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20 September 2006

celeb run ins So, I've been told to f*ck off by John Lurie (The Lounge Lizards, Fishing With John, Down by Law etc...)[More:]My stupid myspace page listed him as Music I listen too, then I got an add request from someone named JohnLurieArt, claiming to be him. I disbelieved it, and heated words where exchanged, but in the end it turns out it really is Mr. Lurie. I appoligized and that was incentive enough for me to kill my Myspace account (been looking for a good reason).
So.. Have you pissed off a celeberty?
I had quite a few when I was a bellman at a rather posh hotel. I gave a restaurant recommendation to Garrison Keilor, and added under my breath, "it's tasty and expeditious."
posted by pieisexactlythree 20 September | 11:14
I was once in Bruce Cockburn's way backstage at a folk festival. He did say excuse me, and I moved out of his way and apologised. He told me that it was okay, and moved on.

Not a very exiting story, but remember, both Bruce and I are Canadian. That was actually a VERY heated exchange.
posted by richat 20 September | 11:14
the first two comments are moderatly funny, in that I'm (also) Canadian, but living in MN (PHC territory)
posted by edgeways 20 September | 11:20
I was on Jeopardy! and after I lost, I hung around for the last taping of the day. Before I left the green room for the audience stands, I grabbed a muffin from the brunch tray to save for later. One of the Standards & Practices folks warned me that "Alex [Trebek, show host] has a sensitive nose ... he won't be happy about that," but I took it anyway. At the first commercial break while bantering with the audience, he paused in mid-sentence, sniffed the air and demanded to know who had the food and why didn't they just stand up and share with everyone. I tried not to sink too low in my seat.
posted by initapplette 20 September | 11:26
I met MacKenzie Phillips at a friend's birthday party. But I didn't piss her off.
posted by getoffmylawn 20 September | 11:29
while i didn't piss him off, i had an opportunity to piss on judge reinhold once. i was taking a potty break during a screening of the director's cut of sam peckinpah's the wild bunch at the cinerama dome on sunset blvd., and whaddya know, there's that doofus from beverly hills cop, peeing next to me.

no, i didn't see "lil' judge".
and, no, he didn't wash his hands.
posted by syntax 20 September | 11:29
Not a run-in in as such, but I used to work near the the CBS DC HQ, and was picking up my laundry next door when Dan Rather came walking down the street. He's surprisingly short in real life. Oh, and right outside the laundry, CBS used to film a lot of "stand ups", so you'd sort of duck around the camera to pick up your laundry.

(Great laundry run by a very devout Catholic Korean immigrant; she always did my shirts and khakis just right with heavy starch, had same-day pickup if you were in by 8am, or I could leave them for weeks at a time, and I'd come in and she'd have my clothes in seconds. I never even had to take a ticket once she knew me. It was never the same after she retied and her nieces took over.)
posted by orthogonality 20 September | 11:40
Oh, and I had coffee with the woman who played Joanie's friend on the sitcom Happy Days. We were in a class together.
posted by orthogonality 20 September | 11:41
Judge Reinhold? Is that the guy who was spanking the monkey for Phoebe Cates? I've always kinda envied him for that.

The dangling hummus from my pita landed on Ruth Bader Ginsburg's shoulder once. She was quite gracious about it, though.

I met MacKenzie Phillips at a friend's birthday party.

Please tell us about the drugs!
posted by danostuporstar 20 September | 11:43
And I met Dick Durbin once, but blew him off because I was busy working and didn't remember he was a US Senator.

And I got my hair cut for a while at Milt Pitts', when Reagan was president and Milt was his barber.
posted by orthogonality 20 September | 11:43
Jesse Jackson stomped on my foot at the DNC.
posted by robocop is bleeding 20 September | 11:49
Jeff Beck came into Time Cafe near Tompkins Square late one night when I was sitting there with some friends in the late 80s. He lurched by our table and paused, grinned at me and muttered something incomprehensible, then he lurched on out. He might have been hitting on me; he might have just been orbiting the third ring of Saturn. Or possibly both.
posted by mygothlaundry 20 September | 11:54
I've had a fair number of encounters with famous and semi-famous people over the years (got to stage direct Drew Carrey (sp?) one night about 12 years ago), but honestly this is the first time I have made one angry at me, he called me a twit and told me to fuck off, I called him insecure and a wanker... it was special. Ok, really after the fact I felt bad about it, but life moves on. I'll never be able to watch Down By Law again without a silly smirk on my face. *sigh*
posted by edgeways 20 September | 11:56
I once gave directions to Tonya Harding.
posted by JanetLand 20 September | 11:58
I once opened the door for Tonya Harding so that she could throw up.
posted by togdon 20 September | 12:01
Can't say who it is, but we opened for this rapper/actor some years ago and most of the attendees loved our set and weren't too pleased with his. We tried to go talk to him in his dressing room about an hour after his set was over to extend an offering of brotherhood but we were stopped in our tracks by his management as if we were a group of fans (but the manager knew exactly who we were because he watched our whole set).

Anyhooo, we left and continued on doing what we do best (meeting fans and selling our merchandise). So, about 20 minutes later, that same manager walked over to our merchandise table and said these exact words:
"(name deleted) is ready to see you know if you would just follow me please..."

Can you believe the NERVE????

My group mate, Bravestar replied, "Tell (name deleted) we're not ready to see HIM now if you don't mind."

Now, being from where we are in NYC means we travel the same circuit as (name deleted) and always bump heads in and around town. He pretends not to see us EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Dude has definitely gone Hollywood!!!!!
posted by Joe Famous 20 September | 12:11
Judge Reinhold? Is that the guy who was spanking the monkey for Phoebe Cates? I've always kinda envied him for that.

oh yeah... he was, wasn't he? i completely forgot about that.

years ago i had a used copy of that movie that i bought on clearance @ a video rental place, and i wasn't at all surprised to see that the videotape got all warped and grainy around the part where phoebe cates showed her boobies. that kinda grossed me out; i ended up throwing it in the trash the next day.

(speaking of phoebe cates, am i the only one who actually liked drop dead fred?)
posted by syntax 20 September | 12:11
I met MacKenzie Phillips at a friend's birthday party.
Please tell us about the drugs!

No tale to tell. This was MUCH after that time in her life. She was fairly quiet and very soft-spoken, but friendly. I didn't know it was really her at first, because she was using her real name, and I said to my friend Donna, Geez, that women looks so much like MacKenzie Phillips, and she whispered IT IS, but please don't say anything about it to her, she appreciates her privacy, so I talked to MacKenzie about the omelette pan I gave Donna for her birthday instead of One day at a time or how to roll the perfect doobie.

My mom dated Don Kirschner's (of Don Kirschner's Rock Concert) nephew a few times, and I met Duane Allman once when I was about 4 years old at Seaside Heights before a concert, and he remarked how my hair was longer than his.
posted by getoffmylawn 20 September | 12:13
Ok, Ok.

I was at a party at the French Embassy, and a friend introduced me to the French Cultural Attache. and I asked him if it was true, about the French loving Jerry Lewis. (The Attache was pretty good about it.)
posted by orthogonality 20 September | 12:16
When I was 18, Layne Staley (af Alice in Chains) called me a 'fucking asshole', which I was, as his handler grabbed his shoulder and held him back from punching me in the face.

Years later, he OD'd on drugs and died. Who got the last laugh there, Layne, huh? WHO, DAMMIT?!?
posted by item 20 September | 12:28
Oh, and I once got into a bidding war on eBay for a synthesizer with one of the Dust Brothers that turned into a series of nasty email exchanges. Dude was a big-time jerk about it.
posted by item 20 September | 12:29
I was once backstage at a Bacon Bros show (you know, with Kevin Bacon) and a girl gave me a people magazine with him on it to get him to sign. Which I did, but he was clearly not happy about it. To his credit, he signed it anyway.

No, I was not there to see the Bacon Bros, but a little known band called the Nields.
posted by poppo 20 September | 12:39
Item, that bit about Layne Staley really made me laugh. Proabably makes me a bad person, but still...
posted by richat 20 September | 12:49
I literally ran into Corinne Alphen, Penthouse pet of the year 82 and wife of Ken Whal at the Eaton Centre in Toronto. After I helped the woman up we had coffee. We were both heading in same direction and I commented on the long line of guys up ahead waiting for something. "they're waiting for me" she said and I saw the posters and found out who she was. In front of hundreds of fans she gave me a peck and said goodbye. I walked away feeling like a god.
posted by arse_hat 20 September | 13:03
Too many to recount here, but here's one for Joe Famous. Many years ago I ran into Lord Jamar in front of Tower Video on Lafeyette and I went up to say I liked Brand Nubian (and to see if he'd get all 5% on me) and he was fairly nice and then his date came out of the video store and she was the whitest white girl I've ever seen and he gave me a look, that is all.

Judd Nelson used to eat in the coffee shop by my highschool and we'd come piling in and sit down all stoned and shout at him. We were jerks.

My mom screamed at Woody Allen for interrupting her phone call at a pay phone. He was contrite.

Kurt Vonnegut once told me I was full of shit. Which is totally going on the cover of my first book.

Jackie "the Joke Man" hit on my girlfriend at a High Times party and I got mad at him and told him his floor length leather jacket looked like "hot melted shit" and I'd happily take it off him and wear it the next time I wanted to impersonate an Australian pedophile. Then B-Real told me to "chill out, yo" which I took to heart because, you know, I respect his counsel on such things.

Those are the best ones I guess.
posted by Divine_Wino 20 September | 13:13
Once, while working retail, I got caught by Mary Steenburgen talking shit about her man, Ted Danson. Thankfully, she was cool about it. She actually found the situation quite funny.
posted by Atom Eyes 20 September | 13:29
Cornel West once jaywalked in front of me when I was making a left turn at a traffic light. When I hit the brakes he looked at me with widened eyes and put the tips of his fingers to his mouth, an exaggerated version of the expression a child gets on his face when he's been caught doing something bad. Then he honest-to-God tiptoed the rest of the way across the street. It was awesome.

(Of course, he was wearing his usual three-piece suit with watch chain.)
posted by Prospero 20 September | 14:18
Long long time ago I was going up the escalator to the skytrain and all of a sudden it stopped and I managed to keep my balance and not fall down go boom. I turned around and Art Bergmann had just stepped onto the stopped escalator - I think he did it, but I just looked at him, and he just looked at me and that was the end. Regardless of that, I think he should've been a lot more famous than he was.

I also beat Sarah McLachlan at pool once, which pissed her off to no end because I suck at pool, and I didn't have my contacts in, and couldn't see anything much. Yup. Pouted all the way home. This was *just* before the record deal was struck with Nettwerk so she wasn't wickedly famous. She and her boyfriend and I were all doing the room mate thing at a house. "Man, she's going to drop you like yesterdays newspaper once she gets famous, ya know," we used to tell him.
Sure enough, she did.
Sarah was, at the time and I've no reason to think she's changed, a totally cool person, in case you were wondering.
posted by Zack_Replica 20 September | 14:29
Great. Now I have the "Fishing with John" theme in my head. You should just get back to him and ask if he wants to go ice fishing with you. That was the best episode of that show.

Not to sound like a name dropper, but too many celebrity encounters to mention here. I already mentioned my John Prine encounter a while back. Thankfully none of my encounters were ever truely negative; although I think I did mention how much of a dick Jacksone Browne can be.
posted by terrapin 20 September | 14:32
IIRC Tom Waits didn't talk to John for a looong time after they filmed his segment for fishing with John
posted by edgeways 20 September | 14:43
When I was in college, back during my super-short hair days, I worked at the National Wildflower Research Center outside of Austin. Ladybird Johnson came through one day (she founded and funded the place).

She called me Sir.

Her assistant nudged her and she immediately apologized.

My boss later told me not to worry, that she was pretty blind.

(That doesn't explain her reaction to my girly voice, though.)
posted by mudpuppie 20 September | 15:24
I partied with Puffy/whatever he calls himself. Back in the day in DC. He had just left Howard, or was in his last year? It'd piss him off that we insisted on calling him Sean. He was a good dj, but crazy as a betsey bug.

posted by rainbaby 20 September | 16:36
DW, you took the cake and smashed it!!!!!!

Off the firggin' cliff recounts, man!!!
posted by Joe Famous 20 September | 16:39
I once lived in LA for four months (before I went back to the woods with my tail between my legs; I'm a rural gal for certain) in 1989. I worked in a store on Melrose, so waited on various famous folks pretty often. Made for good stories when I went home, but mostly those people just wanted to be left alone, of course.

One memorable LATE night in Cantor's Deli, we sat in the booth next to Boy George. The best part of that night, though, had to be actually running into Johnny Depp (who was currently a hit in 21 Jump Street). It was one of those things where neither person was really watching where they were going and Bam! A round of "excuse me" and quiet laughing. Man, I wouldn't mind doing that again today.
posted by lilywing13 20 September | 16:51
mudpuppie - i laugh at that story every time I hear it (in a good way).

Do former famous child actors (who aren't even c-list) count as celebrities? I went to summer camp with Sarah Karr (she was the cute little redhead from "Kindergarten Cop" and "Beethoven") when we were both around 13 or 14 years old - we lived in the same hall and got pretty close, in that summer sort of way. She was very pretty and down to earth - I wondered why she didn't act any more, but never had the guts to ask.
posted by muddgirl 20 September | 17:52
I disappointed Jon Bon Jovi once. He'd come in the store I was in and asked for soy milk. This was years ago, when soy milk was still new and we hadn't gotten it yet. I didn't know it was him until he'd left, and someone else told me. At the same store, Bruce Springsteen's first wife (anyone remember her? Julianne Phillips?) used to shop-he would often wait for her outside. She was soooo thin, and very nice. At the store I'm in now, I've gotten Queen Latifah's autograph (she's also very nice, and even more beautiful in person), Debbie Harry shops there, and Sebastian Bach's wife is a regular. For any sports fans out there, I also got Darryl Dawkins autograph (basketball, "Chocolate Thunder"). That's my "brushes with celebrities".
posted by redvixen 20 September | 18:39
one time i was watching a tv show that had alfonso ribeiro in it so it was like he was in my living room pretty much so yeah no big deal
posted by scala di seta 20 September | 19:14
I've met an unusual number of celebs over the years, even before moving to L.A. If you ever meet me in person, ask me the Bono story, the Mick "not from Foreigner, from the Clash" Jones, or the Billy Bragg story. But choose carefully! I'm all old and shit now, so I only have the energy to tell one story in an evening, rather than all three.

As for celebs I've pissed off, I ran into Morrissey here in LA a few years ago at the Cat & Fiddle pub in Hollywood. He was hanging out (morosely) with a woman (or possibly a very femme man) who was dressed in an identical suit and haircut. They were sitting at a huge table with a ton of chairs; I was arriving ahead of time to arrange for a big group. So I asked him if we could borrow a few chairs from his table to use for ours. The thing you have to understand is that I am an involuntary accent chameleon -- I just magically pick up whatever accent people around me are using. So I asked him (in my usual American accent) if we could borrow a few chairs and he said something in the affirmative. To which I immediately replied in a British accent, "cheers, then," and proceeded to speak in an accent to my friends! Which he evidently took as me taking the piss out of him (heh), and so he and his doppelganger girl took off in a huff.

Which was fine, because A) I never liked Morrissey anyway, and B) we needed all the chairs we could get.
posted by scody 20 September | 20:18
Ramblin' Jack Elliott tapped me on the shoulder at the Sky River Festival in 1968 and said 'Excuse me' 'cause he was trying to get backstage and I was standing in the way. I interviewed him a couple of decades later and told him and he actually said, 'Well, gee, I'm sorry about that....'

And my oldest friend in Seattle is Sandra Bernhard's big brother, so I met her before she was famous.

She had a friend from high school living on Capitol Hill here in Seattle who she used to visit when she was famous and in town for one of her concerts.

I was shopping for groceries at QFC one night in the 90s and ran into her and her friend Dan and she said 'Hi, Karl!' just like that when I ran into them.

Boy, now that gave me major bonus points with everyone at the grocery store.

And, let's see--I talked to Al Green on the telephone when I interviewed him. Does that count ? I made him laugh and vice versa. And then, at the end of the interview, I started gushing about how I had always loved him ever since I heard 'So Tired of Being Alone' on the car radio when I was riding around with some friends form high school and was going about 'You know, and when you hit that part in the bridge where you went...'--and he broke right in there and went all falsetto 'He-e-ey, Bay-BEE !' and then he and everyone else started laughing in his hotel room and I was laughing, too. Now, that was a golden moment.

And, because I wrote a nice review of his last album and then sent a copy of it to him along with a testimonial fan letter, I got two messages on my answering machine from the late Johnny Guitar Watson about a month after I sent him the review.

Man, I had forgotten all about it. And that day I was working some shitty dead end temp job and and came home feeling totally clinically depressed about my life, in a total funk, and checked my messages and--

'Hey, Karl, this is Johnny Guitar Watson! Yeah, buddy! And I just wanna thank you...'

He went on for a about five minutes and he must have interjected "Yeah, Buddy!' about a half dozen times--just like Lou Rawls did on every United Negro College Telethon I ever saw--between those two messages. He was so warm and big hearted and happy about the review. I don't care much about celebrities at all normally but, because he was a major culture hero of mine, that was something.He just cracked me up. Man, I was walking on air for the rest of the week. I saved the tape and a friend has burned a CD of it.

And I saw him the last itme he played in Seattle and went backstage to get an album autographed and this was years later and he still remembered that letter, wrote the nicest inscription and shook my hand. Now that will be my coolest celebrity encounter for ever no matter who else famous I ever meet.
posted by y2karl 21 September | 00:22
I got the iciest glare from Kim Gordon once. I deserved it.

When I was twelve, I dressed up as Mad Max for Hallowe'en. In the elevator of my friend's building, a really little boy pointed at my pretend sawed-off shotgun and said (with perfect Rod & Todd intonation) "Guns are bad!" His dad, who on closer inspection was Dustin Hoffman, clapped him on the shoulder and said "that's right."

I was like "forget you, Dustin Hoffman."
posted by Berlin 21 September | 06:20
I interviewed Wil Wheaton once and we talked for a very long time, for like three hours. He said later (on his blog, even) that talking to me was like talking to a friend over beers. THAT is going on my first book cover.

My favorite celeb story involves me coming back from the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. I'd got upgraded to first class for free and got to my seat before my seatmate did. Some older guy comes trundling down the aisle talking on his phone wearing a "Daily Show" T-shirt and sits next to me. I waited and waited and waited for him to finish his conversation and when he was done, I said, "You're Lewis Black, aren't you?"

We talked very briefly, and then he proceeded to fall asleep for the rest of the flight because he'd just finished a show run in San Jose. I had to wake him up once for dinner and to go to the bathroom twice.
posted by TrishaLynn 21 September | 10:15
Most of my "run-ins" have been no more than seeing the person: Prince Philip being driven along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, John Davidson waved at me from his boat in Newport Harbor, Buddy Ebsen almost ran into me in his car in Santa Barbara, Dyan Cannon in her car in Thousand Oaks, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar going into the same Wells Fargo in Westlake Village that my mum banked at.

My oldest bro and his wife were friends with someone house sitting Meredith Baxter & David Birney's house. I didn't meet them (they were away, of course) but I hung out in one of their kids bedrooms and slept in the kid's bed.

BIG SECRET: my oldest bro's wife is Milton Berle's daughter, so I met him several times before he passed away (their wedding, a couple meals, one of their son's weddings, etc.). Now I'll have to kill you all.
posted by deborah 21 September | 11:33
anyone want to try this out (parquet deformation)? || Kick