Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Brush With Fame

I met Xtcfan and Ned on the internet somewhere around 1996 I guess. We all shared a love for the music of XTC before it was an abbreviation for a drug, an energy soft drink, or a search keyword for porn websites. I “met” them in cyberspace over at Chalkhills.

They both lived in the DC area, and at that time I was still a trainer for a software company and was traveling extensively for business. A couple times that business took me to DC, so I was able to meet them for beers, for lunch, and for dinner. A very cool thing this internet. They are great guys.

It is because of Ned that I started blogging. He told me of his blog, and I started to visit and to leave comments. It was fun. So I decided to give it a try.

Ned is a very busy man, but he does still find time to chat with me (using AOL IM.) He is a constant source of amusement and information, and I often interrupt him, uninvited and without exchanging the pleasantries that normal people use to start a conversation in meatspace. “Hey Ned. Can you believe Cheney shot someone?” or, “Hey Ned, I’m having trouble finding a link.” Etc. He might come back with, “Who’d he shoot? Scooter?” or “Try looking for a chain first.”

Anyway.

Recently we discovered that during the late 80’s we both worked some 3 blocks away from each other. Frequented the same guitar shops. We ended up talking about the different celebrities we spotted while bumming around Rockefeller Center. We both saw Andy Warhol. I saw Julian Lennon leaving “We Buy Guitars” as I was entering, Aimee Mann walking with her guitar by the entrance of Central Park, and Greg Lake in a deli. Neddie quipped, “as he handed you your sandwich?”

This reminded me of probably the funniest celebrity encounter that I had. I worked at 6th and 48th and took the LIRR from Penn Station to get home. You could take the subway to Penn, but on nice days I could walk the 14 blocks and often did so with my friend Jim.

Jim had a stutter. He could talk for a few minutes and you’d never notice, but when he got excited he would start getting stuck on the first letter of his words. The more excited he got, the more he stuttered.

We would walk down Broadway to get to Penn, and at the time, Tony Roberts was starring in a revival of “Arsenic and Old Lace.” It was about 5:30 on a warm night, and we were walking down 47th toward Broadway. All of sudden Jim went into it big time:

“A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-L! L-L-L-L-L-L-OOK Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ver th-th-th-th-there!” He was sputtering and pointing and there was Tony Roberts. He was walking toward us and started to cross the street while Jim was doing his damndest to not sound like an A-K but failing miserably. He looked over at us and smiled, as Jim continued, “I-i-i-it’s th-th-th-th-th-th-th-th-th-that g-g-g-g-g-g-guy from the W-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-wooody Allen m-m-m-m-m-movies!”

He almost shouted it.

The look on Tony’s face was fabulous. He went from a smile to a bitter scowl, and I could only imagine him thinking, “here I am starring in a Broadway show, and godamn it all they know is that I’m ‘that guy’ from the Woody Allen movies!”

I was in a miserable marriage and was making crap money back then, but damn, working in midtown, those were the days.

By the way, here is even more evidence that our species is in the HOV lane with the cruise control set to 85 speeding to Extinctionville, NJ.

Ok, want to hear a great song?

Click here to experience one of my favorite records by XTC, from the album “Mummer,” “Love On A Farmboy’s Wages.” Just beautiful, if a little sad.

Love On A Farmboy's Wages
By Andy Partridge

High climbs the summer sun
High stands the corn
And tonight when my work is done
We will borrow your father's carriage
We will drink and prepare for marriage
Soon my darling, soon my darling

Shilling for the fellow who brings the sheep in
Shilling for the fellow who milks the herd
Shilling for the fellow with a wife for keeping
How can we feed love on a farmboy's wages

Deep under winter snow
Deep lay the lambs
And tonight by the full moon's glow
Flask of wine on my feather bedding
We will drink and prepare for wedding
Soon my darling, soon my darling

Shilling for the fellow who brings the sheep in
Shilling for the fellow who milks the herd
Shilling for the fellow with a wife for keeping
How can we feed love on a farmboy's wages

People think that I'm no good
Painting pictures carving wood
Be a rich man if I could
But the only job I do well is here on the farm
On the farm
And it's breaking my back

We will borrow your father's carriage
We will drink and prepare for marriage
Soon my darling, soon my darling

Shilling for the fellow who brings the sheep in
Shilling for the fellow who milks the herd
Shilling for the fellow with a wife for keeping
How can we feed
Love on a farmboy's
Love on a farmboy's
Love on a farmboy's wages?
© 1983 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.

12 Comments:

Blogger Soundsurfr said...

You got a problem with that diamond bikini?

Shite.

xzxwv - No, that's not it. How do you end the alphabet again?

1:15 PM  
Blogger fgfdsg said...

Great post - i'm very jealous. New York has always held a great mystique for me from growing up where I did, the complete opposite of anything that city would have to offer.

And you mentioned Extinctionville? I'll point you to the most repellent site in the universe, which lets me know exactly how the rabble must have felt before the French Revolution:

http://www.poshtots.com/catalog/578/2757/product_detail.asp

I converted it to Australian Dollars - that actually costs more than my house did!

Also:

http://www.poshtots.com/catalog/1355/927/product_detail.asp

I'm sorry, but any girl who grows up sleeping in that is going to never contribute anything useful to society.

RE: The Bikini. Wouldn't it's value now have dropped since it's been rubbing against her naughty bits in a rather unhygenic fashion?

Also that's the most heavily airbrushed photo i've ever seen - it might as well be a cartoon.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

I hated my job when I worked on lower B'way, NYC, but I loved living in NYC.

Used to see celebs but not really to speak to (or even "at").

3:16 PM  
Blogger Neddie said...

The Bikini. Wouldn't it's value now have dropped since it's been rubbing against her naughty bits in a rather unhygenic fashion?

Simon, Simon, Simon... You've said some fairly amazingly gay things in my presence, but that ABSOLUTELY TAKES THE FLIPPIN' CAKE.

I'm sure my word verif. means something utterly filthy in some Middle Eastern tongue. "Look at that brazen prostitute! By the Prophet's beard, I would pay a thousand dinars simply to *lick* the diamonds she wears on her qkutckt!"

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Bob Dwire said...

Diamonds? Gay?

Ned, Simon, one of youse please explain yourselves.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Neddie said...

It didn't occur to me until hours later, that my last Comment was left in a dreadful poverty-stricken state by the absence of a joke that will be understood -- and that right well -- by me, the Viscount and Simon (and XTCfan, if he's lurking) and virtually no one else:

Simon is as gay as a French trombone!

Bob, you need to visit The Viscount's evidence of the Hades-bound Handbasket on the Express Track Downtown.

hpfsoy, genetically engineered legumes -- now with Hydrogen Protection Factor!

PS: Take fitties. Bolt-ons. McBoobies. Upgrades to Windows DD. Mortal lock.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Sticky said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:43 PM  
Blogger fgfdsg said...

What are you talking about Neddie? Everybody knows I'm all about the Female Squishy Organs! I *so* want to sex up that 'Diamonds Are A Girl's Breast Friend' chick and then have a beer as I watch the footy. Burrrrrp!

(I always thought the French Trombones would be a killer band name).

12:50 AM  
Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

So you two outlaws go way back, eh? Fun to read about it. Cool story. Cool tune too.

4:12 AM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

Ned: You must have been distracted by the diamonds.

Simon: check out track 12 on this.

Neil: Yeah, we went back even further than we knew. Glad you liked the tune.

6:56 AM  
Blogger XTCfan said...

Hey!! That link doesn't work anymore! I go on a business trip and miss all the fun...

I assume it's a picture of a hot ulsut?

5:48 PM  
Blogger Employee of the Month said...

76 French Trombones indeed.


zgpcf - ziggy played coronet francaise

2:25 PM  

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