Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

John Lennon: New Yorker


John Lennon Memorial (2)
Originally uploaded by jamesfarnham.
I feel old today--well, older than usual. Why? Because this morning I realized that many of you are too young to remember the day John Lennon was assassinated, 25 years ago today--let alone the Beatlemania that, inadvertently, led up to it.

I won't try to be grandma Elvira here and attempt to describe the influence the Beatles had on modern music and culture. Suffice it to say that it was so profound that although Lennon, while still with the Beatles, made a controversial, albeit offhand remark about the group being bigger than Jesus, I happen to believe that this was, indeed, true. In other words, most teens and tweens were infinitely more galvanized by the Beatles in the 60s than by going to Sunday mass. The Beatles, in turn, were perpetually mobbed by rabid, screaming fans wherever they went. It was doubless impossible to live any kind of normal life this way, and the Beatles eventually stopped touring and retired to the studio to produce some of their greatest albums.

In 1971, after the Beatles had broken up, Lennon, with his wife Yoko Ono, moved to New York City, where he would live until his death in 1980. He adored it here, and told his biographer Ray Coleman that "New York is what Rome used to be."

New Yorkers pride themselves on not going all ga-ga when they spot a celebrity on the street. Most residents have seen their share, particularly since films and TV shows are constantly being produced here. One of the things Lennon loved about New York was that he felt free to roam the streets without being constantly hassled. He eagerly explored the city, and after his son Sean was born, he could be seen wheeling his stroller down the paths of Central Park.

BG often talks reverently about the time he met and "touched" John Lennon. In the seventies, BG worked at a hardware store on the Upper East Side, where he did encounter a number of celebs, including Andy Warhol, who used to purchase art supplies there.

One day Lennon wandered in and asked BG for change of a dollar. BG handed him the four quarters (thus "touching" Lennon). Lennon then asked if he knew where the nearest health food store was, and BG's colleague told him there was one right across the street. As he left, BG put up his fingers in a peace sign and said, "Take care, John!" Lennon gave him a peculiar look and left.

Another time, BG was in a West Side bar in the afternoon. The place was nearly empty, but seated at a nearby booth were Lennon and Elton John. Elton John's famous cover of Lennon's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" had recently come out, and BG recalls that the two played the song over and over on the jukebox and drunkenly sang along. BG, mindful of his status as a real New Yorker, never approached the two.

Though I never saw Lennon in the flesh, I remember a colleague of mine whose friend ran into Lennon and asked him the eternal, moronic question: "When are you getting back together with the Beatles?" Lennon replied, "When are you getting back together with your grammar school mates?" People who think of fame and fortune as the ultimate dream come true fail to realize that most celebrities have to put up with slavish sycophants who cannot relate to their idols as human beings, and actually think a star will be impressed with the revelation that a stranger "loves" their music/films/art.

In the fall of 1980, after spending a number of years in the role of "househusband" while raising his son Sean, Lennon went back into the studio with Yoko to record the album "Double Fantasy." The day of Lennon's death, Mark David Chapman approached him as he left his apartment in the Dakota building, requesting that he autograph his copy of the newly released album. Lennon obliged. When Lennon returned to the Dakota that night, Chapman, who had been lying in wait for him all day, fatally shot him.

When the news of Lennon's death was announced, hordes of fans began to gather in front of the Dakota. As I recall, this vigil went on for days and days. Although it was a touching tribute, I had no desire to join the people chanting and singing Beatles songs and lighting candles there and talking about "John" as if they'd known him personally. Certainly, it was a testament to how deeply Lennon had touched his generation. But somehow, the sight of the fans gathered there also brought to mind the darkly rabid devotion that led some disturbed individuals to obsess over a star to an unhealthy degree. After all, Lennon is far from the only celebrity who has been stalked and even killed by an off-kilter fan.

When fans of a celebrity identify so strongly with their idol that they see them as a demi-god and this idyllic image is subsequently shattered by the fact that they are merely human, the results can indeed be tragic. Chapman had been an avid fan of the Beatles and particularly of Lennon, but his admiration later turned to obsession and, eventually, resentment. Apparently, Lennon's new visibility fueled Chapman's insanity enough to compel him to travel to New York and stalk him.

Today, the Strawberry Fields memorial was packed with fans paying tribute to Lennon. The memorial consists of a garden in Central Park, directly across the street from the Dakota on the corner of West 72nd Street and Central Park West. The central part of the memorial is a circular mosaic (shown here). In the center is the single word "imagine"--which is, of course, the title of one of the most famous of Lennon's songs.

Once again, people gathered in tribute. Once again, I felt a slight twinge of uneasiness at the sight of tearful fans and aging ex-hippies strumming Beatles tunes on their guitars. Yes, it was certainly touching and appropriate, but a little part of me said to myself: Don't these people have a life? What would Lennon think of all this?

It is of course impossible to say what Lennon would be doing today if he were still alive. I like to imagine that he would still be living in New York, perhaps still making music, and probably protesting the Iraqi war as vehemently and outspokenly as he had once protested the war in Vietnam.

As things stand, Mark David Chapman lives on. His identity will forevermore be merged with Lennon's--which, I suppose, is what Chapman ultimately dreamed of.

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53 Comments:

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Danny said...

Elvira:

I remember hearing about his death on the radio in 1980. I remember it well - we were 3/4 of the way home, and I was sitting the back seat of my dad's '72 Nova, listening to the radio. A special bulletin went out stating that John Lennon was fatally shot.

he strange thing is, I had just bought the Double Fantasy LP a few weeks before that. "Starting Over" was the big hit on the radio in Chicago back then. Hard to believe that I was only 7 years old, but I still remember!

I hope that you and BG are doing well. My life's been pretty good as of late, so I can't complain. Aside from my crappy DSL connection, all is well. Talk to you soon!


Danny

 
At 2:14 AM, Blogger fugusashi said...

The Beatles are/were my favorite band and Lennon was my favorite Beatle.

Nice memories of Lennon, especially singing "Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds" with Elton John.

Excellent points about celebrity obsession.

(I wish you had the option on the blog for "links to this article", or whatever it's called.)

 
At 4:58 AM, Blogger Walker said...

Stop with the old shit your gonna make me feel old. I was 21 when Lennon was killed and I remember being shocked at the news.
We were at my place stoned when the news came on the set and you never say 3 people go straight so fast.
Iy's strange how some wierdos get lured to the famous because of their dreams and inadequatcy of fulfilling them and blaming someone else for it.
It's quite the marriage, famous and infamous.
Lennon will always be famous and Chapman would be infamous for what he did.
The sad part is I think that Lennon would forgive him for it.
it's a shame that celebs can't find peacer with all the tabloids paying so much money for pictures and causing a frenzy among fans.
I remember her at a baseball game. Kirt Russel had come to town to watch his nephew play.
He had bought 6 full rows of seats so he could have some privacy and there were still idiots going to him and asking for autographs.
Times have changed.
The days were the famous could walk in the crowd with the rest of us has become to dangerous for them and its all our fault for putting a price on their fame.
How many of us have bought the National Enquirer or rags like it.
I have.
I have been lucky to have met many entertainers and they are just like us.
My two favorites are BB King and Tina Turner.
A two hour conversation with Tina Turner left me in awe of her down to earth manner.
BB King was so fucken cool and I got to play Lucille wooohooo
Mick Jaggar and Keith Richards were at my place shooting a music video in August and even though I passed out drunk and didn't MEET them, my mother said they were respectful
The way things are for celebrities today I wouldn't want to be one.

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger k o w said...

Great blog, it just read your last 5 posts and loved them.
Sadly all I know of Lennon are the albums.

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger The Blind-Winger Jones said...

Fantastic post Elvira. You can't begin to understand Lennon the man without the context of New York and Liverpool. Two cities which have a history bound up with one another. Countless British and Irish emigrants left for America from Liverpool and arrived in New York. It was from New York that the ships carrying the early records from the American bluesmen would arrive into Liverpool. The future Beatles would pick them up at local markets and try to figure out the chords. New York for the boys on the Mersey was always the city across the water, and it's fitting that Lennon should have ended up there.
New York certainly offered Lennon a place of sanctuary by all accounts. London always regarded the Beatles as it has always regarded Northerners, as "dumb provincials". Despite the fact that the best music and culture to come out of England since world war 2 has come from the North. (whoops, that's me getting up on my high horse !) Americans didn't have the same regional and class antagonism, and I can understand why somewhere like New York would offer Lennon a massive amount of freedom.

I was wondering what he'd be up to if he was still around as well. Definitely anti-war, definitely still difficult. He's one of those people it's hard to imagine growing old.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger NewYorkMoments said...

Jesus never had TV!

 
At 5:24 PM, Blogger Swifty said...

'Celebrity' is a strange phenomenom. We create them, it's not a quality inherent in them or what they do. And it's not necessarily related to a particular talent or skill they possess. In those cases where they do have a skill, we have the unfortunate tendency to confuse the product with the person, investing them with a certain je ne sais quoi, which of course doesn't exist. We really ought to listen to ourselves name-dropping, talking about having seen so and so, and how awesomely down to earth he or she is, as if it defies all logic. The power of celebrity lies in it's power to seduce us into seeing things that aren't there.

 
At 5:32 PM, Blogger Swifty said...

Continued...(I hadn't finished, doh!)

I would guess that celebrity is related to good old fashioned 'notoriety', in which a person could be elevated and enlarged in the minds of men and women by virtue of word of mouth, without anyone knowing or having seen the person in question. Nowadays, this process is accelerated by the various media.

Okay, now I've definitely finished.

 
At 6:20 PM, Blogger mr_g said...

Great Post. I remember 12/8/80 very well. I was 15 and my friend and i were sitting in the car in the miniature golf parking lot. After hearing a few Beatles songs in a row, we even joked "I wonder who died". It was then I remember Jack Snyder coming on KMET 94.7 in tears...you almost couldn't make out what he was saying. And when he said it, it was like a shockwave through my body.

I'm a few years too young to remember Kennedy, but this will always be with me.

And thanks for your supportive comments on the Holiday issue!

 
At 7:23 PM, Blogger Neil said...

Really nice tribute. I remember the sad day myself.

 
At 8:06 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

Brilliantly told, darling. I am no history buff, but if I can understand something this well, then you have done a VERY good job at explaning.

Seeing that picture of the memorial brought back memories of my spring break trip last year...when I visited my best friend in the big apple. We tromped all over the city, and one of the places we visited was central park. I can still remember the memorial. So beautiful.

As to your remarks about celebrity and what it does to them and their fans, I totally agree. I had a chance to become an actress a while ago but I declined...I figured, "If the biggest aspiration of an actress is to become rich and famous, but I will lose my life as a normal human being, what's the point?" I'd much rather lead a normal life.

 
At 9:30 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

I think most people heard the news via Howard Cosell, who announced it in the middle of Monday night football. His producers had wanted him to just go to a special bulletin, but he gave the stunning announcement himself, which I think was more shocking and emotional than a news bulletin would have been.

Glad things are ok with you. Computer headaches? Oh no!

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Paula:

Thanks! I think Lennon turned out to be the most experimental and politically active of the four, esp. during his solo career.

Gee, I'm not even sure what the links to this article option does?! Is it a good thing to have?

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Walker:

Wow--what video? I wanna see it!

As far as I can tell, Chapman was insane. But he was also consumed with the feeling that he was a nobody. He started to resent Lennon because he felt like he was a "phony" "living off the fat of the land."

Some people have all sorts of moral expectations for celebs. The "more popular than Jesus" statement Lennon made turned a lot of people off to him--I remember this vividly. Thing is, artists/writers/musicians are not only human beings, but flawed, as all humans are. Matter of fact, some of them can be morally bankrupt; even evil. But I try to separate conventional morality from art--except as it relates to the context of the work or the time period. Otherwise, we may as well start burning all the books--heaven forbid.

 
At 9:42 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

KOW:

Thanks for visiting and checking out the posts. I visited you today and I love your blog.

 
At 9:52 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Martyn:

Wow, thanks for the great comment. I've read that one of the things Lennon liked about New York was that it's surrounded by water. I guess it reminded him of Liverpool that way.

I have to agree with you about the best bands coming from the North. One of my favorites is XTC from Swindon (I don't know if that's considered northern, but it's definitely not cosmopolitan London). I once interviewed Andy Partridge, and of course he and Colin Moulding are basically family guys. I see a lot of parallels with the Beatles--Partridge couldn't handle touring; they did fabulous studio work; they have continued to evolve exponentially; and they sound to me like a postmodern version of the Beatles. There are other non-London bands I also love. To me British bands, even when influenced by American music (blues, etc), turn it all upside down and create a sound that is uniquely English, and irresistible to boot.

 
At 9:53 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

newyorkmoments:

This is indeed true. I like to divide world history into b.c. and a.c. (before cable and after cable).

 
At 10:03 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Swifty:

Ah yes! I tend to think of those with artistic talent as having an attribute that transcends their "normality" in a sense--like a separate force that exists almost despite them. Most of the bling is generated by the media machine.

I remember reading a great bio of Lennon long ago, and there was one passage that really hit a chord. When Lennon was still married to his first wife Cynthia, apparently Lenon's favorite activity was simply reading in bed. I believe this was in the midst of Beatlemania, and the image always stuck in my mind and was oddly comforting . The private everyday lives of many celebs are probably just as mundane as the next person's--albeit with more "things" and hangers-on.

 
At 10:08 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Mr. G:

Thank you. This may sound cliched, but I think most people remember what they were doing when they heard about Lennon's death-- just as others remember the day Kennedy was shot. The Beatles were "merely" cultural, but for me and millions of others they were revolutionary forces, and their impact was incomparable.

 
At 10:11 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Neil:

Thank you. I doubt that my parent's generation could comprehend the immense outpouring of grief when Lennon died.

 
At 10:19 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Leslie:

Thank you! Yes, it is a beautiful memorial--as simple as it is profound.

I think becoming well-known in this day and age is usually a nightmare. Some celebs are famous for awhile and then fade into obscurity (or infomercials). Others succumb to excess and die young. I think the ones who survive intact live relatively simply, and if they are very talented, they continue to practice and evolve in their craft. But I think these are usually the ones who also avoid the limelight. In any case, I think you made a wise choice!

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Danny:

Oops! Sorry--that first comment was for you.

 
At 10:45 PM, Blogger Walker said...

There is something I cant understand.
He was insane but sane enought to oad a gun and stalk his prey.
If he would have gone nuts and shot someone at random that would be one thing but it was a calculated execusion.
I know I could be wrong with this but it just how I feel.
The video is called " Streets of Love"

 
At 12:55 AM, Blogger :phil: said...

Great post. I'm old enough to remember seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. I was in the city Thursday night and was about 2 blocks away from Strawberry Fields. I didn't go by it though, I didn't feel like being in the mob scene. My brother lives on 72nd St (by West End) and I often walk by the Dakota and always think about how it really sucks that he was killed there. He was by far my favorite Beatle followed by George.
BTW:I'm a friend of Paula's (I think that makes me special)

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger !ce said...

I have a bit of related info here. On her lullaby album, Linda Ronstadt recorded a version of the Beatles' "Good Night." Celine Dion has covered two John Lennon/Yoko Ono songs, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" and "Beautiful Boy."

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger Squid Vicious said...

Why couldn't he have shot Yoko instead???

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger Brink Craven said...

yoko ono is actually an incredibly talented visual/ performance artist--and was so before lennon even met her. the whole "We hate Yoko, because she broke up the Beatles" was and still is so ill informed, ignorant, mysogonist and just plain ol wrong, that its not even funny. anyway, Ill get off that now--its just so discusting--Yoko's song "woman is the nigger of the world" is so right on- and why did she go through all that crap?? just because she and lennon fell in love, not because of anything that she did at all. ok, soap box be gone!! haha--
hey E!
the celeb issue is a fascinating one indeed. I used to envy the rich and famous when I was younger (common admit it, most of us do until we die) then I figured out that not only were they no better off than me(at least not in anyway that really counts), but in most cases they were worse off. So I stopped idolizing and looking up to celebs--in fact many times I just feel sorry for them. I have no envy left for the rich and famous. it just makes spiritual liberation even harder to attain and nothing is more important or worthwhile than that.

 
At 4:00 PM, Blogger SafeTinspector said...

Well writ.
I'm 33, and was 8 when he was shot. I remember it a bit, and the few songs released posthumously from that final album, and how the DJs would always bookend the song with something trite about his death.

The creepification of Yoko in the years to follow made me feel a little worse about the whole thing.

Ah, well.

 
At 5:44 PM, Blogger Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Elvira, I feel my age too...(smiling) I remember oh so well that night of his death...Even farther back to the night the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Actually in the late 80's I remember being in the city and we went to the vigil at the Dakota apartments.

It surely was a sad day when he was shot. It is hard to believe it has already been 25 yrs.

Thanks for visiting me lately, sorry I am just getting over here. Hope things are going good for you this time of year. (smiling)

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger cell13 said...

Shit, I'll .....Be.....Feeling good, ....Perhaps you have a special .......' brew ' conCockted ' , I love it all......It is such fun.....Forgive me for being one arrougant fuck <<<>>>

sp**

Next time

 
At 10:52 PM, Blogger !ce said...

I'm a little curious, how does Elvira feel about the rerelease of The Emancipation of Mimi?

You don't suppose that The Emancipation of Ice would be good for anything?

 
At 11:52 PM, Blogger Timothy said...

I see lots of different responses and thoughts and feelings here in your comment section. Of course, you already know mine from my blog. The murderer is indeed very ill mentally. At one time I knew his diagnosis because I had to know it for one of my exams in college. I do not know it now. Yes, lots of celbs get murdered and other horrible things by deranged “fans.” They are all just ill. BG is some kind of lucky as far as I am concerned, but I suppose I would not be much different. I love Elton and grew-up listening to his music very much. I would have just watched as well. Thanks, E!

 
At 12:10 AM, Blogger Nikky Egland said...

I wasn't even born yet (still in my mama's tummy) at that time, but the influence of Lennon can still be felt today in many places. His death was truly a tragedy.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Webmiztris said...

yeah, I was only 4 1/2, so I'm not sure what I was doing that day. Probably playing with one of those crazy Speak and Spells or something.. ;)

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger Doofi said...

I hate you if you are star struck when seeing a celebrity. I hate you if you think they are even worthy of star struckedness, i hate you if you don't like my made up word. I hate you if you are star struck when seeing me. I hate you if you think I am a celebrity, when in reality I'm just a hater.

It's quite unfortunate that Lennin was taken from us too soon, it seems great people must have a tragic ending. I couldn't imagine him being 88 yrs old a senile. tear.

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Walker:

Here's the story: I think Chapman copped an insanity plea and subsequently changed it to a guilty plea. At his last parole hearing in 2004--his third so far--the board noted his "extreme malicious intent" in this murder. They also noted that his stated rationale of seeking attention was "bizarre and morally corrupt." He remains at Attica, separated from the general population.

Here's my feelings on the matter: blaming one's disease, whether it be mental illness or addiction to a substance, for immoral actions is generally a copout. Most mentally ill people are not a harm to others, and an addict saying "my disease was talking to me" as an excuse for criminal behavior doesn't wash with me. Some people are simply morally bankrupt.

As far as a bid for attention: though Chapman is an extreme example, I think we live in a "'quick fix" society that encourages immediate gratification. I believe that if you really want something--be it fame, fortune, or anything that takes extreme effort--you have to pay your dues honestly to get it. This can take years, sometimes a lifetime, if you achieve it at all. Lennon deserved his fame; he didn't deserve this horrible fate.

I'll have to look out for that video--I guess you really do live on a "street of love." Sounds about right!

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

:phil:

Yes, I tend to avoid mob scenes myself. I don't go in much for following the crowd, but I have passed by the Dakota and Strawberry Fields on other days.

Any friend of Paula is a friend of mine!

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Ice:

Re: your first comment: thanks for the info.

Re: your second comment: Warning, warning! Shameless and OFF TOPIC self promotion--not cool.

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Squid Vicious:

Wow, it's been awhile, hasn't it? I see you're living up to your new last name--lol.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Brink:

I couldn't agree more about Yoko. She was way ahead of her time (aka avant garde) and I for one believe she and Lennon were soulmates. He adored her--she opened his mind and talent to new ways of perceiving and creating.

When I was younger and more naieve, I thought all celebs consisted on a diet of groupies. I couldn't understand why any of them bothered to get married. But the fact is, most of them do, because a diet of meaningless relationships is unsatisfying for most people--famous or no.

Thanks for stopping by, my dear friend--great comment!

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

safetinspector:

I've read my share of Lennon/Ono bios over the years, and one thing that struck me was the fact that not only did the couple believe in mystical/occult connections, but many of them did seem to prove valid. The fact that Lennon and Ono were recording "Walking on Thin Ice" when she died seems tragically apt. It was, and is, an incredibly moving song.

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Suzie:

Yes, I keep forgetting that all these youngsters (lol) weren't around during the throes of Beatlemania. There's just no way to adequately describe the significance of seeing them on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time.

Thanks for visiting--I'm having trouble keeping up myself!

 
At 2:57 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Cell 13:

Hey, wuzzup? I've been following your blog, and know you're going through hell, but I'm a bit sketchy on some of the details. It sounded like things were moving forward, and I hope you'll keep posting and things get better for you soon.

 
At 3:00 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Timothy:

Yes, you had a great Lennon post. Your memory for detail is, as usual, extraordinary. I have very vivid memories of the Beatles as well, and what they meant to me.

I guess Chapman allegedly suffered from depression and schizophrenia--not sure. But he also suffered from horribly low self-esteem. Yes, he was and is very sick. As I say, none of the above conditions justifies what he did.

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Nikky:

There are a few artists whose impact is felt long after they're gone. The Beatles's influence still reverberates with musicians still inspired by them to this day.That's one reason Lennon will always be remembered, even by those who were not born until after he passed away.

 
At 3:06 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Webmiztris:

Oy vey, another baby blogger (lol). That's why I feel like old grandma Elvira when I write about "ancient history."

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Doofi:

You are indeed the king of hate--but it's a generally a good sort of hate (lol). Cyber stalkers are the newest form of creeps. It's true that martyrs often die young, and are forever emblazoned so in our memory. But it would have been much better if Lennon had lived to a ripe old age.

 
At 10:13 PM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

I am old enough to remember Lennon getting shot but he never touched me the way he did others.

I like a lot of their music, always have (Lennon on his own and with the Beatles)but it never went beyond appreciative fan.

 
At 2:37 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Jack's Shack:

Well, I'll tell ya...when I was younger, I lived for music. I still love it, but I've turned into one of those creatures I could never imagine becoming--someone who doesn't have the time or inclination to keep up with all the latest stuff. In other words, an old fogie.

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger Amber said...

I agree with you on it all, Elvira. John was right when he said the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. He was just trying to point out how silly that was and then his remark was blown out of context. All hell broke loose, too.

And I don't understand the "fan" mentality, either. We have celebs here in NorCal, too and everyone gets so weird about seeing George Lucas or Robin Williams or various other celebs at a restaurant or a bookstore. They stare and smirk and nudge each other and even approach them for a stupid autograph. What is with this getting an autograph routine? I don't get it. I would never in a million years approach a celebrity without having a legitimate reason to do so. They have every right to expect the same privacy we do when they go out.

Just pathetic.

At the Collective Soul concert last week, the MC was a well-known radio DJ. After the show, the DJ started walking alongside the tables, talking to some of the people whom she obviously knew. To my utter astonishment, the woman sitting next to us started gushing about how she just luuuuuvs this DJ and she listens to her on the radio allllll the time. Then she jumped up to go stand next to the DJ, horning in on her conversation with her friends. She even tried to speak to her, but the DJ kind of smiled at her and nodded, then moved off, obviously wanting to say hi to other people she knew.

Obviously hoping the "fan" would not follow.

But the "fan" did follow her and kept standing there with a silly smile on her face. We left so I don't know what happened after that, but can you believe she did that? Weird! I'll never understand that desire to meet the famous; famous people are still just people, like us. What's the big deal?

Very sad when I heard John died. I expected a national day of mourning the next day; I was resentful at having to go to work and everything. His death still bothers me to this day and I guess it always will. Wasteful wasteful death. :-(

 
At 8:00 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Amber:

OMG--that woman sounds like a real phreak!

I can't help but think that somone like that doesn't have too much going on upstairs. What exactly does she have to say to this woman that she thinks is so worthy? She doesn't know her, and I'm sure it's no revelation to the DJ that she has fans.

As I got older, I realized more and more that being a celeb has got to be tiresome on a lot of levels. It may seem flattering to know that people appreciate and love what you do, but what thrill is it to have all these fans who really don't have anything to offer other than dumb remarks?

I think famous people have to put up with a lot of folks who are hoping to get something out of a celeb--whether it be money or a vicarious feeling of glamor. I imagine it must be tough to have people crawl out of the woodwork just to use you, without having any ability to relate to you as a real person. Very sad.

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger Lord Boinkingham said...

I was born in '77, so I don't remember a thang about this, but I do have some fond memories from living in NYC and enjoy visiting the city regularly. This post highlighted the city's plusses unlike most things I read about it. I really enjoyed this post, and it made me a little homesick for The Big Apple. :)

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Lord Buckingham:

Thanks...I'm glad I could convey something positive about NYC. I was born and bred here, and the city--esp. Manhattan--has gone through dramatic changes in the last several decades. Now it's the bomb; before it just looked bombed.

 

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