11 March 2008

Star Struck

While I was at work today, a new co-worker was name-dropping some stupid celebrity into an anecdote. I really REALLY dislike name-dropping. So being the hypocrite that I am, here is a list of all famous people I have met, in chronological order:

1. Billy Barty - I think I was about 7 or 8 when I met this little star. He was at a fair or something, and I was taller than him. I was a fan of his work as Sigmund Ooze on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.

2. Dudley Moore - During the summer between my junior and senior years at high school, I worked at Knott's Berry Farm, in a toy store at the entrance to Camp Snoopy, which is the kid's part of the park. On occasion, I was scheduled to be outside, handing out quarters to guests that wanted to operate the remote control boats in a pond by the train station. It was a great job. One day, I was manning the remote control boat attraction, and a co-worker came to relieve me so that I could take my lunch break. I went to the nearest employee break room and sat down with my lunch. In walks Dudley Moore with two other people. I guess he wanted to rest for a bit somewhere quiet and private. He shook my hand and gave me his autograph on my paper lunch bag. I still have it.

3. Steven Spielberg - Remember that movie Back to the Future? Mr. Spielberg produced it! I was wandering around at the mall one afternoon and someone with a clipboard corralled me into talking to them. Well guess what? He gave me a pair of tickets to a test screening of a new movie with Michael J. Fox! The movie was so "test-y" that the cutting-edge special effects weren't even completed. At the end of the screening, we filled out little opinion cards and filed out of the theater. And there in the lobby, looking very unassuming with his baseball cap on, was Steven. Nobody even noticed him! Well I DID! I went up, shook his hand, told him I loved his movies and asked for his autograph. I still have it! You can tell that the pen didn't quite work, because after starting the first "S" the ink didn't perform, so he re-traced his steps and started the "S" all over again.

4. Some forgettable doctor hunk from General Hospital - after writing "forgettable" I felt a need to honor his memory by figuring out who played this guy. All I can remember is that he was on GH around 1988-ish and his name was Dr. Tom Somethingorother. So I let my Googles do the walking and found David Wallace, who played Dr. Tom Hardy during that period. He looks like this:

On my 19th birthday (I think) my parents took me to my favorite restaurant in my hometown of Los Alamitos, the Fish Company, and Dr. Tom was sitting with his family celebrating HIS birthday! I got him to autograph a menu for me. He was very nice about a giggly teenager bothering him during a meal with his family.

5. John Popper - I was a college student at Cal Poly Pomona in the early nineties, and a part of a close-knit group of friends that went to a bazillion concerts: Blues Traveler, Grateful Dead, Phish, Allman Brothers, Black Crowes, and festival after festival. One weekend, we all made the trek up to Ventura to see Blues Traveler. While we were loitering outside the theater, a van pulls up to the front and parks. I'm about six feet away from John Popper. He had recently been in a motorcycle accident and was in a wheelchair. Poor guy was trapped in the van until someone could unload him, so here comes obnoxious me, falling all over myself to gush up close. I love this band, people. This was a highlight in my book of memories. He smiled as I blabbed on and on about the same junk everyone probably blabs about around him.

6. Warren Haynes - When I moved to San Francisco, a co-worker of mine got us backstage passes to the 10th Annual Bridge School Benefit in 1996. Are you freakin' kidding me with this, you say? I would not kid about that. He was close friends with the bassist of Crazy Horse. So we're hanging out backstage trying very hard to look cool, and I see Mr. Haynes (guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band and Gov't Mule) standing a short distance away. I had decided at the beginning of the night that I would not shy away from approaching anyone, so I walked over, introduced myself and we made small talk for a couple minutes. Before I had time to look stupid, someone else grabbed his attention. Mission accomplished!

7. David Bowie - The night backstage at the Bridge School Benefit was filled with OMG's and Holy Crap that's ____! My friend almost peed in his pants when we saw David Bowie. So I pushed him over there so that we could shake his hand and express our gratitude for his music. Awesome.

8. Eddie Vedder - I don't know if it's uncool to like Pearl Jam still, but I do. That night I also got to meet Eddie, who is unbelievably sexy up close! He was also very down to earth and soft spoken - a surprise shift from his larger-than-life stage presence.

9. Neil Young - So the benefit show comes to a close and my friend and I dawdle backstage, milking it for all it's worth. He is waiting for his friend Billy Talbot to come and get us to give us a ride back home, but not until he has introduced us to Neil. Billy comes out of his dressing room and pulls us into another room where Neil is sitting at a table with some other people just hanging out. He shakes my hand as Billy introduces us, I tell him the show was fantastic and what a great venue for a fund raiser. He thanks me and at my request, signs a CD I brought with me. Flying high on the rush of the night, my friend and I ride home in Billy's car with his wife. Wow.

I gave the CD to my mom for Christmas that year - she's a huge fan.


sari said...


I would love to meet David Bowie and Eddie Vedder. And Stephen Spielberg too, how cool.

Skeeter said...

That's a very cool list of celebs. Much more impressive my most humble list which is headlined by the infamous comic Jerry Clower, Laugh In star Joanne Worley, at one point or another the entire cast of the original series Star Trek, most of the New Generation folks, an assortment of lesser musicians, and a guy who played a homeless guy with one line dialogue in Rocky V.

I sure hope that it is still cool to like Pearl Jam :-)

TroyBoy said...

Hi, per Sari's suggestion, I am here. (Okay, gosh you can let my arm go now, Sari. Ouch.) So, ya, like I was saying, I came for a visit. And like all gratious guests, I am going to steal your celebrity thing. Look for it on my blog tomorrow (Monday), and I hope to do it justice.

Matt said...

What great people to have met! Steven Spielberg and David Bowie! Sounds like fun! I think I might follow in your footsteps (and Troyboys') and do my own list over at my blog!

Oh, by the way, the rest of your posts are great as well! Full of sarcasm and humor, I love it!