Small airport holding area. I walk in and there he is, lines in his lap, phone headset perched on his head.
It was snowing, and the huge plate-glass window behind him backlit his face. I tried to exhale and remain calm, but this was Mandy Patinkin. I felt winded, as if all the air had gone out of me as I tried just to remain standing.
I was … Read more »
As a business owner in the '70s, my dad was a Jewish version of Tony Soprano--without all the murders, loan-sharking, and drug dealing. Vendors constantly bestowed gifts upon him: pewter and silver mugs and goblets, fine cut crystal, wristwatches, Cross pen and pencil sets, cases of scotch...it was a good gig.
Sometimes he'd come home with the swag at night, or it would magically appear at our doorstep like … Read more »
I went to a party in L.A. back in the '60s. There, as guests, were Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee. Asked if I wanted to meet them, I said yes.
After I shook Bobby's hand, he said, "Now you'll have something to tell all your friends!"
I was working as a guard in the little art gallery at the university I was attending as a grad student in Chicago. They wanted students willing to put in some extra time working at a fund-raising event being held at the gallery. I could use the extra money, so I said I'd be there.
I arrived, and during my shift realized that one of the well-heeled attendees was … Read more »
I was working as Court Jester at FAO Schwarz in San Francisco. The Toy Soldier was on lunch break, so I spelled him at the door.
Working the door as Toy Soldier was pure hell, as you had to stand erect under a 12-pound hat with nothing to do for eight hours except opening the door, saluting the customers, and staring at the huge clock across the street, wondering … Read more »
On March 18, I was on my excited little way to see a personal yet public heroâ€”Barack Obama! As I was making my way to my seat to hear him speak, I noticed a group of little kids holding soccer balls (for some strange reason), all huddled around a silver-haired man. "Who is it?" I wondered aloud.
As I made my way over for further investigation, I was pleasantly … Read more »
Bono (yes, _that_ Bono) pulled me out of quite a funk one evening.
After a long day of skiing in Park City, Utah, where I was living at the time, I had a less than pleasant encounter with one of my many roommates. So I went after hours to the restaurant where another roommate worked, hoping to bum a free glass of wine and fume while he cleaned up. … Read more »
Way back in 1988, my brother-in-law Ron and I, on our return trip from the Calgary Olympics, had a layover at LAX. We were just hanging out near our gate when here comes Mr. Eddie Murphy himself and an entourage of some very large men returning to L.A. He was looking straight ahead and angry as they marched past us, not five feet away.
Ron, who is a big … Read more »
Leaving Tucson's Desert Museum with my husband, we noticed a golf-cart procession headed for the entrance. Curious, we turned and watched. It was one of those "Is that...do you think...no...yes...oh, my God!" moments. Muhammad Ali was seated in the lead cart.
We tried, unsuccessfully, to hide our interest. Celebrities deserve to visit the cactus in peace, after all. But Ali's driver pulled over, and the great man got out. … Read more »
While in college, I worked at a "Malibu Grand Prix":http://www.malibugrandprix.com/ in Austin, Texas. One late afternoon, Jane Seymour walked in the door with her family. They were in town so that her husband could scout a location for a film or TV project. This was before she was Dr. Quinn, but I knew her and had had a _serious_ crush on her!
We were pretty slow at the time, … Read more »
March of last year, I proposed to my girlfriend of seven years while in St. Augustine, Florida. My entire excuse to get her to St. Augustine was a "Band of Horses":http://www.bandofhorses.com/ show at a little cafe off the beach. It took all day to find the right moment and setting to ask her to marry me. Eventually, I asked after a beautiful dinner and before heading out to the show.
Read more »
I believe it was six years ago when my good friend Pete was back in town, visiting from NYC. He told me that his band, Double Dong and the Wyld Lixx, had been asked by David Cross (of _Mr. Show_ fame) to be one of the opening acts for some variety show he was putting on at Irving Plaza in Manhattan.
Being a huge fan, I decided that I … Read more »
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It happened in the late '70s, when I was in transition from bright Oxford bags to black skintight jeans and my hair had turned scarlet at the sight of the new band in town, the Sex Pistols. I was staggering in downtown Glasgow with my best boy of the time, Sandy, who had Sid Vicious hair and eyes black with liner and who cut a figure that I was a … Read more »
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I opted for a mastectomy and reconstruction. After one of many surgeries, my husband and I went to "Fangoria Weekend of Horrors":http://www.fangoria.com/special_events.php in Burbank, California. We had gold circle front-row, center-stage seats, ten feet away from the actors, directors, and writers.
I felt self-conscious about my breasts, but put on a T-shirt that celebrated my survivorship. I took my seat for the … Read more »
Strolling down Park Avenue on a beautiful spring day in the mid-1970s, I was really enjoying the sunshine and the rhythm of my stride. I had some free time, so I let myself move with the flow of pedestrian traffic, observing the parade of humankind coming toward me. Everything seemed very fine. It was good to be alive.
I started to notice people looking toward me, occasionally waving or … Read more »
Sometime in the mid-'90s, my cousin Carlos, my friend Jimmy, and I went to watch Pauly Shore perform at the Comedy Store. He was going to be recording for a live comedy CD that would be released in the near future.
Jimmy claimed to know one of the producers of the show and said that the producers had placed him on the list to get in. When we arrived, … Read more »
Harry Chapin on the Long Island Rail Road. Me, the conductor on the train. A hot summer day. No AC in Harry's car.
So he tied the door between the cars open with his shirt. How embarrassing for the LIRR and for me!
Miami Steve Van Zandtâ€™s mom was my 8th-grade geography teacher. Iâ€™m telling you this only because it figures into the time we surprised Bruce Springsteen skipping down Holland Rd. in Middletown, NJ. Holland Rd. was where the Van Zandts and, for a time, the E Street Band all lived.
I first saw Bruce when I was 12 years old. It was 1966, and Driftwood Beach Club held concerts on … Read more »
There was Joni Mitchell, and here was my wife, close to tears.
For years, she had loved the lady. Now the poet priestess was one table away at a mostly empty eatery on another hot 'n' hazy day in the San Fernando Valley. My wife approached, clutching at her heart, lavishing praise on _The Hissing of Summer Lawns._
Touched, Joni Mitchell inquired about our son, who was scrawling … Read more »
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