Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Unexpected Encounters of the Celebrity Kind

Ev, over at Nowhere, IL was recently reminded of her close personal relationship with Paul McCartney by reading all about Feral Mom’s Beatles reminiscences. So, of course I felt I had to share my close-personal-relationship-with-a-celebrity story, too.

It all started after a night of carousing in downtown Toronto. I was struttin’ from bar to bar with my posse late, late when I was accosted by a scruffy, urine/muscatel-soaked gentleman attempting to sell me week-old newspapers.

No, this wasn’t the celebrity. However, this fragrant fellow got rather aggressive and grabbed me by the arm, which caused me to pull away rather abruptly, making me spin backwards and smack into Elton John. (Before he was a Sir and before he was even gay.)

I said “holy shit”. He smiled and walked on with his two poncey friends. That’s it. My only brush with fame, not including anyone I might have seen or hounded for an autograph at concerts, literary readings, sporting or other events. (The only time those things count are when you make it into the groupie pool. Which reminds me – once when I worked at an Arts Centre, the secretary for our section made it into the Burton Cummings groupie pool, but she had an unfair advantage because she was working at the venue he came to play at.)

What are your most unusual celebrity encounters?


JB said...

I get to talk to celebrities as part of my job, so most of my experiences don't count - but my most unique experience 'encountering' a celebrity (non-work-related) was on a flight from Montreal to Los Angeles.
While I was boarding the flight and taking my seat, I looked over to see Donald Sutherland - an actor I personally admire - being absolutely berated by a woman - and I have no idea the reason why - but she was eventually shuffled back to her seat after having stopped to be quite nasty toward Mr. Sutherland for a couple of very uncomfortable minutes. Not quite sure why the staff took so long to do something about it, actually, but she was sent to her seat in the Economy section, the curtain was closed, and she wasn't heard from again.
Although I almost always travel in Economy class when I fly, I was lucky enough on this occasion to be sitting in Business class - as he was, of course. Over the years, I've learned that it's nice to NOT bother people of celebrity - even if it's just to be nice, and tell them you're a fan - because, let's face it - wouldn't YOU like to be left alone with your thoughts occasionally?
So, I waited until the end of the flight, as we were "de-planing", to just smile toward him as I caught his eye, and acknowledge his presence with a simple nod. As he passed by, he smiled very genuinely in return - appreciating my having given him his space.

Newsguy Bob said...

When I started reading your post, I thought you were writing about meeting me, when it was actually Tony.

My favourite all-time brush with fame is cartoonist Lynn Johnston. It's a long, convoluted story that I told on my blog several months back, if you care to search.

Suffice it to say she's a very down-to-earth person.

Ev said...

This isn't actually my celebrity story...it belongs to a friend...but it's good, so I'm going to steal it.

My friend Tina is a nervous flier, so when she took the Concorde to France she imbibed heavily in some liquid courage. As she was staggering to the back of the plane to pee, she stumbled and fell into the lap of Ed Bradley.

She looked up at him and mumbled "I know you. You're Ed Bradley!" And Ed Bradley said, "Yes I am. Please get off of me." He stood her upright and she continued her trip to the bathroom.

Heh? Smooth, eh?

Aggie said...

I have no celebrity story... One, actually, involving Erica Jong. But, I'm commenting just to say that I just noticed that you're back. Nice to see you again! And I must say, your picture is lovely. You look like Susan Sarandon.

Anonymous said...

I think I've already blogged about my few celebrity encounters. My little Gipsy King boyfriend. Waiting in the Ritz lobby to see what Prince wears to bed. Marky Mark (sans his funky bunch and before the use of his last name/acting career) brushing my boob (left one, if you're curious...my famous left boob) in a NYC club (purely accidental).

I haven't yet blogged about a New Year's party I attended in Nashville, hosted by a few of The Mavericks' band members, former country group who tried to go pop and instead went POP! GOODBYE!

Oh, and being followed in a Winn Dixie parking lot by one of the guitarists from the country group Alabama. (that sounds nice and heehaw cooter country, eh?)

Your profile pic...you are such a cutie. Those dimples. Meow.

XUP said...

JB-but if no one ever bothered celebrities for autographs and stuff, how would they know they're celebrities?

Bob -I was going to do a whole other posting about meeting celebrities who deny being who they are -- like once I sat behind Hitler on a bus, but he said he wasn't; then I met you in a mall, but you said your name was Tony.

Ev-you always have the best stories, they should make a movie of your life and then people could run into you in odd places and blog about it.

Aggie - thanks. I'd love to hear the Erica Jong story..was it on a plane?

OTC-thanks for the meow, baby. You sure get around - you're practically on the A-list yourself judging by the company with which you collide regularly.

TLJ said...

Whilst Salmon fishing on the South Coast of Newfoundland and many miles away from the nearest road, I was walking down a trail and encountered a fishing party coming up river. I stopped and shook hands with the first guy and said, "Hi, I'm Greg". He said, "Hi, I'm Jimmy." We chatted for a bit and carried on our separate ways. Three days later we were sitting on the wharf at LaPoile waiting for a boat to take us back to the nearest road. 'Jimmy' and his buddies were all there and waiting for the same boat. We talked about fishing and Jimmy's airplanes, then boarded the boat. At the destination we helped them get their luggage loaded and said goodbye. Later we talked on the phone to our guide who had spent the week camping with us and he said, "Well Bye, did you enjoy your visit with Jimmy Buffet?
As an aside, the guides at the fishing camp where Jimmy stayed were reported to have been kept awake one night by Jimmy and his crowd playing music and partying. The head guide got up and entered the 'sports' cabin and said. "Shut that GD music off and let the rest of us get some friggin' sleep!" Personally, I can't picture myself telling a major recording star to get of the stage.

JB said...

Nice Bob/Hitler comparison, XUP.

...and celebrities know they're celebrities by the huge amounts of money they make, plus the inordinate amount of media coverage they get. Being bothered by us common folk is just one of those things most of them would prefer didn't come along with all the gift bags and other good stuff. And if they could all skip having to attend the People's Choice Awards, they would.

XUP said...

Thanks for visiting TLJ & for the celeb story. I don't think I'd recognize Jimmy Buffet if I tripped over him in a puddle of fish guts.

jb- I've heard stories from other people where they run into a celeb in a bar or something and they're very, very rude. I would think it's like any one of us running into a client/customer/whatever outside of work hours -- we still have to be nice to them. They're our bread and butter.

JB said...

Oh, I agree with you - and I never once said that all celebrities are 'nice' - quite the contrary in MANY cases (although Mr. Sutherland seemed like a perfect gentleman, and I've interviewed some really wonderful 'celebrities' over the years). BUT - I think that maybe a little part of why they might not be nice is that so many other people are always 'at' them.
Let's face it - Some people become celebrities because what they really loved, and wanted to do for a living - musician, actor, etc. - forced them to accept the yoke of celebrity that went along with that chosen profession. Many don't handle it well...but you just can't paint 'em all with the same brush.

zoom said...

Bill Cosby, on the #1 bus in Ottawa. Of course I didn't really believe it was him even though it looked and sounded exactly like him, because why would Bill Cosby be riding the #1 in Ottawa? But then he got off the bus at Lansdowne and there on the marquee in big letters it said that Bill Cosby was the headliner at the Ex that night.

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