Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Other Story ...

Try not to drool.

Because at some point during this story, you're probably gonna go slack-jawed.

When last I wrote, I alluded to another post that I would write another day.

Today is the day. Or rather, tonight is the night.

Just keep reading.

So Steve and I were in the cab, headed back from Kelley's party to the hotel to grab some late-night grub. I don't remember the arc of the conversation, other than stumping him on something when we were on the Ohio feeder ramp. He was trying hard to come up with a comeback. It wasn't working. "Damn!" he was saying. "This almost never happens." He kept trying, the wheels in his head kept spinning.

"The retort window has closed," I said and patted his hand sympathetically.

It was sometime after that exchange that I suddenly found myself listening to him telling me about a friend of his. A name I recognized. If I had been drinking, I'd have done a spit take. Because the friend Steve was naming was Clarence Clemons.

Some of you may be plotzing right now.

Some of you may be saying, "Who the hell is Clarence Clemons?"

Clarence is the guy with the sax. Recognize anyone else in that picture? Like Max Weinberg and Steven Van Zandt and Patti Scialfa? And some guy, goes by the name of Springsteen?

Steve is friends with a member of the E Street Band.

So we're headed up to my floor and I keep saying, "You're friends with Clarence Clemons?!" and he's going on with his story and we get off the elevator and he says (if you happen to be reading this standing up, you'll want to sit down right now), "Yeah. And Bono."


At which point I said something really indelicate, which I won't reproduce in this here family blog.

BONO. Steve, my perfectly lovely friend who anyone would be lucky to know but who has a background in IT and publishing not in music, knows Bono.

Lead-singer-of-U2 Bono.

Right. OK then.

The hows aren't important here. other than to mention that Steve met Clarence through Billy Joel. Well, of course he did.

"OK, anyone else I should know about?" I asked.

"Well, just Morgan Freeman."


Now, as Steve says, it "ain't no thing," knowing these guys, as they're just people, after all.

And I can relate to that. Interviewing Kurt Vonnegut when I was 19 taught me the valuable lesson that famous people are people first, famous second. And Steve's great. Anyone would want to hang out with him, and Clarence and Bono and Billy and Morgan fall under the "anyone" umbrella.

Still. It all left me shaking my head.

I have friends who are friends with well-known people. Dave is friends with Eddie Vedder, but that makes sense to me because they're both musicians. Even though Dave met Eddie when he was just a teenager.

But it was way more out of left field for Steve to tell me he's friends with Clarence Clemons. And Bono.

Anyway, the final kooky twist to this story is that Steve made a comment that night, as we were listening to my CD, that sounded remarkably like he was thinking that Clarence should hear my songs. But my brain might have been racing ahead into some wine-induced fantasy. Or I could have been dreaming. Because that's just crazy, right? Clarence Clemmons listening to my disc is crazy, right? That's not something that happens in real life. That's something that happens in an after-school special or a movie of the week.



Blogger Jen said...

I agree with you that famous people are just people. They just happen to have talents that are visible to the public, or they were in the right place at the right time. They've got nothing on you- except maybe several million bucks, but who is counting?

You are on your way!

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Mikeachim said...


5:16 PM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

Wow. That is really something. And totally out of left field. Clarence Clemons...

8:34 PM  

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