in loose flannel and a beat up cap. He asked how long I’d been playing, etc. Thinking him a maintenance man or one of the other guests (he obviously had the electronic card needed to get in through the side), I chatted with him. You can probably see where this is going.

    At one point, I asked if he played guitar. He smiled and said yes. I asked if he would play something, and he politely declined.

    I would find out the next day that the man was, indeed, Clint Black.

    Tune in next week when I share how, at this same job, I saved the life of a Star Trek screenwriter from a vengeful gunman.

  26. My sister was once best friends with the grandaughter of Tim LaHaye (

    I once saw Linda Tripp in a restaurant, and then again on I-495 (DC Beltway).

    My mom’s friend’s daughter once dated a guy from Hootie and the Blowfish.

    I’ve chatted briefly with members of Everclear and Semisonic.

    At a Christmas Eve mass at the National Cathedral in DC, I was once within arms length of Chelsea Clinton’s purse, which she had forgotten on her way out.

  27. I’ve also met Karen Allen. Well, if we can define ‘met’ as ‘was in the same restaurant as her’. My parents and I were on a trip out to Phoenix and we did some sightseeing along the way, including a stop near Flagstaff, to see the big meteor crater. There were a bunch of helicopters flying around the crater that day, and some of the locals informed us that a movie called Starman was being filmed.

    That night, we went out to eat at a local restaurant, and my folks spotted Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen (along with other folks, who I presume were also involved in the production). We tried to convince my mom to go ask for autographs, but she didn’t want to disturb their meal.

    That’s probably the biggest mainstream famous people I’ve come close to. Most my other brushes with fame come from the SF genre. I was involved with the earliest days of DragonCon, and worked on the logistics team for the first couple of years. I helped procure a rather large trolly of booze for Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons. This was for a room party where I chatted with Bob Asprin and his wife Lynn Abbey as they played mahjong.

    More recently, my wife had a 3rd-degree brush with fame. The lady who cuts her hair is the sister-in-law of Viktor Yushchenko. And one of her college roommates used to be friends with Courtney Cox.

  28. “Most my other brushes with fame come from the SF genre. I was involved with the earliest days of DragonCon….” (Dougal)

    Okay Molly, when the blog strays on to sci-fi conventions….hmmmmmm, it might be time for a new thread! #Laughs#

    (Just kidding Dougal)

  29. God, I feel like such a little kid, and in such a boring generation. You talk about people I admire so much, that I’d never have the chance to meet. Of course, come to think of it, I’d probably include you on a list like this if I ever met you in a grocery store.
    Ah, the perils of being born into the wrong generation, in the wrong place.

  30. Dave Vogt: I’m only 10 years older than you by the way. I wouldn’t recognise any of these people if I bumped in to them in the ‘spuds and banana section’ of the local store.
    Even the distinctive Molly, if she wore a wig, a hat, and shades….*blinks*….I’d have a tough time knowing she was even there! #Laughs#

  31. the sherry Says:
    May 30th, 2005 at 1:07 pm

    Okay. So. My first brush with fame (in a very non-brush with fame, but what did I know, way) was when I was five. It was with the Lord Almighty, Jesus Christ himself. My sister’s godparents took me to see Jesus Christ Superstar at the movie theater on Hahn Air Force base in Germany.


    Sherry… my dad was stationed at Hahn Air base from 1972 – 1976. When were you there? My dad played football and baseball with the Air Base league (semi-pro level). I used to go to all the games and carry his helmet or be the bat boy in the Hawk’s dugout or sidelines.

    Go Hahn Hawks!

    Wow! Haven’t heard that name in YEARS!!!


    Drop me a line if you want at


  32. as i once told ya Janis Joplin threw up on me at a concert in San Franciso she was doing with Hendrix and Blue Cheer back in the 60s. so much for being too close to the stage at a concert.

  33. Andrea’s post reminded me of an old job. I worked as an art director for a small chain of newspapers back in the early 90s. Next door to us was a small, spindly man who never talked to us. One day he knocked on our door and dragged in this strange machine that he said would revolutionize the medical world.

    We listened to him patiently. He was rather animated, particularly about the failings of the AMA. He asked us if we would write a lead story about him and his “exciting new machine”, but we declined.

    The next week he performed his first suicide on a terminal patient. Yes, I worked next door to Dr. Kevorkian.

  34. I was enjoying a BigMac and fries in ScottsBluff, Nebraska, when I looked across the dining room and saw Randy Meisner, bass player of the Eagles, with his wife and twins. He raised an eyebrow and nodded at me, which qualified me to go around ScottsBluff for the next week saying “Yeah, I had lunch with Randy Meisner last week…”

    Several weeks ago, I literally ran into Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, who was on campus shooting a bogus “reality” show for NBC this summer.

    Took a leak with BJThomas, once. Met Rodney Dangerfield in his bathrobe, too. That’s about it.

  35. During a UN summit here in Copenhagen, I got roped into doing some radio journalism. We did it in a fishbowl (temporary studio, soundproof, glassed-in so people could see what “live radio” looks like).

    Anyway, I’m interviewing Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, which I was thinking was pretty cool, when all of a sudden his jaw drops, his eyes go wide, and he breaks off in mid-sentence. “Oh, great”, I’m thinking, “a Nobel-Prizer is dropping dead in the middle of my interview.”

    But I look over my shoulder, and nearly drop dead myself, because, six inches away, peering through the glass and grinning like a cheerful, slightly dotty old gramps, is Nelson Mandela.

  36. Oh, and at the same gig, I was in a hallway, waiting for an interview, when Al Gore starts coming toward me. I look to my right, and Fidel Castro is coming the other way. I turn my recorder on, because this is going to be news!

    But about 20 yards apart, they (and their handlers) figure out who they are about to meet. Everybody stops. And turns on their heels in unison. And then I’m alone in the all again.

  37. No famous ancestors or acquaintances; and everyone in Cambridge during the 80s will have had an “I was nearly run over by Stephen Hawking” story. Nope, it all just comes down to having been on the first live TV broadcast via satellite between Australia and the UK, 25th November 1966.

  38. The real thing to worry about is that a large majority of the hominids on this planet beleive they are actually much better than pond scum our probable common ancestor.

  39. before i get bashed that was a joke, after seeing the story of how Los Alamos treats people who tell the truth on the news this am.

  40. hmmm… this year at Punk Rock Bowling, I found myself after a couple glasses of sangria at the bowling alley bar babbling to Brian “Dexter” Holland of the Offspring about web design, web standards (oh yes), and hypertext fiction.

    Later, I asked a mutual friend who was the web gal for his record label, “Did I really bend Brian’s ear for over 15 minutes about computers?”

    “Yes, you did, but it was ok as he was interested.”

    Open mouth, insert foot to thigh…

  41. I’ve had many, many encounters, which I will try to keep painlessly brief.

    Just out of college, I worked as a junior editor for author Alvin Toffler, who was working on his book *The Third Wave.” Work was at his Madison Ave. apt. & involved having to tolerate his 25 going on 7 year old daughter who threw temper tantrums regularly (laying on the floor kicking & screaming), as well as being the recipient of daily verbal abuse from his control-freak wife.

    On a flight from Manhattan to the Cape, my gang & I were drinking (heavily) from flasks we’d brought along. Two (too young to drink) passengers behind us begged to partake. They were Kara & Teddy Kennedy Jr., enroute to the Vineyard.

    I got stoned with Chris & John Stamp (brothers of actor Terence). Chris was the Stones’ road manager at the time.

    Ali McGraw & I crashed into one another on Park Ave. My briefcase & its contents spilled all over the street. She apologized & helped me scoop everything up.

    A dear friend took me to a fabulous jazz place in Annapolis, MD where we saw Astrud Gilberto (of *Girl from Ipanema* fame) & her group perform. Turns out Russ knew her, & she joined us for drinks between sets. Gorgeous gal!!!

    An idiot boyfriend was performing Irish music at a pub at 33rd & 3rd called the Glocca Morra. I was sitting at the bar & this nice, kind of nebbishy guy came & sat next to me. Turns out it was Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary. Danny (idiot boyfriend) almost fell out of his shoes with excitement & got Peter up on stage to sing an couple of songs with him.

    An old roommate worked for Bob Evans (film director & a former husband of Ali McGraw).

    I came home late one night to find another roommate screwing Frankie Avalon on my living room sofa.

    I met the VERY delicious DQ in CP when he was doing an off-Broadway gig. We hung out together for a month or so. VERY memorable!!!

    I was invited by Joel Steinberg to spend an afternoon on his yacht. Fortunately for me, I couldn’t find a way to get to Patchogue from Amagansett (he killed his daughter 2 months later & spent 17 years in the Big House). My friends all laughed & said it could have been ME he offed since I probably would have pissed him off so much he’d have tossed me overboard…

    During some *down* time from work, I tended bar at the Stratton Mountain Inn in Vermont. Here I met & played pool with the Indigo Girls (very nice & normal), as well as served Mary Travers (once again Peter, Paul & Mary entered my life), who was a total bitch. Not to mention very tall (5’10) & probably 250 lbs. at the time.

    I could go on & on – these are just the more memorable encounters!

  42. Chris — holy shizzle stick! I’ll write you offline. That’s an amazing coinkydink!

    We were at Hahn AFB from 1972 – 1977. Amazing.

  43. Two corrections to our family history, Molly. First, Uncle Miltie was the righthand man of Frank Fitzsimmons, Jimmy Hoffa’s successor. According to at least one book on Mob history, Miltie attended a meeting at a NJ diner at which the decision to off Hoffa was made. As for Toni Holt, her star is in the Palm Springs walk of fame, not the Hollywood one.

    Here in LA, celebrity sitings are part of daily life. And let’s be really conscious of not confusing celebrity with fame, ok? In the course of my living here I’ve waited outside a restroom with Anne Heche, sat across from Jay Leno while eating falafel, stood on line at the movies with Helen Hunt, and basically been forced into uncomfortable street scenes with Brad Pitt, Magic Johnson, and various other fevered egos whose names escape me at the moment. John Lithgow is a frequent visitor to UCLA History department, as his wife teaches here.

    In my next comment, I will explain how I head-butted Henry Kissinger and was groped by Dr. Ruth.

  44. I met Ottmar Liebert at the NAMM show a few years back…

    … but I really want to meet Goldie Hawn… anyone have any connections :-)


  45. 3 weeks ago I was checking out the iPods in the Apple Store in Manhatten and realised that the woman next to me with a couple of friends was Cherie Blair (Tony’s wife). Nobody else seemed to recognise her (lots of brits in there) despite having her name in large letters on her t-shirt (Miss Dior Cherie). She didn’t recognise me so I chose not to talk to her. She bought an iPod. The next day David Byrne walked past as we were eating in Greenwich Village which was nice.

  46. For me, my most memorable experience was a quick chat with the Tenor Bryn Terfel, not that long after he took part in the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. He was singing at a concert in Rhydcar Leisure Centre and my friend and I were asked to sell programs. Being young and very unappreciative we were very eager to get out on the town and as we were getting ready Bryn (he is a giant of a man) poked his head around the door and had a quick chat. I wish I had a camera.

  47. I once interviewed Thomas Dolby on live radio in the UK.

    I once worked with a girl who’s gone on to fame cowriting (so I hear) for top UK comedian Peter Kay. She also appeared in an episode of his classic series Phoenix Nights.

    I have walked behind Steve Davis (UK snooker champion) going into a computer conference in London in the 80s.

    That’s about it I guess.

  48. Sometimes Fame isn’t what it is cracked up to be. You have to be willing to trade a large amount of freedome for it :(

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