Posts Tagged ‘Random Encounters’

Many of you have read about my serendipitous encounters with rock stars and monkees_leadtheir ilk, most notably David Crosby, Todd Rundgren, Jeff Lynne, and Beck. Hey, I even shared a cold brew with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith on one memorable occasion.

There’s another encounter I had, however, that didn’t occur face-to-face, but rather over the phone. Here’s what happened . . .

Back in the late 70’s I was perusing the back of Rolling Stone magazine and came across an interesting little ad. It was in regards to The Monkees, the wildly popular band from the 60’s that had pretty much disappeared over the prior decade or so. Hey, but at one point Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork, Davey Jones and Michael Nesmith were household names. They even had a TV show and everything.

Anyway, the ad basically said something along the lines of, “Wonder what the Monkees have been up to? Call this number to get a rundown on their latest activities!” It then explained that you’d be connected to a recording that would fill you in.

Being a big 60’s music guy I was sort of interested to see what the boys had been up to, so I thought what the hell? I’ll give the number a call.

Remember kids, this was before the internet and to get information you had to, you know, work for it and whatnot.

I dialed and was listening to the phone ringing on the other end when I got a surprise – somebody answered! What the hell?

Being the witty guy that I am, I said the first thing that came to mind:

“Who is this?”

“Who’s THIS?”

“Well, I was trying to call the Monkee’s hotline to see what was going on. I found it in an ad in The Rolling Stone.”

“Oh yeah. You called the right number. The recording is down so I went ahead and answered.”

At this point I figure I’m talking to some secretary or something and am ready to hang up. But then . . .

MikeNesmithmikenesmith2954698312801623“What do you want to know? This is Michael.”

Wait. Michael? As in Michael Nesmith?

Yep. Sure enough was. The one who always wore the skull cap, or toboggan if you will. Long story short he filled me in on everything, from Davey Jones and his work on Broadway to Peter Tork’s addiction problems. But what has stood out over the years, though, was what Nesmith told me he was doing:

“Yeah, I’m really into making music videos. That’s going to be the next big thing.”

Huh? Music videos? Why the hell would anyone want to watch that? I had no idea what he was talking about. Of course, MTV started a couple years later and everything became clear to me.

And Michael Nesmith? He ended up producing, among others, the music video for the Lionel Richie single “All Night Long” and the Michael Jackson single “The Way You Make Me Feel”.

Music videos? Who knew?

Turns out Michael Nesmith did.

Pain at the Pump

Posted: January 10, 2015 in Humor, Life, Random Encounters

oops-road-sign-4204407Well, it could’ve been painful. Possibly. Under other circumstances.

I was pumping gas this morning when I saw one of my former students roll into the lot. He was on the passenger side and his girlfriend was driving. They pull into the pump on the other side of me and the girl hops out and starts pumping gas too.

Nothing to see here, all normal so far.

“So” and “far” being the operative words there.

You have to understand I had a good relationship with this student when he was in school. He came from a tough background and I was always giving him a hard time, pushing him and trying to help him make the right decisions. He always responded to tough talk, which is why I said the following:

“Hey, dumbass! You’re supposed to pump the gas for your girl. Why don’t you try being a gentleman for once?”

Hey, it was said with love. Sort of.

He was directly on the other side of the pump, so he couldn’t see me. I didn’t know if he’d recognize my voice, so I was wondering what his response would be. And then his girlfriend pops her head around the corner and says very loudly:

“I know, right? Listen to the man, Bobby! Be a man for once! A gentleman!”

Then her and I both laugh hysterically at Bobby’s expense. Wait . . .


The guy I knew wasn’t named Bobby.

Oh no.

Sure enough, I peek around the pump and there sat . . . some guy named Bobby.

He was looking at me with a combination of disgust, anger and confusion. Then, for reasons I can’t really explain, all I did was point at him, wink, and go back to pumping my gas.

An apology didn’t seem necessary.

And as they pulled out, I could hear the girl:

“Did you hear what the man said? He said . . .” and the voices faded as they drove away.

One of these days my big mouth is gonna get me killed.